AMAZING CAPT. KATE MCCUE
Again, her tiktok of the Fightsong earned hordes of reactions, more at the official Captain Kate McCue Fan Club on FaceBook. She documents her story onboard on Instagram, with her cat Bug Naked which she takes on every sailing (defying an old taboo of mariners).
And she’s not all image: Skilled in Navigation, GMDSS, Maritime Safety, STCW, international shipping Management and tested in Operations. She holds a degree in Business Administration (B.B.A.) with major in Marine Transportation from the California Maritime Academy.
She worked as Master in Celebrity Cruises and officer in other major cruise lines, as Intermodal Manager of Maersk Line two decades back.
Bruce Davis and companions are cruisers for years and they think she is “the best Captain we have encountered.” She had an ever presence on the voyage and on the gangway saying farewell to every passenger.
Mary-Jane Parker: The cruise world needs more captains like Kate! The sour, uber "professional," unapproachable captains make me skip the Captain's Parties and their photo ops. Captain Kate was all over the ship and always had time to stop and chat when she was out walking. She joined us at Cruise Critic Meet & Greets, and was a riot.
Helene Zebrowski: I have sailed with Captain Kate and Bugnaked on the Equinox and on the Edge. The first time I met her I said I only wanted to be on her ship. What an amazing person.
Kristine Klaver-Olewinski: Same! She is amazing and I only want to sail on her ship!
DonJoyce Major: Leadership... absolutely. What a fantastic moral booster for the many hardworking staff members. Way to go Captain Kate.
Joyce Verderosa: I so enjoyed watching you perform the wedding. Although it was from the walking track, I could see you absolutely having a great time too. You holding the bride’s train as she walk and jumping into a photo was priceless.
Celebrity Cruises made history last March 8, 2020, when Celebrity Edge sailed with an all-female bridge and officer team, led by Captain Kate McCue, the first American female cruise ship captain with 27 women from 17 nationalities, notably Second Officer Nicholine Tifuh Azirh, the first West African women to work on the bridge of a cruise ship. Noteworthy also are Senior Doctor Jennifer Bernardo and Financial Controller Teresa de Guzman, both from the Philippines.
When Covid 19 snarled, all 1075 crew of the Celebrity Edge continued after disembarking the guests and sailed on #HopeFloats. While they wait for their home countries to open and travel restrictions lifted, they stayed safe & healthy onboard, the closest thing to family.
Capt Kate says each crew drew a card at random, all with guaranteed balconies for fresh air, tons of vitamin SEA, making them feel like the true celebrities with full use of staterooms in addition to their crew rooms.
Livin' La Villa Loca.
On board are two of 2019 Employees of the Year (Cleaner Genife Catinggan & Assistant Shore Excursions Manager Alexandra Ordonez. They were surprised with a week in the Exclusive Edge Villas: only two-story residences in the fleet, private terrace with plunge pool, lounge furniture; floor-to-ceiling windows, two bathrooms, a bedroom with Exclusive eXhale® bedding, a king-sized cashmere mattress, marble master bathroom with whirlpool tub.
She and other officers prepare and deliver the food to quarantined crew using "Deep Sleep" magnet systems for indicating lunch & dinner meal preferences (i.e. the black side, usually red meat & the white side, fish, chicken, or vegetarian), making room service delivery efficient.
Capt. Kate organized the 12-Ship Sunset Salute when on March 20, ships of different companies were in the "neighbourhood." To declare solidarity, each shall give a horn salute at 7:30 every evening forward to let the crew and world know they are strong, safe, and healthy on board, also assuring their families.
As soon as Capt. McCue sounded the horn, captains from other Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Holland America ships, tooted back.
Noting masks in high demand, Capt. Kate inspired the Edge’s Housekeeping, Guest Relations & Engine team to step on two sewing machines, cut a stack of pillow cases and produce 250+ masks per day for the crew and donate to others in need.
Always on guard.
With all the add-ons, the weekly crew training in emergency response continues. Yet, the Celebrity Edge made waves in celebrating Earth Day last April 22, Earth’s Day, with strict protocols: disinfect before boarding, all in personal protective equipment (PPE).
On May One (International Workers Day, Labor Day or May Day), Capt. Kate was there to sound the horn honouring the Heroes and Sheroes of the maritime industry, some 1.6 million toiling unsung against the elements and the environment to move 90% of global goods.
The pessimistic trend does not shake Capt. Kate’s optimism. She is excited on the changing of the crew of the Edge, now 1152 strong and hopefully “more tomorrow.” They are provided Care Packs of essentials like masks, gloves, sanitizing wipes and snacks.
She is aware repatriation is a world-wide problem with hundreds of thousands requiring crew changes. Travel restrictions/bans and individual country requirements make this all the more difficult, amplified since Celebrity employs over 75 nationalities. Each country has a different set of rules, requirements and expectations for their returning citizens.
Shoreside office and ships have been working round the clock to find a way or make a way to get crew home, something that does not happens in an instant. She assures “our crew have been in the safest of places during this pandemic & we will not stop looking after their welfare until they are standing at their front doors & reunited with their families.”
Celebrity is a poster firm for gender equality, led by Ms. Lutoff-Perlo, a rarity in cruise lines being a female CEO (and, Celebrity the first firm of the big cruise lines to hire a female captain.) Fleetwide, 22 % of the line's bridge team are women – which the lady CEO would like to grow but for the slow entry of women in careers at sea.
Last May 26th, it celebrated its 30th birthday, gearing forward to global seas with officers, crew and hospitality staff in their best for the grand experience of the guests.