Editor's Note: The Norwegian Cruise Line team is comprised of individuals from all over the world working on land and onboard. We like to take every opportunity to celebrate team members who inspire us and share their stories with our cruise family – our loyal readers and guests.
Brian Walters is a household name in Norwegian Cruise Line and this year, he is celebrating 50 years of service to the company. A native of the beautiful island of Jamaica, Brian joined Norwegian in 1969 as a Lounge Steward, only 3 years after the company was founded as Norwegian Caribbean Line. Brian has experienced nearly all of Norwegian's ground-breaking cruise innovations, many of which have now become standard throughout the industry.
A glimpse of all the ships that Brian has served on could give anyone a serious case of cruise nostalgia. During his career, Brian has worked at Sunward I, Southward, Sunward II, Starward, Skyward, Leeward, SS Norway, Norwegian Wind, Norwegian Dream, Norwegian Majesty, Norwegian Sea and Norwegian Crown. It seems appropriate that Brian would have found love on the high seas and a fateful contract many years ago on Southward I led him to his wife, Grace who worked in the Gift Shop. A chat with Brian and his wife could quickly take you down memory lane, reminiscing about the “old days” of cruising.
Brian has witnessed first-hand the evolution of small ships with several hundred guests to larger ships with several thousand. Through the years, countless numbers of new crew members have been mentored under his watchful eye. Brian is often described as a calm, steady leader. He is kind and soft-spoken and easily remembered by anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting him. Brian has experienced 50 years of tropical storms, hurricanes and other surprises caused by Mother Nature, yet he shows no signs of stopping! When asked about taking time to "relax", he simply laughs and lets you know that he's ready to get back out to sea.
Brian Walters is a true sailor and we are deeply honored that he’s chosen to spend the last 50 incredible years of his career with Norwegian Cruise Line. He’s currently enjoying a very well-deserved vacation in Miami with his wife and family and then he’ll return to Norwegian Sun in February.
We asked a few members of the Norwegian Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings leadership to help us honor Brian with some words. Here is what they had to say:
Frank J. Del Rio, President and Chief Executive Officer, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.
"We are pleased to honor Brian Walters in recognition of his 50th Service Anniversary. He is the first employee in the history of our company to achieve this historic milestone and we thank him and honor him for his five decades of loyalty and dedication for providing exceptional vacation experiences to our valued guests."
Robin Lindsay, EVP Vessel Operations Executive Office, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.
"What a beautiful career! Congratulations on 50 years of being a hospitality professional, a great leader and a mentor to those lucky enough to work under your watchful eye. You have been the stable leader that has taken NCL from a small cruise company to the industry leading innovator it is today. I'm proud to say that I had the opportunity to work with you, the Legend of NCL. You are an inspiration to us all! Thank you for your service."
Mark Kansley, SVP Hotel Operations, Norwegian Cruise Line
"I've had the pleasure of working with Brian Walters for more years than I can count! When I reflect on Brian's long and solid career with Norwegian Cruise Line, I can say without hesitation that he must be one of very few professionals in the entire cruise industry (not just Norwegian), who have served a single company for this length of time. It's unprecedented and we are all grateful to call Brian Walters one of our own. He brings new meaning to the phrase "calm and collected" and our guests and crew have praised him for this decade after decade. I speak for the entire team in Hotel Operations when I say that Brian is an incredibly valued part of our team and we all celebrate his 50 years of service with pride and honor."
Klaus Lugmaier, Regional Vice President, Fleet Hotel Operations
"Brian is a true icon and legendary Ambassador for Norwegian Cruise Line. He defines the word "gentleman" and is consistently a consummate professional with guests and crew alike. It has been a pleasure and an honor to work alongside him for the last 31 years. Thank you, Brian, for dedicating 50 years and for all your hard work, dedication, passion and loyalty to NCL."
If you have any photos or memories of past cruises with Brian, we invite you to share!