8 Interesting Facts About Captain Kate McCue

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Captain Kate McCue has millions of followers on Instagram and TikTok, where she shares what it’s like to sail around the world.

A confident female ship captain, identified by her epaulettes and name tag reading 'Captain', stands proudly in the ship's bridge with a backdrop of large windows showing a coastal view and advanced navigational equipment around her.

She’s pretty amazing and inspirational – she was the first woman from the USA to captain a large cruise ship.

I love digging into the details of someone who’s done well in her career. So, in this article, I’m sharing some interesting facts about Captain Kate McCue.

1. She was the First American Woman to Command a Cruise Ship

Captain Kate McCue’s groundbreaking achievement of becoming the first American woman to captain a cruise ship speaks volumes about her trailblazing spirit. In 2015, at the age of 37, she was appointed to command the Celebrity Summit. This significant feat highlighted her expertise and leadership skills. 

This momentous occasion celebrated her success and signalled a shift towards greater inclusivity and gender diversity within the maritime sector.

2. She Lives in Las Vegas

Nighttime view of the vibrant Las Vegas Strip, with its illuminated high-rise hotels and casinos, prominent Ferris wheel glowing with neon lights, and the bustling cityscape stretching into the distance.

Captain Kate McCue lives in the city of Las Vegas, a stark contrast to the oceanic surroundings she often finds herself in. Despite being located in the desert, Las Vegas serves as her base when she’s not commanding the Celebrity Beyond

She spends half the year at sea, working in three-month cycles, which means her time is evenly split between her home in Las Vegas and her duties on the ship.

When she’s on Celebrity Beyond, her personal living space on the ship is conveniently located next to the bridge, which is essential for any captain. 

3. Captain Kate McCue commands the Celebrity Beyond

Aerial view of the cruise ship Celebrity Beyond making its way out of a harbor, escorted by water-spraying tugs, with a backdrop of high-rise beachfront buildings and the expansive ocean horizon.

Captain Kate McCue is the captain of Celebrity Beyond, a luxury ship from Celebrity Cruises and the third in the ‘Edge’ class. Captain Kate was in command during the ship’s first voyage in April 2022, which started from Southampton in the South of England.

Before her current position, Captain McCue was the captain of Celebrity Summit. On September 13th, 2015, she broke new ground by becoming the first American woman to command a ‘mega-ship’, marking a significant step forward for the cruise industry.

Captain Kate has played a key role at Celebrity Cruises, leading efforts towards inclusivity. A highlight of her leadership was on International Women’s Day in 2020, when she led a cruise on Celebrity Edge with an all-female crew from various nationalities, making history.

Before joining Celebrity Beyond, McCue also captained other ships in the Celebrity fleet, including Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Edge, the first ship of the Edge class. The ships she commands travel to the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii, Asia, Australia, and the Mediterranean. Captain Kate’s influence goes beyond navigating the ship; she’s also a role model, shaping her crew and the future of cruising worldwide.

4. McCue’s Husband Works for Royal Caribbean

Captain Kate McCue has shared her life with Nikola Petrovic since they married in 2006. Their love story began on the waves, as both served aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. 

Nikola Petrovic is a highly experienced individual in the cruise industry, serving as the Fleet Chief Engineer with Royal Caribbean Group. His career portfolio includes a tenure with Virgin Voyages before his current role. 

Born in Croatia, Petrovic shares his insights and experiences with a considerable online following on Instagram, albeit not as extensive as his wife’s.

5. Captain Kate McCue has Led an All-Female Crew

In a landmark event for the cruise industry, Captain Kate McCue led Celebrity Edge on International Women’s Day in 2020 with an all-female bridge and senior officer team. 

This initiative was more than a symbolic gesture; it was a bold statement about the importance of gender diversity and inclusivity within a traditionally male-dominated sector. McCue’s leadership in this endeavour not only spotlighted the capabilities of women at sea but also inspired a broader conversation about the roles women can and do play in the maritime world.

This voyage under McCue’s command celebrated female empowerment and demonstrated her unwavering commitment to breaking down barriers. By assembling an all-female crew, she challenged stereotypes. She paved the way for future generations of women in the maritime industry. 

McCue’s efforts to promote diversity on the high seas reflect her belief in the strength of inclusive leadership and the cruise industry’s potential to lead by example.

6. Captain Kate McCue Sails with Bug the Cat

Amidst the ocean’s vastness and the grandeur of cruise ships, a smaller yet equally significant member of Captain Kate McCue’s family captures the hearts of many – Bug, the elf sphynx cat. 

While they haven’t expanded their family with children, Captain Kate assumes a maternal role towards Bug, their extraordinary elf sphynx cat. Bug is quite the celebrity, with a dedicated following on her Instagram profile and over 70,000 followers with her adventures.

7. Captain Kate McCue has a Net Worth of more than $1 Million

Captain Kate McCue’s financial worth is evaluated to be anywhere from $1 million to $5 million. As an experienced mega cruise ship captain, she is considered to be at the higher end of the pay scale, with an annual salary of approximately $200,000.

In addition to her duties as a navigator, Captain McCue has built a significant following on social media. She has over 3 million followers on TikTok and substantial audiences on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. These platforms extend her influence and serve as an additional income stream, potentially boosting her net worth by thousands of dollars each month.

8. Captain Kate McCue Conquered Social Media

In today’s digital age, Captain Kate McCue has masterfully harnessed the power of social media to demystify the role of a cruise ship captain and connect with a global audience. 

Her active presence on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter has broken down the barriers between the bridge and the public, offering an unprecedented glimpse into daily life at sea. 

McCue’s engaging content, which ranges from informative tours of the ship to heartwarming moments with her cat Bug, has entertained millions and served as a source of inspiration and education about the maritime world.

McCue’s social media success is a testament to her innovative approach to leadership and communication. By sharing her experiences and insights, she has made the maritime profession more accessible and relatable, challenging stereotypes and encouraging more women to consider careers in this field. Her ability to blend humour, authenticity, and professionalism has resonated with a wide audience, transforming her into a viral sensation and a respected figure in both the cruise industry and the social media world.

Wrapping It Up

Captain Kate McCue is a beacon of dedication in the cruise industry, making history as the first American woman to captain a large cruise ship. She has transformed the image of a traditional captain by interacting with guests directly rather than presiding over the exclusive captain’s table, promoting a welcoming environment on board.

Key Achievements:

  • Breaking Gender Barriers: At age 37, she took command of the Celebrity Edge, proving that women can lead in top positions within the cruise sector.
  • Innovative Social Media Engagement: Through her active presence on social media, she provides insights into the life of a captain, making the role more accessible and serving as an inspiration.
  • Leadership in Diversity: In 2020, she led an all-female bridge and senior officer team, showcasing her dedication to increasing diversity within the industry.
  • From Aspiration to Reality: McCue’s journey from a sea-enthused teenager to a respected figure in cruise shop leadership illustrates the transformation of a passion into a professional achievement.

McCue’s embrace of technology and social media has broadened perceptions of a cruise ship captain’s responsibilities, demonstrating that a career in this field can evolve from a youthful dream to a tangible success through dedication and perseverance. 

As a pioneering figure among women in her role, McCue’s path paves the way for future female leaders in cruising, symbolising more than personal success. Her story encourages others to chase their dreams, regardless of traditional barriers in their chosen fields.


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I'm Hannah and I've been cruising for as long as I can remember.

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