Danny Zureikat is off the boat! We all knew this moment was coming on Below Deck Med; it was just a matter of when. After repeated corrections from Bryan Kattenburg and constant private chats with Captain Mark Howard, Zureikat broke the rules one too many times — and paid the price.
The infraction that ended Zureikat’s time on the Ionian Princess? Use of his smartphone on deck. Under ordinary circumstances, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but Zureikat had been banned from his phone as punishment for a whole host of other no-nos.
Early in the season, I was quick to defend Zureikat and his unique philosophy of yachting service, but he made one mistake after another, and soon, I wasn’t as sympathetic. I still think that he is more charismatic and more talented than his fellow deckhands care to acknowledge, but as Captain Mark admitted while delivering the bad news, his place is probably not on a yacht. He’s a better fit for a more customer service oriented job, where he can chat with clients or guests to his heart’s delight.
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It could not have been easy for the captain to fire an employee right before the final charter, but ultimately, I think he made the right decision. Zureikat was by no means the only person contributing to the yacht’s toxic atmosphere, but he played a huge part in the constant drama. Worse yet, he consistently flouted the rules of his superiors. The only person who even had a shot at keeping him in check was Chef Ben Robinson, and even he only had so much success in that regard.
Danny Zureikat was certainly not the only person to make a mistake worthy of being fired, but he was clearly the weakest link on the yacht. Had he been allowed to stick around for the final charter, the captain would have continued to send the wrong message: that you can get away with repeatedly breaking the rules. Zureikat was given way too many chances, and eventually, enough was enough. I will miss his goofy personality, but I think the Ionian Princess is better off without him.
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