Updated: Feb 17
Hey friends! So many of you asked me to blog about my experience on Bravo TV's, Below Deck show. For those of you who never heard about the show, in short, it is about a Captain and his/her crew who charter a yacht to guests. They sail in some of the most beautiful locations, from Europe to the Caribbean. I have watched it on and off for years.
It was in January last year, I got a call from a friend with an invite to go on the show. I was not 100% sure at first if I would be able to go due to other obligations. I was also afraid of going on national tv for personal reasons. I had JUST recommitted to losing weight! I had put on so much weight in 2021 and this was my time to get it OFF! I remember thinking, "Now God, you know what...These opportunities should come when I feel and look my best!" UGH! I entered 2022 at 203 pounds and by the time March came around, which is when we were scheduled to record, I was 187 pounds! Nevertheless, I said YES!
Here is a little background... Laura Kutryb is the primary guest on my charter. She is a realtor and a goat in the pageant world! We were connected by a mutual friend and entrepreneur, Nene Bredwood, CEO of Q's Crackin' Crab in Cocoa. We hit it off immediately!
Laura is a social butterfly, she loves to throw house parties, host events in her community and is constantly raising funds for charities in her spare time. Nene was originally going on the show with Laura but due to last minute doctors orders she was unable to travel, in steps me. They asked me to attend in her place and the rest is history.
Now for those of you who know me well... I am so particular about who I travel with! I mean Laura is cool and all but... I had so many questions running through my mind. Who all gonna be there? Where am I sleeping? How are the beds set up? LOL!
Initially I was told I could bring a plus 1, so I called my girlfriend in NYC from high school. But by the time we got her connected to the producers, I was told that spot was taken... HUH? I pulled out!
That was when Q and Laura tagged team me, LOL! I was flat out honest with Laura, letting her know I am not comfortable sleeping in a room with any of HER friends and I will pass for now... she said, "Just room with me in the suite girl, lets go have some fun..." I talked it over with my hubby and well, as you know... I agreed.
Ok enough of that, lets get into the trip details! I had some of you ask me in person or in my dm a few questions. You wanted to know....
Where was your charter located? We flew into St. Lucia and had to drive to the other side of the island to get to the yacht. The drive sucked, some got car sick driving through the twists, and turns on the road. It took about 2.5 hours with traffic. It was by far the worst part of the experience.
Was there a cost? Yes. To charter a yacht like St. David usually about $350,000 a week (see here). The network is brilliant! To help with production costs, and provide the a real world experience to guest and viewers, we do pay a discounted rate each not including gratuity. While I can't say the exact amount I will say it was just under $10k each for the weekend.
Was the crew nice? Everyone was very nice, my favorites though were Haley and Tony! Probably because Haley gave me a massage after I busted my butt on the upper deck, and Tony took me jet skiing. Overall the captain and crew were awesome but there were times they seemed distracted. After all we really don't know what is going on behind the scenes.
How was the yacht and primary suite? The boat was beautiful and very British. It isn't my style decor, but overall it was massive and gorgeous. The primary is two floors, and has two bathrooms, it was perfect. I slept in the sofa area suite, it was so comfortable. I slept like a baby.
Did you get along with Lauras friends? Yes. They were all AMAZING! I especially connected with John, Darlene and Andrea.
As soon as I arrived to the Airport John hollered, "Hey girl heyyyy!" John is the male version of Laura! Full of energy, love, life and shadeeeeee! He got jokes for days! He is unapologetically, HIM! We quickly found common ground on beauty, fashion, and family. John and I had pretty deep chats about life, his past relationship with his wife and daughter. As well as his coming out experience. He is so down to earth and sweet!
Andrea and I bonded over our beauty business backgrounds and we loveeee to worship. We talked about her salon, her products, our faith in God and more. Andrea is a Brazilian Jew and I am a Caribbean Christian. There was a special moment we shared at the dinner table where she asked me to sing my favorite worship song. Tears fell and we all sat in gratitude for that moment.
Then there is Darlene, she is such a boss! Her transparency about her journey, and her philanthropic efforts immediately attracted me to her. She and I were teamed up for the festivities on the boat. You can see us falling fabulously on the deck during the 3 legged race, as she attempts to drag me to the finish line, with her graceful and competitive self! I love her!
We are all still very much connected on social and in text message threads together!
Did the producers coach you at all? Nope. They just told us to enjoy ourselves and speak up when we love or dislike anything. Pretty standard in my world.
The food!! How was the food? The food was delicious, when it came out! That seems to be a constant issue... They need to get Chef Rachel some help in that kitchen! There's no snacks laid out throughout the day, so when it was time for us to eat I was hangry! There were times I thought I was gonna pass out, especially on a low salt/sugar diet. Chef Rachel prepared meals that my weight loss coach recommended, it was yummy and healthy! One of the groups favorite was her fresh baked, gluten free bread, it was amazing! The surf and turf image is compliments of John, I just had the shrimp only, it wasn't as cute, LOL! I can only have surf OR turf per my diet.
I had the chance to chat with Chef Rachel afterwards about my diet restrictions, she gave me some great tips to maintaining my low salt and sugar intake diet.
How much do you weigh now? 168. My goal was 165. I hit it but I fluctuate between 165-170. I am in the gym and maintaining my change in diet. My new goal is a 6 pack... Check out this short reel about my journey!
Would you go back? Yes! I would go back for sure but, to a different location.
Overall, I had an amazing time and made new connections that I will treasure. I learned a lot about myself on this trip too! Isn't that what life is about, learning, exploring, growing? These were my take away and reminders about life...
Opportunities come when you least expect them, do your best and trust that God is with you!
Always lead with respect, love and be yourself. Listen more and say less, your words will carry more weight and wisdom.
Network with people that don't look like you. In a world where we can be so selective over our timelines, media channels, apps, food, let's break out of our matrix and meet new people.
Have fun! Do things in moderation. Have a little cake, buy the shoes, do a two step every now and then, dance, laugh... LIVE FOR GOD SAKE!
Thanks for taking the time to read about my experience. I hope you enjoyed my blog! Be sure to share and comment! If you watched the show pleaseeeee tag me in stories and let me know your thoughts. Check here for our episodes (Season 10 episodes 13/14).
Until next time, stay great... Much love peeps!