Dining, Entertainment and Special Events
One of the most difficult challenges of life at sea for a seafarer is overcoming the boredom and tedium of the same tasks and the same faces day after day. When a ship makes port in this age of containerization and rapid turnaround, crewmembers have very little time to take care of business that cannot be attended to on board the ship and to enjoy a little rest and relaxation before heading back to the open ocean. USS centers around the globe recognize the need to provide seafarers with a good meal and something different from the norm while they’re in port.
USS Bremerhaven is well known among mariners making port in this northern German city for its food specials which feature cuisine from around the world. Seafarers in port on holidays such as Valentines Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years can enjoy exciting theme parties and culinary presentations.
Televised sporting events are always a great way for seafarers and local port community members to rub elbows and either cheer for their favorite team together or engage in good natured banter between rival fans. In Casablanca, sporting events on the big screen TV are a big draw for visiting mariners as well as regular members. Football (soccer) matches are popular, and the Tour de France brought large crowds to the center during the year with local patrons celebrating together with visiting mariners.
On the isolated atoll of Diego Garcia, the USS center has an ongoing program of entertainment and special events to keep up the morale of mariners on board the pre-positioning vessels anchored in the lagoon and the Navy sailors stationed on the island. Local singers and bands made up of talented island personnel perform regularly at the center. An “open mike” night is a regular feature at which up-and-coming performers have a chance to showcase their talent. The center even sponsors its own in-house native Filipino dance troupe made up of center staff members.
USS Okinawa also offers regular dinner specials featuring cuisine from many nations, and USS Yokohama and USS Busan host a variety of holiday theme parties each year.
Throughout the USS network worldwide, center directors and staff strive to provide an environment which is both entertaining and relaxing along with the services seafarers need to take care of their personal business and return to their vessels relaxed, refreshed and ready to make the next voyage.