Two Long Island couples are set to appear this season on Bravo's "Below Deck Mediterranean," including one making their second visit to the charter-yacht reality show.
Attorney Christopher Cassar, 55, and his wife and office manager, Colleen Rey Cassar, 52, who live in Greenlawn and have a practice in Huntington, joined Fort Salonga's Dr. Francis Martinis, 51, a Northport urologist, and his wife, Jessica Martinis, 33, on a French Riviera cruise in September. They appear on this season's third and fourth episodes, June 17 and 24, with the Martinises having already appeared last season.
"I'm happy to be a part of it," Colleen Cassar told Newsday. "It was a lot of fun. It's not scripted at all," she said. "Everything you see is real. The editing, they can make it look a certain way. But everything you hear us say is completely real."
That includes what she believes is one main thrust of the episode: her dissatisfaction with the food. That theme already was evident in the season premiere, when purportedly Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef Mila Kolomeitseva microwaved steaks, used Hidden Valley Ranch dressing and served the luxury-yacht guests tacos — with grocery-store taco shells.
"It was so surprising, it really was. It was disappointing," said Cassar, who vocally expressed her frustration during her time on the ship. "The chef's not gonna do too well on the boat," she predicted. "It almost seems to me it wasn't real — like it was a setup." And though the guests and the other crew-members all became close during their week, she said, "When we got off the boat to say goodbye, you could see she [Kolomeitseva] didn't want to say goodbye to me."
Bravo representatives did not immediately return an after-hours request for comment.
On the other hand, crew-member Colin Macy-O'Toole, of Sayville, "is a doll," Cassar said. "He is such a nice young man. He didn't do any special raps for us," she said of his on-air specialty, "but he's really nice."
The Cassars became involved through their friends the Martinises, who appeared on the May 22, 2018, episode in season 3 and currently are in Greece shooting a Bravo series with the working title "Below Deck Sailing Vessel.”
"They introduced us to Jennifer Berman, the main charter guest," a well-known Beverly Hills urologist and old classmate of Dr. Martinis, and a former member of the syndicated medical talk show "The Doctors." A close friend of the series star, Capt. Sandy Yawn, Berman had appeared in an episode last season. After meeting both Berman and Yawn in February 2018, "We all hit it off," Cassar said, and then got to know Nadine Rajabi, one of the executive producers. Soon the two couples, Berman and fellow guests Lore Davis, Gin Kirkland Kinney and Dr. Geralyn Leone all were sailing on the Sirocco, this season's yacht.
While a week's charter on such vessels costs a minimum of $150,000, series guests get a discount. "How much, I cannot tell you," said Cassar. "But it's discounted, yes."
For that kind of money, did the food ever improve? "It never got better," Cassar said, but she did not want a partial refund. Rather, "They should send us back with a new chef!"