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Below are some terms used in the cruise industry that you may encounter planning for or traveling on your first cruise vacation.  Familiarization with these terms will assist you in maximizing your value and experience.

 

ABOARD
Onboard; the opposite of ashore. Used when referring to being or doing something on the ship.

 

ACCOMMODATION
A guest's stateroom or suite.

 

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
A package deal that includes the cruise price, airfare, and transfers to and from the ship.

 

ASHORE
On land; the opposite of aboard.

 

BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE
The amount of baggage, generally consisting of a guest's personal effects, carried by the cruise line free of charge.

 

BEAM
Width of the ship at the widest point.

 

BEARING
Compass direction, usually expressed in degrees, from the ship to a particular destination or objective.

 

BERTH
Dock, pier or quay (key); or, the bed or beds within the guests' staterooms.

 

CABIN
A guest's stateroom or suite.

 

CATEGORY
The price level of a stateroom based on location, size, and amenities.

 

CRUISE FARE
The actual cost of the cruise excluding all extras such as taxes, port charges, airfare, gratuities, etc.

 

CRUISETOUR
A full land and sea vacation combining a cruise with a pre- or post-cruise land journey.

 

DEBARKATION
Exiting from the ship.

 

DECK
Each level (floor) of the ship.

 

DECK PLAN
An overhead diagram illustrating stateroom and public area locations.

 

DEPOSIT(s)
A partial payment of the cruise fare required at the time of booking to secure the stateroom being reserved.

 

DRAFT
Measurement in feet from waterline to lowest point of ship's keel.

 

EMBARKATION
Boarding the ship.

 

FATHOM
Measurement of distance equal to six feet.

 

FINAL PAYMENT
Payment of the full cruise fare plus any necessary or agreed extras, such as taxes, air add-on, prior to the issuance of related travel documents.

 

FIRST SEATING
The earlier of the two meal times in the ship's main restaurant.

 

FORWARD
Toward the fore or bow (front) of the ship.

 

GANGWAY
Ramp or stairway between the ship and the shore while the ship is docked.

 

GRATUITIES
The guest's personal expression of thanks (tips) to the ship's service personnel for services received.

 

GRT
A measurement of enclosed passenger space, including the space in staterooms, lounges, showrooms, and dining rooms. This does not apply to open spaces such as decks and pool areas (unless, of course, they are enclosed).

 

GUARANTEES
The commitment that a stateroom in the same category as that purchased will be assigned. If one is not available, a stateroom in the next category of greater value will be assigned.

 

GUEST CRUISE/CRUISETOUR TICKET CONTRACT
Detailed terms of responsibility and accountability found in the cruise ticket.

 

GUEST RELATIONS/GUEST SERVICES
Onboard guest services and information center that assists with guest requests and arrangements.

 

HELM
Commonly the ship's steering wheel, but more correctly the entire steering apparatus consisting of the wheel and rudder and their connecting cables or hydraulic systems.

 

HULL
The outside shell of the ship from the main deck down to the keel.

 

INSIDE STATEROOM
A stateroom that does not have a porthole, window, or balcony.

 

KNOT
The measurement of the ship's speed. One knot is one nautical mile per hour.

 

LEEWARD
The side of an island or ship that is sheltered from the wind.

 

LOWER BED
A single bed placed at the conventional height from the floor.

 

MIDSHIP
In or toward the middle of the ship; the longitudinal center portion of the ship.

 

OPEN SEATING
Free access to unoccupied tables in the ship's restaurant, as opposed to specific table assignments.

 

OCEAN VIEW STATEROOM
An outside stateroom with a large porthole or window.

 

OCEAN VIEW STATEROOM WITH VERANDA
An outside stateroom with a veranda.

 

PORT
The left side of the ship when facing forward.

 

PORT CHARGE
An assessment which also includes port taxes, collected by the cruiseline and paid to a local government authority.

 

PORT-OF-CALL
A port at which the ship anchors and guests are allowed to disembark.

 

PORT TAX
A charge levied by local government authority to be paid by the guest. In some air/sea packages, port taxes are included in the final price.

 

ROLL
The side-to-side movement of the ship.

 

SAILING TIME
The actual hour at which the ship is scheduled to clear the dock and sail.

 

SECOND SEATING
The later of two meal times in the ship's main restaurant.

 

SHORE EXCURSION
Off-the-ship tours at ports of call (an extra charge is usually applied).

 

STARBOARD
The right side of the ship when facing forward.

 

STATEROOM
A guest's room, stateroom, or personal accommodation.

 

STERN
The back end of the ship.

 

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.

 

TRANSFERS
Conveyances between the ship and other modes, such as airports, hotels, or departure points for shore excursions.

 

UPGRADE
A change in stateroom assignment to a higher category.

 

UPPER BED
A bed similar to a bunk bed often folded or recessed into the wall.

 

WAIT LIST
A cruise line's endeavor to obtain accommodation and dining times for guest requests on a first-come, first-serve basis when current accommodations and dining times are not presently available.

 

WAKE
The track left in the water at the stern created by a moving ship.

 

WINDWARD
The side of an island or ship against which the wind is blowing.

 

 

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