Kate McCue, The First American Female Cruise Ship Captain
Meet Captain Kate McCue. She happens to be the first American female cruise ship captain! Set sail with Captain McCue aboard the beautiful Celebrity Cruise Line Edge. Her dreams of becoming a cruise director started when she was 12 and her family took a cruise to the Bahamas.
After Captain McCue graduated high school she began her maritime and celestial navigation studies in 1996 at California State University Maritime Academy, formally known back then as California Maritime Academy. She also landed an internship working on cargo ships for Chiquita Brands International, transporting bananas from Ecuador to Long Beach, California.
Following her college graduation, Captain McCue put her apps in for cruise line work, while she waited on her dream job to call, moved to Maui to live with family. There she worked as a deckhand on a catamaran doing tourist cruises to the Molokini crater. When that job ran its course she headed to L.A. and started working as logistics manager to Sealand. After nearly 9 months McCue got the call she was waiting for when Disney Cruise Lines offered her a job.
By 2003, the sassy lady navigator was working for Royal Caribbean as Second Officer. It only took a year before Captain McCue was promoted to First Officer. In 2009 she attended the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies in Baltimore and earned her Chief Mate and Master's Licence in 2011. Her first command of a vessel took place in 2015, when the female president of Celebrity Cruises, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, offered her the position of commanding officer on Celebrity Equinox. This made McCue the first American woman to command a modern "mega-ship."
FYI, Celebrity Cruises recently announced that Captain McCue will not be commanding Celebrity Edge much longer. In a few weeks, she will take the helm of the luxury cruise line's newest ship, Celebrity Beyond, debuting this Spring 2022! Learn more about her story below...