Sometimes stepping foot on a cruise ship can seem like you’re stepping foot into a foreign country. It can be easy to get overwhelmed with all the new terms and words you’ll hear onboard a cruise ship, but don’t fret! I’ve got your back! While you’ll need to know many terms to become fluent in cruise lingo, here are some basics words and phrases to learn so you can speak with even the savviest of cruisers on your first sailing.
Aft – the back of the ship or near back of ship
Forward – the front of the ship of near front of ship
Port – the left-hand side of a ship as one faces forward. A good way to remember this…PORT has 4 letters as does the word LEFT. Port is on left side of ship. 🙂
Starboard – the right side of the ship while facing forward (bow).
Muster drill – A muster drill is a mandatory event where passengers assemble in a specific location and receive instructions on what to do in an emergency.
Muster Station – a specific location on ship to gather, based on stateroom assignment. This is where you will go when the ship has a muster drill.
Mid-ship – middle of the ship
Bridge – the navigational control center of the ship
Bow – very front of the ship
Stern – very back of the ship
Gangway – The ramp or stairway that leads from the ship to the pier, allowing passengers and crewmembers to get on and off the ship.
Captain – Person in command of the ship
Leeward – The side of the ship that is out of or away from the wind
Nautical mile or Knot – A unit of speed of one nautical mile (6,076.12 feet or 1,852 meters) an hour: abbrev. kn or kt
Disembark – To unload passengers (or goods) from a ship.
Tender – A boat for carrying passengers to or from a ship close to shore.
Berth – A built-in bed or bunk, as in a ship’s cabin or stateroom
Stateroom – Rooms on the ship where guests stay (sleeping quarters) during their cruise.
Windward – On the side of the ship from which the wind blows; toward the wind
Cabin Steward – A person whose work is to maintain the guests’ staterooms while onboard
Cruisetour – A cruise that is preceded or followed by a bus tour, operated by the cruise line.
Cruise Director – The emcee of the cruise who heads up the entertainment staff and might handle passenger requests and complaints.
Galley – The ship’s kitchen
Lido Deck – The pool deck
OBC – onboard credit added to your onboard account, either as a perk of booking or as compensation for an unforeseen event.
Porthole – A round window, often smaller than the standard picture window found in most outside cabins
MDR – Main dining room
Ready to put all this cruise lingo to good use on your first sailing? Contact me today!
Written by Casey Cote: Casey Cote is a travel agent with Destinations to Explore. She loves planning incredible vacations at no cost to you. To book your next cruise, all-inclusive resort vacation, family getaway or honeymoon, contact at Casey@destinationstoexplore.com. You can also find her on Facebook!