rec room

All ships will have two recreation rooms. One for the officers and passengers and one for the crew. Passengers are free to spend their time with the crew or the officers. Generally you will not find any officers in the crew's rec. room. The converse is usually true, though there may be exceptions. On my last voyage I spent most of my time socializing with crew members as their English was better that of the most of the officers. As a general rule, on ships with German officers, those from the former East Germany Republic speak poor English. They learned Russian rather than English while in school. West German officers have a better understanding of English as this was taught in their schools.

All ships will have reading material. Whether it is in your native language is another matter. The same holds true for video tapes. A word about VCR's is in order. They may not play your favorite video tapes. For example, I found out that a VCR on the Atlas (brand new Panasonic) would not play my T-120 tapes when the recording was made in the EP, or 6 hr. mode. T-120 tapes recorded in the standard mode will work O.K. The only person on the ship who could use the tapes was the steward. He had a tape recorder made in the U.S. Needless to say his cabin was always full in the evenings.

Smoking is permitted in the rec. room as well as the rest of the ship, with the exception of the main cargo deck, engine room and any other place that is smoke free by custom. I do not smoke in the officer's mess unless officers smoke. To do so would not be mentioned to you, however, I can assure you it would not be appreciated. Smoking in the crew's mess is always permitted. If you are a smoker you will usually have choice of two brands, one of which will be Marlboro, tax free of course.