How Do You Solve a Problem Like Samantha?

Adrienne Gang talks about problems with Sam, her fears, and Kat's drinking. First, you say in the premiere that this is your first time as a Chief Stew(ard). What are your biggest fears?
Adrienne Gang: I am usually the chef on these yachts, however, I have been a stew in the past, and I have worked under some pretty strict stews. I was fearful that I would come off as tough too. The hard part is finding the balance between being the boss during the day and being a friend at night. At the end of the day, no matter if you are sick, or tired, or hungover, there are still guests on board that need 24-hour care, and I can't let our service suffer. I was trepidatious that the audience wouldn't understand the full demand of my position, but I'm happy that I took on the challenge. What is the Chief Stew position expected to do differently than the Stews?
AG: My position is much less about the daily chores of doing laundry and cleaning bathrooms, although I have done my fair share of that on other boats, and am always happy to jump in when we are behind as a team. Being the Chief Stew is much more about focusing on service and coordinating the guests activities and excursions along with all of their demands and preferences. I am the one who goes on location for events like picnics, BBQs, etc. to make sure everything is perfect for the guests. I have to be in contact with the guests well ahead of time, so that we can avoid situations like the "Great Veggie Juice Debacle." I handle a lot of the paperwork and logistics for the trips, which, depending on their complexity, can require lots of phone calls and emails with suppliers, florists, masseuses, tour guides, taxi companies, and everyone else we would need to coordinate with in order to make the guest experience as seamless and relaxing as possible. I also handle some of the financial management of the ship and oversee the care of the entire interior of the vessel including managing, scheduling, and training the stews under me. I guess the best way to sum up my position is that I'm the "cruise director" in charge of all the guest entertainment, activities, and social events, and working with the other crew members including the deck staff, engineers, and chef to arrange everything; no small feat! For a much more comprehensive description of what my and the other girls jobs are, check out The Insiders' Guide to Becoming a Yacht Stewardess by Julie Perry or You and Sam pretty much rubbed each other the wrong way from the get-go. What do you think caused the bad first impressions?
AG: I think that it can happen in any working environment that you encounter people that just rub you the wrong way. I think Sam is a smart, fun-loving girl, but that she never really took her position as a stew on this yacht very seriously, and I still had a job to do. There are plenty of people who get into yachting and shortly discover that the workload is not for them. It's frustrating in any career to have someone working for you who has no real motivation or interest to learn the job. How do you motivate someone who is indifferent? I know that I as a leader I had a lot of challenging issues to deal with, and I still feel like I did my best to handle each situation as it happened. Kat says she feels like she's in the middle between you two. What's your take on that?
AG: She absolutely was. I appreciate all of the pep talks and encouragement she gave both Sam and me. Hers was also not an easy position to be in because she found herself picking up a lot of slack for Sam and fielding frustration from both Sam and myself. Kat is a hard worker and a kind-hearted girl, and I didn't envy her being stuck in the middle of us, but I think she handled it really Ideally, what would you like to see Sam change to improve?
AG: Unfortunately, I think Sam came into this experience without fully understanding what the 3rd stew position required. If she had read the information I gave her at the beginning of the trip or done any prior research of her own she would have known that on most yachts of this size the 3rd stew is the lowest rung on the totem pole and therefore relegated to doing nothing but laundry, heads, and beds, as opposed to having anything to do with guest interaction, especially on her first charter. I think if she had been more open-minded to what yachting is, how it works, and the chain of command, then she would assimilate into he environment much better, not to mention having a little respect for her superiors. I still believe that "You don't know what you don't know" perfectly pertains to Sam in this scenario. In this episode, we see Kat get quite drunk while you guys are out. As her manager, what were you thinking watching it happen?
AG: Kat is a really dedicated and hard worker when she puts her mind to it. I was disappointed that she went as far as she did because I knew it would affect her performance and we already had enough pressure with the charter guests showing up early the next day. In high stress jobs such as these, there is a need to blow off steam and hit a reset button. I'm guilty of that myself, but you have to be responsible about it and make sure that it never affects the guest experience. Captain Lee reprimanded you for the vegetable shortage. Do you think he was out of line?
AG: I think that he was justified in his disappointment, but that he didn't fully understand the situation. The "Green Monster" -- as I like to call it -- was one item on one three-page preference sheet out of six that I received. There was no way to know that every guest at the table for practically every meal would order it! I feel like all three of us girls were happy not to hear the whir of that juicer for a while after that trip. In the end, all we can do is prepare the best we can with the information we are given. Fortunately, we were able to get more veggies with the guests being none the wiser: crisis averted! You got hypnotized so you can take a little pressure off and hopefully help your relationship with Sam. Did it really work? What was that experience like?
AG: I really wish it had! Ha! That might have made the rest of the trip easier. I think that as amazing as Steve is, I was so far down the rabbit hole with my frustration at the time that he would have needed spelunking gear to retrieve me! Do you think you're being unfairly pegged as too strict? 
AG: Yes and no. In yachting, you generally hire, stews especially, based on a combination of personality and skill set. The skills can be learned, but the personality is a lot harder to find. Generally, captains and owners look for girls with charisma, a strong work ethic, a desire to learn, and energy. As the Chief Stew, coming into this and working with both of these girls for the first time, it is my job to assess each girl's skill level and utilize their strengths to the advantage of the team. It comes across like I'm being awfully critical of Sam a majority of the time, and maybe I am a bit tough, but perfection has a cost, and when people aren't pulling their own weight, pressure mounts quickly, and everyone feels it. I feel like a lot of people would react the way that I do and probably worse if they were in my position, but I tried my best to maintain my composure and make sure my guests were taken care of. Anything else you'd like to add?
AG: I think that this show is a great opportunity for people who have had limited or no exposure to yachting to get an idea of what it's like to be on both ends of the spectrum. I realize that many of the things we do as a crew will be a fantastic training tools for the people in my industry to use in the future. I know that at the end of the day, if there had been more adequate training for myself and many other people on board that many of these mistakes could have been avoided. I look forward to the interest that Below Deck generates for young and more seasoned people alike to take yachting seriously as a career option, as opposed to just a hobby. I still believe that this show and our efforts will prove to be a positive influence for the yachting industry as a whole, and I'm excited about it broadening the scope of yacht owners and charter guests in the future! 

'Below Deck' Season 2: Where Are They Now?

Find out what the crew's been up to since the last charter of the season.

below-deck-season-2-blogs-11.jpg What have you been up to since this charter season ended?
Eddie Lucas: Working in Baltimore Harbor on a tug boat. Who have you kept in touch with?
EL: Ben and Kelley. What's your current relationship status?
EL: Still dating the same wonderful girl.

below-deck-season-2-blogs-03.jpg What have you been up to since this charter season ended?
Ben Robinson: Since the charter season I have been busy with local events in South Florida, including a couple of non profit events for cancer and special needs. However, my primary focus has been launching my health coaching business, which is a phone based program that I am inviting anyone in the world to join. Through educating my clients on the complexities of our human condition versus what we eat and drink, I am making miraculous headway. I specialize in rebuilding immune systems against disease and weight loss. For more info please Who have you kept in touch with?
BR: I have kept in touch with everyone. What's your current relationship status?
BR: I'm single.below-deck-season-2-blogs-06.jpg What have you been up to since this charter season ended?
Kat Held: Since the charter season ended, I worked on a private motor yacht that was based out of Newport, Rhode Island for the summer. We took the boat up the coast from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It was a great adventure. It turned out to be an amazing summer for me as well. I was home, I had my 30th birthday, and I was able to see lots of my friends and family. The weather was beautiful almost everyday. Since the summer season has ended, I came back down to Fort Lauderdale where I am basing myself for the upcoming winter season. I have continued with my workout routines, healthy eating, I relax on my days off at the beach, and I am taking on a much more positive outlook on life. Who have you kept in touch with?
KH: I have kept in touch with almost the entire crew of Motor Yacht Ohana. I have spoken with Captian Lee on more then one occasion. We can often share a good laugh together through text messages. Kate and I have gotten together for drinks on a few seperate occasions. We keep in touch over the phone as well. She can be a very positive person to connect with. I did spend an evening out with Jennice, Kate, and Ben all together. It was really nice to have everyone together. Amy and I have been in touch quite often, I would say. We have tried a few times to make plans together, but with our busy yachting schedules the timing hasn’t been in our favor. It is nice to be reconnecting with her. I have also spoken with Kelley via text messages, and there was an afternoon when Kelley, Amy, and I grabbed sushi together. He seems to be doing well. I did have the opportunity to see Ben on WWHL. Other than that, we talk on the phone here and there. We always have a good laugh. I have spoken with Eddie as well, not as much as I would have liked to, but I have called him a few times. I even ran into Logan in Newport at a blues cafe and we got to have a dance together, which was a nice surprise. Overall, everyone has a positive attitude in regards to our relationships and with the results from the show. We are all lucky to have that connection. What's your current relationship status?
KH: My relationship status is that I am currently dating someone. This person and I have been together on and off for two years now. He is the gentlemen I speak about during Season 2 and on WWHL. I am very fortunate to have him by my side and have his support. I don’t believe there is anyone who can say that it is easy dating someone while working in the yachting industry. All relationships have their ups and downs, but in the end, it’s about the relationships that stay together through thick and thin that count. I can proudly say that we are happily moving forward in the right direction.

below-deck-season-2-blogs-08.jpg What have you been up to since this charter season ended?
Logan Reese: Since the season ended I took about two weeks off then went straight back to work. I now work on a smaller private boat that just did a season in Maine. It was beautiful up there. Who have you kept in touch with?
LR: I mainly keep in contact with Kelley, who I go shark fishing with when we have the time. I have talked to Eddie on the phone a few times. I have had drinks with everyone except the Captain since we all left. What's your current relationship status?
LR: I am currently in a relationship with a pretty little Canadian girl, who I met a while back when I was yachting in Canada.below-deck-season-2-blogs-05.jpg What have you been up to since this charter season ended?
Kelley Johnson: Since the season ended, I have been working like crazy. I'm now working on an 85 foot Hatteras. I also managed a 105 foot sailboat for a few months. Other than work, I've been fishing as much as possible! Helps wind me down and relax from all the work. Who have you kept in touch with?
KJ: I wish I could say all the crew, but unfortunately that's not the case. Mainly my sister, Eddie, Logan, and Captain Lee. Eddie has been a great friend through all this, giving me great advice and support. The same goes for my sister! Logan and I became really great friends after the show. It looks like everyone is doing great though. I look forward to seeing everyone at the reunion. What's your current relationship status?
KJ: You'll just have to wait until the reunion!below-deck-season-2-blogs-07.jpg What have you been up to since this charter season ended?
Amy Johnson: Once the season ended I took a few months off to travel and catch up with friends and family! I was fortunate enough to visit so many great places including California, Costa Rica, New York, Colorado, Texas, and several other spots along the east coast. Now that I am back in Fort Lauderdale, I occasionally freelance on yachts but am mainly focusing on expanding my Elite Customer Service Consulting business. I provide businesses with the tools, resources, and training to improve their customers' overall experience resulting in increased revenue and improved satisfaction levels. The knowledge and experience I've gained while working in the yachting industry for the last six years, has given me the expertise needed to be a valuable advisor in the customer service sector. Who have you kept in touch with?
AJ: Since we left Ohana, I have seen, talked to, or hung out with everyone from our crew at one point or another. The best take away from this whole experience was getting to reconnect with my brother and rebuild the strong sibling relationship we once had growing up, so naturally out of everyone I keep up with Kelley the most! What's your current relationship status?
AJ: My current relationship status is still: "Single and ready to mingle!" I have dated some, but it's just been fun and casual -- nothing serious. Finding a great man and an amazing relationship used to be high on the list of priorities, not so much these days. I'm not saying I have totally lost faith in the available, normal, attractive, single men out there...but it's almost gone. Maybe I should take advantage of this opportunity: I am looking for a man that is sexy, funny, wise, kind eyes, entrepreneurial drive, considerate, honest, loves big, good communicator, spontaneous, honorable, affectionate and likes adventure. Is that too much to ask for?! Ha!  below-deck-season-2-blogs-09.jpg What have you been up to since this charter season ended?
Kate Chastain: After I left Ohana, I spent two months travelling. I didn't go anywhere too exotic, but I hit quite a few destinations in just eight weeks: Key West, Puerto Rico, Savannah, Denver, New York, and South Beach to name a few. I then took a chief stewardess position on another well known charter yacht and spent the summer in the Bahamas. Who have you kept in touch with?
KC: I have kept in touch with Kat, Jennice, Ben, and Logan. What's your current relationship status?
KC: I'm not in an exclusive relationship at the moment. I'm still browsing.below-deck-season-2-blogs-10.jpg What have you been up to since this charter season ended?
Jennice Ontiveros: After Ohana I got into freelancing so I could stay local to Fort Lauderdale for a certain someone. Somehow I got a sweet deal where I live on a yacht in Fort Lauderdale, and I only work when the boat has charters. I'm deck/stew, which is a position I took so that I could get more into tender driving and really running my own deck again. It's helped me to grow a lot as a deckhand, and I've picked up some stew skills along the way (a real fake it till you make it situation). I'm actually writing you from my crew cabin and we're in the Bahamas! Who have you kept in touch with?
JO: Kate and I can be seen driving up and down the coast of Florida in a variety of rental vehicles with the wind in our hair, music up, windows down, A/C on full blast (we're reckless), and singing along to "Rather Be" -- our yachtie anthem. Amy and I have spent a lot of time at Lauderdale beach establishments -- we specialize in drinking and dancing. Kelley and I have done a good amount of shark fishing, causing a ruckus at late nite Laudy spots, and even got into some pretty sweet Everglades photography. Ben and I live just a couple blocks from one another, where we go for sunset paddle boarding in the canals and sushi and sake with Kate when she's in town. What's your current relationship status?
JO: Hot question! My love life deets are on lockdown until the reunion show, obviously.

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