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Recap: ‘Below Deck,’ How NOT to Treat the Guests Edition

We all knew that deckhand Andrew was lying about his experience on BravoTV’s “Below Deck,” but we didn’t realize quite how bad it was. Like it was total fiction. Kid doesn’t know anything about anything and it’s actually dangerous for him and the rest of the crew.

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You have to know what the heck you’re doing to be part of the team responsible for the safety of the yacht’s passengers. I believe most deckhands and crew have taken some classes or done some prep work (not my field so I don’t know the deets) but this guy doesn’t know his butt from a U-shape, literally. Velcro confuses him.

I’d spend my entire blog on how stupid I thought it was that Captain Lee didn’t boot his ass off the boat immediately when Andrew admitted to “fudging” his resume, but I’m guessing they kept him for production purposes to let the rest of the crew torture him through one more charter. Teasers for next week indicate the captain is about to make this swabby walk the plank. It’s either that or deal with mutiny from the crew, Chef Ben threatens.

Very interesting that, although this charter started and ended in one episode, we didn’t get to see the now infamous tip-split. NOBODY wants Andrew to get any share of it and whatever happens, somebody is going to be unhappy. Thing is, if the tip is lousy, the blame for that goes to head stewardess Kate Chastain, not Andrew.

The guests don’t know about rookie Andrew and his stupid antics and lies, but they are totally turned off by Kate’s “permanent bitch face.” That’s an expression my college interns taught me when we had a sorority girl wash out of our program literally because she had the inability to smile. She couldn’t even muster up a good fake one for clients or the boss. That’s how bad Kate was tonight.

I’d say tonight’s “Below Deck” was a lesson on “How NOT to Treat the Guests” on a very expensive charter yacht from Kate, while Amy and Kat just kept on smiling, no matter how annoying or demanding the guests behaved. And let’s face it, they weren’t THAT bad. They didn’t get out of control and try to jump the female crew. They weren’t requesting pole dances from the guys. They didn’t ask for weird food (other than the lavender essence for that one chick’s cocktail and that was funny as shit).

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“Yeah, I already hate her,” Kate says in the galley while she’s making the drink. Fortunately, some of the other stewardesses are more professional.

“I just tap into my inner pageant girl and smile,” Amy says of working in the rain making cocktails for this charter on the first day. Her attitude makes all the difference. Sure, she’s wet and probably cold, but you’d never know it.

Now let’s talk about the mojito fuck up.

A mojito is a pretty classic drink in the Caribbean where rum is KING and the mojito is a favorite way to serve it. It’s not that complicated – we do it as a signature beverage at weddings on a regular basis. While nobody likes to muddle that much mint (sure, it’s a pain in the ass), the easy way to do it is to make up a big jug of base and then go from there.

But wait, it’s hard to do that when Kate failed to get the freaking mint. I mean, we heard the prior day that the guests wanted mojitos. Who fucked that up? Kate or Ben? If it wasn’t delivered, shouldn’t somebody’s ass have been boogieing up to the local veggie market to get some?

“I ordered mint but it didn’t arrive… basil looks a lot like mint,” Kate says, showing true leadership qualities. And her total doesn’t-give-a-fuck attitude. I can understand if this was an unexpected request and they were already at sea, but what I saw was the boss teaching her staff how to screw the guests. Nice.

They were still in port when the first mint-based drink was ordered and Kate started faking the cocktails using mint syrup, basil and chervil. No seriously. If I were those guests, I’d be IRATE when I saw this.

The ladies sort of busted them for it on the way off the boat when they asked for going away drinks and in a fit of pique, Kate failed to muddle enough to hide what the green stuff actually was. What a slacker. Don’t you realize the last impression is the most important?

Look, here’s the deal, and this is coming from somebody who is in the service industry – sometimes you like your guests and sometimes you don’t. Regardless, your job is to SMILE and serve them and treat them with respect. Kate had a shitty look on her face when they boarded. All I could think was “well, Julie the cruise director she is not.”

“These guests are not what I would say is ‘elegant’ – more gratuitous, showy. You can tell they want a lot of attention from me,” Kate complains. Actually, no Kate. They want the service they paid for from the crew. They could care less who you are, but they want to have a friendly, smiling staff, and you didn’t even greet them nicely. I just want you to improve your grammar.

“Only terrorists and assholes order mojitos. I can keep my composure on anyone – that’s my job. But in my head I’m saying I HATE YOU SO MUCH,” Kate says. Wow. Remember that folks. Only terrorists and assholes order mojitos??? Seriously. SERIOUSLY??? Where did BravoTV find this nasty little piece of work?

Kate trash talks the guests’ clothing and says they’re able to afford to do this once and are milking it for all it’s worth. Ahem, we know it’s the host couple’s wedding anniversary and so what if they can only do it once in their lives? How dare you act like such a snotty little bitch? You couldn’t afford to do it once as a passenger or you wouldn’t be working on the crew. I certainly can’t afford to rent a yacht but if I did, I’d like somebody far more pleasant in charge of our happiness aboard.

But it’s not just about the mojitos and the look on her face that constantly makes us wonder if Kate has just smelled something bad, it’s her whole general attitude towards these guests and they’re picking up on it.

They actually try to tease her about how she never smiles – they encourage it politely. Hey Kate – that’s code for “smile or kiss your tip goodbye.”

“I’m not your circus clown,” she says about being asked to smile. No, no you aren’t. You’re just a bitter little witch with a superiority complex and nothing to back it up. She continues to be nasty and the guests are snarking about her openly to each other.

“Good job, Kate,” one of them says, not being serious, after yet another unfriendly encounter at their breakfast table.

Later in the day, Ben gives the women conch lessons, teaching them how to prep it and how it’s considered an aphrodisiac. Cheesy, but he’s treating the guests like they’re special and he’s there to make them happy. Kate sees it and gets bitchy behind Ben’s back.

“Ladies love Ben… and he does it with a smile, which apparently is important to them,” Kate says. Yes, again Kate, smiling is important in the travel and tourism industry. People who are spending huge amounts of money to travel want to feel special and as though you’re happy to serve them. Is this such a surprise to you? I thought you used to be a cocktail waitress. They smile. You must’ve smiled to make enough tips to get a Jaguar. Or did the Sugar Grandpa we learned about last week buy that for you?

Kat seems to want to like Kate and defends her crappy attitude.

“Does she have to smile 24/7?” Kat asks. No, Kat. Only when they’re looking at you. Even you know that. You smile when they’re looking at you – I think it would be nice if your boss did too.

Late night, when the dinner service wraps up and the guests want to start partying, Kate is the original party pooper. One of the men wants to turn on some music and dance. Kate looks somewhat horrified and when asked if she likes to dance, she become the ultimate party buzzkill.

“I do not dance. It’s how I know I’ve had too much to drink at a wedding and it’s time to go home,” Kate says rudely. As in, “I think you all have had too much to drink and it’s time to get to your cabins.”

Swear to God, I think if I were the hostess who had paid for this excursion, I’d be having a conversation with the Captain. After I caught some of it on video to show him. She does it enough that it would be easy to bust her on how bitchy she’s really being to the guests. Reality check: We are the help. Service staff are there to “serve.” Good Lord!

“I would love to get married because once you get older, the stewardess thing – it’s not so cute. I’m glad I’ve done it this long, but there’s a shelf life,” Kate says in the very beginning when she finds out it’s an anniversary cruise.

Maybe she’s just bitter she’s still single. Or maybe she realizes her shelf life has expired. If she doesn’t clean up her attitude on the next charter, nobody will ever hire her again. Everybody is allowed a bad day. But a whole bad charter? I think not.

Lots of tweets about former star Adrienne Gang and when she’s going to pop up on the show like the teasers promo’d. I wish they’d bring her back in right now – it would change the whole dynamic of the ship. For the better. Adrienne seemed uptight behind the scenes because she was training Kat and Sam who behaved like disrespectful children and drank on duty, among other things. Kate has a good crew and she thinks she’s too good for the paying guests. #confused

Okay, let’s see, what else is going on “Below Deck?”

I think we can all tell that Kat and Ben are going to hook up eventually. Let’s hope it’s not on the kitchen counter.

“Ben and I used to be friends with benefits,” Kat says. Used to be? She spends all of her free time hanging around the kitchen flirting with him. All he’s gotta do is take the bait.

Jennice, meanwhile, seems less enamored of Kelley. Common sense kick in? Remembered she has a boyfriend before it’s too late? Be interesting to see if that ends up going anywhere. I know Eddie has to be happy it’s chilled a bit. He’s got his hands full with Andrew.

I’m glad Kelley didn’t do any serious damage with that swing spill last week. That looked really bad and could have paralyzed him. Not even sure that was a bad judgment call – the swing just wasn’t meant for such enthusiastic drunken pumping. Yeah, I said that.

Next week is going to be all about the problem child, Andrew, again. We see it coming in the teasers. He deserves it though, and I don’t feel sorry for him. He’s a big fat liar and he’s getting what he deserves. If he doesn’t get fired, Kelley’s going to throw him overboard one night as a favor to them all.

“I felt like the loser at lunch in junior high… I totally felt like an outcast,” Andrew whines about the way he gets the silent treatment from his crewmates at meals.

What does he expect? Not only are you not pulling your weight, Andrew. You couldn’t do it if you tried because you have no idea what you’re doing. And referring to scut work as “bitch work” definitely won you some points with Jennice, and she’s about the nicest person on the boat. Eddie tells him he’s out of line.

“You’re more of a man than I am in this job,” Andrew tells Jennice, trying to fix it. OMG, somebody stop him before he chokes on his own foot.

“That is so offensive. I am more of a deckhand than he is,” Jennice rants. And she’s right. Andrew’s got to go.

And I think, just maybe, that happens next week. If the rest of the crew is lucky. Not like they’ll have to do more work without him – it just means no more cleaning up his messes. We shall see.

We’ll also find out if Kate can smile when nobody is wagging cash in her face because I’m seeing that as the biggest problem here. What kind of cocktail waitress was she, exactly? Just asking.

Sandy Malone is a reality TV star, expert wedding planner, and internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast's BRIDES and The Huffington Post, in addition to Monsters... read more
Sandy Malone

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