Royal Caribbean International

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Tor Olsen

Captain

Tor Olsen
Captain Tor Olsen has been sailing with Royal Caribbean International® for over 16 years and absolutely loves seeing the familiar faces of returning guests. His secret to success is to keep his crew comfortable and happy so they can continue providing guests with a "wowing" cruise experience.

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How did you get started in seafaring?
I went to sea when I was 16. I worked on cargo ships, tankers and freighters for a few years, then went back to navigation school and on to college. After spending a couple of years in the Navy, I joined Royal Caribbean in 1987 as quartermaster, assisting the Captain by keeping lookout and helping steer the ship.
How many are on your core team?
The marine crew has about 110 people, all deck and engine officers.
Who actually charts the course?
The navigation officer navigates the ship. I approve the voyage plans, which require constant work to fine-tune and make the best of.
What are some of your responsibilities?
My job is to make sure everyone is doing their job and that we're constantly in compliance with all the rules and regulations, whether it's navigation or budgetary limits.
What are some of your challenges as the Captain?
Making sure that everyone who works here is comfortable and happy. With such a wide variety of people with different backgrounds, different traditions, languages and skill levels, it's important to make sure we have a harmonious environment onboard.
What's your favorite part of the job?
You meet really interesting and friendly people, and they all come with different dreams. Around 90 percent of our guests say we deliver an experience above and beyond what they expected. It's very gratifying to know we've given a "wow" to our guests.
Does the course ever vary on the Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries?
Depending on weather conditions, we may make small variations. If the waters are smooth, we'll go through the Atlantic from Port Canaveral to Labadee. If the waters are rougher, we'll go through the "Old Bahama Channel." The guests' comfort is our top priority.
What is your favorite itinerary?
I love Alaska. It's more challenging to navigate the ship, but it's beautiful. I like the atmosphere up there. But I also love cruising Europe and pulling into St. Thomas - there's such a spectacular view.
Where is home now?
I live just up from the beach, on the east coast of the United States, in a place called Louisville, Kentucky.
Where do you visit when on holiday?
I love to stay home or visit friends in Wisconsin and Tennessee. I've got a family and home to take care of.

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