Meet the brothers who are the co-captains of the newest ship for Celebrity Cruises.

By Nathan Diller; Edited by News Gate Team

Courtesy Of Celebrity Cruises

Tasos Kafetzis aspired to emulate his older brother Dimitrios as he grew up.

“He would mention how much he enjoyed playing basketball while I was already doing so. He like drawing, so I started drawing “44-year-old Tasos told USA TODAY. When Tasos was nine years old, Dimitrios left their Piraeus, Greece, home to start working on cruise ships. Tasos quickly came to the conclusion that he too wanted to do that.

Tasos joined Celebrity Cruises eight years after 55-year-old Dimitrios did. In a first for the company, the brothers have now been appointed co-captains of Celebrity Cruises’ newest ship, Celebrity Ascent. In December, the ship will sail for the first time.

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USA TODAY spoke with the seafaring siblings about how cruises became a family business, their approach to the job and their plans for sailing together. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

How did you each get into working on cruise ships?

Dimitrios: This decision was influenced by a number of factors. The first is that our father used to pick me up and take me to the ship so I could eat lunch at the buffet whenever he (was working with cruise ships). So, experiencing the world of a cruise ship for me was like entering a fantastic world as an almost 10- or 12-year-old child from a very, shall we say, not rich background. Like, if I may say, my own Narnia. When you open the door, a new world is revealed.

The Love Boat debuted a little later. As a result of seeing “The Love Boat,” I now have a better understanding of how business is conducted aboard cruise ships, beyond just the entertaining aspects that guests get to see. So, for me, it was it.

Tasos: I’m 11 years younger. … When (Dimitrios) started working on cruise ships, I was like 9 years old. And I didn’t like it at the time that he left the house because I wasn’t able to see him. And back then there was no communication, only with letters and postcards. … I remember (when he came home), apart from the first hugs and the excitement – what gifts he brought me from abroad, like remote control cars or Michael Jordan jerseys and stuff that was hard to find in Greece at the time – but I had access to his printed photographs. He had tons of albums, so I would start going through the photos and see the world through his eyes: the Caribbean, Hawaii, listening to stories and stuff. So, he put an invisible hook on me, like, “OK, that’s what I want to do, as well.”

Story continues below.

Photo by Nathan Diller

By Nathan Diller; Edited by News Gate Team

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