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

Sailing onboard 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.

important Cruise Ship terms to use
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These are the helpful meaning of cruise ship terminologies and words that you should know.

A – D 


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

E – H


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

I – L


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.

M – P

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

Q – T


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 ship terminologies and cruise definition, but these are the basics.

I will let you find out the other cruise ship 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!

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