For three seasons, Bravo’s hit reality series Below Deck has taken viewers inside the opulent world of luxury yacht cruising. It’s offered a glimpse into how the wealthy elite travels in style, as well as how the crew makes it all happen behind the scenes. Now Bravo is hitting the high seas with a new crew in Below Deck Mediterranean and DIRECTV hit the red carpet to catch up with stars of the franchise, as well other “Bravolebrities” who came out to celebrate the launch of the new vessel. We learned where they’d charter their own yachts, which Bravolebrities they’d bring along, as well as what they think makes the show—and their own—stand out from the crowd.
Enjoy the interviews below and don’t miss the series premiere of Below Deck Mediterranean, tomorrow May 3 at 9/8c on Bravo!
DIRECTV: Were you fans of the Below Deck franchise?
Captain Mark Howard: I was, to be honest. Or I wouldn’t have done it!
Hannah Ferrier: I binge-watched it straight after I got offered the job. I figured, “I should probably watch it now…!”
Captain Lee is well known and has big shoes to fill. What do you think you bring to the show that’s maybe a little bit different?
Captain Mark: You know, Captain Lee broke the ground. He’s the one that really made the whole thing work. I don’t know how I can build on what he’s done so far. He’s done four seasons now and it’s so well received, I only hope I can do as well as he has.
Hannah, if you were going to charter a yacht yourself, where would you go and what two “Bravolebritites” would you take with you?
Hannah: I would probably go to Turkey. There’s some really beautiful anchorages that not a lot of yachts know about. And I think I’d have to take Andy Cohen and it’d have to be Lisa Vanderpump.
There’s a lot of reality TV out there. What do you think is different about the show that sets it apart from the pack?
Hannah: I think, to be honest, it’s that we’re not just there kind of getting drunk or partying, we’re there to do our job. This is our career. And it comes down to when you have everything on television, like it’s your reputation on the line. So you can’t take any of the sneaky shortcuts you can when the cameras aren’t’ there. So it’s very much your reparation, your career on the line. So I think think that’s probably the biggest difference.
Captain Mark: Well, plus it takes place in a very private place that most people don’t ever get a chance to see inside of. I think that’s a major reason many people buy a yacht, is for the privacy. And so it’s very rare to get a glimpse of what goes on inside them. And I think that holds a lot of interest for people as well.
What would you say is most challenging or exciting about being part of this franchise?
Captain Lee Rosbach: Getting used to all of this [press and attention]. It’s very life-changing but in a very positive way. It’s really been a lot fun. I’ve heard of people who don’t embrace it and I feel sorry for them, because they really should. People just don’t a get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like this. And when it comes around, you just got to grab it and hang on for the ride!
There are a lot of reality TV shows now. What do you think is different about the show that sets it apart?
Captain Lee: It’s probably the fact that there’s a lot of people who don’t even realize that the yachting world exists. That there’s 30, 40, 50, 100-million-dollar floating palaces out there that charter for anywhere from a hundred-thousand dollars a week and they get a little glimpse into that world, and some of the people who own it and the people who run it, the people who charter it, and the people who make it all work. It’s a very exclusive world, there’s probably only six thousand mega-yachts in the world all told everywhere. So it’s a unique fraternity.
If you were chartering a yacht yourself, where would you go and what two people would you take with you?
Captain Lee: Probably the South Pacific, maybe Fiji, Bora Bora, that area. And two people I would take with me… Living or dead?
Captain Lee: I think John Wayne would be a great guy to hang out with. And as far as just having fun and a good time, my Chief Stew, Kate. She’s a ball and a lot of fun to hang out. We all get along.
Were you a fan of the Below Deck franchise?
Bobby Giancola: Well, I’m friends with Kate Chastain [of Below Deck], so as soon as she got on board, I started watching. And I’m also friends with Connie [Arias], so I’m still going to watch it. And that;’s how I found out about it. You know, Kate came up to me and talked to me about it and I talked about switching careers and so she approached me and that’s why I signed up for it. It was great.
What have you found most surprising or challenging about being involved in the show?
Bobby Giancola: I mean it was all surprising. Most challenging was probably having to deal with Danny [Zureikat] the whole time. But it was a good time, I had fun, and it was great experience. I hope to do it again.
Everyone loves Million Dollar Listing New York. What is your favorite Bravo show—other than your own…
Luis D. Ortiz: Million Dollar Listing New York… I enjoy Watch What Happens Live. Yeah I do enjoy it. I like everything that’s live.
Aright, if you were going to charter a yacht, where would you go and what two Bravolebritities would you take with you?
Luis: I would go to the South of France and I would probably take Ryan, because he’s the only Bravolebrity that I know, and I also I like him very much. With Emelia so that there are no questions after the trip. And I’ll put Fredrik in also. Why not? And Derek. Then I’ll have to find myself someone, because I can’t be the fifth-wheeler!
Ryan Serhant: I would probably go to Greece; that would be a good trip. And take the cast of Below Deck because they would be able to get us there.
Luis: That’s very smart.
Ryan: Isn’t that what they do…? I would take them. I’d be like, “Wow, you guys are on TV now, make the boat go,” right?
What about you, Emilia?
Emilia Bechrakis: I only get two?! Every single Real Housewife. I would have them all on a yacht and I would have the most amazing time and we would go to Greece. We’d need a big boat.
Luis, joining the cast of your show later on, were you a fan?
Luis: I really didn’t watch it, but I’d heard of it because it was a very popular show. But i started watching it when I was auditioning for it and honestly my favorite cast member was this guy [Ryan].
If you were going to charter your own yacht, where would you go and what Bravolebrities would you take with you?
Tabatha Coffey: I would love…this has always actually been the real dream…through the Greek Islands, I think, would be amazing. I’ve been to Greece before and I’ve been to the islands, but you’re always just kind of stuck there. And I think sailing around would be so spectacular.
Who would you take with you?
Tabatha Coffey: Andy Cohen, for constant entertainment. And though I’ve not met her, but I’m mildly obsessed…Erica, from [The Real Housewives of] Beverly Hills. Good crew, right?
There’s a lot of reality TV right now. What do you think it is about your show, Southern Charm, that sets it apart?
Landon Clements: Charleston. It’s such a beautiful city, and the fact that we all really grew up together and are actually really friends. They didn’t sort of cast strangers and kind of throw them together…we’ll be friends long after the show and we were friends long before. And it’s really neat because our friend Whitney, he created and produced it, and we just have so much fun. And I think what really sets it apart also is that no one’s really be able to kind of see this side of the South and this sort of Old World way of living, so that’s been neat too. I think people are interested in the culture of it as much as they are the drama.
If you had to think of one thing people might know about the show that might surprise them, what would it be?
Landon Clements: Oh I don’t know…I’m not allowed to disclose any secrets! But I guess the biggest thing is that we and truly are best friends. You know, we are like a big dysfunctional family. We get in fights, we make up…it’s just very honest so I feel comfortable doing it.
If you were going to charter a yacht, where would you go and what two Bravolebritities would you take with you?
Jax Taylor: One place, Greece.
Tom Schwartz: That’s where we want to go for our honeymoon…
Jax: You’d better pick up some extra shifts.
Tom: Oh, I know.
Tom: Yeah, can I take the same answer? I would probably go with Katie and I’d make Jax and Tom [Sandoval] flip a coin. And then I’d take one of the guys. I would take Jax and Tom. I would take three, come on.
Jax: I’d take the same, because we just have so much fun together, I can’t really imagine going anywhere else with anyone else, to be totally honest. And…Greece.
Jax, you get kind of a bad rap on your show, Vanderpump Rules. What would be one thing viewers might know about you that might surprise them?
Jax: That I actually am a charming, nice guy.
Tom: He has a big heart…
Jax: I do! What’s a good thing…? “Shoot first, ask questions later”, kinda thing? I’ve got so many bad “Jax-isms. I’m actually a really good guy. I do get a bad rap. Here’s the thing. I don’t really have a filter. I just say what everybody else is thinking.
Tom: When Jax is upset with you…he’s your worst enemy, but he has a big heart, and he’s caring and he’s loving. He’s a compassionate guy, and I don’t think he gets a lot of credit for that. Until you cross him, and then he’ll devote every waking second to ruining your life…
Jax: …Whether it’s true or false! [laughs]
Well there’s a lot of reality TV out there. What do you think sets your show apart?
Tom: Chemistry. Chemistry’s so key. And authenticity. It’s such an LA word, you gotta brace yourself for it, you ready? It’s organic. It’s very organic.
Jax: It’s organically toxic. What I actually agree about our show…I don’t know about any other shows, but, I can say this is the God’s honest truth, it’s a hundred percent real. It’’s all there. They just flip on the cameras, it’s all there.
Tom: I think what makes it work is we also love each other. It’s like we’ve earned the right to talk *#@& about the other person. I know it sounds ridiculous…
Jax: We’ve known each other for so many years. This wasn’t just a show put together with a bunch of people who work at Sur. We’ve all known each other years before.
Tom: We’ve been through the trenches together. We’ve worked…humiliating jobs. I’ve had my body painted while I was bartending.
Jax: Here’s an example… When we used to cater jobs, I literally was at Jamie Foxx’s house catering a party. Last week, I was sitting at his table hanging out drinking champagne with him. He’s a fan of our show. It just goes to show you we want from one extreme to the next.
Tom: We take it in stride. We have no egos about it. We’re very humble. We’re very grateful.
Jax: It’s a long, long season, with a lot of filming,
No doubt, it’s a lot of work.