Cruising has its own language that can be a little daunting if you have not cruised before.  Below is a small list of the most used words in cruising, just to get you comfortable for that first cruise.

Glossary of Cruising Jargon:                 

Table 1

AftAft refers to a location or direction — the rear section of a ship. The opposite of aft is forward.
Assigned seatingSome cruise ships give passengers assigned seating with fixed-time dining for their main dining rooms, letting you get to know the same fellow passengers for the duration of the cruise.
BowBow is the front or forward section of a ship. (The rear section of a ship is the stern.)
cruise cardA cruise card — also called a key card, cruise ship ID card, ship card and other names — is a plastic card the size of a credit card that is issued on embarkation day for several purposes: to allow entry and exit from the ship, to allow access to your room, to add purchases to your bill and for other uses.
cruise director


On larger ships, a cruise director heads up the ship’s entertainment staff and often emcees events.
To leave a ship and go ashore is to debark. Most often it’s used to refer to departing the ship at the end of a voyage.  Opposite: to embark.
duty-free shopping


There is no tax or duty due on goods purchased at a duty-free shop on a ship sailing in foreign waters. Passengers can purchase liquor, cigarettes, perfume, jewelry, and electronics tax-free.
To board the ship is to embark.
ForwardForward refers to a location or direction — the front section of a ship. The opposite of forward is aft.
Freestyle Cruising


Norwegian Cruise Line’s style of cruising, featuring casual dress and no set dinner times or assigned seating in restaurants. The idea is that you can dine when, where and with whomever you want. Other cruise lines offer this as well.
muster drill
muster station
To muster is to assemble the passengers and crew of a ship for a safety drill. A muster drill is typically done at the beginning of a cruise to instruct the guests about where to go to get into lifeboats in case of an emergency. A muster station is where everyone meets.
open seating


A dinner seating in which tables are not assigned — the opposite of assigned seating.
PortPort can mean (1) the port cities you visit on a cruise (also called ports of call); (2) port is the left side of the ship when you are facing toward the front of the vessel.
ports of callThe ports visited during your cruise itinerary, not counting the port of embarkation and disembarkation.
PromenadePromenade refers to a deck big enough to allow passengers to walk around.  A public space where you might encounter shops, restaurants or a carousel.
stabilizersStabilizers are wing-like retractable devices that extend from the sides of a ship to reduce roll and produce a more stable ride.
stateroomThe cruise industry’s preferred term for cabin.
SternThe stern is the physical back end of a ship where ship names are often placed. (The front end of the ship is the bow.)
tenderTenders are used when no pier facilities are available or when the water is too shallow for ships to get closer to shore. Cruise ships drop anchor a short distance away and use small boats, called tenders, to shuttle passengers to terra firma

See Ya Makin Memories!



Previous articleDecide This Before You Cruise
Next articleHow to Prevent Homeless Luggage
I am Wease, and my traveling days started early with a father that loved to travel. As a family, a large one, we always traveled and always by car. No matter how far we went, we made the famous road trip. My father’s mantra on these trips was “we are making memories”. No matter what happened on those trips, whether good or bad, we always made memories. These memories are very precious to me. My husband and I have continued this tradition in our family, with our children, of traveling and making memories. I have learned some valuable lessons and tricks and I plan to share these with you here. Here is what I live by: “The best things in life are the people we love, the places we have been, and the memories we have made along the way”. Anonymous


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here