Here's a brief list of some cruise terminology you might want to brush up on before the cruise:
Aft - at, near, or toward the stern of a ship(farthest back).
Bow - the very front of the ship.
Bridge - the ship's navigational control center.
Cabin - a private room on a ship, as a bedroom or office.
Cabin Steward - a person whose work is to serve and run errands for the passengers aboard a ship.
Cruise Director- head of the ship’s staff, often emcees events
Deck- Each level (floor) of the ship
Disembark – to unload (passengers or goods) from a ship, aircraft, etc.
Dock - a large structure or excavated basin for receiving ships, equipped with gates to keep water in or out.
Embark – to go aboard a ship, aircraft, etc. To begin a journey.
First Seating- The earlier of the two meal servings (dinner seatings) in the ship’s main dining room- also referred to as the main seating.
Forward - toward the front or a point in front or before; ahead.
Galley- The ship’s kitchen
Gangway - a passageway for entering (embarking) a ship, or leaving (disembarking) from a ship.
Knot- Nautical mile
Muster – to come together or gather; specifically, to assemble as for inspection or roll call.
Muster Station – a specific location on ship to gather, based on cabin assignment.
Open Seating- a dinner seating in which tables are not assigned
Pier – a structure built out over the water and supported by pillars or piles: used as a landing place.
Port - the left-hand side of a ship or boat as one faces forward: opposed to starboard. Port – so named because the side toward the port (dock), since the steering oar (see starboard) prevented docking to the right.
Port of Call - regular stopover(s) on a cruise itinerary.
Promenade- An open deck that encircles a ship, often used for walking or jogging
Purser - a ship’s officer in charge of accounts, freight, tickets, etc., esp. on a passenger vessel. Important to you – a Purser takes responsibility for all money, transactions.
Second Seating- The later of the two meal servings (dinner seatings) in the ship’s main dining room also referred to as the late seating.
Ship – any water vehicle of considerable size navigating deep water, especially one powered by an engine.
Sister ships- Ships built of the same design- sometimes referred to as ships owned and operated by the same cruise line.
Starboard – the right-hand side of a ship or boat as one faces forward: opposed to Port.
Stateroom - a private cabin on a ship.
Stern - the rear end of a ship or boat.
Tender - a boat for carrying passengers to or from a ship close to shore.
Veranda- a private balcony adjacent to the ship’s stateroom (cabin)
So what exactly is the difference between a ship and a boat?
A ship can carry a boat, but a boat cannot carry a ship. You’d be surprised how many crew members don’t know that answer.