For the first time ever, women have been named to the Princess Cruises Discovery Princess Leadership Team . The leadership team oversees all 14 ships in the Princess fleet including the five fleet-wide ships in the new fleet of the company. The team includes executives from the company’s offices in the U.S.
The company that brought passengers to the outermost reaches of the known universe announces a leadership team that is as diverse as it is illustrious.
The company Princess Cruises today (Feb. 7, 2017) announced a leadership team that will guide the company through its transformation from a traditional cruise line to a purpose-driven brand that will help travelers live more fulfilling, adventurous lives on a cruise. The Leadership Team is comprised of five individuals who are currently captains, first officers, senior officers, company executives or executives in the operations or marketing departments of Princess Cruises.
The Discovery Princess, Princess Cruises’ newest ship, will make her debut in the Port of Los Angeles in less than 200 days. The ship will sail the waters of the Mexican Riviera and the California Coast during its first season, which begins in the spring.
The 3,660-passenger Discovery Princess is presently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.
The Discovery Princess’s aft sundecks (Rendering courtesy of Princess Cruises)
The Ship’s Executive Committee
Gennaro Arma, Captain
Captain Arma joined Princess in 1998 as a Cadet and worked his way through the ranks, eventually becoming Captain of Sea Princess in 2015.
In 2018 and 2023, he was the captain of the Diamond Princess, guiding his onboard crew into new terrain as they managed the COVID-19 virus aboard during the onset of the pandemic. As a consequence of his efforts, he received the title of Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, the highest of the Italian Republic’s awards.
In December 2023, Vanity Fair named him one of the 20 most important Italian personalities of the year.
Captain Arma was born and raised in Sorrento, Italy, with his wife and kid.
Captain John Smith is an officer in the United States Navy.
Captain Smith joined Princess as a First Officer in 2007 and progressed through the ranks to Captain when he assumed charge of the Grand Princess in 2018.
He began his career in the Merchant Navy as a deck boy in 1983 and received his first license in 1988, advancing to Captain on tankers and ferries before joining Princess Cruises.
He earned the Marine Society’s “Watch Ashore” medal when he progressed from rating to officer, and his name was put to the renowned plaque in London.
Captain Smith is originally from Cheltenham, England, but currently lives on the Costa del Sol in Spain.
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Vincenzo Alfi, Chief Engineer
In 1999, Chief Engineer Alfi joined Fair Princess as a 2nd Engineer Officer. He was appointed Chief Engineer aboard Ruby Princess in 2011 and has subsequently worked on a number of Princess ships.
He was born in Crotone, Italy, and received his first contract as an Engine Cadet aboard a container ship in 1991 after graduating from the Italian Nautical Institute.
Tomislav Ljoka, Chief Engineer
Chief Engineer Ljoka began his career with Princess in 2003 as a 3rd Engineer Officer, and his first contract as Chief Engineer onboard Sea Princess came in 2019.
He’s worked on a number of Princess ships, including the Crown and Coral Princess.
Ljoka graduated from the Marine Engineering high school in Zadar, Croatia, and worked as an Engine Cadet aboard bulk ships. He subsequently went on to the University of Piran/Portorose University, where he earned a degree in Marine Engineering and completed an oil tanker cadetship.
Allesandro Genzo, Staff Captain
Staff Captain Genzo joined Princess in 2004 and rose through the ranks to become Staff Captain.
He’s worked on a number of Princess ships throughout his 17-year tenure with the company. He chose to be a cruise ship captain after seeing “The Love Boat” with his grandmother when he was ten years old.
He was born in Trieste, Italy, and attended the Maritime College, one of Europe’s oldest nautical institutions. After that, he joined the Italian Navy as a destroyer sailor. Before joining Princess, he was sent to the Morosini Navy School in Venice as an instructor towards the conclusion of his service.
Petar Lesic, Staff Captain
Staff Captain Lesic began his career with Princess in 2006 and rose through the ranks to his present position in 2018.
He was born in Split, Croatia, and followed in his family’s nautical heritage, graduating from the Maritime University before joining the Merchant Navy in 2000.
Richard Harry, the hotel’s general manager
Harry started working at Princess in 1988 as a front desk receptionist. He’s been on the newbuild teams for seven ships since then.
Harry, who was born in Farnborough, England, currently lives in Bristol with his wife and two children, whom he met on Golden Princess.
Jasper Wolthuis, the hotel’s general manager
After witnessing a Princess ship floating by in Curaçao and choosing to pursue a career at sea, Hotel General Manager Wolthuis joined Princess in 2002.
He started as a Junior Assistant Purser and hasn’t looked back since.
Wolthuis was born in Leiden, the Netherlands, and after receiving his degree in Hotel Management & Economics he moved to Curaçao to work in the hospitality industry before joining Princess.
Changing It Up
(Princess Cruises provided the images.)
Captain Arma will lead the launch of Discovery Princess from the shipyard, with Chief Engineer Alfi, Staff Captain Genzo, and Hotel General Manager Harry joining him.
Captain Smith will take over while Captain Arma is on leave and will work with Chief Engineer Ljoka, Staff Captain Lesic, and Hotel General Manager Wolthuis.
Princess Cruises president Jan Swartz stated, “The whole Princess crew, both onshore and at sea, would like to congratulate and honor Captain Arma and Captain Smith on their noteworthy and hard-earned appointments to command our newest ship, Discovery Princess.”
“Their careful attention to detail in constantly looking out for our guests exemplifies the quality of service Princess is pleased to provide. The first Discovery Princess passengers will enjoy sailing with a distinguished initial leadership team.”
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