Below Deck: 9 Fakest Things About The Show, According To Cast And Crew

With the latest season of Below Deck: Mediterranean airing on Bravo and Peacock, speculations abound about the extent to which the show (or really any reality show) produces its moments as opposed to them being completely authentic. According to multiple casts and crew members, while the drama is real, not everything about the show is accurate. Many things happen behind the scenes that aren't shown, but that's only to make sure the show gets made and things run smoothly. While there are many misconceptions about Below Deck, cast members clear these up in interviews, blog posts and podcasts.


There's No Respect For Rank

Ben in the kitchen, laughing, on Below Deck

According to Chef Ben Robinson in an interview with the Daily Mirror, Chef Ben said that on the Below Deck reality TV yachts, "There isn't much respect of rank. That wouldn't happen normally on a yacht." This is evident in many of the episodes, especially with the Bosun position.

Related: 10 Below Deck Chefs, Ranked

On an episode of The Daily Dish Podcast, deckhand Rhylee Gerber outright said, "To me it’s not about rank. OK, I understand there is rank. But just because you’re above me doesn’t mean you can speak down to me. It doesn’t mean you can treat me disrespectfully." The level of disrespect on the Below Deck yachts is tolerated because it makes for good TV, but would never be allowed on a regular boat.

The Crew Usually Makes A Bigger Tip

Kate Chastain giving an interview on below deck

In an interview with ET Online, one of the best chief stews on Below Deck, Kate Chastain, revealed that the crew typically makes more in tips than what they receive on the show. She says that yachts of that size are usually a week long and would garner about $5,000 in tips per crew member. But the show jam-packs a week's worth of work into three days and the crew only makes about $2,000.

She said, "We're working not just eight-hour shifts, it's like, we're working pretty much around the clock. All the days start to blur together. And during the tip meeting, Captain Lee [Rosbach], will say what we got and I'm always like, 'Is that good? I don’t know anymore… $3,000, are we happy with this?'"

Chartering A Yacht Is Wildly Expensive

Kate Chastain looking annoyed on Below Deck

In 2017 Kate Chastain sat down with ET Online and broke down the costs for chartering a boat the size of Valor. The show rarely reveals what the guests pay to charter the boat to be a part of the reality show. But a leaked casting call sheet for Below Deck Mediterranean, posted by the pop-culture account deuxmoi, revealed that the charter guests paid about $40,000 to $45,000.

Related: 10 Worst Crew Members Of The Entire Below Deck Franchise

However, Kate said to charter a boat the size of Valor would cost about $150,000 for seven days. She expanded on the price saying, "That does not include airfare, fuel, food, wine, docking, tip. So, I would say for a boat like Valor, for a week vacation, it would be around a quarter of a million dollars.”

Hannah and Sandy Were Enemies From The Start

Below Deck hannah ferrier headshot

On the podcast Kyle and Jackie O, former chief stew Hannah Ferrier talked about how she and Captain Sandy Yawn never liked each other, even though the show made it seem like they got along the majority of the time. It was evident on Below Deck: Mediterranean that Hannah and Sandy would butt heads, but not to the level that Hannah spoke about.

Hannah said, "What had happened is she’d watched the show before she came on, and she’d made her decision about me on a few things had happened. I think it was like about 45 seconds from our first introduction they had to stop production and be like, ‘Sandy, you can’t talk to her like that,’ like straight off the bat."

Guests Are Worse In Real Life

daisy on below deck sailing yacht

Daisy Kelliher spoke with TV Insider about her recent season and the difficulties she faced throughout it. When asked about difficult charter guests on Below Deck, Daisy talked about how much worse it is to live through three days of working extra hard for these guests, only to see it crunched down to mere minutes in an episode or two.

She said, "People experienced that for an hour. We got a full three days of it." Of course, it's hard for a show to fully portray what the cast members are going through and how worn-down they are without making the episode repetitive. It is true that viewers see their hardships, but not to the level that the crew actually experiences.

Captain Lee Interacts With The Guests More Than Shown

A charter guest and Captain Lee on below deck

One "My Seanna" charter guest, Linda Jones wrote a blog post about her experience chartering the boat. In it, she said that Captain Lee spent a lot more time with the guests that didn't air. She said she loved getting to know him and hearing stories about his life and career and wasn't sure why none of it aired.

Related: 10 Of Reddit's Favorite Episodes From Bravo Shows

She had a funny moment with him that resulted in Captain Lee covering his face with his napkin out of embarrassment. She said, "I said to Captain Lee, “that’s because you’re the Stud of the Sea”, which of course is his tagline on the show." Captain Lee rarely reveals his emotions so to see a scene like that would have played well with viewers.

Charter Guests Don't Act As Bad

Johnny Damon and his wife arguing with a guest on Below Deck

While the drama on board is all real, one of Bravo's most popular celebrities, Kate Chastain, says that the guests only act that way because they get such a discounted rate, "No real person that can afford to yacht is going to go on TV," in an interview with the podcast Yung Flamingo. She went on to say that working on normal, non-Bravo-related yachts became too boring because the guests are better behaved.

So while the drama is real on the show it's typically because people that could afford the higher price point aren't interested in being filmed, whereas the show has an easier time finding a wider variety of people, specifically those who want to be filmed, due to the discounted rate.

All That Sex and Dating Doesn't Happen As Frequently As Suggested

Adrienne carries shots of tequila on a night off on Below Deck

In an interview with Dockwalk, season 1 chief stew Adrienne Gang talked about her fears of joining the show and how it would be the end of the multi-billion-dollar yachting industry. Despite that, Adrienne actually helped created the sizzle reel that sold Bravo on making Below Deck in the first place. She said all the drama that goes on in the show is 100% real, but "there are always love triangles, insubordination, people getting too drunk, people not doing what they’re supposed to be doing, crazy charter guests — all of those things are real … just not all on the same boat in the same six-week period."

As the show has gotten more popular, the drama has escalated and while it's not scripted, crew members know it's a reality TV show and need to bring interesting elements to the show.

Being A Crew Member Is Harder Than It Looks

Below Deck Captain Lee and Kate

One of the biggest misconceptions in the show is that the crew don't actually work their jobs on the boat and that there's a crew behind the scenes doing everything. The truth is that while the captain chooses the chief engineer and the first mate (via Cheat Sheet), the crew that's featured are doing the majority of the work and usually much longer days than a non-Below Deck season, averaging 16-hour days.

In an interview with In Touch, Kate Chastain said it's "one of the most difficult shows out there for cast members" because they're filmed 24/7. She added, "Even when we're going to sleep at night, there are cameras in your room. If you got to go to the bathroom, you can hear the camera going and following you."