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By Yacht Charters Guru

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Is There Real Drama Below Deck?

Eighteen years in the charter yacht industry as an owner/operator of an Award-winning 72’ crewed charter yacht and several months under our belts as newly established professional yacht charter brokers has lead to an eye-opening surprise!  The number one question we are asked almost daily is, “Is working on a yacht really like the Bravo Tv Show Below Deck?” 

You do realize that it’s a reality tv show, don’t you? 

If you haven’t seen it, Below Deck is a show watched by approximately 1.4 million viewers. It's about the charter crew of a luxury yacht and their adventures of working onboard as well as interacting with their millionaire lifestyle guests. When it first aired, we and our colleagues were completely shocked. Yes, in the past we had collectively commented that no one would ever be able to make up some of the interesting situations that we’d experienced as charter yacht crew. And we’d even gone so far as to say, “Wow our 16 hour days of working as Captains & Chefs aboard a private yacht charter would make a great tv show”! But we never, ever expected to see the inner workings of a crew, both good and bad, to be put on display for all the world to see. 

 

4 Facts About Working as a Yacht Charter Crew: 

  • If you put 6-10 crew members together living and working 24 hours a day in a space less than the size of an average business office, eventually something is going to blow. 
  • Each charter yacht and crew is it’s own universe of personalities. Not all yachts work like the scenes filmed on Below Deck. There are many crews who are well matched as hard-working professional teams.  
  • Having 8 guests onboard for 8 day/ 7 nights and providing them with the best in 5-star hospitality from sunup to well past sundown is an interesting feat in itself. Occasionally, the guests will clash a little. Crews are adept at learning to turn most every situation that appears to be going downhill around simply by being aware and anticipating their guest’s needs. 
  • If a guest gets too carried away in his zeal of partying like a rock star aboard his private chartered yacht, (and I mean really bad behavior) then yes, the Crew will talk about them. It is human nature and hopefully it’s always vented behind closed doors. 

Yes, there was some wailing in our industry that the show put a bad spin on the crewed charter yacht business. But in fact, after well into the third season, it’s accomplished the following: 

  • Opened the doors to a new crowd of potential employees who never dreamed that the job existed and are pursing the qualifications necessary to make it their career path. 
  • Weeded out the crew who needed to go on to other careers by giving them some serious competition in the “walking the dock” career wars taking place right now on every charter yacht dock between qualified eager applicants. 
  • Its given a “port hole” view to prospective charter guests that there is another player in the world of luxury travel. With a little research online and the aid of a yacht charter broker, anyone can find a yacht that’s well within their means. Seriously. 
  • Created an uptick in the crewed yacht charter industry with more client bookings than any period since the crash of the U.S. economy. 

Described by seasoned Captain Lee Rosbach recently, “Despite the surprises, Below Deck‘s drama is “typical” of the yachting industry. Some people may disagree with that assessment, but you’ve always got drama on board a boat. Any time you get people that are living and working together in that close proximity, you’re going to have issues and things are going to happen, and drama’s going to ensue. It’s been that way in yachting for years, long before the series came around.”

Years ago we dreamed of fun careers at sea watching the Love Boat and was glued to the escapades of luxury lifestyles afloat. In the end, we know that Below Deck is simply a reality tv show. And to be honest, while we were completely horrified for the sake of the industry in the beginning of the series, we’re glad it’s raised some questions and interest in crewed charter yachting. Hopefully it will increase the visibility of professional dedicated crews who’ve devoted their careers to offering their guests the finer points in hospitality. In the meantime, we’ll keep on watching! 

Contact Us for more information about chartering a crewed luxury yacht. 

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