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Diamond Princess Captain Gennaro Arma Receives Italian Order of Merit

Submitted by kgnadmin on

Captain Gennaro Arma of the Diamond Princess cruise ship received the highest honor of the Italian Republic, the Order of Merit, for his commitment and courage by President Sergio Mattarella. Captain Arma, also known as Gladiator Captain among his crew, has been widely praised for the care and concern he gave to the passengers and crew on the coronavirus-stricken cruise ship that was quarantined in the port of Yokohama. 

This is an important honor for me, for my family, for the entire crew, and for the company, "said Captain Arma. “The president thanked me. We talked at length about my experience, difficult yes, but formative. 

Captain Gennaro Arma was the last to leave the Diamond Princess, after managing a really difficult situation, with hundreds infected onboard and 3,700 passengers of different nationalities in solitary confinement in cabins. Showing his true leadership and compassion many praised him as a hero “I don't feel like a hero, but a normal person who has done his duty in a difficult situation... I share this honor with all the Diamond Princess crew and passengers." he said.

After weeks spent on the quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess in the port of Yokohama, Captain Arma together with 15 Italian Officers, arrived in Italy on March 16, after completing the additional quarantine period in Japan. Among the first to greet them was the Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio.

“I am happy and excited to return home. I am aware of the situation our country is going through, surely it is not an easy moment. I myself will stay home when I return." said Captain Arma back in March.

“It was a completely new situation, never happened before, it was difficult to imagine how it would evolve, my thought was to keep the ship safe and maintain the health of the people on board in optimal conditions.” The tension, which could happen in such a situation, actually never happened. "There has always been an excellent relationship of collaboration between the various authorities, I am very satisfied with the work that has been done on board by all of my crew".

Born in Sorrento, Italy Captain Arma started working for Princess Cruise Lines in 1998 as a cadet. He works up the company’s ladder and eventually becomes the Captain of the Diamond Princess in 2018. He is married to his lovely and supportive wife who lives in their home in Italy with their young son. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, most people did not know much about Captain Arma, unless they have worked or sailed with him. However, with the raise of the Coronavirus pandemic and the fear that took upon the hearts and minds of many as the virus started to spread rapidly, the world turned towards the Diamond Princess as it became quarantined. At the same time attention was placed towards the young Captain who managed to prevent panic breaking lose, maintaining the spirit of the crew and the guest as high as possible under such circumstances, as well as maintaining within the recommendations of the quarantine without much medically trained staff, and all while keeping humble thus his name indeed became one worth not only mentioning, but also celebrating.

Here is a voice message, recorded in March, by Captain Arma addressing all his Gladiator crew around the world.

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