Cruise Jargon For First Timers

16 Nov 2016


So, if this is your first time booking a cruise, all the different terms may cause a bit of confusion. Use this blog post as your instruction manual when going through the countless webpages full of cruise deals!

Aft – The Aft is the back of the ship, sometimes you may see rooms described as ‘aft balcony cabins’.

All-inclusive – This means that you don’t pay extra for specialty restaurants, drinks on board and tipping. This could vary depending on the cruise line and itinerary, so it’s best to check before you set sail.

Atrium – The centre area of the ship, equivalent to a lobby of a hotel.

Berth – On a ship, a berth means bed. In a port, it means where the ship is docked.

Bow – This is the front part of the ship.

Bridge – The control centre of the ship. This is where the ship is commanded from.

Cabin – This is your room. There are various options you can choose from; Inside (no windows), ocean view (with windows), balcony (a room with a balcony), suite (similar to suites in hotels, filled with lush furnishings and concierge service).

Closed-loop sailing – A roundtrip cruise. An itinerary that starts and finishes at the same port.

Deck plan – An aerial view map of the ship showing all areas of the ship.

Disembark – When you leave your cruise.

Dock – When the ship ‘parks’.

Embark – When you board your ship to start your cruise.

First/Second seating – The options for meal times.

Formal night – Designated nights on the ship where you can dress smart for dinner. Depending on the cruise/cruise line will determine how many nights of your holiday this will be.

Gangway – The entrance and exit to a ship when docked at port.

Galley – The ships kitchen.

Guarantee – A lower price cabin on the specific cabin category you choose. These are often limited in numbers and you will not be able to pick your cabin number.

Itinerary – A list of ports the ship will stop at.

Lido deck – The deck where the pool is located, usually on the top deck.

Midship – The centre of the ship.

Muster drill – This is done at the start of a cruise to make you aware of what to do in emergencies. You will also be assigned a muster station where you need to meet in case of an emergency.

OBC – On-board credit.

Occupancy – Most fares are based on double occupancy of a room. You may be required to pay a single supplement if you want a room to yourself.

Porthole – A window usually found in most outside cabins.

Port/Starboard – the left/right hand side of the ship.

Repositioning cruise – A cruise that starts and ends at a different port. These are usually used to get a ship to a new destination to start a new itinerary for a new holiday season, and are usually a bit cheaper.

Sea day – A day that is spent at sea. This is usually when the ship is sailing to another port that is slightly further away than the previous destination.

Shore excursion – A tour or activity you can do onshore. These can be booked with the cruise company or independently.

Single supplement – A fee you need to pay if just one person is staying in a room on their own.

Speciality restaurant – An alternative restaurant that is usually themed. These need to be pre-booked and may cost an extra fee.

Stateroom – Another word for cabin or room.

Tender – A small boat that will take you to shore if the harbor is too shallow for the ship to dock.

Transfer – A form of transport that will get you from the airport to the ship or from the ship to a hotel.

Verandah – Another word for a room’s balcony.