Eight seasons of Below Deck have taken viewers inside the lives of crew members on megayachts, with some seasons impacting fans more than others.
With eight seasons on the high seas, Below Deck has provided quite the collection of nautical shenanigans while following the lives of the crew working on superyachts. Despite the idyllic surroundings, life working on luxury boats is far from dreamy. Yachting brings strangers together to live and work in cramped quarters while catering to rich and demanding guests. All things considered, that high-stress environment creates the perfect cocktail for a reality show.
The first season of Below Deck premiered all the way back in 2013, and the series has been a Bravo fan favorite ever since. Two spin-offs, Below Deck Mediterranean and Below Deck Sailing Yacht, have since come out of this franchise. Another spinoff, Below Deck Down Under, is currently in the works. While the overall Below Deck franchise continues to grow, the original series has had plenty of highs and lows throughout its eight seasons, with some causing more waves than others.
8. Below Deck Season 5
A boat full of inexperienced crew members made up the cast of Below Deck season 5. That lack of yachting know-how made for a lacking season. Aside from leadership squabbles among the deck team, season 5 is largely forgettable. If anything, it gave viewers long-time chief stew Kate Chastain’s fling with a man from a night out, who she affectionately nicknamed “Aqua Jesus.”
7. Below Deck Season 4
In the entire history of Below Deck, season 4 sits as a mid-run slump. It has some memorable series regulars, including bosun Kelley Johnson and chef Ben Robinson. However, none of their standout moments. Aside from one of the more successful boat-mances, the crew dynamic is rather stagnant in comparison to other seasons.
6. Below Deck Season 1
There’s a reason that Below Deck has developed into a franchise, and that’s the impact of the first season. Though it does lack the charming snark of Kate, the season had plenty of drama to beguile viewers into the ostentatious world of yachting. It also introduced several of the series regulars that fans grew to love.
5. Below Deck Season 7
What really made Below Deck season 7 stand out was the fact that it was Kate Chastain’s final season on the show. She had many arguments with other crew members, particularly with bosun Ashton Pienaar, and even stormed off the boat mid-season. Though Kate did return to finish out the remaining charters, her antics made this season a must-watch as a fitting send-off of the long-time chief stew.
4. Below Deck Season 8
As the most recent season, Below Deck season 8 had to deal with the replacement of Kate and the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic, which ultimately caused production to pause. Francesca Rubi, the new chief stew, didn’t have quite the same spark as Kate, though her frequent fights with stewardess Elizabeth Frankini provided tons of dramatic content. The season was an emotional rollercoaster with multiple crew firings, Captain Lee opening up about a family tragedy, and a guest being kicked off a charter, but that volatility made it all the more enticing to watch.
3. Below Deck Season 3
Season 3 had all the quintessential elements of a great Below Deck year, plus some added iconic moments. Love triangles, chef departures, and a galley fire all filled out a thrilling line of events. A cheating scandal between stewardess Raquel “Rocky” Dakota and the return of bosun Eddie Lucas shocked crew and fans alike, and it was still contentious when Eddie returned in season 8.
2. Below Deck Season 2
Every crew member had an enticing storyline on Below Deck season 2, which is frequently not the case on the show. The connection between siblings Kelley and Amy Johnson, endless flirting and fighting between Kate and Ben, and romance between Kelley and fellow deckhand Jennice Ontiveros made for an addictive watch. This season also contains the unforgettable instance when Kate crafted a phallic towel folding for a charter guest who told her she had “resting b**ch face.”
1. Below Deck Season 6
With many heated interchanges between the crew, there was an endless stream of relationship drama that fueled Below Deck season 6. Problems on deck escalated when deckhand Ashton was pulled under the water when a line wrapped around his ankle. Ashton luckily survived the accident, but it remains the most intense moment in all of Below Deck.
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