Cruising Glossary

Don't know your aft from your stern? Or your fathoms from your flowriders?

We have put together a handy glossary for you to learn the lingo and become a cruising expert.

Cruising Glossary

50% DEPOSITS

Reduces the initial deposit amount by 50%, so you can secure your booking for less.

Aboard

Onboard; the opposite of ashore. Used when referring to being or doing something on the ship.

Accommodation

A guest's stateroom or suite.

Add On

An additional charge to the cruise fare that usually refers to airfare, transfers, or land tours.

Aft

The back of the ship.

Air/Sea

A package deal that includes the cruise price, airfare, and transfers to and from the ship.

Alternative restaurant

A smaller onboard restaurant where guests can choose to eat, often for a small fee.

Ashore

On land; the opposite of aboard.

Baggage Allowance

The amount of baggage, generally consisting of a guest's personal effects, carried by the cruise line free of charge.

Beam

Width of the ship at the widest point.

Bearing

Compass direction, usually expressed in degrees, from the ship to a particular destination or objective.

Berth

Dock, pier or quay (key); or, the bed or beds within the guests' staterooms.

Bow

The front part of the ship.

Bulkhead

The structural wall in the interior of the ship

Cabin

A guest's stateroom or suite.

Category

The price level of a stateroom based on location, size, and amenities.

Cruise Director

Head of the ship’s entertainment staff, often emcees events.

Cruise Fare

The actual cost of the cruise excluding all extras such as taxes, port charges, airfare, gratuities, etc.

Cruisetour

A full land and sea vacation combining a cruise with a pre- or post-cruise land journey.

Debark

Exiting from the ship.

Deck

Each level (floor) of the ship.

Deck Plan

An overhead diagram illustrating stateroom and public area locations.

Deposit(s)

A partial payment of the cruise fare required at the time of booking to secure the stateroom being reserved.

DINNER SEATING

The time a passenger is assigned to a particular dining venue on the ship

DISEMBARK

To leave the ship and go ashore

DOCK

A place to moor the ship

DRAFT

Measurement in feet from waterline to lowest point of ship's keel.

EMBARKATION

Boarding the ship.

FATHOM

Measurement of distance equal to six feet.

FINAL PAYMENT

Payment of the full cruise fare plus any necessary or agreed extras, such as taxes, air add-on, prior to the issuance of related travel documents.

FIRST SEATING

The earlier of the two meal times in the ship's main restaurant.

FLEET

A number of ships under the same ownership

FLOWRIDER

Onboard surf pool on Royal Caribbean Ships

FORWARD

Toward the fore or bow (front) of the ship.

FUN SHIPS

Name for Carnival Cruise ships

FUNNEL

The ships smoke stacks

GANGWAY

Ramp or stairway between the ship and the shore while the ship is docked.

GRATUITIES

The guest's personal expression of thanks (tips) to the ship's service personnel for services received.

GRT

A measurement of enclosed passenger space, including the space in staterooms, lounges, showrooms, and dining rooms. This does not apply to open spaces such as decks and pool areas (unless, of course, they are enclosed).

GUARANTEES

The commitment that a stateroom in the same category as that purchased will be assigned. If one is not available, a stateroom in the next category of greater value will be assigned.

GUEST CRUISE/CRUISETOUR TICKET CONTRACT

Detailed terms of responsibility and accountability found in the cruise ticket.

GUEST RELATIONS/GUEST SERVICES

Onboard guest services and information centre that assists with guest requests and arrangements.

HEAD

A bathroom

HELM

Commonly the ship's steering wheel, but more correctly the entire steering apparatus consisting of the wheel and rudder and their connecting cables or hydraulic systems.

HULL

The outside shell of the ship from the main deck down to the keel.

INSIDE STATEROOM

A stateroom that does not have a porthole, window, or balcony.

KNOT

The measurement of the ship's speed. One knot is one nautical mile per hour.

LEAGUE

A unit of measurement equal to 3.45 nautical miles.

LEEWARD

The side of an island or ship that is sheltered from the wind.

LOWER BED

A single bed placed at the conventional height from the floor.

MAIDEN VOYAGE

The first voyage of a new ship.

MAIDEN CALL

The first port-of-call on the ship’s maiden voyage.

MIDSHIP

In or toward the middle of the ship; the longitudinal centre portion of the ship.

MINI-SUITE

The smallest, most affordable suite on a ship, often with just a curtain dividing the living and sleeping areas

MUSTER STATION

A meeting place onboard the ship that usually refers to the area where one would go to get into the lifeboats in case of an emergency

NAUTICAL MILE

A unit of measurement equal to one-sixtieth of a degree of the earth's circumference; it's measured in the U.S. as 6,080.2 feet or internationally as 6,076.1 feet

ONBOARD CREDIT

complimentary spending money for onboard the ship.

OPEN SEATING

Free access to unoccupied tables in the ship's restaurant, as opposed to specific table assignments.

OCEAN VIEW STATEROOM

An outside stateroom with a large porthole or window.

OCEAN VIEW STATEROOM WITH VERANDA

An outside stateroom with a veranda.

OUTSIDE CABIN

A stateroom with a porthole, window, or balcony that overlooks the ocean-also referred to as an Oceanview cabin

PORT

The left side of the ship when facing forward.

PORT CHARGE

An assessment which also includes port taxes, collected by the cruise line and paid to a local government authority.

PORT-OF-CALL

A port at which the ship anchors and guests are allowed to disembark.

PORT TAX

A charge levied by local government authority to be paid by the guest. In some air/sea packages, port taxes are included in the final price.

QUAD

A cabin that will accommodate four passengers.

REDUCED DEPOSITS

Reduces the initial deposit amount, so you can secure your booking for less.

REPOSITIONING CRUISE / REPO CRUISE

A one-way itinerary that brings a ship from one region to another at the change of the cruise seasons

ROLL

The side-to-side movement of the ship.

SAILING TIME

The actual hour at which the ship is scheduled to clear the dock and sail.

SECOND SEATING

The later of two meal times in the ship's main restaurant.

SHORE EXCURSION

Off-the-ship tours at ports of call (an extra charge is usually applied).

STARBOARD

The right side of the ship when facing forward.

STATEROOM

A guest's room, stateroom, or personal accommodation.

STERN

The back end of the ship.

SUITE

The largest class of stateroom; features separate living and sleeping areas

TENDER

A small boat used to transport passengers from the ship to the shore. Tenders are used when the harbor is not deep enough for the ship to dock.

TRANSFERS

Conveyances between the ship and other modes, such as airports, hotels, or departure points for shore excursions.

UPGRADE

A change in stateroom assignment to a higher category.

UPPER BED / UPPER BERTH

A bed similar to a bunk bed often folded or recessed into the wall.

WAIT LIST

A cruise line's endeavour to obtain accommodation and dining times for guest requests on a first-come, first-serve basis when current accommodations and dining times are not presently available.

WAKE

The track left in the water at the stern created by a moving ship.

WINDWARD

The side of an island or ship against which the wind is blowing.