If you’ve spent some time at sea, you probably know your bow
from your aft. But for first-time cruisers – and those who haven’t cruised for
a while – here’s a quick list of seafaring terms that may help you navigate around
Aft (also “stern”) – Near or at the rear of the ship.
Bow (also “fore” or “forward”) – Near or at the front of the
Bridge – The command center where the crew navigates the
seas and steers the ship; it’s often high up and toward the bow, and usually
off-limits to passengers.
Cabin (also “stateroom”) – A living/sleeping room or suite
occupied by passengers.
Captain – The top officer, in command of the ship and crew.
Cruise Director – The officer in charge of onboard
entertainment and social events for passengers.
Cruise Terminal – A facility where cruise ships begin and
end passenger cruises, similar to an airport terminal for planes or a station
Deck – A floor or level within a cruise ship.
Gangway – A walkway you’ll use to enter and exit the ship.
Galley – The main kitchen on the ship.
Lido – The deck where the pool is located, and often a casual
restaurant as well.
Muster Station – The place you gather with other passengers
in the very rare event of a ship evacuation; each cruise includes a “muster
drill” to show you where your muster station is.
Port – The left side of the ship as you face the bow or
Port of Call – A place your ship visits during your cruise.
Purser – The officer in charge of the finances of the ship
and cruise, who also oversees the guest services desk.
Sea Day – A day the ship does not visit a port of call (a
perfect time to enjoy the ship’s pool, spa, gym and other amenities).
Shore Excursion – Tours and other activities to enjoy onshore while the ship is visiting a port of call.
Starboard – The right side of the ship as you face the bow or front.
Steward (also “cabin attendant”) – A crew member who cleans and
refreshes your cabin twice a day.
Tender – A small boat used to shuttle passengers between the
ship and a dock; used when a ship can’t access a port of call directly and must
anchor a short distance from the dock.
As you plan your next cruise, if you come across any
unfamiliar terminology, just ask Anita, your professional travel advisor to
translate for you.
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