These days, women are captaining their role in the cruise industry, making up 18-20% of the worldwide workforce in the industry, and 5-22% of cruise ship officers specifically. Compared to the 4-5% of women making up the pilot industry, that’s knot a small number. Kate McCue is the first American woman ever to captain a cruise ship. She’s currently in her 23rd year at sea, sailing the Celebrity Equinox, and will soon be ship-hopping to the Celebrity Edge.
Why Life On The Water?
With two close relatives from the Navy, she had an early introduction to the sea: her family took her on her first cruise when she was 12, and she fell instantly in love with the water.
“The best education you can give to a child is to teach them about the world by showing it to them.” And she plans to do the same with her family.
How Did She Get There?
In order to pursue this career path, she majored in business administration and minored in marine transportation. But she kept quite busy and got way ahead of the game by studying celestial navigation, marlinspike, small craft operations. Instead of taking summer breaks, she signed up for training cruises every summer. And then, instead of waiting to finish all of her finals and graduate university, she signed up for her US Coast Guard exams at the same time – and graduated with a Third Mate unlimited license. That means she can captain anything from a tug boat to a supertanker.
Captains spend three months on, three months off board. But even when she’s home, she’s missing the water. She says the #1 thing she misses about land is her family, but they frequently come sailing with her. When they do, she’s left without wanting anything from the land.”
What About Her Love Life?
She wants to be clear that as easy as she finds her part-time long-distance marriage, she does not believe it would work so well between two ship captains. He’s a chief engineer with another cruise line.” Cruise power couple right here!