Even as a boy, Captain Giuseppe Giusa was determined to become a sea captain. “I always wanted to do this job.”
Although the area in Sicily where he comes from is known for its mariners, he is not from a nautical family. “Nobody in my family worked on cruise ships or ships in general. I am the first one in my family.”
A life at sea just appealed to him. Thus, at 13 - - the age when young people in Italy finish their mandatory schooling and decide what career path to follow, Giusa elected to follow the path that would eventually make him a ship's officer. So he undertook the necessary academic training and obtained his license.
His first experience at sea was working on tankers but his real desire was to work on cruise ships. “Working on a cruise ship is a better environment than working on a tanker or LNG or a container vessel. It is always a better place to work.”
Therefore, in 1993, he applied to work at Carnival Cruise Lines. “I had all the requirements to come aboard and work as an officer. But at that time Carnival did not have many ships and so there were fewer manning officers on the bridge.” Consequently, there were no openings for a young officer when Giusa applied.
However, Carnival did have an opening for a carpenter. Since Giusa had worked summer jobs as a carpenter, he had the experience needed for this job and decided to take it. “It was still a ship and sooner or later a position was going to open and allow me to work at what I had studied. I decided to try the hard way and start from the very bottom of the career path - - not even in my career path but outside and jump in a different way.”
Once aboard, Giusa impressed his superiors with his carpentry and was promoted to become a joiner. But he knew that simply doing a good job as a carpenter would not be enough for him to fulfill his ambition of becoming an officer. “In my free time, I was always on the bridge spending time with the first officers.”
Finally, during his third contract with Carnival, he was able to make the jump. “I did two months as a joiner, two months as a deck cadet and two as a third officer. I had all my certification and my license all was in order.”
In 2004, Giusa became the captain of the Carnival Ecstasy. He has also worked on and/or commanded all of Carnival's Conquest class ships including Carnival Freedom, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Glory, Carnival Valor and Carnival Splendor. Several of these ships he helped bring into service.
Talking with Captain Giusa, it soon becomes evident that he has a special affection for Carnival Destiny. He was a member of the first crew of Carnival's first mega-cruise ship and later commanded Destiny for “many” years.
“The best ship to drive, to maneuver, of all this class is the first, the mother, which is the Destiny. Starting from that ship, we had Triumph, Victory and also this class is based upon that hull shape - - it is just extended. Also, Costa has ships that are exactly the same as the Triumph and the Victory. They are all sister ships. As far as maneuverability and ship handling, Destiny, now Sunshine, is the better one.”
Captain Giusa oversaw the transformation of Destiny into Carnival Sunshine and then commanded the ship on her first cruises under her new name.
“It is a completely different world You will notice a huge difference on the ship every place that you go from the cabins, which have all been refurbished, to the corridors, to all the public lounges. It was a big change.”
Following the Sunshine, Captain Giusa took command of Carnival Liberty in early 2014. Having commanded a number of her sister ships, Captain Giusa is very familiar with the cruise experience offered on this class of ship.
“It is fun for sure. Whoever comes aboard has a variety of things to do. [On sea days, guests] can enjoy the ship with everything that the ship offers from the Serenity if they like to stay in a quiet area to the food experience with the various food venues that we have onboard. They can experience Mexican, Asian, a nice burger, the pizzeria. Then in the evening, in the two big restaurants, we have been trying different menus with different dishes. (See our review). Plus on this ship there is also the steakhouse, which definitely is a nice experience as far as the service, the presentation and the quality of the food that they receive. If you were ashore and wanted to have a similar menu, I am sure that you would pay two to three times more than what they pay here.”
Captain Giusa also noted Liberty's port-intensive itineraries. “They are all different ports providing different things. Today, we are in Belize, yesterday in Cozumel, then in Roatan, then Grand Cayman. They are all different countries, different cultures, and the tours that we provide are different experiences that the guests can take.”
Cruise ship interview - - Carnival Cruise Lines - - Carnival Liberty - - Captain Giuseppe Giusa