Several classes have asked:
"Does the TS Kennedy have a bank?"
"Does the TS Kennedy have stores?"
The answer is not, "Yes!" or "No!" It's, "Sort of!"
Most, if not all, of the cadets moving into the TS Kennedy today will come with cash to spend while on liberty in Barbados, Aruba, St. Thomas, and Fort Lauderdale. If the cadets were to keep their cash in their crowded holds, the money could easily get misplaced. No one wants that to happen. All of the cadets are strongly encouraged to keep their money in the ship’s safe.For years, Massachusetts Maritime Academy has used an old blue safe and a simple system for storing money belonging to the cadets. The safe is found in the Commandant’s Office on the Main Deck of the ship. Only two individuals on the ship know the combination of the safe.
When cadets arrive on the ship, they are given an envelope. Each cadet writes his her name and his/her division (1, 2, 3, or 4) on the outside of the envelope and place the cash that they brought in the envelope. Only the owner of the envelope knows how much money is inside. The envelopes are alphabetized in a box and placed in the safe by a member of the Commandant’s staff. The safe is always locked.
Why do cadets bring cash? Credit cards and debit cards may be used at large restaurants and stores on the three islands, but many cadets prefer to purchase street food from small vendors who only accept cash. At the beach, cadets often find great deals at cash-only souvenir stands.
Cadets can access their money on the Thursday evening before the ship reaches port , and from 0700 to 0800 while the ship is in port. Cadets wait in line to be handed their envelope. They remove the cash that they feel they will need and make a notation on the envelope indicating that a withdrawal was made. Again, no one handles the envelope or the money except the cadet whose name is on the envelope. Another cadet cannot pick up money for a friend. Of course, when the TS Kennedy leaves port, the bank is open so that cadets can store any unused money.
The Commandant’s Office is proud to say that no money had ever been lost by cadets using the safe and this well-run system.
The TS Kennedy does have a store that is open in the evenings when the ship is at sea. It has a very limited schedule. If you're picturing a shipboard version of Walmart or Target, think again. The store is actually a few shelves of must-have items that cadets may have lost or run out of. If your hardhat accidently flies into the ocean, you head to the store. If you need a tube of toothpaste to get you by until the ship reaches port, you head to the store. In both cases, there is no guarantee that the item will be in stock. Cadets are expected to bring all of their toiletries with them . They should never plan on buying what they need at the store. The store also has a few snack that cadets may be missing.
Please keep your questions coming! We'll try to answer as many as possible.