Below Deck Sailing Yacht's Gabriela Barragan On The Hardest Parts Of Her Job - Exclusive

Bravo's hit reality TV show, "Below Deck Sailing Yacht," follows the crew of the Parsifal III as they serve guests throughout the charter season. While the wealthy guests enjoy a fabulous getaway, the cameras take viewers behind the scenes to see the messy power dynamics and relationship dramas between crew members.

With Season 3 now airing, Gabriela Barragan had an exclusive interview with The List to discuss what it's really like being on the show. Barragan just joined the show as a stewardess this year. However, she has plenty of experience as a bartender and a yachtie. While talking to The List, the seasoned stew shared what the most challenging aspect of her job is. Her honest answer may surprise you. Barragan also opened up about how having cameras on the yacht can make the crew members' jobs more difficult and how she deals with guests who behave inappropriately towards her.

The most difficult thing working on a yacht

Although there are a lot of expectations that come with being a stewardess (or stew) on Parsifal III, Gabriela Barragan said she doesn't struggle with that. As far as the daily tasks to keep things running smoothly, they're a "piece of cake" for her. The most difficult part of her job is actually maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships with all the crew members. They're all living in very close quarters on the boat, which she said can make it a "Petri dish for drama." 

Barragan explained, "time moves differently on yachts ... You've seen everyone at their best and at their worst in a short amount of time because it's a high-pressure environment. You make friendships quicker. You fall in love quicker. You hate people quicker than you normally would." In such a high-pressure environment where emotions can easily boil over, it's crucial to communicate clearly and keep the crew working well together. While "Below Deck Sailing Yacht," viewers know that there's frequently drama between crew members; Barragan said it's important to deal with those issues quickly. "If there's a problem, you have to talk about it immediately and squash it because tensions build and rise and then explode, and it's not good for anybody. That's the hardest part," she said.

When guests behave inappropriately

Unfortunately, another challenge Gabriela Barragan faces is when yacht guests behave inappropriately. Though airing out issues is important with crew members, when it comes to their guests, they always try to stay professional and friendly. This becomes more difficult when somebody starts crossing one of the crew members' boundaries. In Season 3, Episode 1, there was an upsetting scene when one of the guests crossed Barragan's boundaries by asking inappropriate questions. 

Watching the clip back, Barragan said she could see where her body language changed. "I look deflated, and I'm completely exhausted and over this conversation." However, because she was dealing with a guest, Barragan still needed to stay polite. "​​The guests shouldn't be able to tell what any of the yacht crew is feeling," she said. So, instead, she shut the conversation down with a careful balance of politeness and firmness. "It's really difficult being sexually harassed ... I feel like, again, all of my experience, in my careers before yachting, came out and like really took care of me ... It was 15 years of experience before this, naturally like, 'Okay, sir, now you're crossing the line. You need to go to bed.' It was very easy for me to do that, despite how uncomfortable I was," Barragan said.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Did having a camera crew make her job harder?

According to Gabriela Barragan, being filmed didn't change the way she operated too much. She said the work and the crew's social interactions were the same as they would have been with or without being filmed. "There was a little bit of pressure to do my job extra well because there's an audience watching back home," she said. "I wanted to represent all the boats I have worked on really well and all of the Chief Stews that I've come across during my career. I wanted to make yachties watching proud." 

Other than that, the only difficulty Barragan mentioned was the camera crew making already cramped spaces even tighter. She said this was mostly a problem in the hallways and crew quarters. "In our cabins, when Ashley and I are talking while we're getting ready, and then a camera guy comes in out of nowhere ... It's three of us in this tiny cabin and a huge camera," Barragan said. "That was interesting."

Season 3 of Below Deck Sailing Yacht airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.