The wardroom is the mess-cabin of naval commissioned officers above the rank of midshipman. The term the wardroom is also used to refer to (metonymically) those individuals with the right to occupy that wardroom, meaning "the officers of the wardroom".
It provides a place of recreation as well as being a dining room. Usually, a galley or scullery adjoins the wardroom. Service is provided by stewards. There is usually a bar, where drinks can be purchased. Ships can be either "wet" or "dry": the former allowing the consumption of alcohol at sea, while the latter only allows alcohol when alongside at port, if at all. Ships of the United States Navy have not allowed alcohol consumption onboard since 1913.
Wardrooms have rules governing etiquette. Traditionally considered taboo are three topics: politics, religion, and sex (earlier guidebooks referred to the latter as ladies). On large ships in peacetime, talking about professional business is frowned upon. It is also considered inappropriate to perform work or to meet with subordinates in a wardroom. Typically, upon entering the wardroom at meal time, members ask permission from the most senior officer present before joining the table.
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Steward's mates polishing silverware in the USS Ticonderoga wardroom
- Oxford English Dictionary "wardroom"