Here's my next bonehead question. Is there a way of increasing the number of bridge officers I can have, without spending real money? If there is, I can't find it. thanks.
Yeah. Go to the Personnel section in Earth Spacedock:
You can buy Bridge Officers with dilithium.
You can also buy them off the Exchange with energy credits.
If you mean increasing them beyond the current maximum slots, you can convert dilithium to C-store points and use them to buy more bridge slots. That's it, other than buying c-points with cash.