So here’s a juicy story about a naughty captain, who shall remain unnamed, of a ship that shall remain unnamed. We met at a private cocktail party onboard, where past passengers, journalists and VIPs get the chance to mingle, and sometimes dance, with the officers.
These events are often cringeworthy because the men in white uniforms have much less interest in the women (and men) with an interest in men in white uniforms. They have to stand there fake-smiling and shaking hands with the 100+ guests entering, and you have to make your way down the line-up, like you’re congratulating the groom and bride. The most popular guy is always the top dog – Captain, with a cap C.
On this particular evening, once the greeting parade was over, the 40-something Captain comes over to me, presumably because I’m the only person under 60, and starts chatting. Every 8.5 seconds we are interrupted by a fawning female or a jolly old man who wants to talk maritime. Captain couldn’t give a shit.
“I’m really tired of all this – do you want to get a drink somewhere quieter?” he asks.
“Sure,” I say, just as keen to move on to a better bar.
So he leads the way – or astray. Following him through corridors, I wonder if he’s taking me to the crew bar, which has always been a goal of mine – to slip backstage and see where the real fun happens!
We reach a door – Captain’s Quarters – and I realise he’s taken me back to his room.
He tries to kiss me in the doorway. I pull away. “Aren’t you married?” I say, all judgey.
Suddenly he looks sheepish and I backwards skedaddle out of there. Yikes.
The truth is that many ship’s officers and crew have a wife/husband at home and a girlfriend/boyfriend at sea. It’s rare for them to fraternise with passengers, let alone a journalist, but clearly, Captain thought he could do whatever he wanted. Let’s just say it was a very awkward hour the next day when I was on a media tour of the bridge, and then again, when we had a five-course dinner with him at the Captain’s table. His wife was joining the ship the day I got off.
To his credit, he did call me and apologise profusely, but I sure did enjoy watching him squirm…