Captain Edwin Perrin has become the reluctant star of ITV’s hit documentary, The Cruise, showcasing life onboard Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess. We caught up with Captain Ed to quiz him about life at sea, being a «TV personality» and whether he liked being followed round by a film crew.
Q: What is it like being followed round by cameras?
A: I really enjoyed the time the film crew spent onboard with the Regal Princess crew. At first it was a little ‘alien’ but really quickly you just forget they are there and get on with your day. It was a bit strange being wired up for sound first thing in the morning but the film team was extremely accommodating.
Q: Do you like being a TV «personality»?
A: I don’t think I am ‘TV personality’ and if I ever was I don’t think I wouldn’t be a very good one. There is an aspect of being recognised onboard the ship by our guests and I think that is the closest I want to get to being a ‘celebrity’.
Q: What was the most challenging aspect of the shoot?
A: There weren’t really any challenging aspects when we were filming. We just got on with our jobs onboard and the film crew let us do that. For me it was really interesting to see how a documentary is made — and they wanted to know about driving a ship. Hopefully, we both learnt something! The film crew was so discrete I frequently forgot that they were filming.
Q: What is the best thing about being Captain (in the show you say something like «I can’t believe I get paid to do this!» or words to that effect).
A: For some of the navigational duties I sometimes can’t believe that I get paid to do this! It is an honour to be able to drive these magnificent ships. We get to see the most fantastic scenery — the view from the bridge really is the best onboard!
Q: What is your favourite destination and why?
A: I get asked this all the time and I always find it so hard to answer. There are so many amazing ports to choose from and I am sure my favourite changes with my mood. However, Monte Carlo has to be my all time favourite. It really is outstandingly beautiful and opulent.
Q: It looked very tricky to get into Stockholm [Episode 2] — is that the hardest port to dock in? Are there others equally as tricky?
A: Many ports present challenges for different reasons, as professional seamen we always assess the dangers and hazards carefully and we never take risks. We have a magnificent team onboard, when you have a good team even the most challenging tasks become easier.
Q: What’s your favourite ship in the Princess fleet (apart of course from Regal!).
A: I have so many happy memories on all the ships I have sailed on so choosing a favourite is impossible but my biggest accomplishment is being the inaugural Captain for Regal Princess in 2014 and sounding the ‘Love Boat’ theme horn!
Prior to taking command of Regal Princess I sailed Star Princess, including taking her to Antarctica five times, there will always be a very close connection to «the Star.»
Q: If you weren’t doing what you are doing, what would you do?
A: When I am not on board you can find me exploring the Jurassic coastline in my motor boat. My job and my hobby are both based on water so I am sure that if I wasn’t a cruise ship Captain I would be still be driving a boat of some description.
Q: Do you enjoy all the social aspects such as the Captain’s Cocktails and the Longest Cruiser party?
A: I really do enjoy meeting all the guests onboard and I understand that for some meeting the Captain is a big part of their holiday. Being asked to share a couple’s special day by performing their marriage ceremony is always an honour.
Q: What’s the one thing you always take on a cruise (that you can’t live without).
A: My music! Luckily these days with iPhones and iPads that is easy, it wasn’t always the case a few years ago, I used to carry a huge case of CDs and of course the CD player. Technology is great!
Q: Do you look at the Cruise Critic member forums to read about yourself and the show?
A: I must admit I do not always have to time to read the forums but I have heard great feedback from friends and also on social media.
The Cruise airs on ITV every Thursday at 8 p.m. GMT.