Home Away from Home?

19 June 2009 By Janine Ketterer

When you’re crammed into a crew cabin with a roommate and little to no personal space, how can it really feel like home? Crew tend to travel like backpackers on board large floating palaces, only bringing what’s necessary. But it’s nice to bring a piece of home with you wherever you go. So how can you bring your personal style into your cabin and create a home away from home?

Bosun Dane of M/Y Katharine says that photos are the way to go. “As soon as I get on board, the first thing I do after unloading my stuff is print out a bunch of 5x9 pictures and put them up. I use ticky tack (also known as sticky tack, an adhesive material that can be placed, taken off and replaced without marks) to put up pictures. We have a printer on board, which makes things easy. I put up photos of my family, friends and favorite places to make [my cabin] feel like home.”

Freelance Stew Bernadette says there are other ways to bring in a personal touch. “I’ve known a lot of girls on board who purchase sarongs or tapestries from the various ports they visit to decorate with. [The sarongs] are from places like Mexico and Indonesia are beautiful and colorful. People will throw them on their bunk as a blanket or even hang it over the porthole to put some color in the cabin. I’ve also known stews who take flowers after the guests or owners are finished with them and put them in the cabin to give it a bit of life.” She also says that all of the laptops, cell phones, iPods and other electronics make crew feel right at home.

Deckhand Joel of M/Y Lady Linda agrees. He says Lady Linda has a large crew mess, so the crew doesn’t feel cramped, which gives the boat a home-like feel. But he was sure to put his Playstation and laptop in his cabin for when he needs a moment away – even when he can’t leave. When you’re constantly connected to the people you’ve left at home and can pull your favorite photos on up Facebook or, what’s to miss?

Be warned however. Some boats will not allow you to add any flair to your cabin. For those that do, Capt. Robin of M/Y Relentless has a few words of advice, “Be careful that the things you put up won’t bother the captain, especially be careful with photos. Make [your cabin and the crew mess] friendly, colorful and lively, just don’t upset your crewmates. Think about your mother and decorate in a manner she would approve of.”

Some crew are content with their cabins as is. Deckhand Korsten of M/Y Lady Linda says he feels right at home with no changes to the cabin at all. One mate, who wished not to be named, said, “I try not to get too home-y. It’s not really your house after all; it’s just your temporary bed. I like to treat it like jail, like a nice jail cell.”