Welcome to our comprehensive alphabetical cruise glossary. In this free A to Z guide on Cruise terminology we have done the research for you. We have used our extensive knowledge of cruising to share an ultimate list of cruising and ship lingo in this cruise dictionary.
When you book at cruise for the first time it can be a bit daunting with all of those cruise ship terms and their meanings. So scroll though our cruise glossary and hopefully we have covered all the cruise lingo to help you with your next cruise vacation.
In this A to Z guide on cruising we have covered almost everything cruise related in our cruise glossary including shop features, cruise lines, river cruise lines and port lingo.
Welcome to the ultimate Cruise glossary, the A to Z terminology of cruising
This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended at no extra cost to yourself. As an amazon associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Cruise Glossary A
Starting with A on our cruise glossary lets discover all the cruise words associated with A
The room or cruise cabin you stay in during the duration of your cruise. There are a choice of accommodations on cruise ships from inside cabins, sea view, balconies, mini suites and suites. This ensures there is something to suit every budget.
Cruise ships not only take you from port to port, but also plan a full schedule of activities for all ages from culture and art talks, auctions to kids clubs, Karaoke, theatre, cooking lesson and theatre, the list goes on. But if you choose your cruise line correctly you will never get bored.
Adds on are extras the cruise line charges above and beyond your cruise fare. This could include drinks although some cruise lines now include drinks in the price of the cruise. Also gratuities are often add ons, as are some activities and speciality dining restaurants. It’s always a good idea to check up on whats included and what’s extra on your cruise to allow you to budget.
The Aft is the back of a cruise ship. This is where you go to see the wake waves and watch the ship leave a port behind. It really is a very relaxing spot to stand.
An aft cabin is a cabin at the back of the ship. Check the position as it may be towards the back or at the very back. Although these cabins are a bit of a longer walk from the main areas and lifts, they are generally more peaceful. If you book a wake view aft cabin at the very back of the ship the cabins are often a little more spacious with larger balconies. It’s also a wonderful place to chill and enjoy the sea views.
Ahoy is a tradition nautical term which means hello or hi its a term used to greet somebody.
Every cruise line has an alcohol policy, some such as Princess Cruises, P&O and Carnival have a limit of how many alcoholic drinks you can drink as part of your drinks package. However don’t worry it’s a lot, Alcoholic drinks are limited to 15 drinks in every 24-hour period.
Cruise lines also have cruise policies on drinking age that fit in with the region you are cruising. Therefore you have to be 18 to drink alcohol on South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand cruises, 21 to drink on US and the Caribbean cruises.
Some cruise lines offer all inclusive packages, these usually include drinks and some wifi, speciality dining and sometimes gratuities. However do check your cruise line as these offers of all inclusive options vary wildly.
When a cruise ship docks in port it docks alongside the jetty to allow passengers to disembark for port day activities and tours.
Amazon River Cruise
Amazon cruises sail through and from Peru and Ecuador.
AMA Waterways is a Luxury California based river cruise company that offers cruises in Europe, Southern Africa, Southeast Asia, South America, and Egypt.
Ambassador Cruise Line
Ambassador Cruise Line is a new cruise line who have 2 extensively refurbished retired ships that sail out of the UK.
Amplification is Royal Caribbean’s refurbishment programme. Royal caribbean refurbish ships and add on brand new activities and dining experiences.
This is usually a piece of metal with a v shaped tip which is bottom heavy. This is attached to chains that reach to the sea bed to hold the ship in position whilst it is docked in port. Most modern day cruise ships have more than one anchor due to the sheer size of the ship and can be anything from 10ft to 20ft in length and weigh 10–12 tonnes.
Anytime dining is another option to fixed dining. With anytime dining you can choose to eat at whatever time you wish. You can also choose to eat alone or with a group of people. If the restaurant is busy when you arrive, you simply take a pager and head to the bar for a drink whilst you wait.
Most cruise ships have art auctions and feature certain artists such as; Peter Max, Romero Britto and Michael Godard to name a few. There is a huge variety of art to suit all tastes, its certainly worth checking out the gallery even if you’re not intending to buy. In fact art on cruise ships is a big thing!
Ashore is the term used on board your cruise ship for the land. If you are heading off the ship for a tour or to explore you are going ashore.
ATOL is the UK’s financial protection scheme. This protects you when you book an ATOL protected holiday with an ATOL holding travel agent. It will provide support so that you are not at a financial loss or without help and assistance abroad if your ATOL holder ceases trading before or whilst you are traveling.
Many ships have an atrium but not all, the Atrium is usually the centre of the ship, where you will find bars, cafes and snacks. The Atrium is generally the hub of of ship and a great place to people watch and mingle.
Avalon Waterways are a river cruise company offering river cruises throughout river networks worldwide. The ships are luxurious and intimate offering a more personal experience and access to wonderful cities and villages around the world.
Azamara is a small luxury cruise brand with 4 cruise ships offering inclusive features such as certain drinks and facilities as part of the package. They offer worldwide cruise destinations and sailings of various lengths.
Cruise Glossary B
Cruise Ship glossary words beginning with B
Balcony Staterooms otherwise known as Verandah Staterooms have doors opening to private open seating area overlooking the sea. These are perfect for morning coffee and breakfast or indeed an afternoon chilling in the sun.
Most cruise ships have theatres, back stage can be behind the theatre scenes or indeed just back stage of the public areas of your cruise ship. If this is something that interests you, you can book backstage tours on many ships.
The Beam is the width of a cruise ship, it is usually measured at the widest point.
The bearings are part of the propellor shaft, the main function of the propellor shaft is to turn the propeller. Bearing can also be an angle and location between 2 ships.
Berth is a bed, so for a family of 4 you would want a 4 berth cabin. A large percentage of cabins on ships are 2 berth. However berths up to 10 are available. 3,4 and 5 in regular cabins, but any larger are usually suites. If you are travelling as a family you can also book connecting cabins with an opening internal door. These are great for more space and to fit larger families, or families with teens who want a little privacy.
Boardwalk is the main public area on many Royal Caribbean Cruise ships. This is where you will find bars, cafes and entertainment. Royal Caribbean reinvented the traditional atrium and created something a little more fun and quirky and it works really well. The Boardwalk is open air and even has a full size carousel!
Newer cruisers often call ships boats, however they are very different. Ships are much larger and the rule of thumb is a ship can carry a boat, but a boat can’t carry a ship. When a vessel reaches 100 ft long (This varies between 97 ft-120 ft depending what you read) then the boat becomes a ship.
A Boat Drill otherwise known as a Muster Drill, it is law for every passenger to complete the drill before the ship sets sail. This outlines the safety drill, procedures and lifeboat meeting points should the ship come into difficulties.
Is a term to wish good wishes and goodbye often used on sail away parties. The sailaway is when the ship leaves port, in past years sailings were for function ie moving country or transportation. Thus there were many friends and relatives in port waving and wishing Bon Voyage.
Also known as a party cruise aimed at groups going to party for normally a weekend.
The forward part of the hull of a ship, this is usually the most forward part of the ship.
Some cruise ships have bowling alleys or bowling areas.
The bulkheads are the inner wall in the hull of a ship, these are designed to either fill or overflow to cope with waves at rough sea. Some are designed to create watertight compartments. They can also be used to form tanks for fuel.
A Buoy is a floating device which are usually anchored in ports and used for lanes and port guidance for the port pilots.
Some newer ships have onsite Breweries, you will find one on Norwegian Encore, here beer is freshly brewed at sea.
The Bridge is at the front of the ship and where the captain and his crew navigate the ship from.
The buffet is an area usually on a high deck where you can go to eat. The choice on cruise ship buffets is huge and they are often open for many hours during the day.
Butlers on cruise ships are generally found in top suites. They can assist with packing and unpacking, concierge services, make reservations in restaurants or on shore excursions. The Butlers on cruise ships can also escort you to dinner, shore excursions and shows as well arrange special celebrations or organise laundry services.
Cruise Ship Glossary C
Cruise glossary words beginning with C
A cabin is a room on a ship you will stay in, much like a hotel room. Although cabins are smaller than hotel rooms they are well planned to allow maximum storage and comfort during your cruise.
A Cabin Steward is your room attendant that cleans and services the cabin. You will have the same cabin steward for the duration of your cruise who will clean every day and turn down down your bed and prepare the cabin for the night.
Capacity is the maximum amount of people that are are allowed on a cruise ship at any one time. There are two capacities, one when every cabin has two people staying in, and in the school holidays when the extra berths are used for families so many cabins will have 4 or 5 people staying in, this is known and full capacity.
The captain also known as the skipper is the ship’s captain. The ships captain has the ultimate responsibility for the care and safety of the vessel.
The Captains circle is the Princess Cruises loyalty programme. It is a four tier loyalty program for passengers who have cruised with Princess. Passengers earn cruise credits in order to start receiving Captain’s Circle benefits the more points the more benefits and the higher the tier. Passengers must have completed their first cruise and registered on the Princess Cruises website in order to gain their first points. The Captain’s Circle tiers are….
- Gold, After Your First Cruise
- Ruby, After Your 3 Cruise or 30 Cruise Days
- Platinum, After completing 5 cruises or 50 cruise days
- Elite, After completing 15 cruises or 150 cruise days.
The Captains Club is the Celebrity Cruises passenger loyalty rewards programme. You earn points on every sailing and can enjoy discounts, offers, and perks such as spa discounts and complimentary laundry services. The Celebrity Cruises Captains club can also offer passengers loyalty stateroom upgrades, access to exclusive voyages, and exciting cruise club events on board and has 6 levels.
The Captains table is the table that the Captain sits at for dinner on a cruise ship. This is generally a formal occasion and occasionally passengers are invited to sit at the captain’s table during their cruise. The Captains table is normally located in the centre of the main dining room and is reserved exclusively for the captain, senior officers and their invited guests.
Carnival Cruise lines
Carnival Cruise lines is a Cruise line with head offices in Florida, they are known as the fun cruise line and have 25 ships in service, mostly in the Caribbean.
Most Cruise lines and Ships have a Casino onboard for playing roulette, slot machines or poker.
Casual dress means the dress code onboard a cruise ship in the main dining area. This usually means you can wear items such as jeans and collared shirts for men. Woman can wear dresses or trousers. You are not allowed to wear baseball caps, bathing attire or shorts in the reaturnat and must always wear a top onboard the ship. Shorts, flip flops or sliders are are not allowed during dinner in main dining.
Castaway Club is the Disney Cruise Lines reward programme. The 3 membership levels are based upon the total number of completed eligible cruises. For Silver Castaway you must complete 1 cruise. Gold Castaway is 5 completed cruises. Platinum Castaway is from 10 completed cruises.
Celebrity Cruise lines are a cruise line company with headquarters in Miami they own 16 cruise ships and are constantly renovating the fleet. The cruise line is owned by Royal Caribbean Group. The vibe is refined quality.
Celestyal Cruises is a cruise line who sails Greece and run a variety of short cruises right through to 14 nights.
The Centrum is the central hub area of a ship and another name for the Atrium. This is where you will find bars, cafes and snacks.
A Charter is when a company block books a cruise ship sailing, it could be the whole ship for a themed cruise or private event.
Cococay is Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas, here cruisers will find a private beach, endless pools and waterslides, activities and dining exclusively for Royal Caribbean guests.
A cruise concierge is someone onboard a cruise ship, generally in concierge class or suite class who will arrange dinners, shows and excursions for passengers they are caring for during a sailing.
Costa Cruises is an Italian Cruise Line, Costa has 12 ships in all in the fleet.
A Crossing is when a ship crosses across an ocean, an example of this is a Transatlantic crossing where a ship crosses for Europe to the US.
Crown And Anchor
The Crown and anchor is the Cruise loyalty programme on Royal Caribbean. The Crown and Anchor Society is a way of building recognition the more you cruise and has 6 tier levels to and reward brand loyalty the highest being Pinnicle. Booking under the Crown and Anchor means you sometimes get on board credits or special discounts.
There is also a champagne reception on every cruise for Crown and Anchor members. Crown and Anchor loyalty levels will also show in your Celebrity Cruise Captains Club account too.
Cruise Crew To Passenger Ratio
This is the amount of crew onboard to passengers. The ratio highlights how many crew members there are per passenger. This ratios are usually far higher than land based hotels.
Your cruise card is the key to your room but also your payment method. All of your info is stored on the cruise card including any drinks packages and dining packages.
This is another word for Casual dress code onboard a cruise ship. Casual cruising steps away from traditional cruise attire and formal nights for a more relaxed cruising experience.
A cruise director is the person onboard responsible for all onboard hospitality, entertainment and social events. The cruise director makes announcements throughout the day for entertainment purposes. They also organise public events and introduce the theatre shows, and parties onboard.
Cruise Loyalty Programme
A Cruise Loyalty Programme is a point programme which rewards passengers for each cruise they go on. It is a way that cruise lines can retain their loyal customers them gaining points and receiving onboard benefits. The more your cruise the more enticing offers come your way. Passengers get specialty dining areas, discounts, VIP lounge access, complimentary drinks and lots more.
A cruise planner is an agent who plans your cruise for you. A cruise planner is also often the name of your daily planner that you will receive daily in your cabin.
A Cruiser is a person who cruises the ocean or rivers.
Cuisine means a style or method of cooking, especially as characteristic of a particular country, region, or establishment. Many cruise lines have many different cuisines onboard. Dining at seas is some of the best I have ever experienced whilst on vacation.
Cunard Line is a British cruise line based at Carnival House at Southampton, England. You will find a more formal form of sailing on Cunard. Who keep to the traditional roots of ocean liners, offering transatlantic Southampton to New York round trips as part of its offering. They have 3 ships, The Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victorial.
Croisi Europe Cruise
Croisi Europe Cruise is Europes largest cruise line which is French owned and based in Strasbourg.
Crystal Cruises is a cruise line with headquarters in Miami, Florida. They are also the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line.
Cruise Ship Glossary D
Days At Seas
Days at sea means the number of days on the itinerary that the ship is at sea and not in port.
Danube River Cruise
A Danube River Cruise takes you down the Danube River, usually between German and Hungary and through Austria. This scenic cruise stops at some incredible towns and cities such as Linz, Vienna and Budapest.
Debarkation or disembarkation is the process of leaving the cruise ship to debark.
The Deck plan is the plan of the layout of the ship by drawing. The drawing represents the location of the decks, public rooms, cabins, an all areas on the cruise ship.
The departure port is the port in which the ship leaves and departs.
A deposit is usually required to secure your cruise booking. Cruise lines offer lots of low deposit deals so keep an eye out for those if you are planning cruise. You usually have to settle your cruise balance 12 weeks before your sail date.
Many cruise lines have cruise dining plans where you can pay extra for dining packages and use the speciality restaurants. This is usually cheaper to book in advance.
A direct booking is to book directly with the cruise line thus cutting out the travel agent or middle man.
Disembark or debark is the process of leaving the cruise ship to go home.
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line is a cruise line owned by The Walt Disney Company. The company headquarters are in florida. Featuring all the amazing things from Disney such as Mickey Mouse and Disney shows. They have 5 ships in the fleet but have more planned.
The dock is where the ships stops and anchors in port. The dock is an area ships and cargo ships unload cargo whether that is cruise passengers or goods.
Double occupancy is two people in a cruise cabin. Most cruise lines require cabins to be booked at least double occupancy or they charge a fee. However some cruise lines do offer single occupancy supplements or single occupancy cabins.
Purchasing a drinks package is a way of paying for all of your drinks up font. You pay daily for your drinks package up front but must purchase for all the days of your sailing and also for every person in your cabin. There are drinks packages available for all cruises including a kids softs drinks package and non alcoholic package which normally includes speciality coffees, water and smoothies.
Check out our guide for information on all cruise line packages. However the key to remember here to assess if a drinks package is worth it, it to look a the drinks prices on your cruise, again we have most of that information on cruise drinks prices. Next work out how many drinks you will drink in a day, but don’t forget hot drinks, soft drinks and water.
A dry dock is where a cruise ship goes for an upgrade, this can be anything from an complete overhaul such as Oasis of the Seas in 2019 or mechanical upgrades and a hull repaint.
Duty Free Shopping
A duty-free shop is a retail outlet whose goods are exempt from the payment of certain local or national taxes and duties. Most ships have duty free shops on board. Duty-free Cruise ships shops are legal as the products aren’t sold to the people who live in the destinations.
Cruise Ship Glossary E
Elevator also known as a lift is a means of travelling through to different floors of a ship.
Embarkment or embarcation, embarkation, is the process of loading persons on a passenger ship.
Most cruise ships have lots of different types of cruise ship entertainment. The types of entertainment can include, magic shows, theatre shows, ice skating shows and comedy acts.
Is a trip the cruise line offers in port. Cruise lines offer a selection of excursions in each port to reach a variety of tastes and budgets.
Cruising Ship Glossary F
Lets find all of the words beginning with F in our cruise glossary
A cabin offered to accommodate families, sometimes up to 5, some more. These range from inside to suites depending on budget. Norwegian cruise line offer great ocean view cabins with 5 berths for families.
Goodbye, whether its farewell to land port or the ships, grand farewells are a big deal at sea and mostly celebrated.
This is the final payment of your cruise vacation, the final balance is usually required 12 weeks before your sailing.
This is a collection of ships owned by one cruise brand. The collective of cruise ships is called a fleet.
The float out is the first ever time a cruise ship leaves the dock, usually to check its seaworthy. Although there will of course be many checks before this moment. However the float out is the first moment the ship in its entire form sails.
The FlowRider is a surf simulator designed to replicate surfing and bodyboarding with realistic waves. These can be found on many of Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships
Formal night on a cruise ship is the gala evening where the suggested dress code in black tie and cocktail dresses. This tends to be a bit more relaxed now with many men preferring a shirt and blazer.
Forward on a cruise ship means in the direction of the bow, the front of a ship.
Freestyle cruising means having the ability to choose on your cruise. Choosing when to dine and when and what shows or activities to do and when.
Free at Sea
Free at sea is Norwegian cruise lines offers when booking a cruise. With Free At Sea And Choose 2 Offers such as Open Bar, Dining and Wifi.
A cruise french balcony is a balcony that you can not step out in to. French Balconies have floor to ceiling sliding doors with a rail across the middle for safety.
Fun ships is an program idea devised by Carnival Cruise Lines. The program is said to dramatically transform its on-board guest experience to deliver even more memorable vacations.
Fun Times is the Carnival Cruise daily newsletter that is delivered to your stateroom.
Cruise Glossary G
Galapagos Islands Cruise
A Galapagos Islands River Cruise starts in Quito, Ecuador and cruises from island to island, discovering the rare wildlife and scenery.
The Galley is the section of the ship that has houses the kitchen of the ship. A galley is also referred to in the shipping world as a ship which is propelled mostly by oars ( hence not a cruise ship )
A cruise ship Gang way is a walkway or bridge to get on and off of a ship.
Ganges River Cruise
A Ganges River Cruise takes you down the Ganges River through the heart of India.
Cruise Gratuities are tips that are automatically added onboard account. The fee is usually for each passenger each day and can vary. Some cruise lines let you pay these tips in cash and some cruise lines offer free Gratuities or you can pay them upfront. The cruise line then divides the money between all of the staff and crew.
Gross Registered Tons
Gross registered tons or tonnage is a ship’s total internal volume in “register tons”, each of which is equal to 100 cubic feet. Tonnage is the measure of the volume of certain enclosed spaces.
A guest is a paying passenger on a cruise ship. Passengers are guests on a cruise ship.
Guest services is the reception area of the ship where guests can get help throughout their stay. The Guest Service area is normally open at all hours and they provide they provide answers to many questions and problems onboard.
Cruise Ship Glossary H
A harbour is an area of water where ships, boats, and barges can be docked and moored. A port is a man-made harbour built for loading and unloading vessels and dropping off and picking up passengers. A Harbour can be natural or man made.
Haven is the Luxury Suite class area on Norwegian Cruise line. Here you will find a dedicated restaurant, bar and many of the newer ships have a pool area.
Some slides and activities have Height restrictions on board such as Ziplines or Slides.
Holland America Line
Holland America is a cruise line is owned by Owned by Carnival Corp. & plc, whos headquarters are based in Seattle. However all of their cruise ships and vessels are registered in the Netherlands.
A Hotel manager is a manager who oversees the operation of a hotel. In the case of a cruise ship the Hotel Manager is in charge of all the passenger cabins and crew servicing and maintaining the cabins.
Housekeeping is another word for cleaning your room and is Responsibility for the cabins or staterooms on a cruise ship fall under the housekeeping department. This division is responsible for making passengers comfortable while they are in their rooms, and includes the care of the cabins, room and messenger service, and laundry pick up and delivery.
The Home Port is the port a ship is sailing from for a given season. The home port is also where the ship will refuel and restock ready for the next sailing and where passengers will board and disembark for their sailing. Some ships have a home port in Spain or it could be anywhere in the world!
The horizon is the point the seas or land meet the sky. The visible point where the sun sets and rises on the earth. Views of the the horizon at sunrise and sunset are partially stunning at sea.
The Hull is the structural watertight body of the ship. We have found a really informative article that explains it far better than we ever could.
As a rule the Hurricane Season goes from June to the end of November, however the high risk months are mid-August to early October. But Hurricanes can occur at any time within those dates and do. It really depends how active the season is, we have always been lucky and avoided Hurricanes on our travels, but know others who have not.
The only way to truly avoid hurricanes is to book outside of those dates. Or if not be prepared for itinerary changes and cancellations. Captains are excellent at avoiding weather situations, however this also means ports can be missed too.
Hurtigruten Cruise Line
Hurtigruten Cruise Line is an expedition cruise line that specializes in discovering areas many cruise lines can’t reach.
Cruising Ship Glossary I
Inside Cabin/Inside Stateroom
Inside cabins are situated on the inside of cruise ships meaning they don’t have a window. Because of this choosing an inside cabin makes it a much more economical way to enjoy a cruise vacation.
Some cruise lines also have virtual cabins, these have simulated windows, where you can enjoy real-time views of the ocean and destinations from your interior stateroom.
To enjoy internet at sea you must purchase the cruise lines internet package. (Some offer these free of charge) It really important to remember to turn off data roaming on all devices when you are at sea or you will incur huge roaming charges. Thus you need the ships data packages.
International Date Line
The International Date Line is an imaginary line that runs between the North and South Poles, which crosses time. When you cross the line you either gain or lose a day. But travelling east across the date line, will take you back in time by 24 hours. However when traveling west, you will travel 24 hours ahead. However when cruising as it is at a slower pace you generally lose or gain an hour each day.
An inaugural cruise the first time a cruise ship sails with paying passengers. This is a huge deal in the cruise industry, especially with loyal cruise line fans who want to experience a new ship.
The Itinerary is the route and ports a cruise ship will take on a given sailing. This is always pre determined, however due to environmental factors such as weather this is never set in stone and can change. Although as a rule this is something cruise lines do try to avoid.
Cruise Ship Glossary J
Jules Verne cruises
Jules Verne are a cruise and tour company who tailer make holidays and cruises.
The journey is the cruise you will take during your sailing.
A junior suite or mini suite is mostly larger than a balcony cabin and often comes with certain extras, but not as many as a full suite. For example on Royal Caribbean you will enjoy double cruise reward points, be able to book the suite dining area, but not have exclusive access.
Cruise Glossary K
The keel is a vertical lowest point of a cruise ship that sits in the ocean, it works to slice through the water. The keel also helps the ship maintain balance and prevents the ship from capsizing.
Cruise ships have extensive kids clubs and programmes. These vary from nurseries for babies on some ships, stay and play sessions for parents and kids club sessions daily and nightly. Here parents can leave their children to enjoy structured activities with qualified staff.
Knot is the speed a cruise ship sails at, this is the nautical equivalent of Miles Per Hour. The average cruise ship sails at 20-30 knots, which is 23-35 miles per hour.
Cruise Glossary L
Labadee is a private port resort leased to Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd in Haiti. The Island is for the exclusive use of passengers of the three cruise lines. Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises.
A landmark is an easy recognisable building or features of a city or landscape that is easily recognisable from a distance. Examples of landmarks include the Empire State Building in New York, the Brooklyn Bridge or the Parliament buildings in Budapest.
A lanyard is a fabric neck cord which goes around your neck and used to clip on a carry your cruise card. The cruise card can be used as a key to your stateroom or to order drinks and purchase from the onboard shop so it’s always good to have it handy. Thus a lanyard is a great option, you can usually purchase these from the onboard shop.
Latitude is the measurement of distance north or south of the Equator, it is measured in 180 imaginary lines vertically around the globe. This tells you exactly where you are between the North Pole and the South Pole.
Latitude is Norwegian cruise lines reward programme for loyal returning guest’s. Where perks for points gained on their previous sailings. There are 7 loyalty levels to the Latitudes Reward Club.
Lido means outdoor pool, the lido deck on a cruise ship is usually the main pool deck. Most ships will label this as the lido deck.
A cruise ship with a capacity of 4000 passengers must have have at least 20 lifeboats onboard to accommodate everyone onboard. You will find lifeboats at each side of the ship ready to launch, these can carry between 150-370 people. There are also inflatable lifeboats onboard.
Is a round floating ring that is attached to the side of ships, boats and swimming pools. This is to aid someone who gets into trouble in the water.
A life jacket is a jacket that acts as a floating aid when wearing it, you will find enough for each passenger in your cabin. Many cruise lines also have swimming life jackets by the swimming pools for children.
A lighthouse is a tall thin circular building that sits on the edge of land, islands or peninsulas. They have a light on top that alerts ships or boats of land.
A lock is something a ship transits through between areas of river that are or different lengths. River Cruise Locks are huge and it’s an incredible experience to travel through one.
Longitude measures the earth in the opposite direction to Latitude, it is the angular distance of a location measured to the east of west of the meridian at Greenwich, England. Where Latitude runs in an imaginary line horizontally, Longitude runs vertically. But both at a 360 degree angle around the earth.
Many cruise lines offer a loyalty programmes where the more you sail the more perks you get when you sail. This encourages loyalty to a certain brands. Some also offer double loyalty points when you book jnr suite cabins and above.
Luggage is your belongings you take on your cruise. Before you get on the ship you hand your luggage into the the luggage handlers who process the luggage, security scan it and leave it outside your cabin, this can take a few hours. However you are free to get on the ship enjoy lunch and explore.
On the last night of your cruise you must leave your luggage outside your stateroom to be processed for the next day. When you get off the ship it is there waiting for you in a large holding area.
A Luxury cruise is a cruiseline that goes above and beyond. They have a more refined onboard experience, luxury spacious cabins and a higher level of personalised services. These cruises are the finest there are usually cost a bit more. There are many different luxury cruises so there is lots to choose from for all budgets.
Cruise Glossary M
A maiden call is the first time ever a ship calls at a port. The maiden call is usually a big day for cruise fans. And indeed cruise enthusiasts in port.
The maiden voyage is the very first sailing of a new ship, this is a huge deal in the cruise industry and for cruise passengers.
The main restaurant is usually the largest restaurant on a cruise ship and can be spread over 2 or 3 floors. Dining in the main restaurant, otherwise known as the “MDR” is always free for food, but not drinks unless you have a drinks package. However there are sometimes the option to upgrade a meal to surf and turf on steak night. This depends on the cruise line, but that aside the quality of the MDR is in our experience always great.
A UK owned cruise line owned by Tui Travel. Marella markets at a British audience and offers an affordable way to cruise. As a company they buy out of service ships from other cruise lines and renovate to fit their own style.
Marina Society Programme
Holland and America’s loyalty programme, the more you cruise you build up perks.
A mate is a deck naval officer aboard a vessel. The job duties of a shipmate include working as part of a crew.
Main River Cruise
The Main River cruise takes you through central Germany and is formed by the joining of the Red Main and the White Main, meeting the Rhine River at the town of Mainz. The Main-Danube canal, which joins the Main River and Danube River, stretches for a length of 106 miles from Bamberg to Regensburg, with a total of 16 locks, thus making it possible to travel via a river cruise ship from the North Sea to the Black Sea.
The definition of maritime is something nautical or related to the sea. The laws and rules set in place are for commerce that takes place on oceans and seas thus making them are an example of maritime laws. Anything relating to the sea or the enjoyment maritime activities such as yachting and deep sea diving is considered a maritime activity.
A Mediterranean cruise is a cruise that takes place around the Mediterranean sea, starting points may vary and sailings can go anything from 2 days to 30 days.
Mekong River Cruise
The Mekong River flows for over 3,000 miles through Asia, and stops in exciting countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
Midship means the middle of the ship. This point of reference is used often during a cruise to describe locations and netting points.
A mini suite or jnr suite is mostly larger than a balcony cabin and often comes with certain extras, but not as many as a full suite. For example on Royal Caribbean you will enjoy double cruise reward points, be able to book the suite dining area, but not have exclusive access.
The mini bar is located in your cabin. Most cabins have a mini bar where you can put cold drinks.
Main seating is located in the main dining room. You are normally allocated main dining room seating on arrival of your cruise.
Moselle River Cruise
The Moselle River runs through France, Luxembourg and Germany, and known for its picturesque castles and fine wines.
Motion is the movement of the ship when it is cruising. Some people can suffer from motion sickness when cruising. If you do then it is better to book a cabin mid-ship on a lower deck where you will feel the motion less.
A Maître d is the head waiter in the main dining room. The Maître d oversees service and all of the waiters to ensure that service is smooth and all diners are happy.
MSC Cruise line are are an Italian based shipping company that have 21 cruise ships
The MSC Status Match
MSC will match your cruise loyalty status from other cruise lines such a Royal Caribbean. MSC Cruises Status Match Program will match your frequent traveler status from other cruise lines, hotels and tour operators
A muster drill is a mandatory safety exercise required by law to ensure the safty of passenger , guests and staff. The main objective is to familiarise guests and crew with the location (muster station) see below. During this drill you will be shown additional safety information such as where your lifeboat is and how to wear a life jacket. No ship can cruise without passengers being given a muster drill when sailing.
A muster station is a point on the ship you should meet in the the unlikely event of an emergency. This will be displayed on your cabin card and will be explained on your arrival.
My time dining
My time dining is dining at anytime of your choice in the main dining area on a Royal Caribbean cruise. You can select times to eat between the hours of 6:00 and 9:30 p.m.
Cruise Glossary N
This is a term people use to associate with the seas, sailing, cruising and ships.
Nautical miles are used to measure the distance travelled in water, a nautical mile is equivalent to around 1,852 meters.
Navigate means to plan a route or direction, the navigational route of a ship is always meticulously planned to calculate timings in shipping lanes, arriving and leaving ports and fuel requirements.
Nickel and Diming
Nickel and diming is a term used by passengers when a cruise line adds lots of extras onto your cruise or is constantly trying to upsell whilst you are onboard to generate more income.
Nile River Cruise
A Nile river cruises offer cruises at different locations down the longest river in the world. Flowing north from Lake Victoria through Uganda, Sudan, and Egypt the Nile drains into the Mediterranean Sea.
Noble Caledonia River Cruises
Noble Caledonia is a small luxury cruise line who specialises in worldwide, small ship cruising, including river cruises, and escorted tours.
Norovirus is a stomach flu that is easily spread. This spreads on land as well as ships. However seems more reported at sea, due to the reporting procedures of cruise lines. Cruise lines do an awful lot to minimise infections and help stay safe on a cruise but they do inevitably spread. However this also relies on passengers being vigilant with hand hygiene.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line is a cruise line who offer a relaxed freestyle form of cruising, with options for relaxed cruising and dining or more of an upscale experience. NCL have 17 ships, 19 if you include the imminent launch of Norwegian Prima who launches in August 2022 and Viva in June 2023
Norwegian Fjords Cruise
A Norwegian Fjords Cruise sails between and through the Fjords, check out our review of a Norwegian Fjords cruise to find out some of the incredible ports a Fjords Cruise stops at.
Cruise Glossary O
Obstructed View Cabin
And obstructed view cabin is a cabin whether it be an ocean view or balcony cabin has an obstruction in front of the window or balcony. This is usually a lifeboat, but can be part of fully blocking the view.
And ocean view cabin is a cabin with a window which has views of the ocean. These are a great option when cruising with younger children.
Oceania Cruises is a cruise line based out of Miami. They have six cruise ships which run on worldwide itineraries. It offers cruises that last between 10 and 14 days, but is also known for its longer cruises.
The Ocean is the expanse of water between the and Continents which covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface. There are 5 Oceans…
- The Arctic Ocean
- The Southern Ocean
- The Indian Ocean
- The Atlantic Ocean
- The Pacific Ocean
The Ocean and Sea are different the Sea is usually where the land meets the ocean.
Is MSC cruise lines private island in the Bahamas. Cruisers can visit having access to private pools and beach areas exclusively for passengers.
An Ocean cruise is exactly what it says it is! a cruise around the ocean!
Oceania Cruises is a cruise line based in Miami in Florida, they operate six cruise ships on worldwide itineraries.
A Ship’s officer navigate’s and supervise’s the safe operation of ships at sea. They also oversee the operations in port and when the anchor is dropped. They help coordinate the activities of the crew under the captains supervision.
The term Onboard means being on a ship and actually inside or on deck.
Many cruise ships have onboard entertainment this includes, quiz’s, shows, live music and other performances.
Onboard Credit (OBC)
OBC otherwise known as onboard credit is money that is offered free from the cruise line you are travelling with. It can be an incentive to book a cruise or be offered as a resolution to something. You can spend the onboard credit on the ship on drinks, excursions or in shops.
Onboard Shopping is shopping whilst onboard a cruise ship. Shops generally open when the ship leaves port.
Open Seating is unassigned seating this generally happens in bars on cruise ships but not in restaurant’s.
Orientation means position or positioning with relation to the points of the compass or other specific directions. You can adjust your positions using orientation to continue a ships route.
An outside cabin is a cabin that has a a window or porthole to view the outside. This does not mean that the cabin is outside with a balcony only a view.
Owners Suite is a suite on a cruise ship typically Royal Caribbean. It is normally a luxury suite with panoramic balcony, concierge service, and access to suite services such as the coastal kitchen.
Cruise Glossary P
A package is when certain elements of travel are bundled together in one price. This could be the price of a cruise, drinks or dining packages.
A passageway is a route cruises take on Alaskan cruises, Alaska’s Inside Passage is a the route between the Gulf of Alaska and Puget Sound. Whilst the Northwest Passage connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Canadian Arctic. The Northeast Passage is a route between Europe and Asia along the northern shores of Russia.
Passengers are paying guests on a cruise.
The Passenger capacity is the maximum amount of passengers the cruise ship will hold. This is calculated on occupancy of cabins, thus there is a capacity for double occupancy (2 people in as cabin) or full occupancy ( This is where the 4 berth cabins are all full too, this is is generally in School Holiday time.)
Passenger Crew Ratio
This is how many passengers there are per crew member, the average ration on a cruise ship is around 2.5-1. This depends on the cruise line however the lower it is the better.
Passenger Space Ratio
This is how much space there is on a ship per passenger.
A pier can be found in port, these usually protrude from the land, although not always, sometimes they are flush. Cruise ships dock alongside the pier to allow the passengers on and off the cruise ship.
Pilots work in docks and ports and come out of dock to board the ship to steer the ships in and out of port. They will also steer out of the port then leave and return to port.
Pinnacle Club is the highest Royal Caribbean Loyalty level, to reach Pinnacle level you must have 700 cruise points. you build 1 night for every night cruised, or 2 if you stay in a suite or junior suit.
Benefits of Pinnacle Club include a dedicated check in, private lounge bar onboard many ships, gifts and discounts.
Every cruise line has an online planner app booking system to plan activities, show and dining. However there is also a daily planner with all onboard activities. This is usually get left in your cabin every night.
P&O is a cruise line owned by the Carnival Corporation, they have 7 cruise ships in total including Arvia which launches in 2022. The brand P&O is mostly aimed at a British audience but sail worldwide.
Ponant is a French cruise line. It was founded in April 1988 by Philippe Videau, Jean-Emmanuel Sauvé, and other officers of the French Merchant Navy and launched the first French cruise ship. The ships are smaller and more intimate offering a luxury experience.
Is a cruise line that offers a refined relaxed service. The cruises are great quality, offering delicious food and surroundings. Princess have Princess Cruises have 15 cruise ships as of 2022 after selling 5 during the 2021,22.
The Princess Patter is the daily news onboard Princess Cruise Ships. This is left in you cabin every night during turn down and tells you everything you need to know about what’s going on onboard the next day.
A policy is a set of guidelines a cruise lines works towards and follows, these are usually set in stone and linked to a law or just a rule a cruise line aims to keep to maintain standards.
Cruise ships have several types of pools, check your ship for pool info on your sailing. However larger ships often have family and kids pools with slides and splash areas. A main pool for sunbathers, where all the fun and music happens. And an adult only pool or spa pool for child free chill time. Some larger ships have pools in the suite areas too.
A port is a maritime facility that has one or more wharves where ships can dock to load cargo and let passengers embark and disembark.
A porthole is a window in a circular window on the hull of a ship. An outside cabin has a porthole
The port side is the side of the vessel which is to the left of the ship when facing forward towards the direction the ship is travelling.
These are charges are the fees that shipping operators and their customers pay to port authorities for the use of the port’s facilities and services.
Port Of Call
A port of call is a port that a cruise ship is stops at on an itinerary.
A Porter is someone that transports and handles luggage on and off of a cruise ship.
A programme is a schedule of events for passengers set out by a cruise line often called a planner
A promenade deck on a cruise ship is an outdoor walkway that circles the ship. It is also sometimes referred to as the promenade that runs in the centre of a ship from bow to stern where shops and Restaurant are.
Prepaid gratuities are tips that have been paid by the cruise line as special offer for you . Meaning you will not you be charged for tips.
A private island is an island owned privately by a cruise line to be used by its passengers.
A pub is a public house that serves beer. Many cruise ships have a pub.
A ship’s purser is the person on a ship who is responsible for the handling of money and accounts on board.
Cruise Glossary Q
Quadrant Australia is a specialist travel company offering group tours and travel services in the Australian and international marketplace.
A quay is a stone or metal platform lying alongside or into the into water for loading and unloading ships.
Cruise Glossary R
Radiance of the seas
A Royal Caribbean Ship, Radiance of the Seas was launched in 2001, holds 2466 passengers and has a crew of 894.
Cruise ships are renovated and updated all the time, some are just minor mechanical updates, whilst some are huge overhauls.
Repositioning cruises are where a ship relocates from one continent to another. This usually happens when ships move for a new season. Repositioning cruises can be really good value but have more sea days as they cross between continents.
Rhine River Cruise
A Rhine River cruise takes you through central Europe, where you will get to visit cities in Germany, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands.
Rhone River Cruise
A Rhone River Cruise will take you through the heart of France down to the South of France and depending on your route can take in Paris, Burgundy and Provence.
River cruises sail down rivers on smaller ships. Because rivers are smaller, river boats are ships are smaller. However many still maintain a feel of opulence and quality. You will find River Cruising brings you into the heart of cities and towns, many of which will be walking distance. They are much more intimate affairs, many offering free tours and other extras.
Riviera Cruises Travel
Riviera Cruises are a UK based cruise travel brand offering options to River Cruise, Expedition Cruising and Yacht worldwide.
A cruise line offering fun multigenerational cruising with an upscale feel. Royal Caribbean offer possibly some of the best entertainment at sea with dining options and chill out child free areas too.
The Royal Suite is generally one of the best suites on offer on a cruise ships. Booking a Royal Suite also offers other benefits such a butler or concierge, free drinks packages dedicated dining and bars for suite guests only.
Royal Caribbean sometimes offer the opportunity to bit for an upgraded cabin before your cruise. The bids are for the first 2 people in the cabin, this is by invitation only. If you are fortunate enough to win a bit upgrade to suite class, you get to enjoy all the perks of suite cruising but will not get the double booking points perk.
Cruise Glossary S
You sail date is the date your cruise sets sail. This is the day you have booked your cruise to start, you. usually have to pay your final bill 12 weeks before, but final payment date can vary.
A sailaway is a party traditionally on the top decks around the lido deck. The Sailaway party happens as a ship leaves port and sails out to sea. This is traditionally on the first sailaway of a cruise. However some cruise lines do it for every sailaway.
Saone River Cruise
The Saone runs southwest of Épinal in the Vosges Mountains of eastern France to meet the Rhône at Lyon. There is a 233 mile navigable portion of the Saone with 30 locks, which is linked through canals to the Loire, Rhine, Seine and Marne Rivers.
Saga River Cruises
Saga River Cruises are a River Cruise company aimed at the over 50s, offering river cruises with chauffeur pickups, all inclusive packages and fine dining.
The Sea is an expanse of water between the Ocean and land, there are seven seas in the world.
A Sea Bands is a knitted elasticated wristband that works because of a plastic knob sewn into the side of the inside of the wrist-band which put pressure and on an acupressure point. It is said that pressure on this point relieves seasickness, nausea and vomiting.
Seine River Cruise
A Seine river cruise is a river cruise along the Siene river in France
Scenic Luxury Cruises And Tours
A luxury all inclusive river cruise company who offer sailings luxury
Scenic Sun Lounge System
Scenic Sun Lounge System is a Scenic cruises balcony. The Scenic Sun Lounge’ system transforms your balcony into an all-weather conservatory style space.
Serenade Of The Seas
Serenade of the Seas is a Radiance class cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean International. She was completed in 2003
A shipping lane is a sea lane or a sea road. A shipping lane is a regularly used navigable route for large water vessels. Shipping lanes are seen on wide waterways such as oceans, seas, rivers and large lakes.
A ship tour is a tour of the cruise ship. These are often given on special occasions such as moving up a loyalty teir.
A shuttle bus is a passenger bus that operates between the cruise terminal and the port entance.
Many cruise ships have silent discos as entertainment on the ship. Dancers wear headphones and can choose which music
A shore excursion is an organised trip ashore. These are organised by the cruiseline and you are fully escorted at all times and usually go on a coach
Most cruise ships have a Spa area. In the Spa area you can have beauty treatments or use the water spas facilities
Splashaway bay is the kid friendly water themed splash park on Royal Caribbean ships
A Splash park is the kid friendly water themed splash park on top deck of a ship
Specialty restaurants are restaurants that are an extra charge. These are normally different themed restaurants and cuiseines.
Ship stabilisers are fins or rotors mounted beneath the waterline on a cruise ship hull. They are used to reduce the ship’s roll due in wind or waves. The fins are controlled by a gyroscopic control system
The Starboard side is the side of the vessel which is to the right of the ship when facing forward towards the direction the ship is travelling.
A stateroom is another word for your cabin or room on a cruise ship.
The rear of a boat is called the stern.
A Ship’s Steward is a person who in charge of organizing and preparing dinner arrangements on a ship
What is a suite? A suite is an extra large room on a cruise ship. It is normally a luxury or top tier cabin. Guests staying in a suite normally receive extra special facilities such separate restaurants and pool area, butler service and priority boarding.
Symphony of the Seas
Symphony of the Seas is an Oasis class cruise ship owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International. She was built in 2018 and is one of the largest ships in the world
Cruise Glossary T
Taxes on a cruise can have many meaning, some ports charge additional tax on drinks and purchases. Be aware that services and products may have taxes on.
Teeming River Cruises
A river cruise company based in Florida offering affordable river cruises in Europe and Africa. The ships are more basic but offer an affordable option.
A tender is when a cruise ship docks out at sea and send passengers into port on the lifeboats. This is usually when ports don’t want to overburden with ships ort the ship is too large for smaller ports. Tenders can sometimes take a little longer, however sometimes you can book slots or times.
Tauck River Cruises
A river cruise line offering high end River Cruises who claim to offer lots of extras for a more luxury intimate experience.
Also otherwise known as gratuities, many cruise lines charge tips up front. Tips are charged per person, per cabin this covers gratuities for cabin stewards, restaurant and waiting staff. However bars and speciality dining venues also charge tips on top of this. You can choose to remove tips from your booking and tip staff individually. However you can also choose to reward outstanding service on top of the. standard tipping rate.
The Perfect Storm (Slide)
The Perfect Storm is a combination of 3 action packed waterslides known as Typhoon, Cyclone and Supercell. These create the next level of pool fun for all thrill seeking members of the family.
Many cruise lines offer themed cruises with special speakers and artists. These range from theatre cruise, 80s, craft and scrapbooking and comedy cruises. There are so many options to suit many enthusiasts.
A transfer if arranging transport from your ship to a port, hotel or airport. There are many types of transfers. Some ports put on transfers to get cruisers into town, or in cargo ports ships sometimes provide free transfers in. However you can also book private transfers and taxis or seats on buses.
Tonnage is the weight of a cruise ship, this is used to measure a cruise ship and indicates the size of a cruise ship.
Some cruise lines make animals out of your towel to leave in the cabin when they turn it down at night. This is not as common as it used to be, which is a shame as it’s a great touch.
A term for cruises sailing across the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and the US, these cruise can be anything from 6 night on Cunard with no stops to 16 with stops at European and Caribbean ports. Transatlantic cruises are often great value, however do have more sea days.
Turn Down Service
A turndown service is where your cruise cabin attendant prepares you room for the evening. This included turning down the bed, making up sofa or fold down beds and refreshing towels.
Turnaround day is the day that passengers disembark and new passenger’s board. Crew spend the day moving luggage on and off of the ship and cleaning cabins for new guests
Cruise Glossary U
Words beginning with U in cruise glossary
An upgrade to your room is often offered free in certain circumstances such as sailing in low demand or booking a free upgrade promotion
Uniworld river cruises
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is a river cruise company located in Los Angeles, California. The company operates a fleet of 21 river cruising cruise ships which operate along the rivers of Europe.
The Ultimate Abyss is a slide on the Oasis class ships of Royal Caribbean. It is 10 stories high and 150 feet above sea level. The Ultimate Abyss on Oasis Class ships is the tallest slide at sea and ends on the boardwalk.
Cruise Glossary V
Vantage deluxe world travel
Vantage Deluxe World Travel is a cruise company in Boston, Massachusetts. It operates Expedition Cruises as well as Small Ship Ocean Cruises and River Cruises.
A veranda is an extension of your stateroom or cabin that is outside and exposed to the sea. You can open the door to the cabin and step out to the veranda which the area which is encapsulated by a balcony
Virtuosa is a ship in the MSC cruise line
VIFP club is Celebrity Cruises loyalty programme which stands for Very Important Fun Person Club.
A virtual balcony is a cabin with a virtual balcony view. On Royal Caribbean 80-inch high-definition screens are inside the interior staterooms with real time views of the ocean.
Viking is a river cruise company with operations in Basel, Switzerland and marketing headquarters in Los Angeles, California.
A Voyage is to travel from one destination to another for example on a cruise
Cruise Glossary W
The wake is the area of moving water that is propelled from the stern (rear) of the ship. Caused by the flow of water displacement as the ship moves.
Wave season is a busy booking period of around three months from January 1 to March 31 when cruise lines and travel agents normally book the largest number of cruise holidays or vacations.
Weight restrictions are usually in place on certain activities on a cruise ship such as slides or rides
The Windward Passage is a strait of sea in the Caribbean Sea which lies between the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola.
Wonderland is a Alice in wonderland style specialty restaurant on Royal Caribbean Oasis class ships.
Cruise Glossary X
Cruise Glossary Y
Yacht club is MSC’s luxury ship within a ship experience with suites and private dining areas just for Yacht club guests. These cabins also have butlers and priority boarding.
Cruise Glossary Z
Many cruise lines have zip lines on deck such as Royal Caribbean’s oasis class ships.
Zodiac are a boat range known and recognized by professional experts as a famous rigid inflatable boat. These Zodiac inflatable boats are used in over 90 countries worldwide.
Thank you for reading our cruise glossary