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.
Ahoy yachties! Welcome to Season 2 of Below Deck Sailing Yacht! Just one week after closing out Season 8 of the flagship franchise, we’re headed to Croatia aboard Parsifal III with Captain Glenn Shephard. Who is just nothing but a Canadian sweetheart and probably my favorite of the three Below Deck captains. And I promise that’s not just because of my obvious bias because we share the same name. He really is the best. Croatia, as a location, is also the best. And if the last time we were here is any indication (for Below Deck Mediterranean‘s iconic second season), we’re in for quite a ride.
Personally I’m thrilled to be covering Season 2 because I know a lot of people may have slept on Season 1, or didn’t it a chance. I didn’t watch it at first either. In fact, it was actually my very first binge of quarantine. Which is insane to think about now that it’s officially March and we’ve been doing this for a year now. But needless to say, I fell in love with the show. And it opened the door to me spending more time than I’d like to admit during the last year revisiting past seasons of both Below Deck and Below Deck Med as a way to escape and self-soothe during the pandemic.
Below Deck is one of the most popular reality TV franchises. The original show is still going strong. Below Deck Mediterranean just started a new season. Below Deck Sailing Yacht recently finished its first season.
While Below Deck Sailing Yacht had some interesting drama, it became pretty exhausting to watch the ups and downs of Jenna MacGillivray and Adam Glick’s romantic relationship. Sure, it was entertaining at times, but it also was so draining. Or at least that’s how I felt, even from the comfort of my own couch at home. Adam had some redeeming moments on Below Deck Med, but pretty much none on this show. And don’t even get me started on Jenna. To put it kindly (sort of), she’s just not an audience favorite. However, I love Captain Glenn Shephard. He has a great attitude and he never hesitates to help out when the crew needs an extra hand. He’s very refreshing to watch… but I have no problem cleaning house when it comes to the rest of the cast.