Princess Cruises appoints senior officers for Discovery Princess


WHY IT RATES: Captain Arma and Captain John Smith will serve together. —Janeen Christoff, Senior Editor, TravelPulse

In less than 200 days, Princess Cruises’ all-new ship, the Discovery Princess, will debut at the Port of Los Angeles in the spring of 2022, for an inaugural season of cruises on the Mexican Riviera and the California coast.


Discovery Princess is built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri and will carry 3,660 guests. Captain Arma will officially commission the ship from the shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, joined at the launch by an experienced team of senior executives, including Chief Engineer Vincenzo Alfi, Staff Captain Alessandro Genzo and the general manager of the hotel Richard Harry.

When Captain Arma is on leave, Captain John Smith will take over the navigation and management of the Discovery Princess and will serve with Chief Engineer Tomislav Ljoka, Staff Captain Petar Lesic and the Director General of the Jasper Wolthuis hotel.

“The entire Princess team, on land and at sea, would like to congratulate and recognize Captain Arma and Captain Smith for their notable and hard-won appointments to lead our new ship, the Discovery Princess,” said Jan Swartz, President by Princess Cruises. “Their meticulous attention to always looking out for our customers is a testament to the level of service Princess is proud to provide. Discovery Princess’s first guests will have the pleasure of sailing with an esteemed inaugural management team, discovering and to connect to new destinations and cultures. ”

Discovery Princess offers the innovative technology, dramatic style and design features of its sister ships: Royal Princess, Regal Princess, Majestic Princess, Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess. Guests will experience the Princess MedallionClass experience, world-class dining, an overwater SeaWalk, expansive Piazza, Sanctuary, Lotus Spa, Grand Casino, Princess Theater and Sky Suites, with the largest balconies in the cruise line at sea .

Discovery Princess Leadership Team

Captain Gennaro Arma has always been passionate about the sea. He began his career with Princess Cruises in 1998 as a cadet and rose through the ranks obtaining his first command as Captain of the Sea Princess in 2015, where he sailed on the ship during two world cruises. He took the helm of Diamond Princess in 2018 and in 2020, led his team of “gladiators” through uncharted territory by dealing with the COVID-19 virus on board at the start of the global pandemic. As a result of his efforts, he was honored with the recognition of Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, the highest of the orders of the Italian Republic, and selected among the 20 most influential Italian figures of the year by Vanity Fair in December 2020, Arma also received the title of Magister of Amalfi Civilization for the Byzantine New Year, the Emanuela Loi Prize for Courage and the Assarmatori Prize from the Italian Maritime Association awarded by the Minister of Transport. He was born in Sorrento, Italy, where he lives with his wife Mariana and son Diego.

Captain John Smith joined the Princess family in 2007 as a First Officer and quickly rose through the ranks to his current role as Captain, assuming command of the Grand Princess in May 2018, where he spent two years on board. He joined the Merchant Navy in 1983 as a deckhand and earned his first certificate in 1988, reaching the rank of captain on tankers and ferries before joining Princess Cruises. During his transition from Seaman to Officer, he received the Marine Society’s Watch Ashore Award and thus earned his name on the famous plaque in London. Captain Smith is from Cheltenham in the UK and now spends his free time on the Costa del Sol, Spain.

Chief Engineer Vincenzo Alfi started as the 2nd Engineer Officer aboard the Fair Princess in 1999. He was appointed Chief Engineer in 2011 on Ruby Princess and has since served on various ships including the Crown Princess and the Royal Princess. Born in Crotone, Italy, he graduated from the Italian Nautical Institute and obtained his first contract as an officer cadet in 1991, aboard a container ship.

Chief Engineer Tomislav Ljoka joined Princess in 2003 as a 3rd Engineer Officer and got his first contract as Chief Engineer in 2019, aboard the Sea Princess. He served on various Princess ships, including the Crown Princess and the Coral Princess. Born in Zadar, Croatia, he graduated from high school of maritime engineering and sailed as an engine student on bulk carriers. He then attended the University of Piran / University of Portorose and obtained his marine engineering degree and completed an oil tanker internship.

Staff Captain Alessandro Genzo began his career with Princess in 2004, where he rose through the ranks to become a staff captain. During his 17-year career with Princess, he served on various ships, including the Royal Princess, the Regal Princess and the Enchanted Princess. At the age of 10, he watched “The Love Boat” with his grandmother and decided that one day he wanted to be a cruise ship captain. Born in Trieste, Italy, he studied at the Nautical College, one of the oldest nautical schools in Europe. Then, he joined the Italian Navy, serving on a destroyer. Towards the end of his service, he transferred to the Morosini Naval School in Venice as an instructor, before joining Princess.

Staff Captain Petar Lesic joined Princess in 2006 and reached his current position as Staff Captain in 2018. He served aboard the Diamond Princess in Japan, one of his favorite destinations. Born in Split, Croatia, he followed his family’s maritime tradition and graduated from Maritime University, before starting his career in the merchant navy in 2000.

Hotel general manager Richard Harry joined Princess in 1988 as a receptionist at the front desk. Since then, he’s been part of the new build crews for seven ships, including Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess. He was born in Farnborough, England and now resides in Bristol with his wife, whom he met on Golden Princess, and two children.

The hotel’s general manager, Jasper Wolthuis, has served Princess Cruises since 2002, after seeing a Princess ship pass through Curacao and decided to pursue a career at sea. He joined the team as a commissioner. junior assistant flight attendant and always loved serving guests. Wolthuis was born in Leiden, the Netherlands, and after graduating in Hospitality Management and Economics, he moved to Curaçao to work in the hospitality industry before joining Princess.

THE SOURCE: Princess Cruises press release.

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