Unlocking Cruise Jargon: A Guide to Understanding Cruise Ship Terminology

Welcome aboard, fellow traveler! Whether you’re a seasoned cruise enthusiast or someone planning their first voyage at sea, understanding the unique language spoken aboard a cruise jargon ship can sometimes feel like deciphering a secret code. From baffling ship terminology to seemingly cryptic acronyms, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sea of unfamiliar words.

Peek behind the scenes on a galley tour and gain a newfound appreciation for the artistry of onboard cuisine. But fear not, for we are here to demystify the cruise jargon and ensure you navigate the high seas like a pro. So, set sail with us as we delve into the fascinating world of cruise ship terminology!

Anchors Aweigh: Decoding the Cruise Jargon

Embarking on a cruise is akin to entering a whole new realm, complete with its own vocabulary. To help you make sense of it all, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide breaking down the most commonly used cruise ship terminologies. So, grab your sailor’s cap, and let’s dive in!

1. Aft

As you stroll along the ship’s deck, you’ll often come across this term. Aft refers to the rear or back section of the ship. Imagine yourself gazing at the panoramic sunset views from the aft of the ship, and you’ll never forget which way is which onboard!

2. Bow

Now, let’s move to the opposite end of the ship. The bow refers to the front section of the vessel. Picture yourself gazing out over the crystal-clear blue waters while standing at the bow – a mesmerizing experience that every cruise-goer must try!

3. Port and Starboard

Have you ever wondered why sailors never seem to use “left” or “right” when navigating a ship? Well, the answer lies in the terms “port” and “starboard.” Port refers to the left side of the ship, while starboard indicates the right side when facing forward. Think of it as learning a secret language among seafarers!

4. Tender

While cruising, you’ll often find yourself visiting ports where the ship is too large to dock. In such cases, you’ll be ferried to the shore via smaller boats called tenders. These nifty vessels allow you to explore even the most secluded destinations during your cruise jargon adventure.

5. Lido Deck

The lido deck is where the excitement of a cruise truly comes alive. This deck, usually found on the uppermost level, is a hub of activities, including pools, lounges, bars, and sometimes even water slides. It’s the perfect spot for sunbathing, sipping on a tropical cocktail, and immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere.

6. Muster Drill

Before you begin your epic voyage at sea, every passenger must participate in a muster drill. This safety procedure familiarizes everyone with emergency protocols, including donning life jackets and locating designated muster stations. While it may seem like a chore, this drill ensures your safety and peace of mind while on board.

7. Atrium

The atrium serves as the heart of the ship, often located in the center and spanning multiple decks. Picture a grand, dazzling space with soaring ceilings, featuring stunning architecture, entertainment venues, shops, and bars. The atrium is where the magic happens – a vibrant space that buzzes with life day and night.

8. Galley

Behind every mouthwatering dish served on board lies the bustling galley. The galley is the ship’s kitchen, the epicenter of culinary creations where talented chefs work their magic to craft delectable meals for thousands of guests. Peek behind the scenes on a galley tour and gain a newfound appreciation for the artistry of onboard cuisine.

9. Gangway

When the ship pulls into port, your gateway to embarkation or disembarkation is the gangway. This cruise jargon walkway connects the ship to the land, welcoming you to explore new destinations or bidding you farewell after a memorable voyage. Stepping onto the gangway is like stepping into a whole new world of adventure.

10. Disembarkation

Alas, every voyage must come to an end. Disembarkation refers to the process of leaving the ship at the end of your journey. While bidding farewell to the ship and its crew can be bittersweet, it also marks the beginning of a new chapter – one filled with cherished memories and the yearning for your next cruise.

Now that we’ve embarked on a linguistic journey through cruise ship terminology, you’re well on your way to becoming a fluent cruise jargon. Remember, the key to mastering any language lies in practice and immersion, so start planning your next cruise adventure and put your newfound knowledge to the test. Bon voyage!


In conclusion, cruise jargon refers to the specialized language and terminology used within the cruise industry. This unique lexicon serves to facilitate effective communication among cruise ship crew members and passengers. Understanding cruise jargon can enhance one’s overall cruise experience by helping them navigate the ship, participate in onboard activities, and make informed choices during their voyage.

Whether you’re a seasoned cruiser or embarking on your first cruise adventure, familiarizing yourself with cruise jargon can be a valuable tool for making the most of your journey at sea. Thanks for reading this article. To learn more, visit Journey Index.