Disney Cruise Line counts on Capt. Forberg — again
Ship Captain Tom Forberg, aboard Disney's Fantasy cruise ship, at sea in The Bahamas, Wednesday, March 28, 2012. Forberg has captained all four of the Disney Cruise Line ships. (JOE BURBANK/ORLANDO SENTINEL / March 29, 2012)
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How did you get your start?
I've been a captain for 34 years now. I started very early. Before Disney I was captain of other cruise lines. … Now I have 16 years with Disney Cruise Line. I was also the first employee among the crew.
There wasn't even a ship when you began with Disney. Did that require a leap of faith?
I said to myself I know how everything works, and I'm really interested in looking for a company that's not only a cruise line. I knew you were going to get a lot of good input from the mother company. … It's been very rewarding for me as a captain to work for a company like Disney. We do things a little more different, and it's more interesting working for a company like that. It has such a reputation around the world. Everyone has so many nice things to say about Disney.
Did you imagine that the fleet could grow to four ships?
At that time we had signed up for two ships, and we didn't expect any new building in the near future. When you start up a cruise line, you want to make sure the first ships are up and running.
Has technology changed the operation of the ship?
It doesn't change as quickly as the iPad or the iPhone and those kinds of things. Every year there are a few new things coming online. It's just like a car — the basic equipment is more or less the same, but it gets more and more advanced and better and better.
Are you sentimental about the classic ships, the Magic and Wonder? Do you have a favorite?
The Magic is still the flagship, and it's still a beautiful ship. I still have a lot of feelings for the classic ships. Of course, this [Fantasy] is a new ship, and they have a lot of new things to offer our guests.
What's the most fun part of your job?
There's always something going on, so we never have a bored moment, and every day is a little bit different. Even if you do the same itinerary, things are still a little bit different.
Is there ever a time when you are living off the water, on solid ground?
Yes, absolutely. I have a place in Orlando. But I'm married and my wife is Italian, so much of the time when I'm off the ship, I live in Italy. I was born in Norway. My mother is still living in Norway and my brother as well, so I go to Norway a couple of times a year to see them.
Did your interest in sailing start back in Norway?
I started in the [Norwegian] navy. After some time I found out the food was better on the cruise ships, so I left the navy and joined the cruise ships.
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