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I’ve gathered here are some of the cruise terminologies and definitions that are worth knowing when you go on board. 

Sailing on board a cruise ship might be one in your bucket list, but usually (especially if it’s your first time) it would be nice to know ahead of time the terminologies used when you get on board the ship.

You might hear these words either from the officers or crew members or even announcements.

These are the helpful meaning of cruise ship terminologies and words that you should know.

Port/Starboard side

A cruise ship terminology which means, the Port side means the left side of the ship and Starboard side means the right side of the ship.


The direction towards the front of the ship.


The direction towards the back of the ship.


The very front of the ship.


The back part of the ship.


Usually, the Entrance and Exit from the ship especially when you’re docked/anchored.


An important cruise ship term to know. The casual restaurant (buffet) where they usually serve the breakfast, lunch and dinner.


The theatre where the shows and other presentations are held.

Cruise Director

The one in charge of the shows and programs is happening on the ship.


A cruise ship term that means floors, e.g. Deck 1, Deck 2, Deck 3, etc

Tender boat

A cruise ship term that is used when the ship is anchored, tender boats are used to bring the passengers from and to the shore side.


The main kitchen of the ship. All the food are prepared in the galley.

Stateroom/Cabin Room

The cruise ship term for the rooms in the ship.


Short for Shore Excursions which means the department that deals with activities ashore. Their desks are usually found in the main lobby probably near the front office


This is the navigation room where you will find the controls, steering wheel of the ship!

Well, it’s not a big one like we usually see in pirate movies, but you get what I mean.

This is the working place of the captain!

You will hear announcement throughout the ship and the microphone is located on the bridge.


This is the ship’s clinic. The ship usually has passenger/crew doctors and nurses on board.

There are a lot more ship terminologies and cruise definition, but these are the basics.

Muster Drill

The maritime safety drill for the passengers where they get to be briefed with on-board safety procedures in case of evacuation and emergencies.

I will let you find out the other terms when you get on board.

Try to talk to the sailors and crew members and ask them if you don’t understand some words and they will be happy to assist you!

Read more of our fun Cruise stories and reviews.

Any other cruise ship terminology that you would like to add?

Happy cruising!

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helpful cruise ship terms
helpful cruise ship terminology