Cruise Terms Explained
Don't know your Virtual Balcony from your Interior, your Forward from your Aft? Don't panic - you've come to the right place! Here are some of the more common terms explained to help you either with your booking or when you climb onboard the ship! We hope you find it helpful...
The 'port side' refers to the left hand side of the ship. To make this easier to remember then think that both 'port' and 'left' are each 4 letters long.
Inside or Interior stateroom
An inside or interior stateroom is a room that does not contain a window and tends to be tucked into the middle of the ship.
Outside or Ocean View Stateroom
A stateroom that contains a window or 'porthole' allowing you to see outside and letting in natural light. Naturally the size of the window can vary both on a ship and across ships.
Balcony or Veranda Stateroom
A stateroom with your own private outside area accessed through sliding glass doors usually containing a couple of chairs and a table. Slightly bigger balconies will incorporate deckchairs.
Suites differ from cruise line to cruise line and even within ships however a suite would be considered to be a different class of room above a balcony stateroom. These are normally larger sometimes with separate seating areas, normally have a few extra little luxuries such as bathrobes, toiletries etc., considered to be in a better location and often has a little more included as part of your cruise fare like drinks packages or speciality dining.
The starboard side refers to the right hand side of the ship.
A deck of a ship is like a floor of a hotel. Decks are usually numbered but often also have names such as Promenade Deck or Pool Deck.
Generally when someone refers to All Inclusive they mean that the drinks are included
The Aft of the ship refers to the back of the ship.
The opposite of Aft, forward refers to the front area of a ship.
As part of your cruise fare your food in the main dining room, the buffet and often other smaller cafes and restaurants are included. However, increasingly cruise lines are opening alternative 'speciality' restaurants where you pay a small surcharge to enjoy perhaps a dining experience from a Michelin starred chef or perhaps a very high end steakhouse.
Embark or Embarkation
When passengers join a ship they 'embark' the ship and the period of passengers joining is referred to as embarkation.
Disembark or Debark
When passengers leave a ship it's referred to as Disembark or to debark.
The port from which a ship starts or originates / where the ship is based out of.
The Lido deck refers to the pool deck. Head to the Lido deck to take a plunge into the swimming pool or the whirlpool!
Often cruise ships will give 'onboard credit' as part of a promotion or while onboard due to an unforeseen event. You can use this credit to buy things on board, from the shops or perhaps a treatment from the spa. Usually it can only be used on your current voyage.
Usually occurring April and November (or thereabouts) a repositioning cruise refers to an itinerary that takes the ship from one part of the world to another, often to chase the seasons or the warm weather - ie, from Dubai to Rome, Southampton to Florida so that the ship can start a season of voyages in its new part of the world.
Shore excursions are land based trips in each port to allow you to fully immerse yourself in and enjoy each port. They can range from a city tour to a particular cultural event to various active pursuits. Cruise lines will have a range of organised shore excursions to avail of that give you the comfort of knowing that everything is organised for you and you will be collected and delivered back to the ship well on time.
A tender is a small boat that ferries passengers to the shore from the ship and back again. In some ports the ship can't get into dock at the shoreside and has to anchor off shore. Passengers are then tendered to and from the ship so they can enjoy the port. This is more of a problem with larger ships and less of a problem for smaller boutique ships.
A virtual balcony gives you the impression of having a balcony in your stateroom and a real time sea view through the use of a HD display. In Royal Caribbean's case there is even a virtual rail, the balcony comes complete with curtains so you can cover and uncover it and 'natural' sounds relevant to the view are also played in
The very front part of the ship is called the Bow
The stern refers to the very back of the ship