Cruise Dictionary


The back of the ship.
The width of a ship at its widest point. Also called breadth.
The ships compass direction.
The front part of a ship.
The navigation and command area of the ship.
Your room onboard the ship.
The stairways inside the ship.
Corkage fee
For a nominal fee, some cruise lines allow you to take your own wine onboard to drink during dinner. This usually ranges from 15-20USD per bottle.
Process of getting off the ship on the final day.
The measurement from the waterline to the lowest point of a ships keel.
Process of boarding the ship.
A line dividing the northern and southern hemisphere at latitude 0 degrees.
The passageway (door) by which passengers embark or debark a ship.
Another word for tips which in most cases is automatically added to any onboard beverage purchase.
Gross registered tonnage (GRT)
Measurement of 100 cubic feet of enclosed revenue earning space within a ship.
Guarantee cabin
A "guarantee" cabin or stateroom is a promise that the passenger will sail on a stated voyage in a pre-defined minimum price category or type of cabin. It basically means you will be given this cabin type or better (upgrade). In this booking class you will usually not be assigned a specific cabin until close to the departure date.
IMO number
Ships identification number issues by the International Maritime Organization consisting of the letters IMO and followed by 7 numbers. The number was introduced to enhance martime safety.
Inaugural Sailing
The first official sailing of a ship with passengers.
International Date Line
A line running along the longtitude of 180 degrees where the time zones +12 and -12 meet and where the date changes. Few adjustments are made to this line to avoid a division of certain island groups.
A ships schedule of port and sea days.
The centerline of a ship running from front to back.
At sea, the ships speed is measured in knots. It is a unit of speed reflecting one nautical mile per hour, or 1.15 land miles per hour. The term comes from the old days when a series of knots were tied in a rope and attached to a log and spaced out of a certain distance. The log was thrown out over the stern and the number of knots which ran out while a 28 second sand-glass emptied were counted. The number of knots counted gave the ship’s speed.
The side of the ship sheltered from the wind.
Smaller reserve boats carried on the ship in case of emergency.
Tilt to the side (heel)
Middle of the ship
To assemble passengers and/or crew in a designated area onboard the ship in the event of an emergency.
Nautical Chart
A map of a sea area showing coast lines, rocks, water depths, buoy position and lighthouses. These charts are now mainly used in digital format however, ships also still have paper charts.
Nautical Mile
A distance equal to 6,076 feet. A land mile is 5,280 feet.
1 Nautical mile = 1,15 statute mile = 1,85 kilometers
The highest ranks (command) onboard the ship. Below are some officer positions found onboard cruise ships. Not all ships have the same structure and not all ships have all the officer positions mentioned.
• Captain
• Staff Captain
• Chief Officer
• Sr. First Officer
• First Officer
• Sr. Second Officer
• Second Officer
• Third Officer
• Technical Officer
• Security Officer
• Environmental Officer
• Hotel Director
A person from local port authority that conducts a ship in and out of a port.
Port side
The left side of the ship when facing forward.
The country in which a ship is registered. This can frequently be seen by that flag and city/county under the ships name.
When a ship moves from one seasonal cruise area to another.
Sway of the ship from side to side.
A device used to steer a ship
Wing-like retractable devices extending form the sides of the ship to reduce movement and produce a more stable situation.
Passenger cabin
The right side of the ship when facing forward.
The back part of a ship.
A smaller vessel used to move passengers to and from the ship. Frequently ship own lifeboats are used.

Facing towards the direction of the wind.