Helpful Cruise Terms That You Should Know Before Cruising

Cruising has been around for ages as a method of travelling and discovering new places. At present times, the cruise industry has been the favourite of many as it became a floating city roaming the seas and oceans of the world. I’ve gathered here are some of the cruise terms and definitions that are worth knowing when you go onboard

Sailing onboard a cruise ship might be one on your bucket list, but usually (especially if it’s your first time) it would be nice to know ahead of time the vital cruise terms used when you get on board the ship. You might hear these words either from the officers or crew members or even announcements.

Read More: Best Cruise Destinations Around the World

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


The direction towards the back of the ship.


The very front of the ship.


The best bower and small bower anchors were the principal anchors of the ship, kept ready for use in the bows.


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.


1. The direction which the ships move; 2. Name for the lowest square sails, either foresail or mainsail.

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

Read More: Cruise Packing List: What To Pack For A Cruise That You Shouldn’t Forget


The direction towards the front of the ship.


Emblematic figure carved at the very front of a ship.


A deck built over the forward end of the upper deck.


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


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


The foremost part of the ship

Read More: Shore Excursions: Cruising Tips for First Time Cruisers


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


A small anchor used to keep a ship stead, especially at the turn of the tide, and sometimes to move her from place to place.


The direction towards which the wind is blowing.


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

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.


A person with special local knowledge charged with the direction of the ship’s course near the coast and while entering rivers or harbours in his district.


The highest and aftermost deck of a ship, built over the after the end of the quarterdeck.

Port/Starboard side

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


A deck above the main deck over the after part of the ship.


The right side of the ship when facing forward.


The back part of the ship.


The theatre where the shows and other presentations are held.

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

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.

There are a lot more cruise terms and definitions, but these are the basics. I will let you find out the other cruise terms. 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!

important Cruise Ship terms to use


Everything Zany Dual Citizen Travel Blog

Jam Tsagkarakis


Had a degree in Bachelor of Science in Tourism and Hotel and Travel Industry Management. Did a few training locally and abroad, had sailed (still sailing) the sea and exploring new ports and meeting new people, loves food and culture.

15 thoughts on “Helpful Cruise Terms That You Should Know Before Cruising”

  1. I am familiar with most of these but had never heard Shorex before! Reminds me of Forex, for Foreign Exchange, another key one for a traveller! This is a handy reference for cruise newbies!

  2. I’m familiar with these because I’m familiar with ships. But I don’t recall most of them being used when we went on a cruise. They make it pretty easy for cruise passengers.

  3. I once was told an easy way to remember port means ‘left’ – they both have the same number of letters! But my favourite cruise ship term is ‘would you like another drink, ma’am?’!!! Knowing the terms is a great way to feel a part of shipboard life!

  4. No matter how many times I have been on a boat I always struggle to remember what is Port and what is starboard. Thanks for another reminder!

  5. Some of the phrases are totally new to me, not having been on a major cruise till now. However some of them are very familiar, thanks to a lot of reading books about ships, battles on the high seas and pirates. The sea is indeed a fascinating world. In recent years, the Pirates of the Caribbean series have kept alive my fascination for sea and the ships.

  6. This is a great resource, thankyou! Nice to have a glossary on hand, especially as the cruises we like to go on are usually smaller, 100 people adventure tours, where they come over the speaker and say everyone to the gangway etc. I might print out little cheat sheets for my next cruise – probably good for someone like me who’s 29 and still gets confused with right and left haha :D!

  7. Travel, new adventures and discoveries are always a good idea. Annoying tourists who want to capture beautiful people in beautiful surroundings, the daily life of famous places. This probably has no explanatory reason. The support of the locals is important, you need to enjoy nature, the attractiveness is complemented by trips to local areas, nature entertainment and inspiration for fresh air. New ways of traveling and the warm atmosphere, minibus, car rental or cycling offer the opportunity to see few sights. Discovering local places to enjoy an exclusive holiday also means traveling and walking. Immerse yourself in adventure to return again.


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