How Ship Life is Like College

Last weekend I took a much-needed trip to my alma mater, Elon University, to celebrate homecoming. I was lovingly referred to as “the cruise ship girl,” embraced tightly and drowned in sangria.

I went into my ship life straight after graduating from college and the similarities were glaringly obvious. My friends were learning about appliances and insurance while I was in a floating dorm. I didn’t mind at all. Let’s take a look at some of the ways ship life is like college.

All your friends are in the same hallway
The first and best friends I made at Elon lived in the same hall in Moffitt Hall. It was a beautiful and amazing time full of Chuck Norris murals (yes, that happened) and trash cans of jungle juice. So imagine my delight at finding out that we all got to live in tight spaces having my friends a simple door-knock away again!?

Penny Penny Penny

Theme parties
In college one never turned their head when they saw a guy in military garb walking across campus (GI Joes and Barbie Hoes Party). A girl carrying her three inch heels and sporting a tiny tennis skirt doesn’t get too much attention (Caddyshack Party). I was so excited to see the tradition of risqué outfits under the guise of clever costume continued on ships. Jungle parties, 80s parties, Traffic Light parties, T parties, and more were, at the least, a monthly occurrence onboard.


Awful food
Whether it’s rice in the staff mess or something slightly resembling biscuits and gravy, cafeteria food is the worst. Yet, somehow we all managed to put on the freshman fifteen. My roommate spent the first semester eating cucumbers from a bowl. Pretty sure that was my strategy for my first few weeks of ship life.


Unbelievable team loyalty
From my living room, my desk at work and my car, there is Elon paraphernalia sprinkled in every bit of my life. I feel the same way about the line I once called home. It’s like the guy bullying your little sister. Hey! Only I get to do that, buddy!

One of these logos makes your little heart skip a beat.
One of these logos makes your little heart skip a beat.

Binge watching TV
In the days before Netflix (yea, I’m that old) we curled into our dorm room bunk beds and settled in for a marathon of someone’s borrowed box set of Sex and the City. No joke, my roommate and I spent the entire of month of January 2006 watching every episode. On ships, the crew welfare office usually has at least a  few shelves of seasons of shows you can binge on. If there’s nothing interesting there, ask a fellow crew member. Chances are they have a hard drive full of shows they recommend.


Rampant sexual escapades
And of course the constant sleeping with one another. My hallway freshman year had to have a special meeting about all the room-swapping happening. I was not involved, I promise. On ships it’s always a gamble on who you’ll see walking out of random cabins. It’s a reckless behavior reserved for brothels, college and ships.

Oh and Samantha.
Oh and Samantha.

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