Team Members

James Pollin

Cruise Director | Co-founder

In 1991, Jim Pollin decided it was time to experience a cruise ship. As he boarded the Queen Elizabeth 2 in New York, he could feel the excitement growing as he ascended the gangway of this magnificent palace at sea. When he arrived in Los Angeles 14 days later, he knew his passion had been transformed into a calling. He left a 17-year career in the airline industry to embark on a new career in cruise travel. He worked for Royal Caribbean International (RCI) while studying Cruise Line Management at Florida International University in Miami. Jim became an independent cruise franchise owner to pursue his passion full time. His commitment is to make cruising – whether for a corporate meeting, incentive, continuing medical education, family reunion or vacation — an unforgettable experience.

John Scagliotti

Programming Director | Co-founder

John is now officially a pioneer in that recently he was asked to be the judge of costumes at the Northampton Out Reel MAMMA MIA sing-a-long. While he has forty years of GLBT media experience, he still continues to try to keep up with the younger filmmakers that don’t remember his first GLBT radio show in 1973 called the LAVENDER HOUR. He has produced a number of now classic documentaries such as BEFORE STONEWALL and AFTER STONEWALL. He is still making documentaries (BEFORE HOMOSEXUALS, now in production) and spends much of his time presenting others’ works in festivals like Pride of the Ocean, CineSlam, the Kopkind Grassroots Film Festival, and the Vermont Bear Film Festival. Many of these festivals, retreats, and seminars take place at his farm in Guilford, Vermont, where hundreds have passed through over the past fifteen years. He created the first GLBT TV series on public television IN THE LIFE which aired on more than 120 PBS stations for 21 seasons. He recently was honored by Marlboro College with a doctorate degree for his work in media.


Susi Walsh

Executive Director of the Center for Independent Documentary

Susi has been the Executive Director of the Center for Independent Documentary since 1982. In that capacity she has provided direct support to filmmakers in the production of over three hundred films. She also runs the Center’s monthly filmmakers workshop programs which meet in Boston, Mass. Along with John Scagliotti, they have put on four CineSLAM workshops taking place during Pride of the Ocean cruises. They have also been responsible for organizing the educational panels and seminars that take place during the Film Festival Cruises.


Geisha Cumberbatch

Cruise Associate

Geisha is a bilingual English and Spanish office manager with over 15 years experience assisting high executives in multinational companies. She is a highly motivated person with much experience in quick decision-making and problem solving. Her major strengths include the ability to organize with an attention to detail, personalized travel arrangements and heavy calendar management.

Christopher Dawes

Associate Programmer and Editor of Pride of the Ocean’s Breaking News Blog

A multimedia producer at the New York Gay and Lesbian Center where he produced more than 30 mini-documentaries for the online news magazine and filmed over 17 live events. He was also an Assistant Editor at In the Life TV. His recent short film Long Nights Journey into Day was selected to be shown at CineSlam, Vermont’s Shorts Fest.