travel cruise terms

I remember preparing for my first cruise, a senior trip.  I packed my luggage and never thought much about words I wouldn’t know the meaning of.  We’ll refer to this as cruise lingo.

While it wasn’t necessary for me to know such lingo, it would have been helpful to at least have an understanding of the terms (and since I was only 17, these definitions may have saved me from getting confused a time or two.)

Port – A port is a stop on a cruise; a docking point.  It can also mean the left side of the ship, when you are facing forward to the bow.  (Starboard would be the opposite side, on the left.)

Gangway – This might be the second term you hear, once you arrive at the port.  The gangway is the bridge passengers walk on to get on or off the ship. 

Knots – This refers to how fast the ship is moving.  Almost like miles per hour, though a knot refers to the nautical miles the ship travels per hour.   A nautical mile is a little more than 1,800 meters.

Sea Pass Card – This is your cruise identification, room key and possibly “credit card” for the duration of your cruise. 

Muster Station – This is the station you will report to in case of emergency.  Usually, your assigned muster station is clearly marked on your sea pass card and staff is available to direct you in the correct location. 

Embark – This term refers to getting on the ship.  Likewise, disembark refers to getting off the ship.

Bow – This is the very front of the ship!

Stern – This is the back of the ship.

Bridge – The bridge is the captain’s area (just as a pilot has a cockpit).  This is the area where the ship is driven from.

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