When the corporate office warned me that shipboard life has its own culture, they weren’t joking. Just one aspect that I am still adjusting to is the new vocabulary. I’ve had to learn totally new words, such as:
To tender = when a ship doesn’t dock at a pier but instead anchors out at sea. Passengers have to get off the ship onto little boats, which take them to land. I haven’t had to do this yet but it sounds a bit complicated.
To muster = to gather in a designated place in the case of an emergency. If the emergency alarm sounds I’m supposed to grab my life jacket from my cabin and muster in one of the lounges.
The bridge = where the captains or officers navigate the ship. I guess they use this term in Star Trek, but that didn’t mean anything to me.
Purser = I’m still not totally clear on this one, but it’s kind of like a customer service agent for the passengers. People who work at the front desk are pursers, but there are other kinds of pursers too that I don’t quite understand yet.
Ward Room (or Wardy)= a special lounge just for officers. Regular crew are not allowed in this bar/area, although I sometimes teach my classes in this room.
There are also several new terms I’ve had to start using instead of my common shoreside vocabulary, such as:
Ship or Vessel (not boat – this is an important one!)
Deck (not floor) I keep saying things like “what floor is the conference room on”
Port (not left)
Starboard (not right)
Forward (not front)
Aft (not back)
Mess (not cafeteria)
Galley (not kitchen)
Atrium (not lobby)
Embark (not board)
Disembark (not deboard)
I feel like I’m learning a new language myself!
In other news: Yesterday evening I was taking a walk outside around the promenade deck when an announcement came over the PA system that there was a whale on the port side. I thought to myself “Hey, I’m on the port side!” (A week ago I wouldn’t have known that.) I looked over just in time to see a whale surface right below me! It was so exciting! Then I was invited to a wine and cheese party in the Ward Room – ooh la la!