Captain Serena Melani
Generous | Hard-Working | Trailblazer
Captain Serena Melani likes to say that she’s a girl with a dream. She joined Regent in 2010 as a Bridge Officer, then served as Navigation Officer, Safety Officer and Staff Captain on Seven Seas Voyager®. She became the company’s first female Master Captain in 2016 and has led Seven Seas Explorer®, Seven Seas Mariner® and Seven Seas Navigator® during her tenure. In 2020, she became the first woman in cruise industry history to captain a new ocean cruise ship at launch with the arrival of Seven Seas Splendor™.
What advice would you give a young woman following in your footsteps?
There are billions of women in the world, but none of them are you. You are unique. You also don’t have to be the first or second woman to accomplish something to be valuable. You just need to be proud of what it is you do.
How about advice for other women in leadership?
As the Master, I am in charge. Full stop. But there is art to leading a team. There is compassion and empathy that one must have. You must also motivate and communicate well, so that when you make decisions, you have the support of your team.
Bernadine Vallejos-Gonzaga, Fire‘woman’, Norwegian Escape
Bernadine holds the position of Fire‘woman’ onboard Norwegian Escape, where she’s worked since she joining the company in 2017. Prior to NCLH, Bernadine worked in the Fire Service in Cebu City, Philippines, where she was born and raised. Bernadine credits her father and his 29 years with the Fire Service for her lifetime passion for firefighting. She credits her mother, a Teacher and Architect, for instilling the importance of education, hard work and kindness.
In her daily work, Bernadine is tasked with checking fire equipment, training new hires, preparing for safety inspections and ensuring that all areas of the ship are free of fire hazards. The intense training includes advanced firefighting, medical first aid, crisis management, human behavior, hazmat, first responder training, psychosocial care in disasters and much more.
As a woman breaking barriers in her field of work, Bernadine says; “It’s important for me as a woman to set a goal, to set high standards and to stay focused. I know that I’m paving the way for other women by succeeding in my career.” She adds; “Firefighting is dangerous, and I am fully aware that I put my life on the line whenever an emergency happens. That is why learning, training and preparation of mind and body never ends. My advice for others is to be brave, to be fierce and to be real. Know what you want, study, train, and go for it!”
Brian Walters, General Manager, Norwegian Sun
Native to the beautiful island of Jamaica, 50-year Company veteran Brian Walters joined Norwegian in 1969 as a Lounge Steward, just three years after the company was founded as Norwegian Caribbean Line. He worked his way through the ranks of crew and onto leadership positions where he currently holds the position of General Manager today. Brian calls Norwegian Sun his home away from home when he’s not spending time at his land-based home in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Through the years, crew members have been guided and mentored under Brian’s watchful eye and he’s consistently regarded as a calm, steady leader. During his time at sea, Brian has witnessed the evolution of the cruise industry firsthand and experienced nearly all of Norwegian’s ground-breaking cruise innovations. But if you ask him when he plans to retire his sea-legs, he’ll laugh and tell you he’s ready to get back on board.
Shiau Chein ‘Jenny’ Lim, Regional Vice President, Norwegian Cruise Line Fleet Operations
Jenny Lim joined Norwegian Cruise Line as a Guest Service Manager in 2001. In her 20 years of service with the Company, she’s held a number of roles onboard, including Food & Beverage Director, Assistant Hotel Director and Hotel Director before she was promoted into her current role as Regional Vice President of Fleet Hotel Operations.
Jenny is currently responsible for ships located on the West Coast of the United States, including Hawaii, as well as Australia, New Zealand and Asia regions.
Jenny played a key role in the Norwegian Joy’s re-deployment to the Chinese market. Prior to Norwegian Joy, Jenny also served on the opening teams of Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Gem and the re-flagging of Norwegian Sky.
Many guests and team members know Jenny from her many years working on board our ships, and others have recently come to know her from her recent feature on EMBARK - The Series: “Great Cruise Comeback”, which can be viewed here.
Jenny’s passion and dedication to her team shines in everything she does and she enjoys building strong, cohesive relationships with her management teams and crew. She commits herself to always serving as a role model, as she believes actions speak louder than words. She enjoys mentoring others and shares; “I’m fulfilled by lending a helping hand and instilling confidence in others to believe in themselves and follow their own path, cultivated by the values and qualities within themselves.”
Jenny graduated at Sepang Institute of Technology College in Malaysia in Business Administration and hails from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.