Captain Culture

I hold a number of unpopular opinions when it comes to cruise life, it appears that whilst a lot of people share my passion for life at sea, not a lot of them share my views…Whilst I know that I am one of the few cheering for wearing shorts in the Main Dining Room. It only occurred to me the other week that my view on the Captain is also a little, well, bizarre.

The reason for this is that I am guilty of finding Captain culture pretty damn weird! On cruise ships, there appears to be almost a culture of idolisation surrounding the Captain of the vessel. Passengers want to see him, listen to him make speeches and even dine with him. Literally, on a formal night people queue to take pictures with him (I say him, I am aware Captains can be girls I have just never had a female Captain)  and I find myself stood on the other side of the Piazza/Atrium staring at them as if they are an alien species. Well, sometimes I stare and sometimes I run for the Main Dining Room while everyone is distracted by the free champagne.

There are a few reasons why you will never catch me partaking in this activity and as I’m sure you’ve already established this post is going to be a wee rant about all things Captain centric:

    1. Your desire to have cocktails with the Captain makes no sense! His job is simply to sail the ship. I am grateful as I’m sure we all are that he has not led us to our untimely deaths via some sort of Titanic situation. But you’re quite literally idolising someone for doing their job…Do you treat everyone who drives a method of transport like this? Are you in the habit of having a cheeky prosecco with your pilot?  Do you have bellinis with your bus driver? How about a Gin and Tonic with your train driver? No, I highly doubt it…

    2. They are not performing monkeys! Seriously, sometimes I feel so sorry for the Captain. Chances are they just want to be in the Bridge doing their job. They don’t want to smile with a million strangers for pictures or hear all about your lives. You are nobody to them. Heck, I’ve even had Captains who admit that they are not social people. Do you ever consider that you’re torturing them?

    3. I am unable to fathom why it is viewed as such a prestigious thing to meet your Captain…Yes, they have to be very clever. Yes, they shoulder perhaps more responsibility than anyone in any other job. Yes, at sea their word is law and they are in a position of power. But surely you don’t chase after everyone in a position of power…Imagine wanting to have cocktails with a random cardiovascular surgeon simply because they have an important job.


That’s not to say I dislike the Captains of my vessels! On my last ship I went to the Captain’s Circle cocktail party purely because I was curious about what goes on. I enjoy a good Q&A with the Captain and his senior officers because I like to learn about ship life. I appreciate it when a Captain has a good sense of humour, I’ve had some stunning jokes made by the fine gentlemen in charge of my ships:

  • Captain of the Emerald Princess: Tonight we will be experiencing rough sea’s so make sure you don’t put your teeth in a glass next to the bed or there will be a shark attack…
  • Captain of the Royal Princess: We will be the only ship pulling into Turkey….I wonder why! (This Captain was a Brit and had a very dry sense of humour. So while the brits giggled the Americans had a mini heart attack about terrorists)

I appreciate my Captains for doing their job, I appreciate it when they have a spunky personality and I marvel at their parking skills. Seriously, I find it hard to park a car and they just casually park a cruise ship. However none of those are reason to treat them like a minor celebrity. I’m aware that this may be very much a young cruisers opinion. But I don’t think my opinion on the subject will change.

Tell me what you think in the comments – Captain Culture yay or nay?


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