'Below Deck' Star Fraser Olender Talks Behind the Scenes of Luxury Yachting and the Bravo Show's New Season

Yes, he really does forget the cameras are there.

<p>Fred Jagueneau/Bravo</p>

Fred Jagueneau/Bravo

In 2013, Bravo debuted what can only be described as the greatest travel-centric guilty pleasure show in history with the first episode of Below Deck.

In the 10-plus years that have followed, we've watched both guests and yachties have the best of times and the worst of times, all rolled into 40-minute episodes. But now, we're learning a few behind-the-scenes secrets to how it really goes down, thanks to Fraser Olender the chief stew who will be taking the reigns on the latest season which premieres on Monday.

"I was fortunate enough to be a guest on a yacht many years ago, and it was a time when I was working and living in London, doing my so-called 'dream job,' but it just absolutely wasn't ticking the boxes," Olender shared with Travel + Leisure of what led him to yacht life. "I was miserable, but I went on this boat, and I was surrounded by all these crew members that were so fascinated and in love with what they did. And I was in awe."

However, if you want in on a job like this, Oldender says to be prepared for, well, the reality of it all.

“First and foremost, everyone should understand that this is not a glamorous job," he said. "As much as it may seem like it is, it's not. We certainly don't live like guests. And it takes a special kind of person to really love hospitality on a new level."

“Yes, there are perks in it, but you have to adore service and love working with people. And from that, you can learn the skills," he added.

Six years later though, he's still in love with the job — even if everyone else now gets to watch him do it. 

"It's definitely strange when you first start, but I think the only coping mechanism and survival method is to totally ignore it," Olender said of his experience with the Bravo cameras. "They also don't want you to pick up on them, and they're very strict with the fourth wall per se. So they try to be invisible, and they're doing a good job of it."

Related: This Reality Star Yacht Captain Tells All About His Time 'Below Deck'

As for his personal secret for ignoring the lenses in his face, Olender says he just focuses on the actual reason he’s there — to serve high-end private yacht guests.

“[On the show] everything you do in your profession is being blown out to the world. And if you don't do it properly, it's not going to do great things for you," he said. "So you focus on the job, and before you know it, the cameras don't exist.”

Season 11 of “Below Deck” marks Olender’s second season as chief stew, a job he says came with some learning curves but ultimately taught him a few lessons you can learn from, too.

“I think delegation was really important,” he shared. “I felt like I had to be in every corner of every department at all points of the day to make sure things were running smoothly. But actually, if you respect your team and give them a sense of responsibility, they take that stress off of you and put it on themselves, and you're sharing the stress load.”

The one word of warning Olender has for fans is to understand that the viewers actually see more happening than the people actually on the show, so be kind with your critiques.

“I just think the fans don't understand how it works. I think they think we are watching it with them. What they don't seem to understand is we don't see things that happen when we're not around. It's not a TV show when we're filming it,” he said, noting people often comment, “why didn't he pick on that? He's so stupid. I'm like, 'that happened three decks up doing a service.'”

Of course, it wouldn’t be great TV without a little drama sprinkled in, and Olender admits there’s plenty of that to come.

“I'm not proud of the whole season, but I guess no one's perfect,” he said. “I'm excited for people to see my progression and to enjoy the new cast members we have on board. Which, of course, aren't perfect either.”

The new season of Below Deck airs on Bravo on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET.

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