Inspired by the popular TV series, The Love Boat, Captain Craig Street decided to live life on the high seas. He has never looked back since.
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Captain Street has been working for Princess Cruises for 27 years. He started his career as a Deck Cadet in 1990. He worked his way up through the ranks, becoming third officer in 1993, then a second officer before obtaining his Masters license in 1999 and taking command of Star Princess in 2008.
He has been Captain of 11 of the 17 ships in the Princess Cruises’ fleet including all three Royal-class ships – Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess. Captain Street is currently Master of Majestic Princess and while she was in Singapore on the return leg of her Grand Asia Voyage to Shanghai, we spoke to Captain Street about his life as a cruise ship captain.
What inspired you to become a cruise ship captain?
My parents owned sailing boats and when I was young, I watched The Love Boat series and was inspired by life onboard a cruise ship. I joined Princess Cruises as a cadet when I was 17, that was 27 years ago and I have been with the company ever since. I love life on the high seas and wouldn’t dream of doing anything else.
What are some of your favourite ports in Asia and Southeast Asia, and why?
The region is an incredibly diverse part of the world and every port is brimming with exciting attractions. While it’s hard to choose a favourite, the ports that really stand out for me are Singapore and Hong Kong which are well-known for their vibrancy, and some of the Japanese ports which are located off the beaten track.
What did you do in Singapore during your visit this time?
This was an incredibly special visit as we hosted over 70 under-privileged children and their families onboard Majestic Princess. I am proud to work for an organisation that is committed to giving back to the community and I have been involved in many of Princess’ charitable events for children around the world. It’s wonderful to see so many children laughing and smiling during their time onboard.
When did you captain your first ship in Asia?
That was back in 2011 when I was captain of Sun Princess sailing from Singapore to Australia. Four years ago, I was also Captain of Sapphire Princess on her first homeporting season in Singapore and at the helm for one and a half years. These were memorable experiences for me as a Captain and important milestones for Princess Cruises as the cruise line expanded its operations in Asia.
Why do people enjoy sailing on Princess Cruises’ ship?
There is so much to do and see on Princess’ ships and cruise vacations. Princess is well-known for its destination-rich itineraries offering amazing adventures. There is nothing more exciting than waking up in a different destination every day. The onboard experience is also incredible and many of our crew members have been with us for a long time and they know exactly how to make our guests feel right at home.
Having been in charge of several dry docks including the Royal-class ships Royal Princess (Freeport) and Regal Princess (Hamburg), I can see first-hand how Princess Cruises is focused on continually adding enhancements to ensure an exceptional onboard experience for passengers. For example, the Regal Princess is now equipped with the OCEAN Medallion, the latest in wearable technology onboard cruise ships.
What are the differences between sailing in Asia as compared to Europe and North America?
The main difference is the weather. We mostly sail during the summer in Europe and North America. In Asia, weather conditions can change quickly at any time, so we are constantly monitoring the situation. Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Busan are also the busiest ports in the world so it is always challenging to bring ships in and out of these ports. It certainly never gets dull when we’re sailing in Asia.
What are you most proud of about working with Princess Cruises?
I’m honoured to be working with a fantastic crew that are committed to taking care of our guests and ensuring they have an amazing experience. I’m also extremely proud that Princess Cruises is now a world leader in the industry, our ships are recognised everywhere we go and we are renowned for offering relaxing, entertaining, and immersive experiences both ashore and at sea.
How do you send your time when you’re not at sea?
I love flying and I have a European and US private helicopter pilot licence. It’s an interesting hobby and is very different from life at sea. Being a helicopter pilot involves a lot of retesting, so I spend a good deal of my time updating my skills to maintain my licence. I also enjoy golf, skiing and scuba diving. I met my wife onboard Caribbean Princess some 13 years ago when she was a scuba diving instructor on the ship.
Where will you be spending Christmas this year?
I will be onboard Majestic Princess in Australia and look forward to her deployment Down Under.