Princess Cruises’ captain Michele Tuvo is the star of ITV’s The Cruise, but he’s also running a tight ship aboard Star Princess. We found out what he gets up to an average day at sea…
The first thing I do every day when I wake up at 6am is look at my family photo corner. My son Luca is now 10, and my wife, Amy, regularly sends me pictures of them together with our golden retriever, Dante. They join me on board whenever they can during the school holidays, as my cabin is big enough for the three of us.
Luckily, I don’t have to spend too long away from them. We work for three months at sea and three months off, so that’s when I go back home to my home in San Diego, California.
After my shower and shave I go up to the bridge to have a coffee (black, no sugar!) with my team and discuss how the night shift went – though if any big issues have cropped up overnight I will already know about them, as I’m always on call. Then I walk round the ship and check that every area is as it should be – little details like making sure the salt and pepper pots are filled, and that the chairs are in line. I also try to meet every passenger during the cruise so that I can immediately help them with anything they are concerned about.
I speak to all the heads of staff every day, so I’m constantly on the go. That means I tend to eat when I can, grabbing something like a caprese sandwich or a quick salad. My daytime shift finishes about 7pm, and by then I will have walked around 20,000 steps so there’s no need for me to visit the gym. But one little routine I do have is my daily 7pm dose of Miss Marple – I love British TV shows!
I don’t tend to eat dinner with the passengers as I feel they have probably seen enough of me during the day. We don’t have an official Captain’s Table, but if anyone has an important birthday while they’re on board and would like me to join them, I will if I can.
As the evenings are my downtime, I usually get something from the buffet and eat it in my cabin before I phone my family, but my favourite restaurant is Sabatini’s, the Italian speciality dining restaurant on board Star Princess.
As well as my photo corner filled with family memories, I have a blanket that my wife and I picked up when we were travelling, plus a dreamcatcher and essential oil diffusers to make the place more feel more homely. I usually get to bed around 10pm.
Every cruise is an adventure but one that particularly sticks in my mind is a trip to Alaska in 2016 when we were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights. I announced it over the PA system to everybody, and immediately worried that I shouldn’t have. But then an 80-year-old passenger came to me in tears to thank me, saying seeing the Northern Lights had always been on his bucket list and he would have missed them if I hadn’t made that announcement. It’s those kind of things that make my job so special and worth the sacrifice I have to make by being away from my family.