The sea glitters a fierce turquoise. The sun loungers are comfortable. It’s been a while since you relaxed like this. Now, how to get that refreshing drink?
Lack of effective communication can be an issue onboard a yacht, potentially where wifi is problematic. Having staff in close proximity is certainly attentive but can sometimes be intrusive. Alternatively, calling out or having to use the comms to request service can break the flow of your quality time.
A simple and elegant solution to signal staff is ‘StewardCall’ from Call Systems Technology Ltd, which uses a range of portable devices that operate on reliable radio frequencies. The StewardCall system alerts service staff quickly and discretely, allowing utmost privacy whilst ensuring the highest levels of service are delivered consistently.
The call buttons are stylish and simple to operate – a gentle press of the button and a member of staff appears to attend your needs. As the system allows for instant, reliable communication, service levels improve and response times decrease, leading to better staff productivity and satisfaction. Your staff are kept safe in the knowledge that they can carry out tasks elsewhere onboard and can still be reached when needed, at any time and at any location.
The buttons are easy to install, with no downtime and minimal interference. When the button is pressed, staff are alerted on any number of chosen devices such as radios, pagers, smartphones or smartwatches.
A company with heritage
The family-owned British company has a good pedigree, being established in 1995 to provide communication solutions to the European hospitality industry. Originally known for their widely-used restaurant paging solutions, the company has flourished over the past 25 years and now provides a large range of sophisticated communication systems for corporate, retail, healthcare, hotels and marine.
To date the company has installed on over 150 superyachts, from 35 metres to some of the largest in the world, working directly with owners, representatives, captains, ETOs and shipyards. Additionally, they have installed in many private and royal residences across the globe.
An Assured Crew
The call buttons can also be of major benefit to the crew, allowing them to deliver the most special and memorable experiences to your guests. From a crew perspective, the fact guests have a call button gives them reassurance that they can be reached when needed without having to linger too close in the background. It’s a fine line between attentive and intrusive. Now the crew can prioritise other tasks, with safe assurance that their Principal will be catered for when notified, enabling them to respond to the correct location immediately.
A typical yacht installation may have anywhere between 5 and 20 call buttons, so it’s vital that they blend well with the interior design. The most striking feature of the portable devices is the lavish customisation options. The CST Luxury Range allows you to choose from a wide range of superb finishes. The company uses the finest English craftsmanship and materials from renowned tanneries and metal works. They work with a close network of suppliers who deliver the highest quality products. Most popular finishes are gold, bronze, black and chrome in standard, matte and brushed, allowing integration into the most luxurious environments.
A spokesperson from CST, Connor Taggart says, ‘We sit with the client or crew and design something to fit décor the yacht and work out how the buttons are to be used. Discreet is often requested. Owners love that they can ‘hide’ the call button into the environment so that their friends and family won’t even know it’s been pressed when service arrives.’
Both synthetic and organic materials can support a bespoke look with other personalisation including initials, insignia, company logo, yacht or name engraving, and even semi-precious stones.
Alternatively, the call buttons can become a bold feature. The latest collection from the CST Luxury range comprises of buttons encased in crystal – the skull really will become a talking point, and that’s before your guests discover that it can summon a butler out of thin air. Bespoke work has included button placement in sports memorabilia and sensitively restored equipment from a classic sailing yacht.
Another option is the multi-button to summon different team members. Popular options include Butler, House Manager, Waiter, F&B Service, Captain, Bodyguard, Chief Steward, Nanny, Personal Assistant and AV Tech. When crew members receive a notification, the location of the call is displayed on their chosen device.
The Reliability of Radio Frequencies
Similar devices on the market are WiFi-based and Call Systems Technology is no stranger to the technology. However, as experts in radio frequency communications, they guarantee instant and reliable service across the yacht where other methods may fall down. The independent network of call buttons will not add any load to your existing radios comms or WiFi system.
The systems are easy for the crew to retrofit and can be dispatched and installed with minimum maintenance or resource.
The proprietary software, Gen2, is usually operated from a central location and acts as a central point for staff and manager pagers. The system can also take in other critical alerts from around the vessel including comms, security and plant control rooms, and can push messages to the appropriate devices on sea or emails on land. Full audit history of alerts and messages is recorded.
Buttons are wireless and operate on small lithium watch-type batteries. Estimated lifespan is 50 thousand activations or three to four years. That’s a lot of legwork in itself but with much more saved by streamlining the right staff, to the right location at the right moment.
Alongside third party devices, the call button network can be integrated into various AV systems from trusted partners such as Crestron and Control4. Messages can be added and reprogrammed easily as and when needed.
Why stop with your yacht?
Ultimately, the call buttons are a tool to assist your support team to deliver the most special and memorable experiences possible.
Tapping on a phone or tablet to summon staff or send messages could be misinterpreted. Likewise, lingering staff can be a distraction or create awkwardness.
Connor continues, “Once an Owner has the solution on their yacht, they often ask us to provide for their residence or office too. They like to mirror the service they receive on land and on sea and stay in control of exactly when this is required. Our call buttons are designed perfectly to allow such authority and flexibility”.
Read this article and many more technology leading pieces in the Superyacht Technology Winter Blueprint.