Interview with Captain Kresimir Korona
Q: Where did you grow up and where are you living now?
A: I was born and raised in Zadar, small town in the middle of the Adriatic Sea in Croatia, where Azamara ships are frequent visitors.
Q: How did you get where you are right now?
A: I started in 1992 as an Apprentice shortly after I graduated. And in 1996 I joined the ships as an officer. In 2005, I joined the ferry company in Croatia and got a promotion after a year ½ as Captain. Then in 2010, I started applying to the Royal Caribbean Group, and after applying, I was lucky enough to join the Azamara family in 2010 as Chief Officer responsible for deck maintenance, but my journey as a Captain was not over as in 2014 I was transferred to Royal Caribbean, I was on the Grandeur of the Seas for roughly 2 years and then went back to Azamara. In 2017, I was thankfully promoted to Staff Captain with Azamara.
Q: What hobbies do you pursue while at home?
I love sailing and hiking, love playing basketball and gym, but what I really enjoy the most is riding a bicycle with my kids on a daily basis.
Q: What inspired you to get into the sea life?
A: My family comes from and island which is just across the channel of Zadar. It all started from feeling a connection with the sea. And, also from my mother’s side, there’s a lot of captains in the family. I started sailing in small boats, but apart from feeling comfort being at sea, I knew that traveling was a big inspiration of mine since I was a kid. Funny thing is, that when I was a kid I told my mom that I wanted to be an Astronaut because I thought that was the way to see the world. But later on in life, having to live around family that were always surrounded by the sea life and the combination of wanting to see the world, I felt like this was the industry for me. This is not a job for me, it’s a way of life.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge as a Captain?
A: I can’t say that I had major challenges while I was a staff captain. However, my career and my growth came from Azamara – the trainings that we have here, the guidance and support that I received from the entire Azamara team, I should actually call them family. So, overall, I can’t say there has been a big challenge, but it was my life transition I made to join Azamara, I grew up a lot personally, and career wise I learned a lot being an officer, then shortly as staff captain. Now, I’m hoping to get the same support as a Captain. I know it will come, as I mentioned before, we’re all family and we support each other. You will always have challenges in your life, but, I believe that with the right support, you will grow to become a better person each day.
Q: Is there any Captain that inspires you?
A: I’m friends with most of the captains in Azamara. I didn’t get the chance to work with Captain Carl or Captain Gianmario, but, since all the three ships did come together at the same time at some point, I did get the chance to meet them and their personalities were great. I was lucky enough to work with Captain Johannes many times, and Captain Magnus. But working with both Captains showed me what type of Captain I want to be. Now I’m also working alongside Captain Toledo and I spent short time with Captain Phillip. So, really everyone has their own way to do their own things. I get inspired by bits and pieces each one has delivered and have taken that for myself. Every Captain we have here have unique approaches to the crew and the guests. So, I can’t choose one – they all inspire me in some way, and I will use those learnings, tweak and then mold them to become the best Captain I can be.
Q: So, you’ll play an instrumental role in the revitalization of the P Prince becoming Azamara Onward, are you excited?
A: It is very exciting. It’s a big responsibility, I know there will be a million things to take care of between all the teams, especially marine and hotel operations. But we have to make sure that everything goes smoothly and on time.
Q: Favorite places you like to sail for scenic beauty?
A: My favorite place in the world is Cape Town, South Africa. I’ve been to Cape Town in 2002 and I liked it, but didn’t pay so much attention to it since I didn’t spend a lot of time there. And then, last year, just before joining the ship in Cape Town, I decided to stay 5 days before the ship departed and I can say I fell in love. Every place I went was just amazing. West of South Africa, is just beautiful and the people are really nice. Second favorite of mine is New Zealand, a place called Tauranga. It’s very comforting and very relaxing, that’s a place where I could say “You know what, I can actually live here”. And, if I may also add that Norway and Iceland, doing that that kind of voyage, and Faroe Islands down to Denmark are very scenic destinations.
Q: Are any of those destination places you would like to retire?
A: If I were to retire that would be either Cape Town or I’m going to be somewhere on a sailing boat just sailing around the world.
Q: Final question: Is there a certain book that you keep close to your heart that has inspired you today?
A: For me there’s one book that inspired me and taught me how to honor people and to be honest. It’s a book that was written by a German writer Karl May. The book is called Winnetou it’s about the life of Native Indian Chief in the United States. It’s a fictional story, but it was about the way he perceived life and that actually taught me how to stand up for myself and honor that honesty among the people, love and brotherhood.