The Below Deck boss and bosun Eddie Lucas look back on some of Season 1's most memorable charter guests.
On Below Deck, nothing is more soul crushing for a crew member than receiving a tip that doesn't exactly match all of the effort you put in to giving the charter guests the luxury yacht vacation of their dreams, from fulfilling dietary preferences to lugging heavy water toys to making sure they always had a fresh espresso martini in hand.
"Season 1 was like, 'Why am I doing this? What? Like, this sucks,'" Eddie Lucas recalled of the meager tips some of the Below Deck charter guests left in the early days of the series during an exclusive interview with Bravo Insider. "It was frustrating. Season 1, we were working so hard, and I know I specifically was working my tail off. It really hurt to get a bad tip."
Sometimes, that hard work meant holding back your true feelings when the charter guests got into some not-so-interesting topics during mealtime. "I remember we had one guest that had, like, a bed bug company, an extermination company, and they had this one dinner, and the guy talked about bed bugs for, like, three hours straight," Eddie said. "And we were all just like, 'Dude, you’re killing us. Shut up. Please stop. Nobody cares.'"
During a separate interview with Bravo Insider, Captain Lee remembered the tips in Below Deck Season 1 as being "almost non-existent" and "very rude." One charter in particular stands out for the Below Deck boss.
"I remember one group — and this was really a weird dichotomy that this group had going on — it was a daughter — probably 21, 22 years old — her mother, her mother’s boyfriend, her father, and her father’s girlfriend. And they were vegan, just to round it all off," Captain Lee recalled. "They were constantly picking at each other and fighting all the time. And I thought, 'Who goes on holiday with your grown daughter, your girlfriend, your ex-wife, and her boyfriend?' Like, what could possibly go wrong there? It was strange."
Things went from bad to worse. "They caught the daughter eating an egg one morning. And they went off. I was just watching them from the main salon, and I’m going, you’re kidding me, right? Seriously? You’re on a yacht in the middle of the Caribbean, and you’re jumping all over your daughter because she ate an egg? An egg. One egg. But that’s why we get the big money."
Unfortunately, the Below Deck crew did not get "the big money" after that charter. The guests left a $5,000 tip, which came out to $500 each when split evenly among all the crew members. "They left us the worst tip of the year," Captain Lee recalled.
"I was insulted," he continued. "I think the whole crew was, especially given the fact that this group was very, very high maintenance, just because of their attitude. I mean, I even took the guy golfing — and I let him win."
Still, Eddie said that he always kept in mind that a tip from the charter guests was something extra and never guaranteed. "At the end of the day, we were already getting a salary, and a tip is just that — a tip. That’s a positive, and I don’t think the tip Season 1 was a reflection of our ability to cater to the guests’ needs; I just think it was kind of something that a lot of the guests weren’t used to doing, and they weren’t the best," Eddie said. "It was kind of a bummer, but we still had a job to do, and you gotta get it done."
Fortunately for the Below Deck crew, the tips have gotten better since then, including some "good" ones in Season 8, according to Captain Lee. "I’m not sure exactly what the catalyst is; I just hope it doesn’t quit," Captain Lee said. "And I'm very grateful for it."
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