Overview

Below Deck is a reality TV show on Bravo. It’s been airing since 2013, and has 8 seasons.

The show follows the daily life of the crew of a mega-yacht during charter season – when yachts are hired out for vacations.

Each season focuses on a different group of guests, and usually a different yacht – though sometimes the same yacht has reappeared in different seasons.

There are two spinoffs, Below Deck Mediterranean and Below Deck Sailing Yacht.

If you’re a fan of Real Housewives, 90 Day Fiancé on TLC or Love Island on CBS, you’ll probably love Below Deck.

Premise

Below Deck sees the ups and downs of the crew’s unique life at sea while the mega-yachts travel to luxury locations like the Caribbean.

It’s not all smooth sailing, though – there are plenty of ‘boat-mances’, arguments and misbehaviour to keep us entertained.

While the guests on the yacht are replaced every season, the crew isn’t – though members come and go. Captain Lee Rosbach has remained an enduring presence across all 8 seasons, however.

The usual crew of the mega-yachts are temporarily replaced by the series’ cast to film the series.

 

Cast and characters

The crew members for each season, along with the name of the yacht, are listed below:

 Season 1 (Honor)

  • Lee Rosbach – Captain
  • Aleks Taldykin – First Officer
  • Adrienne Gang – Chief Stewardess
  • J. LeBeau – Second Engineer
  • Samanatha Orme – 3rd Stewardess
  • David Bradberry – Deckhand
  • Ben Robinson – Chef
  • Eddie Lucas – Deckhand
  • Kaat Held – 2nd Stewardess

Season 2 (Ohana)

  • Lee Rosbach – Captain
  • Kate Chastain – Chief Stewardess
  • Kat Held – 2nd Stewardess
  • Amy Johnson – 3rd Stewardess
  • Eddie Lucas – Bosun
  • Andrew Sturby – Deckhand
  • Logan Reese – Deckhand
  • Jennice Ontiveros – Deckhand
  • Kelley Johnson – Second Engineer
  • Ben Robinson – Chef

Season 3 (Eros)

  • Lee Rosbach – Captain
  • Kate Chastain – Chief Stewardess
  • Amy Johnson – 2nd Stewardess
  • Raquel ‘Rocky’ Dakota – 3rd Stewardess
  • Eddie Lucas – Bosun
  • Don Abentante – Second Engineer/Deckhand
  • Connie Arias – Deckhand
  • Dane Jackson – Deckhand
  • David Bradberry – Deckhand
  • Leon Walker – Chef
  • Ben Robinson – Chef

Season 4 (Valor)

  • Lee Rosbach – Captain
  • Kate Chastain – Chief Stewardess
  • Emily Warburton-Adams – 2nd Stewardess
  • Sierra Storm – 3rd Stewardess
  • Kelley Johnson – Bosun
  • Trevor Walker – Senior Deckhand
  • Lauren Burchell – Deckhand
  • Nico Scholly – Deckhand
  • Kyle Dixon – Deckhand
  • Ben Robinson – Chef

Season 5: Valor

  • Lee Rosbach – Captain
  • Kate Chastian – Chief Stewardess
  • Brianna Adekeye – 2nd Stewardess
  • Jennifer Howell – 3rd Stewardess
  • Nico Scholly – Lead Deckhand/Bosun
  • EJ Jansen – Bosun
  • Chris Brown – Deckhand
  • Bruno Duarte – Deckhand
  • Baker Manning – Deckhand
  • Kyle Dixon – Deckhand
  • Matt Burns – Chef

Season 6: My Seanna

  • Lee Rosbach – Captain
  • Kate Chastain – Chief Stewardess
  • Josiah Carter – 2nd Steward
  • Caroline Bedol – 3rd Stewardess
  • Laura Betancourt – 3rd Stewardess
  • Chandler Brooks – Bosun
  • Ross Inia – Lead Deckhand/Bosun
  • Ashton Pienaar – Deckhand
  • Rhylee Gerber – Deckhand
  • Tyler Rowland – Deckhand
  • Adrian Martin – Chef

Season 7: Valor

  • Lee Rosbach – Captain
  • Kate Chastain – Chief Stewardess
  • Simone Mashile – 2nd Stewardess
  • Courtney Skippon – 2nd Stewardess/3rd Stewardess
  • Ashton Pienaar – Bosun
  • Brian de Saint Pern – Lead Deckhand
  • Tanner Sterback – Deckhand
  • Rhylee Gerber – Deckhand
  • Kevin Dobson – Chef

Season 8: My Seanna

  • Lee Rosbach – Captain
  • Francesca Rubi – Chief Stewardess
  • Elizabeth Frankini – Stewardess
  • Isabelle ‘Izzy’ Wouters – Stewardess
  • Eddie Lucas – Bosun
  • James Hough – Deckhand
  • Shane Coopersmith – Deckhand
  • Rachel Hargrove – Chef

Filming locations

The crew get to travel to some idyllic holiday destinations.

For seasons 1-5, Below Deck was filmed in the Caribbean. Season 6 moved to Tahiti, and season 7 took the crew to Thailand.

As for Below Deck Mediterranean, each season has been set somewhere new:

  • Season 1 – Greece
  • Season 2 – Croatia
  • Season 3 – Italy
  • Season 4 – South of France
  • Season – Mallorca

 Season 1 of Below Deck Sailing Yacht was filmed in Corfu, Greece.

Production

Each season is filmed across 6 weeks. Producers have a lot of criteria to keep in mind when choosing the location for each series, not just how picturesque the potential location is.

There needs to be an airport close by for guests to arrive in and depart from, and there needs to be a hotel in the area for the production crew to stay in for 6 weeks. There also need to be local suppliers available to deliver essentials to the yacht.

The production crew are vital to the series – and one member in fact saved a life during filming.

When Ashton Pienaar stepped on a tow line in season 6, he was dragged into the ocean between My Seanna and the tender (another boat). The line held him underwater, and the pressure around his ankle could have severed his foot entirely.

Luckily, cameraman Brent Freeburg managed to untangle the line and save Ashton’s life, and Ashton made a full recovery.

Episodes and reception

There are over 100 episodes of Below Deck, and two spinoffs – Below Deck Mediterranean, which has 5 seasons, and Below Deck Sailing Yacht, which has 1 season.

Critics initially gave the series mixed reviews when it premiered, criticizing it for seeming scripted, average or irritating.

However, the show has maintained excellent ratings since its first season, with season 7 netting the highest ratings yet at an average of 1.56 million.

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