Celebrity EquinoxCruising is, of course, my favorite way of exploring the world.  The ease of use, ability to stretch my travel dollars, and the supervised children’s programs, have convinced me that cruise vacations are the best family vacation option.  To help new cruisers get familiar with navigating around a cruise ship, I have compiled the following list of must know cruise lingo.

  • Aft: The rear of the ship.
  • Bow: The front of the ship.
  • Bridge: An area or room from which the ship can be commanded.
  • Cabin: Your room on board the ship. Historically, first class cabins were traditionally referred to as staterooms.
  • Crossing: The term used to describe a transatlantic or a transpacific cruise.
  • Decks: Floors of the ship.
  • Departure Port: The place where you get on the ship to begin a cruise.
  • Embarkation Port: The place where you get on the ship to begin the cruise.
  • Formal Night: A suggested dress code for the dining room and public spaces.
  • Galley: The ship’s kitchen.
  • Gangway: The entrance or exit area of the ship used while docked.
  • Lido: The term often used to describe a deck, where pools and fresh air venues are located. There is usually food involved somewhere.
  • Maitre D’: The officer in charge of the dining room and its wait staff. The head position of the front-of-the-house in a restaurant.
  • Muster Station: The designated meeting spot for passengers during emergencies or evacuations.
  • Ports of Call: Places a ship will stop and allow visitors to get off the ship.
  • Portside: The left side of the ship when facing the bow (the front of the ship).
  • Purser: A customer service representative, responsible for hotel operations on a cruise ship.
  • Starboard: The right side of the ship when facing the bow (the front of the ship).
  • Stateroom: Your room on board the ship. Also called a cabin.
  • Stern: The rear of the ship.
  • Steward: A housekeeper responsible for keeping the cabin maintained.
  • Tender: When a cruise ship can not dock at a pier, a tender is used to ferry passengers from a ship to a pier. Also used as lifeboats for an emergency.
  • Main Seating and Late Seating: Assigned dining times for passengers to use the main dining rooms.
  • Specialty restaurant: A themed restaurant on a ship which might be offered for a nominal charge.
  • Shore Excursion: An organized activity offered by the cruise line for a fee.