GOES ABOVE AND BEYOND.
3rd Officer, Seabourn Odyssey
ewis Scott draws a lot of satisfaction from the responsibility of bridge duty. It is a role he has played on much larger ships, but it is a different sensation to be piloting a vessel carrying 800 people than one that carries 16,000 containers. One of the things he likes best about working for Seabourn is the emphasis on safety. “I like Seabourn’s commitment to safety and attention to detail,” he says. “Every day we have a meeting about where we are going and the weather – you just don't get that with other companies.”
Lewis was born is Edinburgh, Scotland, and lives in the Scottish Borders and North Berwick, by the sea, confessing that he likes “… being a half hour from the capital but still experiencing all four seasons in one day!” His schooling at the University of Plymouth was fully sponsored by a large container-shipping company, and he has ambitions to continue. “From the moment you get your first ticket as an officer of the watch you are mentally driven to become a master,” he admits. “My goal is to have my captain’s ticket by the age of 30.”
When not on board, Lewis is an avid hiker. Regardless of the weather, he can be found ascending the nearest peak, accompanied by his cocker spaniel and Jack Russell terrier. He likes to spend his holidays in cooler destinations such as skiing in the Alps, since he spends his contract periods in the tropical realms with Seabourn. One destination he will never forget is entering Milford Sound in New Zealand’s Fjordlands National Park. “I was on the navigation bridge when SeabournOdyssey was entering the fjord,” he recalls. “The mist slowly cleared as the sun came up to reveal the vast valley. If I am honest, I can’t really describe it!”
For Lewis, the interaction with guests is what makes working on Seabourn ships so appealing. “At noon during a sea day, I was to plot the vessel position on the paper chart in Seabourn Square. A guest asked where we were – so I asked whether he would like to plot the vessel position. And he did! What better Seabourn Moment than saying that you navigated the ship? I ended up having a coffee with him and we talked about the weather, different methods of navigation and so forth.”
RITA MATHISZ DARBAKK
Executive Housekeeper, Seabourn Sojourn
When Seabourn guests remark about their stewardesses, the term they frequently use is “magic.” There is a certain amount of science in the magic, however, and the wizard in charge of that on SeabournSojourn is Executive Housekeeper Rita Mathisz Darbakk. Rita was born and raised in Pécz, in southern Hungary, but six years ago she moved to the beautiful city of Budapest, which she loves for its history, restaurants and cosmopolitan bustle and activity. After she earned her university degree, she surrendered to a lifelong dream of traveling, and took a job on a large cruise ship. In 2003, a friend who worked on Seabourn ships alerted her to a recruiting opportunity and she decided to apply as a stewardess.
“I planned to work for just one contract, to be able to buy an apartment,” she recalls. She found the travel highly addictive, and the work environment very satisfying. “I had never had such a nice workplace before,” she says. “I loved every day!” She also progressed in her career, and met a Seabourn staff captain from Norway, Sigurd Darbakk, whom she married last year. “That was 13 years ago,” she laughs. “Now I have my apartment, and I met with my husband and after all these years still I keep telling myself: just one more contract, just one more….”
The couple has two homes, his in Norway and hers in Budapest. When they are in Hungary, she likes to visit her parents and sister in Pécz. And in Norway, they enjoy driving trips around the country. “So even on vacation I am traveling,” she notes.
Of the many places she has sailed with Seabourn, Australia and New Zealand hold special appeal for her. ”I love Australia for the beaches, and walking around in Sydney is something I never imagined myself doing.” A fan of reading and cinema, she found visiting the Hobbiton movie set in New Zealand to be a “lifetime experience.”
Rita does cherish the idea of becoming a mother some time. Meanwhile she has her energetic band of domestic genies to manage, and the large seagoing family of Seabourn guests whose every wish is her command and whose care is in her charge.
“All through my years with Seabourn,” she says, “I have always considered all my guests special and have always made sure that they enjoy the Seabourn experience.”