Virginia Sherwood/Bravo
Allison Sadlier
December 02, 2016 AT 05:20 PM EST

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but Below Deck‘s Kate Chastain has always weathered the storm. The charter season ended in spectacular fashion Tuesday night with Kyle’s spur of the moment proposal and Ben’s outburst aimed Kate.

EW chatted with the Chief Stew of Valor about the last charter of the season, all the drama with the interior and deck crews, and, of course, her fall-out with Chef Ben Robinson.  

How was the last charter?

I actually really loved guests that we had. We were really fortunate because they could’ve been very high maintenance, but they were just really sweet and I think given how tired we all were, it was kind of a miracle.

What happened with Emily and Sierra at the end of the season? The interior got a little dysfunctional.

I take partial responsibility. I think I was very lenient on them all season so of course they were tired and they probably thought they could just get away with it and were surprised when I got a little more strict at the last minute. I think that Sierra had a lot of stress and drama going on between other crew members as well. I didn’t spend a lot of time in the crew mess. I didn’t realize how much she was fighting with other people so she probably was just ultra sensitive for that reason.

You had some issues with the deck crew, specifically Nico and Lauren. Were you aware of what they were saying?

Honestly, I was shocked when I heard that Nico and Lauren had anything negative to say about me, about the charter season because I really didn’t interact with them or their department at all. I really didn’t see any reason for them to be anything but pleased with all the charter tips they made that season.

You’ve been watching the season as it airs. Has Nico and Lauren’s continued commentary surprised you?

Yeah, I was really surprised by that for a couple of reasons. One: I haven’t even interacted with them. I really was too busy to even think about them, frankly. Second of all, I am their superior on board and the interior probably had the least mistakes the whole season so, if anything, they should be appreciative.

Talk us through that last night out because so much happened.

We were all just kind of trying to relax after a long season. Everything caught me off guard. Kyle asked to buy a ring off my finger, which was a sentimental ring, but I thought it was going towards a good cause — myself. And then as far as Ben, I haven’t seen the episode so I don’t know how it all goes down, but I was really surprised by Ben because he come over, sat, and I never had anything – from him especially when we’re not working. I offered him a drink. I just bought a very expensive bottle of champagne and he slammed my glass of champagne and then told me he didn’t like working with me. I kind of was like, “Well, at least you could have not had my champagne.”

Did Ben catch you off-guard because you both seemed to have made amends on the boat ride over?

I was completely caught off-guard by his aggressive statement. I thought work was over and it was an unnecessary comment. I thought maybe it had something to do with Emily and their relationship. I had always been supportive of that. I definitely think Emily was distracted. I think Ben was distracted. I get it. I’ve dated people on yachts before so I know how it is. Maybe because I recognize the signs, I was a little more aware of it than they were.

Do you think Emily was trying to stay out of your issues with Ben?

I think she would like to believe she was staying out of it, but sometimes not saying anything and doing nothing just adds to the problem.

Where do you stand with Ben now?

Ben has come to my hometown and visited a few times. He brought a couple of different girls up each time and Emily has come with him. I think Ben’s really going onto a different path these days and we’re not as close as we used to be. It’s unfortunate that our friendship had to take this route, but it’s up to him. You know, people change. That’s life.

How did you feel about the charter season overall?

I think we had one of the best crews we’ve had in a long time. There’s no charter season that’s without its dramas and stressful situations, but I think, for the most part, we had really good season. I think Kelly had some hiccups, but I think he did a wonderful job. I think he [brings] a really wholesome and endearing quality to the crew. I think Lauren was just led astray by Nico. I think Nico is acting like the young, 22-year-old that he is. I think Emily has good potential, but maybe she put the horse before the cart a little bit. I think Sierra is gorgeous and we really got along, but maybe yachting is not for her.

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