When on a cruise ship, the language can change. For example, do you know what port and starboard mean?

This is the first of a number of Cruise Ship Lingo posts. It would be too long to include all of them in one.

Aft , or Stern, is the back part of the ship.

All-inclusive is a term used by most cruise lines. After all, you get your stateroom, entertainment, and meals all included. However, the true all-inclusive is typically only on some of the luxury cruises. Most cruise lines will require additional for gratuities (which can be prepaid before you get on the ship), alcohol, soft drinks (usually tea, coffee, water, and lemonade are included), shore excursions, some activities, some entertainment, some food venues, etc.

Assigned seating is your table assignment and seating time for dinner. There are typically two seating times for dinner. However, many cruise lines are now offering another option, making your own reservations when you get on the ship within specified parameters. If you do not choose to use your assigned seating time, there are typically other options you may choose for dinner. We’ve enjoyed both assigned seating and “on your own time” dining. The assigned seating was fun, because we met others we never would have before, and we enjoyed their company, sometimes for more than just dinner, too. The “on your own” dining was also good, because it gave us flexibility to choose different times for each evening.

Ashore means being on land. If you go ashore, that means you get off the ship.

Berth can be used either as your bed in your stateroom or the area the ship docks at the pier.

Bow, or forward, means the front part of the ship.

Bridge is the central part of the sailing of the ship. This is where the bridge crew steers the ship. It is on an upper deck in the front of the ship.

Captain’s Table is where invited guests are hosted by the captain of the ship for dinner.