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Cruise Terms


A

aboard
onboard, or on the ship; the opposite of ashore. Used when referring to being or doing something on the ship
about
To turn the ship around
abreast
Alongside something, usually another ship or a dock
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 package
A package deal that includes the cruise price, airfare, and transfers between the airport and the ship
all hands
All the crewmembers working aboard the ship
alternative restaurant
A smaller onboard restaurant where guests can choose to eat, often for a small fee
amidships
The middle section of the ship
ashore
On land; the opposite of aboard
astern
Toward the aft (back of the ship), or behind the ship

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B

beam
The width of the ship at its widest point, usually right across the middle section of the ship
bearing
The compass direction the ship is sailing, expressed in degrees
berth
A bed; or the place where the ship is docked in port
bow
The front part of the ship
bridge
The location where the captain and crew controls the ship-where navigation and steering occur
bulkhead
The structural wall in the interior of the ship
buoy
A marker or float used to identify navigational landmarks or channels

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C

cabin
A passenger room onboard the ship-sometimes called a stateroom
cabin steward
The person who cleans the cabin
cast off
To release the ship from her mooring
category
The price level of a cabin based on location, size, and amenities
channel
The deepest part of a river or harbor
companionway
A stairway inside the ship that connects the deck levels
course
The ship's route from one port to the next
cruise director
Head of the ship's entertainment staff, often emcees events

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D

davit
A steel structure that hoist lifeboats over the side of the ship
debark
To go ashore
deck
Each level (floor) of the ship
disembark
To leave the ship and go ashore
dinner seating
The time a passenger is assigned to a particular dining venue on the ship
dock
A place to moor the ship
draft
The depth of water needed to sail so that the ship doesn't touch the ocean floor (The draft is measured from the waterline to the lowest part of the ship, usually the keel)

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E

embark
To go aboard the ship

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F

fantail
The rear overhang of a ship (shaped like a duck's bill)
fathom
Measurement of water depth (One fathom equals six feet.)
first seating
The earlier of two meal servings (dinner seatings) in the ship's main dining room-also referred to as the main seating
fleet
A number of ships under the same ownership
FlowRider
Onboard surf pool on Royal Caribbean ships
fore, forward
The area toward the bow of the ship
Freestyle Cruising
Norwegian Cruise Line's style of cruising, featuring casual dress and no set dinner times
Fun Ships
Name for Carnival's cruise ships
funnel
The ship's smokestack

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G

galley
The ship's kitchen
gangway
Ramp or stairway between the ship and the shore while the ship is docked
gross registered ton (grt)
A measurement of enclosed passenger space, including the space in cabins, lounges, showrooms, and dining rooms. This does not apply to open spaces such as decks and pool areas (unless, of course, they are enclosed)
guarantee
A cruise reservation in which one pays for a certain category cabin, but is not given a cabin number. Passengers often take this type of reservation with the hopes of getting upgraded to a higher category

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H

hand
A crewmember
A bathroom
helm
The ship's steering equipment, located in the bridge
hold
The ship's cargo area
hotel manager
Shipboard director of hotel operations such as housekeeping and passenger services
hull
The outside shell of the ship from the main deck down to the keel

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I

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

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J

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K

keel
The chief structure of the ship that extends lengthwise along the center of the ship's bottom-the ship's backbone
knot
The measurement of the ship's speed. One knot is one nautical mile per hour

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L

latitude
The distance north or south of the equator expressed in degrees
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
lines
The ropes used to tie up the ship while it is at the dock
longitude
The distance east or west of the prime meridian expressed in degrees

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M

maiden voyage
The first voyage of a new ship
maiden call
The first port-of-call on the ship's maiden voyage
master
The person who is in charge of the ship; the captain
mini-suite
The smallest, most affordable suite on a ship, often with just a curtain dividing the living and sleeping areas
moor
To hold the ship in place with lines at a berth
muster
To assemble the passengers and crew
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

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N

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

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O

oceanview cabin
An outside cabin with a large porthole window or a verandah
onboard
Located on the ship; carried or used on the vessel
open seating
A dinner seating in which tables are not assigned
outside cabin
A stateroom with a porthole, window, or balcony that overlooks the ocean-also referred to as an oceanview cabin

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P

passageway
A hallway inside the ship
passenger space ratio
The number of gross registered tons (grt) divided by the total passenger capacity
passenger to crew ratio
The total number of passengers divided by the total number of crewmembers
pitch
The forward and backward rise and fall of the ship as it moves
port
The left side of the ship when facing forward; also the harbor where a ship docks
porthole
A round window on a ship
port-of-call
A port at which the ship anchors or moors, and the passengers are allowed to disembark
promenade
An open deck that encircles a ship, often used for walking or jogging
purser
The officer onboard who serves as a financial or administrative manager for guest services

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Q

quad
A cabin that will accommodate four passengers

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R

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

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S

screw
The ship's propeller
second seating
The later of two meal servings (dinner seatings) in the ship's main dining room-also referred to as the late seating
single supplement
An extra charge solo travelers pay to have just one person in a cabin
sister ships
Ships built of the same design-sometimes referred to as ships owned and operated by the same cruise line
shore excursion
A tour or guided activity in which guests participate while ashore
stabilizer
A retractable arm located below the waterline mid-ship, which can be extended to help reduce the ship's roll in rougher sea conditions
starboard
The right side of the ship when facing forward
stateroom
A cabin
stern
The back end of the ship
suite
The largest class of stateroom; features separate living and sleeping areas

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T

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
transfer
Transportation from the airport or a hotel to the ship and vice versa
triple
A cabin that will accommodate three passengers

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U

underway
The act of sailing
upgrade
A change in cabin assignment to a better category
upper berth
A bed similar to a bunk bed, often folded or recessed into the wall

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V

verandah
A private balcony adjacent to the ship's stateroom (cabin)

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W

wake
The track left in the water at the stern created by a moving ship
windward
The side of the ship against which the wind is blowing
world cruise
A three- to four-month-long cruise that sails around the world; guests can choose to cruise the entire time or just on select one-way segments

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X

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Y

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Z

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