'Below Deck': Bravo takes to the sea to hang with 'yachties'

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It takes a different kind of person to live on a boat. Space is tight, accommodations tend to be spartan, and if you don't get along with someone, it's hard to avoid him. Sea legs, an ability to pack light and a sense of humor are all standard equipment for anyone who wants to live at sea.

You also need a healthy sense of adventure, a trait certainly in evidence in the disparate crew of eight aboard the Honor, a luxury charter yacht that plies the waters of the Caribbean and is the setting of the new Bravo unscripted series "Below Deck," premiering Monday, July 1.

The conditions aboard this 164-foot megayacht are far from spartan - at least for its well-heeled clientele. They get to stay in opulent staterooms with state-of-the-art facilities and have their every need met by an attentive crew. That, after all, is what you get for a weekly fare in the six figures.

The "yachties," on the other hand, work hard for their money, doing laundry, housekeeping, loading provisions, preparing and serving meals and drinks, and making sure the clients are happy -- all in hopes of landing a nice tip, typically 10 to 15 percent of the fare. Their life is not so easy. They share bunks [one coed], aren't allowed to drink while on charter and are forbidden from socializing with guests.

And making sure everyone toes the line is Capt. Lee Rosbach, a veteran of the sea who brooks no crap. In an orientation meeting with his crew of 20- and 30-somethings, he tells them what he expects and that there is no wiggle room. And if they drink while on charter, "I will roust you out of your bunk."

In the episode provided for review, he extends that no-nonsense approach to his guests when a steward finds a mysterious white powder, a plastic bag and a rolled-up dollar bill on a stateroom counter. Without giving away any spoilers, he deals with the issue in a low-key, professional manner.

Naturally, in a setting that reminds one of a sort of "Big Brother" at sea, much of the drama will derive from the different personalities in a closed environment, and the previews indicate a potential for loggerheads and hookups.

But with an attractive crew, active hormones and stunning ports of call, "Below Deck" promises to be, if nothing else, a summer feast for the eyes.
Photo/Video credit: Bravo
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