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William Wright

William Wright

William Wright
Captain William Stephen Wright is Senior Vice President of Marine Operations for Royal Caribbean International. He earned his Master Mariner license in Norway in 1991 and received a Master's degree in Marine Engineering from Vestfold College in Norway in 1992. He will be at the helm of Freedom of the Seas when she makes her debut next year as the world's largest cruise ship.

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As Captain, what are some of your responsibilities and duties onboard? Do you take a cruise on your vacation?
One of the attractions of being Captain is the wide variety of duties and responsibilities. Interestingly enough, I would say that the navigation and maritime aspect probably represents only about 40% of my duties. The remainder of my time is spent managing a very complex floating resort with its related complexities. As far as vacations are concerned... no cruises. I try to head for the mountains of Norway where I have my home. I enjoy the contrast. While onboard, the majority of my time is spent on work-related activities. My personal life is limited to a couple of hours of relaxing time in the evenings.
Please tell us about the Captain's quarters onboard a ship.
The Captain's quarters are quite nice. They are located on the starboard side just after the Bridge on the same deck, which happens to be a tradition. They include an office, living room, bedroom and a small pantry. A good analogy would be an efficiency apartment.
How does Royal Caribbean come up with ideas to keep each ship a little different from the others?
We pride ourselves on being the most innovative in the business regarding ship design. This trend started when Royal Caribbean built their very first ship, the Song of Norway. We've continued to lead the way ever since. The ideas come from a collaboration between our shipboard and shoreside employees and our guests, who are more than willing to provide us with recommendations and ideas.
Project Genesis sounds impressive. How much larger do you think cruise ships will get?
The technology to build larger ships exists and we will continue to develop this technology. However, I think that port limitation will be the biggest restricting factor.
What will be the main differences in maneuverability between Freedom of the Seas and the Voyager family of ships?
While Freedom of the Seas is larger than the Voyager-class ships by approximately 18,000 gross tons and 30 meters in length, the maneuvering systems are the same. Sea trials have shown that Freedom of the Seas will be as maneuverable as the Voyager-class ships. While Freedom of the Seas will have more power in her thrusters, the configuration of both ships is virtually the same.
Will Freedom of the Seas ever do the Eastern/Western Caribbean cruises back to back or a 14-night cruise?
Unfortunately, for the time being, Freedom of the Seas is not scheduled to be on a Western itinerary.
Who was named Godmother of Freedom of the Seas?
Katherine Louise Calder, foster mother to over 400 children over the last 27 years, was officially named Godmother of Freedom of the Seas. She was selected by over 171,000 "Today" show viewers in a contest held nationwide.
Will there be a billiard room and a bowling alley on Freedom of the Seas?
Freedom of the Seas has many things - boxing ring, surfing simulator, 3D rock-climbing wall, water sprayground for kids... But no billiards or bowling. The Radiance family of ships has billiards.

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