Captain Zodiac honored by cruise
Company is recipient of cruise tour of the year award
by Bobby Command
West Hawaii Today
Monday, June 25, 2007 9:07 AM HST
Captain Zodiac Owner/Operators Linda, Right,
And Bill Zabolski, Aboard Their Fleet's Newest Boat, Revenge,
Were Awarded A Tour Operator Of The Year Award By Princess
Cruises June 16. - Michael Darden | West Hawaii Today
Bill and Linda Zabolski set out to raise their business
to a new level when they purchased Captain Zodiac a few years
An announcement that they were one of the recipients
of Princess Cruises' 2006-07 CRUISE Tour of the Year awards is
proof they have accomplished their goal.
"If you're not laughing from the time you get ready
to step onto our boat, or even before," said Linda Zabolski, "you're
not on our tour."
The honor, which was also awarded to Kona Beach
Boys, is given to businesses based on consistent high ratings
by passengers and staff, positive passenger comments and value.
CRUISE is an acronym for Courtesy, Respect, Unfailing in Service
According to the Zabolskis, the morning and afternoon raft and
snorkel adventures include visits to historical sights of interest
off the Kailua-Kona coast on the way to Kealakekua, and natural
blowholes, exposed lava tubes and sea caves on the way back to
town. During winter months, whale watching is included.
The Zabolskis, who lived and worked on Maui before relocating
to Orange County to care for ailing parents, said they had always
longed to return to Hawaii.
"When Captain Zodiac came up for sale, we were absolutely ecstatic,"
Linda Zabolski said. "It was a perfect match."
Captain Zodiac has been in business since the early 1970s when
it was established to tour the rugged Na Pali Coast off the north
coast of Kauai. Its focus eventually shifted to the Kona Coast.
Using what they had learned during prior employment stints in
the ocean recreation and hospitality industries, the Zabolskis
put their personal touch on an already familiar business.
"The company had the name recognition," said Zabolski, who added
they took over control of the company in 2004. "We just used what
we considered to be the best concepts from the corporate and business
worlds and took this to a new level."
The boats, Hurricane 733s, are manufactured by Zodiac of America
in the same factory that produces military versions used by U.S.
Navy and Coast Guard. Each of the craft can accommodate 16 passengers.
Captain Zodiac provides employment for 30 people.
"They're the reason for this award," said Linda Zabolski. "It's
our ohana that is responsible for making our tours so memorable
to our guests."
The Zabolskis say the community has also been a big part of their
success, and they have striven to give back in the form of donations
and gifts. Linda Zabolski has also devoted time to the business
community, serving as current president of Destination Kona Coast
and the executive board of the Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce.
"We are extremely honored," said Linda Zabolski, who along with
Bill received the award aboard the Regal Princess. "This is a
reaffirmation that we have achieved to do what we set out to do:
To make this the most memorable thing you do on your trip."