ABOARD NORWEGIAN SUN (AP) -- Ronny Borg, captain of the Norwegian Sun cruise ship, first went to sea as a deckhand in 1984.
Borg's grandfather was a sailor and he inspired Borg to do the same.
"I knew early on what I wanted to do," Borg said. "My grandfather, especially when he'd had a cognac or two, had wonderful tales of his time on a cargo ship. I told myself that if half of those stories were true, I wanted to go to sea."
Borg, 48, eventually graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy at Kalmar, Sweden, and continued sailing aboard various vessels. He began his career as a ship's officer with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) in 1998 and reached the rank of master captain in 2002.
Borg said Norwegian Sun, a mid-sized cruise ship by today's standards, was the first cruise ship built for NCL's "free-style" dining concept, allowing passengers to choose their own dinner mates and dinner times instead of adhering to strict seating and eating schedules. The ship can carry 1,936 passengers and has a crew of 960, hailing from 56 countries.
As a captain of Norwegian Sun, Borg commands the ship for 10 weeks at a time and then is relieved by another captain, giving him the next 10 weeks to spend with his family in Ljungbyhed, Sweden. While at sea, he keeps contact via Skype and Facetime with his wife, Elani, and two young daughters, Elin and Kajsa. If not for modern communications, Borg said his sailing days would be over.
"I told my wife that if I ever come home and my girls don't recognize me, I'll quit and start driving a taxi or something."