Disney Cruise Line Milestones
Captain Tom Forberg holds a special place in Disney Cruise Line history.
Joining Disney Cruise Line in 1995, he holds the distinction of being the very first Crew Member hired in a shipboard role.
“Captain Tom is a passionate professional who enjoys great recognition from his repeat passengers. He is admired by his crew, peers and shoreside partners,” said Tom Wolber, Disney Cruise Line’s Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
Before coming aboard with Disney, Captain Tom spent 20 years working in the cruise industry, including 15 years as a cruise ship captain.
Captain Tom said he jumped at the opportunity to come to Disney Cruise Line. “You couldn’t really go wrong joining one of the best-known companies in the world!”
“I had been in the cruise industry for years doing more or less the same thing all the time,” Captain Tom recalled. “So I thought to myself, ‘If I join Disney, I’m sure they will have a lot of ideas of how to approach cruising in a whole new way.’”
Captain Tom has been very happy with his Disney experiences, stating how particularly impressed he continues to be with the focus on the family cruise market and value that the company places in front line cast and crew.
During the early years of the business, Captain Tom played a pivotal role in helping to supervise the construction of the Disney Magic at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy.
When the construction was completed, he took control of the cruise liner to sail her from the shipyard to Florida.
As the Disney Magic began her voyage, however, Mother Nature interrupted the fanfare. When the ship pulled away from the shipyard dock in Italy, a powerful thunderstorm packing 55 knot winds blew through the area. The spectators were soaked, but the ship was fine.
That unexpected bad weather, however, was a good omen. “There’s a saying that if there’s bad weather the first time you take a ship out, then that ship will have good luck,” explained Captain Tom.
Captain Tom certainly has experienced the good fortune as he has been in command of the Disney Magic for her most spectacular inaugural voyages: through the Panama Canal and to the West Coast in 2005 and to the Mediterranean in 2007.
He said his role is still as exciting today as it was the first time he brought the ship into Port Canaveral. One of the best parts of the job, Captain Tom said, is meeting guests.
“Sometimes,” he said, “we bring guests up to the bridge and invite them to blow the Mickey horn. Then we give them a certificate that says that they are part of a very exclusive club, because there are not many who can say they had that experience.”
He said the compliments that we receive from guests are a direct reflection on the quality and dedication of the crew members.
“I am very proud to be on the Disney Cruise Line team.”