Paget Berry and Ciara Duggan presented Below Deck fans to a new concept, that of long term relationship in the boating/yachting industry. They were introduced to us as bosun and first mate in the premier season of Below Deck Sailing Yacht. Their four year romance seemed to be an exception rather than the rule in an industry of seasonal boatmances.
Not that their love was without hiccups along the way. Paget was consistently flirting with costar Georgia Grobler, and by the end of the season she was professing deep feelings towards him. There was no physical indiscretion, and at the time filming wrapped, Paget and Ciara seemed unshaken by the incident. They bought a home in France, and moved in together as of October 2020. There was an engagement. So what really happened?
Last week’s Below Deck Sailing Yacht ended on a very naked cliffhanger. Surely you remember. With Gary King, Alli Dore and Sydney Zaruba taking their weird love triangle to an uncomfortable level with a 2 a.m. skinny dip? Well, I think it’s well past time that Bravo learns to tone down the incessant use of “To Be Continued” because it really couldn’t have been less necessary.
What happens after the trio jump into the Mediterranean? Why, they’re wet and cold and force Gary to run naked down the dock to get towels, of course. How else could this scenario have ended? Certainly not with the fake out of Captain Glenn Shephard being woken by the noise. Because Glenn rolls over and goes right back to sleep. And while Gary finally calls it a night, the girls stay up even longer for an emotional (and drunken) heart-to-heart on the bow.
Welcome back to Below Deck Sailing Yacht, where Barrie Drewitt-Barlow and his family have permanently taken over Parsifal. At least that’s what it feels like, considering this is the third week in a row we’ve been subjected to them on our screens. This family is never leaving the boat. They’ve complained about hollandaise sauce. The kids have competed for Louis Vuitton shoes. Last week’s episode ended with the male crew members in drag. All caught up? Good. Because we have one more episode of the twisted Brady Bunch to get through…
Bright and early the morning after the drag dinner, it’s day three of the charter. Or four. Or six. Or sixteen. Honestly, don’t ask me, I’ve completely lost track. All I know is this is the charter that never ends and this family needs to get off the boat. It’s also Barrie’s ex-husband’s birthday, so a full afternoon of water sports are in order. But not until after a breakfast of beans on toast for everyone! That’s something Natasha De Bourg can do better than poaching an egg. What she still can’t do, it seems, is deliver what she promises to the guests. This time being a cotton candy machine for the birthday dinner. The chef takes all of ten minutes trying to make candy floss, as she calls it, before calling it quits and walking away. No cotton candy for you, Tony!
Note to anyone reading this recap: if you ever go on a luxury sailing vacation, do not act like Barrie Drewitt-Barlow. Better yet, don’t do it on any vacation ever. The Below Deck universe is certainly no stranger to difficult guests. They all tend to be—at turns—finicky, entitled, pretentious and snobbish. That’s part of why they’re charting a private mega-yacht on a reality TV show. But on a scale of entertaining to impossible, Barrie is on a level all his own. Is he the most critical, demanding guest in Below Deck Sailing Yacht history?
Also, remember how last week I said the tangled web between Barrie, his daughter Saffron and her ex-boyfriend/his current boyfriend Scott couldn’t possibly get any more, ahem, complicated? I lied. I did some casual online sleuthing. And a quick perusal of the internet revealed that Barrie and Scott welcomed a baby girl via surrogate just one month after this vacation to Croatia. Her name is Valentina Willow Drewitt-Barlow. According to the article I found, she was born in September 2020. Which makes Saffron’s ex-boyfriend not only her dad’s partner, but also the father of her new half-sister.
If last week’s episode of Below Deck Sailing Yacht was a reminder of how easily the threat of a global pandemic can burst the bubble of a luxury sailing vacation, this week was the aftermath. And it turned out to be a bit of a pump-fake if I’m being honest. The action picks up immediately following the guests leaving the boat. Parsifal is docked and the high maintenance foursome are being quarantined in a nearby hotel. As the minutes tick by waiting for the COVID test results, the crew has nothing to do but sit around and wait. Will the charter be cancelled? Will the entire season? Is this the end?
It’s not. After a tense two-and-a-half hour wait, the medical officer calls with news. All the guests have tested negative. But there’s a twist. Since one guest is still symptomatic, the doctors are recommending they don’t return to the boat. Which means no coronavirus, but the charter is still over. Which is a huge disappointment, considering they hadn’t even made it 24 hours into the charter. But at least the season’s not over? So there’s not much anyone can do besides breathe a sigh of relief and pack up everything the guests left on the boat.
Well, well, well. There’s nothing like a coronavirus scare to ruin all the fun. And just when we were getting started, too. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the Below Deck Sailing Yacht crew learns this week as they get underway on their second charter of the season. That’s right. We only made it through a single charter before the harsh realities of a post-pandemic world came crashing through the self-contained bubble of safety created by production. To remind us that, no, despite the debauchery and relaxation you’re seeing on screen, life hasn’t gone back to normal. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
First we need to talk about Gary King and Sydney Zaruba‘s (extremely ill-advised) one-night stand. Or more like their walk of shame after spending the night together in a guest cabin. I mean, really. Is there a dumber decision than hooking up with your boss/employee on your very first night off? It’s been like three days, man! And frankly, while they were certainly both consenting adults, the brunt of that unequal power dynamic lies squarely on Gary as first officer.
Welcome back to Episode 2 of Below Deck Sailing Yacht! Now, before we jump into the action, I want to start off with a couple of corrections and caveats. I saw a number of comments last week calling me out on some mistakes in my premiere recap. Yes, you’re right. Jean-Luc Cerza Lanaux is 6’9”, not 6’7”. Which makes it even more uncomfortable to try to fit into his bunk at night. My bad on that one.
Oh, and also that I don’t know the difference between gas and diesel. Petrol. Whatever you call it. Yep, apparently that’s true too. Because I did write that they accidentally poured gas on deck instead of diesel. Oops. However, a few other commenters also claimed Natasha De Bourg was from Brazil, not Trinidad, and I got that wrong too. But I took that piece of information right from the chef’s official Below Deck Sailing Yacht cast bio. She was born in Trinidad. So I guess take it up with Bravo if you don’t believe me…
Friction between chefs and chief stews is not a new phenomenon in the Below Deck franchise. The chefs prioritize their food and ego above all else, while the interior staff have to manage the entire guest experience. Sometimes opinions clash, but food really can make or break a charter.
The only exception was the pairing of Adam Glick and Jenna MacGillivray on last season’s Below Deck Sailing Yacht. Not only did Adam and Jenna get along, they were crazy for each other. Until they weren’t. But for most of the season, their was peace in the galley. And lots of shiny glasses. Unfortunately, the premiere of Season 2 revealed that the dynamic between galley and interior was going to be very different.