Meet The Crew: Captain Steve James
The Marella Cruises crew make sure that every moment of your holiday is memorable. They’re there to greet you when you step onboard, remember your favourite cocktail at dinner, and give you the inside scoop on what’s on offer in our ports of call. And, at the helm is the ship’s Captain, who’s in charge of making sure you get from A to B with a smile on your face. Meet Captain Steve James…
How did you become a Captain for Marella Cruises?
I started my career working on submarines in the Royal Navy. It was a fascinating job, but being underwater for three months at a time meant I couldn’t do much travelling. So, I joined a cruise company and worked my way up the ranks, training at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, as well as Warsash and Glasgow Nautical Colleges. I joined Marella Cruises in 2017.
Where did you grow up?
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire – quite a distance from the sea.
What do you think it takes to be a good Captain?
You have to be able to navigate and handle the ship safely of course, but good leadership skills are also really important. With 600 crew members onboard, looking after everything from the engines to the dinner menu, you’ll never be an expert in the majority of the ship’s functions. As Captain, your job is to lead the senior management team, who make sure each and every one of our guests have a memorable holiday. A sense of humour and a bit of patience also goes a long way.
Who do you work with on the ship’s Bridge and how do their roles differ to yours?
My team’s biggest job is to help me navigate the ship safely. When I can’t be in the Bridge because of my other duties, I hand the ‘con’ (otherwise known as the navigational control) of the ship to the Officer of the Watch, who navigates us safely between ports. My Second in Command and I are always on call to support them.
What’s an average day like for you?
No two days are ever the same, which is what makes it so interesting. A typical day starts with a call from the Bridge to make preparations for arrival into port. Once we’ve docked, I like to head to the gangway to see our guests on their way out to explore and then there is normally some form of inspection or training. After we depart, there could be a guest event for me to attend, or occasionally I might treat myself to a ‘night out’ and watch some of the onboard entertainment.
What’s the best part of your job?
The places you get to visit and the people onboard. There aren’t many jobs that allow you to work with such a diverse group of people, and I genuinely think we have one of the happiest crews at sea. I really enjoy getting to meet our guests too, and getting to know them as we sail together from one exciting port to the next. It really is a fantastic job.
And what’s your favourite memory from cruising with Marella Cruises so far?
That’s an easy one! Taking command of Marella Dream for the first time.
Want to join Captain James onboard Marella Cruises?
Answers have been edited for length and clarity.
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