Are you cruising for the first time? Well! It is easy to get confused about what everything means. Although the cruise’s line job is to make you feel comfortable, if you are one of them who wants to learn a little extra or curious to know the language of cruising, it is worth reading today’s blog post. You can find specific set of cruise terms that are good to know before you embark on your cruise.

Honestly speaking, on my first cruising, I was quite baffled with certain things related to the ship. Such a creepy situation pushed me to learn the cruise terminologies and gained confidence. My aim is to make you more confident today.  But don’t worry; there is no one to take a test at the end of your learning session. So enjoy!

1. Cruise card

Cruise card is no less than a lifeline for the time you are on the ship. The cruise card is issued when you check in for your cruise. The card needs your photo taken by the security as you enter the ship. Each time you use your cruise card your photo will get appear for the security check to confirm that you are that same person the card was issued to. Moreover, the cruise card is required whenever you want to get inside your room and most importantly, it gets you back onto the cruise after spending time on the port.

2. Cruise documents

It represents a set a documents given by the cruise line to the passengers before sailing. The document typically includes the airline tickets, luggage tags, pre-cruise information booklet, cruise tickets and information on cruise events and excursion.

3. Forward, Aft and Midship

Forward is the extreme front of the ship

Aft is the extreme back of the ship

Midship is the middle part of the ship

When booking cabin with a cruise line, you will be often asked whether you have a preference for your cabin location. Cabin towards the forward and aft tend to be lower in price and midship cabins are higher in price. I would recommend you to choose midship cabin as this is the most stable part of the ship and most of the cruise events take place here.

4. Anytime dining

It is good to opt for anytime dining. There is no set schedule for anytime dining as long as you stay available within the dining hour. It is a concept that allows you to dine anytime. You can make a reservation for a set time and visit the restaurant when you are hungry.

5. Alternative dining

It is the dining option offered in addition to the ship’s main dining room. The venue for alternative dining is often themed or specialty restaurant. You need to book the table in advance and the option is not included in the all-inclusive price of the voyage.

6. Lifeboat or muster drill

It is compulsory for every passenger to participate in lifeboat drill on the departure day. Once the emergency alarm buzzes, the passengers and the cruise crew move to their assigned area of the ship and learn how to handle emergency situation.

7. Tender

They are small vessels that transmit cruise passengers from the ship to shore when docking is not possible. They are used in ports that are not deep enough for the ship to safely dock next to the land.

8. Shipboard account

Shipboard account is opened at the beginning of a cruise. You can register a credit card so that your account can be settled at the end of the cruise. All the purchases on board, gratuities and shore excursions are added to your on-board account. The majority of the ships prefer to operate this cashless process.

9. French balcony

French balcony is a large window with a gliding door. The window opens to a superficial balcony and railing, allowing passengers to breathe the salt air. However, they are not so deep enough to allow passengers to sit and stand outside. The balcony is usually added to the ships post its construction.

10. Cabin director and cabin steward

Cruise cabin directors take charge of all the on-board entertainment and social events. They primarily head the entertainment staff and sometimes manage passenger’s requests and complaints.

Cabin steward is in charge of cleaning your cabin and assist with minor tasks such as taking your laundry for cleaning and much more to add.

These are a few important cruise terminologies I have posted today. I hope to come up with some more very soon.

Matthew Naylor, the owner of Parking4Cruises, has years of experience working in the travel industry. He shares an active interest in writing and blogging, especially about the niche he works in, the travel sector. He offers his ideas, tips and suggestions for travellers planning a cruise or flight from Southampton to regional, national and international destinations.

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