How many times have you been on your cruise and heard lingo and did not know what people were talking about? This happens to new cruisers but also happens to veteran cruisers. I thought it would be a good idea to help out by talking about some lingo. Lets start with the ship.
Port & Starboard These are terms often used and they refer to the sides of the ship.
This one is easy to remember, the word port and left have four letters. You might need to remember this when your trying to find your cabin.
Starboard is on the right side. That can be remember because it has more letters. Both directions are indicted when facing the front of the ship.
Aft and Stern
The Aft or Stern is the back of the ship. Aft is more often used when getting directions to a location. For example, I will meet you in the aft dining room. The term Stern is not used as often but you will hear it.
Bow or forward
Both Bow and Forward indicate the front of the ship. You might hear take the forward elevators or bow thrusters.
Often when leaving port you might hear someone say they have fired up the bow thrusters. The thrusters are located both in the bow and the stern and are used for maneuverability. Often you will see them used to move the ship away from the pier and to turn.
The bridge is one of those places you are not allowed to go unless you are invited or on a behind the scenes tour. This is where the navigation and steering is done so its located on the very front of the ship. There are wings that extend out to the right and left of the bridge. Here there is a window in the floor and is used to dock the ship.
Everyone on the ship must attend a muster drill or otherwise known as a safety briefing prior to departure from home port. Your muster station is where you would go in the case of an emergency and the location can be found on the back of your stateroom door. You will be notified by 7 short horn blows or tones and one long.
The pilot is the person who steers the ship through the channel in and out of port, provides weather reports and gives navigation information to the crew. The will board the ship a few miles out so you will often see the boat pull up to the ship and follow it in and out of the port.
Dining My Time or Anytime
If you chose to have My Time or Anytime dining, you have the flexibility to go to the dining room at any time usually between 5:30 PM and 9:30 PM. The times can vary by cruise line and by ship. Usually there is a specific dining set up for this type of dining.
Now if you don't have the above dining, you probably have traditional. With traditional, you have an assigned time, dining room and table for each night of your cruise. You will have the same guest at your table and your waiter will stay with that table throughout the cruise. These dining times can also very by cruise line and even ship but are typically, early seating around 5:30 PM or 6:00 PM and late 7:30 PM or 8:00 PM. When we get you booked on your next cruise, we will review the options.
Most cruise ships built in the last few years have specialty dining options. The options might include steakhouses, seafood or Italian restaurants or fine dining. There is a charge for dinner either through a flat charge per person or al a carte. Some will offer lunch complimentary.
The Lido Deck is one of the most poular area on the ship. You will find the pool, usually some bars and the buffet. Not all ships formally call it Lido but most do.
Embarkation & Debarkation
These are simpler than the word sounds. Embarkation is boarding the ship on the first day. Usually referred to as embarkation day.
Debarkation is when leaving the ship at the end of the cruise. You will be given debarkation instructions a couple of days before the end of your cruise.
For most ports, the ship will tie up to a pier but there are destinations where the waters are too shallow or there is a reef preventing a pier from being built. In this case you will take a small boat called a tender or as Carnival calls them, water shuttle to the island from the ship. The tendering is typically only about 10 minutes but in some cases like in Belize, it might be 20 minutes.
In each port you will have a variety of activities from which to choose. You can either get off the ship and wander on your own or take a tour or excursion arranged through the ship or third party. These are called shore excursions or shore tours. They can be booked online ahead of the cruise or when you board at the Shore Excursion Desk.
These are just a few of the most popular terms you are going to here on your next cruise. I would love to hear from you with your cruise lingo.
For all your cruise needs
Mike Miller - Travel Adviser
Call or text (904) 534-4318
Take your books with you on your next cruise without the bulk.
I have a passion for travel and believe travel is about experiences. Experiences create memories and are the stories we tell to friends and family - even with a little fudging on the facts. So let me create a vacation you can brag about!