What Is It Like to Work on ‘Below Deck With Cameras?

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Working on a superyacht can be pretty brutal. The long hours and endless demands can wear thin on the crew’s patience and physical being in general.

So what happens when you are trying to skillfully carry a tray of cocktails? But have to work around a camera and production crew at the same time? Below Deck cast members know what it is like, which at times can make a challenging job even tougher.

The production crew makes for more mess

Below Deck crew members are filmed constantly cleaning and shining the vessel. Guests are paying a premium to voyage on a superyacht so conditions must be five star. However, as the crew cleans between charter guests they also have to contend with additional crew members, namely the production crew.

Chief stew Hannah Ferrier told Forbes she had to step up her game to keep the environment shiny and clean while on Below Deck. “I had been a chief stew for four years on a yacht where all you have are the guest and the crew. The difference with having a film crew is that there are fingerprints everywhere. There are 30 or 40 extra people stepping on an off every day.”

It also gets very crowded

Space is at a premium, even if you are working on a larger yacht. Forbes asked deckhand Bobby Giancola if the production crew added more bodies. He said, “Yes, there are 6 or 7 camera guys, the microphone guys, the control room, a lot of the producers are there.”

In fact, Ferrier had to maneuver around the crew to serve the guests. “You find yourself almost hoping you don’t have a sexual harassment claim from a camera guy. You’re like, my butt is too big to squeeze by without touching him.”

Hookups need to be creative

Ship romances happen, but they are made a thousand times more awkward with a camera and production crew in your face. When third stew Raquel “Rocky” Dakota and bosun Eddie Lucas had their clandestine affair, they had to figure out how to thwart the cameras.

The couple retreated to the crew laundry room to get it on. And while audio would catch some interaction, Lucas and Dakota hatched a plan. A second door led directly to Lucas’ cabin, which allowed the couple to move easily without being noticed, Screen Rant reports. Also, the area where pool toys are housed is another hotspot sans cameras.

You have no privacy

The crew knows cameras in their bedroom is part of the gig. The show often features crew members changing uniforms or sleeping. However, the production crew mics not only the crew but the ship itself. So crew members essentially have to give up any sense of privacy whatsoever. The idea is to get the crew to “forget” they are being watched so drama unfolds naturally. And it typically does.

Does the production crew bunk with the cast?

The production crew stays at a local hotel since space on a superyacht can’t accommodate everyone. The production team works in three shifts each day. When their shift ends, they are tendered back to land where they stay at a hotel, according to Screen Rant. Regardless of the weather, the crew travels back and forth to the yacht to catch all the drama.

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