yes you sure can and they really need to explain that in game.
unless people come to the forums a lot or happen to stumble across your ready room, then chances are you wont know it.
Agreed. I really wanted to see what my bridge was about, then 'oh what's this'? r-r-r-r-r-eplayyy... which has been fantastic on the Breen missions. My cruiser is a killer, great fun/XP for grinding and great loot for selling now that I have it all.
Also to my limited knowledge the holodecks in Starfleet Academy serve the same purpose. Not that there's very much to do on that map anyway.
But I always shake my head that while standing on the bridge you transport off it to go back to sector space. Crikey, just sit in the damn chair!