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Carnival Bloggers’ Cruise Day 4 — Meet the captain

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On February - 12 - 2009

The risks of navigating the Mississippi River are considerable given the currents, bends, traffic congestion and difficult weather. That’s why Carnival Fantasy’s Captain Pier Paolo Scala, along with a crew of two quartermasters, two ship officers, and a river pilot will spend a busy nine hours guiding the ship up to the Port of New Orleans. “It is one of the most difficult ports to navigate in the entire Carnival system,” said Scala. When the Fantasy docks at 5 a.m. Captain Scala will feel a big sense of relief and it will mark the end to his time onboard Fantasy. He returns home for a few months of rest and relaxation before heading to his new ship, Carnival Destiny, in late April.

A 14-year veteran officer with Carnival, Captain Scala, like many great mariners, hails from Sicily. Prior to joining Carnival, he piloted massive oil tankers around the globe for Chevron. But for Scala, the job of captain is more than being a good navigator. “People skills are just as important,” he says. He notes that with so many nationalities onboard it’s important to understand and respect the cultural differences.

It’s clear the crew adores him. Crew members that I spoke with conveyed their appreciation of his easy demeanor and the fact that he takes time to participate in many crew member events. Scala said he’s always there to pull the numbers on crew bingo nights.

Not only does his crew love him, so do the passengers. “He is the most accessible captain I’ve ever sailed with on any cruise ship,” said Fantasy passenger Jane Myer. Indeed, Scala is out and about most evenings mingling and mixing with passengers. “I love to be around people. I would go crazy not socializing.”

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2 Responses to “Carnival Bloggers’ Cruise Day 4 — Meet the captain”

  1. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    Thank you for letting us know where Captain Scala will be in April. We have cruised with him 3 times and would love to be on any ship that he is on.

    I had the honor last month of singing to him (My Heart Will Go On). I don’t know how appropriate it is to sing the Titanic Song to the Captain, but that was the song I had already selected when he came in. So I told him it was nothing personal.

    He has become our favorite Captain!!

  2. Brian C says:

    I agree with you on what a great people person Captain Scala is. My wife and I just returned from the Destiny and were amazed at how accessible he is. He made my cruise special when he posed for a picture with me on “Cigars under the Stars” night. Carnival has some issues but Captain Scala is one of the brightest spots in the company.


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