Skip to main content

After five seasons of Below Deck Mediterranean, former chief stew Hannah Ferrier could see a big difference between filming a reality show like Below Deck versus her new series The Real Love Boat.

Ferrier was cast as The Real Love Boat cruise director, who will help make love connections with the guests on board the ship. She told Showbiz Cheat Sheet the filming experience was entirely different … and she loved every minute.

Hannah Ferrier explains the difference between filming ‘Below Deck’ vs. ‘The Real Love Boat’

Filming The Real Love Boat differed from her experience filming Below Deck Mediterranean. “And I think it’s quite nice,” she said about filming the new series. “So the one thing with Below Deck is Mark Cronin, who is the show creator, the one thing that was very important to him was that he wants to keep it as genuine as possible.”

Hannah Ferrier from 'The Real Love Boat' sits in a chair wearing a blue dress on 'WWHL'
Hannah Ferrier |Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank

“So even though I was like five seasons into that show, I was still a chief stew on camera,” she said. “There wasn’t any kind of special treatment. There are rumors always going around in the Bravoland that they have people coming in off camera to clean for them. I’m like, no, we don’t. That’s why we look so exhausted and we’re so grumpy all the time. But to his credit, he did keep it genuine.”

“With The Real Love Boat, it was obviously just really nice to be kind of treated like talent,” she remarked. “That was a nice experience to have. And yeah, it’s such a different show, obviously, and I’m in such a different position. It’s not like I’m the head person and in the middle of all the drama all the time. So, yeah, it was good.”

Did Hannah watch ‘The Love Boat’ before filming the show?

Ferrier said her position is similar to the fictitious cruise director Julie McCoy on The Love Boat. “So I’m the cruise director. I think it’s the little blond woman, Julie McCoy,” she revealed. But admitted she never really watched The Love Boat, which was a series popular in the late 1970s to the mid-1980s – before Ferrier was born.

“I watched [The Love Boat] for like 20 minutes before I left [to film],” she laughed. “Because in my defense, I grew up with no television. I had to buy my own TV at, like, 12, so we never had TV in the house. ” Adding that when she would watch TV at a friend’s house, they would watch shows like The OC. “Not so much like The Love Boat,” she joked.

Despite not being a huge Love Boat aficionado, she really leaned into her role as the reality show cruise director. Ferrier posted a teaser on Instagram, showing how the series made good use of her keen sense of observation. The Real Love Boat narrator refers to Ferrier as the “cupid” of The Real Love Boat as she dishes with the crew about what’s hot (and not) with some of the couples on board the ship.

She received surprising fan backlash for traveling for work

Unfortunately, Ferrier experienced strange fan backlash while filming The Real Love Boat, something she did not encounter with Below Deck Med. After becoming a mother, Ferrier embarked on filming the show, leaving her toddler daughter Ava with her child’s father, who is also her husband. Shortly after the news leaked that she was filming a show, Ferrier experienced backlash from some fans because she traveled for work.

Ferrier said the double standard wasn’t lost on her. “My husband actually went to Melbourne last week and I asked him, ‘Did anyone ask you where Ava was?’ He’s like, ‘No. Why would they?'” She added, “And it’s no one’s fault, but it’s like the amount of praise and bow down he got for … [caring for his child while she was at work].”

“I would never shame a woman who wanted to stop work when she had kids,” Ferrier said. “Personally, for myself, I feel like I’m a better partner. I’m a better mother, a better daughter, I’m a better friend when I have more going on in my life than just Ava. She’s my whole life. And I will drop anything for her. I would sacrifice anything for her.”

Ferrier will appear on the Australian version of The Real Love Boat, which starts at 7.30 pm Wednesday, October 5th on Channel 10.