Planning Your Cruise

Boarding Pass: Your confirmation for check-in is used for embarkation.

Crossing: A voyage across the water – in other words, a cruise is a crossing.

Cruise Card: Your individual ID card, serving as your room key and boarding pass at ports of call, also used to access your Onboard Expense account.

Departure port/embarkation port: Both of these terms refer to the port or location where your cruise begins and ends.

Disembarkation: This is when you leave the ship at the end of your trip.

Embarkation: It’s when you board your cruise ship at the beginning of your trip.

Muster/Mustering: The safety drill conducted at the beginning of every cruise.

Onboard: On a ship, as opposed to onshore.

Port of call: A port of call is a destination on your cruise where you’ll likely be able to enjoy shore excursions.

Pre-cruise address: Your address immediately before your cruise. For instance, your pre-cruise address could be a hotel address.

Reservation Number: The identification/reference number you receive after reserving a cruise.

Shore excursion: A shore excursion is an activity off the ship at a port of call that you can purchase as part of your itinerary.

Tender: Also called a lifeboat, a tender is a small boat that takes you from the ship to shore when the cruise ship anchors in a harbour.

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


Accommodation: A guest's stateroom or suite.

Interior stateroom: Located in less active spots on the ship, interior staterooms are comfortable for sleepers who prefer a quiet place to curl up after a day of fun and activities.

Ocean view stateroom: An ocean view stateroom with a porthole or window lets you gaze out at ocean vistas and ports of call.

Mini Suite stateroom: This room has a small, personal, outdoor balcony. A mini-suite stateroom is recommended when taking a cruise to Lakshadweep.

Suite stateroom: Larger rooms that are ideal for family cruises. These suites give everyone in your group ample room to stretch out.

Chairman Suite: A contemporary luxe state-of-the-art suite for an unmatched cruising experience. The Chairman’s Suite has a luxe living room, a private dining area with a six-seater dining table, a stylish bar counter, a master bedroom, walk-in closet, a private sun-deck balcony, Jacuzzi and is furnished with special amenities.

Cruise Terminology

Aft: The stern or rear of a ship.

Air Arrangements: Your air transportation to and from the port and ground transportation between the airport and the port.

Ashore: On land.

Bow: The bow is the front of the ship.

Bridge: The bridge is the location from which the captain steers the ship.

Check-In: Guests can save time at the pier by completing their pre-cruise documentation.

Deck: The horizontal platform that extends from one side of a ship to the other.

Deck Plan: An overhead map illustrating stateroom and public area locations.

Draft: The depth of a ship's keel below the waterline.

Forward: Toward the fore or bow (front) of a ship.

Gallery: A galley is a ship’s kitchen. On a cruise ship, there are many galleys.

Gangway: The gangway is the ramp or staircase that you’ll use to embark or disembark the ship.

Gratuity: A tip to onboard personnel as an indication of thanks for services rendered.

Guarantee Stateroom: An assurance that you will be assigned the stateroom category you select.

Midship: This is the middle of the ship.

Minor: Child under the age of 18 who is under the supervision of an adult.

Open Seating: A dining area or time without specific seating arrangements.

Port: The left side of the ship as it’s facing forward is called port. If you have a hard time remembering that, just keep in mind that “left” and “port” both have four letters.

Partial Cruise: Allows you to meet the cruise ship in a different location than the scheduled boarding port.

Passage: Your travel onboard the cruise ship

Starboard: The right side of the ship is starboard.

Upper deck: The upper deck is typically the area closest to the entertainment, fun, and outdoor deck areas.

Stern: The rear part of a ship.

Crew Member

Cabin steward: Crew member responsible for the housekeeping of your stateroom.

Captain: Crew member in charge of the cruise ship, responsible for the crew and passenger safety.

Cruise director: Crew member who organizes for the ship’s activities and entertainment and is often the emcee for onboard events.

Porter: Crew member on land to help you with your luggage curbside before you embark the ship.

Purser: Crew member in charge of onboard billing and monetary transactions.

Nautical Lingo

Knot: A unit of speed at which ships travel, which is one nautical mile per hour.

Mooring: A place where a ship is tied, such as the dock when in port.

Wake: The trail of water created at the back (stern) of the ship as it moves forward in the water.