Well, with a title like that, you KNOW this is going to be another Star Trek post.  It’s honestly not like I don’t have anything better to talk about, it’s just that it offers up so many easy targets.

When I was younger, and watching shows like The Next Generation, Space: Above and Beyond, and seaQuest: DSV, I imagined how awesome it’d be to live on ships like I saw on TV and live those lives.  Of course, that was as a kid.  As an adult now, I have a quality of life that I’ve become accustomed to.

Let’s role play a bit, shall we?

A junior officer on the Enterprise D receives a standard 110 square meters (1182 square feet) living space.  That’s not bad for just one person.  If they want, they can opt to combine spaces with a roomie (though you don’t often see that in the show).  The captain has a nice three room cabin, but even that is so spartan you feel out of place.

Plenty of space to  . . . sit down and look at the void out your window.

Each 24 hour day is broken into three 8-hour shifts.  So for 8 hours, you are on your feet doing whatever menial task that is your job.  Let’s assume that you sleep for another 8 hours, and you are left with 8 hours to yourself.  To do . . . something.

There are only three holodecks on the ship, and if the shows are anything to go on, those three are constantly being used by the senior staff to commemorate promotions or battle sentient AI’s.  There’s no real TV or internet, so that’s out.  All your food is replicated, so no cooking or going to the local store.  Even your waste is removed from you every time you walk though the doors so you can’t even just have a nice potty break (seriously, look it up).

Supposedly, there’s 10 Forward (so named because it’s on deck 10 and is the foremost part of the ship. Technically it’s 10-36).  However, that’s the ONLY bar on the ship!  I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the other third of the crew (one third of is 1014 is 338 crew members) are just as bored as you are and are also trying to get in there.

While you never see it on the show, I’d have to assume you could try and use the three computer cores for a wicked LAN game.  However if modern day IT Admins are of any indication, that’d be stopped pretty fast.

OK, so enough with the futuristic boredom.  Let me put it in modern perspective!

You are on a cruise ship out on the ocean.  You will be going out to see a tropical island that should be very interesting, however it is a week away at maximum speed and the captain keeps stopping to investigate dolphin anomalies.

There are no shops on board.  No clubs, no theaters, no TV’s, no radios.  Let’s keep the buffet just to be civilized.  I’m taking the pool and shuffleboard though.

Sounds thrilling, no?  I honestly wonder why we didn’t see more episodes of Barclay going postal or people sleeping with EVERYONE/EVERYTHING just to stay occupied.

Of course, maybe they did, and it simply was never aired.


About The Author

Co-founder of and Executive Producer for Stolendroids Podcast. Also resident ‘tech-head’ and de-facto leader of the group.

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  • Tim

    Put it into a past perspective: You’re on an Ohio class submarine. You get a bunk to sleep in, no view, no holodeck, and little room. You are underwater for six months at a time, submerging as soon as possible after leaving port. The main limit to the cruise is that you run out of food.

    Which is a luxury from early 19th century ships, where if you were on watch, someone else was sleeping in your hammock.

  • JC Beldin

    Alone in your room with synthehol and the stars. Every night. But all seriousness aside, depending on your blueprint source, there’s more than one bar, in fact quite a few. Plus the rec deck, the arboretum, and the bowling alley! Taking the Great Bird’s notions into account, I’d guess crew would be spending their off time “bettering themselves”, whether that means sharing card/board games with friends, meditating, martial artsing, reading, practicing instruments, writing or producing plays, or science-ing in the many labs. Or making conversation with the onboard dolphins.