There are many terms which are used by employees of cruise lines and port authorities which mean a lot to them but often very little to people who are not working within the industry.
Cruise Ship Terminology, or “Cruise Speak” as it’s often known are terms used specifically within the cruise line industry but may not apply to other ports and shipping specialties such as freighters.
It is essential that cruise ship employees understand and know about the cruise ship terminology in order to be able to perform their duties correctly and efficiently.
To help you learn about the language of the cruise line industry this article explains an extensive list of cruise industry terms and definitions/
Here is a list of the most commonly used cruise ship terminology.
Air/Sea – A package consisting of two forms of travel. Air transport to and from port of embarkation, as well as the cruise itself. Also referred to as Fly/Cruise.
Alternative Dining – Offering passengers the option to dine in restaurant other than the main dining room. This is usually a smaller restaurant aboard that has a themed setting.
Anchorage Port – A port of call where the ship cannot come alongside of dock/quay. The ship will drop its anchor to keep its position and passengers will be transported to and from shore by a the ships tender (a smaller boat – usually a modified lifeboat)
Baggage Allowance – The amount of baggage, generally consisting of the passengers personal effects carried by the cruise line free of charge. A number of Cruise Lines do not have a limit on the amount of personal baggage allowed on a ship, but the airlines do have limitations and these limits are enforced.
Basis Two – The cabin rate per person, applicable to a cabin capable of accommodating at least two people. Also referred to as double occupancy.
Berth – A built-in bunk (bed) for sleeping
Boarding Pass – Issued to passengers at time of check-in prior to embarkation and is used as a form of identification during to cruise. The boarding pass is used throughout the cruise to re-board the ship at a port of call.
Cabin – The passenger’s room or cabin is a person’s personal accommodation
Cashless System – Cash is not normally accepted for purchase aboard. A charge account is automatically open for each passenger at embarkation. All onboard expenses, such as bar services, gifts, shore excursions and beauty treatment will be charged to the passengers’ account.
Category – A price gradient of similar cabins from the most expensive to the least expensive or visa versa.
Conductor’s Ticket – A free cruise ticket usually associated with a group of passengers travelling together. The entitlement of such ticket is governed by each Cruise Lines own policy and will vary from Cruise Line to Cruise Line.
Debarkation/Disembarkation – Exiting from a ship. At the final destination, passengers will not exit the ship or leave the port for at least two hours following the ship’s arrival.
Deck Plan – An overall diagram illustrating cabin and public room locations in relation to each other.
Embarkation – Entering or boarding a ship.
Expedition Vessels – Smaller cruise ships that are designed and built to visit remote parts of the world, such as Alaska or the Antarctica.
First Sitting – The earlier of two meal times in the ship’s dining room.
Fly/Cruise – A package consisting of two forms of travel. Air transport to and from port of embarkation, as well as the cruise itself. Also referred to as Air/Sea.
Gratuities (Tips) – The passenger’s personal expression of thanks to the ship’s personnel for service received.
Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) – A measurement of 100 cubic feet of enclosed revenue earning space within a ship.
Guarantee – The Cruise line’s promise that the passenger will sail on a stated voyage in a specific price category or type of cabin, at an agreed rate no higher than would ordinarily apply to the voyage. This may result in an improvement or upgrade in a passengers accommodation at no additional cost to the passenger.
Guarantee Share Fare – Some Cruise lines offer a single booking at the cost of a double occupancy fare, with the understanding that the client/passenger is willing to share use of the cabin with a stranger of the same sex.
Inside Cabin – A cabin having no window or porthole to offer an external view of the sea. The light in the cabin is by artificial means and there is no natural light.
Interactive TV – Allows passengers to use their TV in their cabin, to order films, buy shore excursions, write e-mails, make dining room reservations and check their ship board account.
Lower Bed – A single bed placed at the conventional height from the floor.
Muster Station – A designated area (either inside or on deck) onboard a ship, where passengers are instructed to go in the event of an emergency.
Newbuilds – Ships that have been ordered or are being constructed that have not entered service.
Offer – The Cruise line’s commitment for accommodation then available, which may be suitable to the passenger’s needs or wishes.
Open Sitting – Free access to unoccupied tables in the ship’s dinning room, as opposed to a specific table assignment.
Outside – A cabin having window(s) or porthole(s) to offer an external view of the sea and providing natural light in the cabin.
Owner’s Suite – Usually the most luxurious and most expensive suite onboard a ship.
Passage Contract – Detailed terms of responsibility and accountability found on a cruise ticket or related cruise documents. May also be found on a Cruise line’s website.
Passenger Embarkation – At most ports, the ship will be available for passenger boarding two hours prior to the scheduled sailing time. The passenger’s cruise documents provide the boarding time of their cruise. Passenger Embarkation varies from Cruise Line to Cruise Line.
Passenger Registration Form (PRF) – Many Cruise lines will require the completions of a Passenger Registration Form, so that the information required can be included on the ship’s manifest as well as providing the cruise line staff with information which will allow them to serve passengers better. Please note that many Cruise lines will not issue final documentation until they have received a completed Passenger Registration Form.
Passenger Space Ratio (PSR) – Measurement of cubic space per guest
Pets and Animals – Any ordinary domesticated animal or bird. Pets and Animals are not permitted or carried aboard cruise ships.
Port Agent – A Company or person that acts as the ship’s link to local authorities in the port-of-call
Port Charges – An assessment, which also includes port taxes.
Port Holes – Circular window in the side of the ship’s hull or superstructure.
Port Taxes – A charge levied by local government authorities to be paid by the passenger. In most cruise fares, port taxes are included in the final price.
Post Panamax – A generation of ships that is too wide to go through the Panama Canal.
Private Island – Several cruise lines have purchased or lease private islands where passengers can enjoy exclusive use of the island and facilities
Quad Rate – An economical per person rate available to individuals for quadruple occupancy on a guarantee share basis.
Room – The passenger’s room or cabin is a person’s personal accommodation.
Sailing Time – The actual hour at which the ship is scheduled to sail.
Second Seating – The later of the two meal times in the ship’s dining room.
Share Basis – (Guarantee Share Fare) Some Cruise lines offer a single booking at the cost of a double occupancy fare, with the understanding that the client/passenger is willing to share use of the cabin with a stranger of the same sex.
Shore Excursions – Off the ship tours at a port of call. Most shore excursions are available for purchase onboard a ship up to 48 hours prior to arrival in the port in which the tour operates. Some Cruise Lines will sell shore excursions 30 days prior to departure.
Single Occupancy – Sole occupancy of a cabin which is designed to accommodate two or more passengers in which instance a premium is ordinarily charged.
Stateroom – A deluxe cabin that is larger and generally provides more amenities.
Stopover – Leaving a ship at a port and rejoining it at a subsequent port of call.
Suite – A deluxe cabin that is larger than a normal cabin and usually has a separate bedroom and sitting area.
Tender – A smaller vessel used to move passengers to and from the ship and shore when the ship is at anchor.
TBA – To be assigned.
Themed Cruise – A cruise that offers onboard activities that attract people with the same special interest.
Transfers – Conveyance between the ship and other modes transport, such as airports, hotels or departure points for shore excursions.
Triple Rate – An economical per person rate available to individuals for triple occupancy on a guarantee share basis.
Type – (Category) A price gradient of similar cabins from the most expensive to the least expensive or visa versa.
Upper Bed – A single size bed higher from the floor than usual (Similar to a bunk bed). Often recessed into the ceiling or wall by day.
Waitlist – Not a guarantee, but the cruise line’s endeavour to obtain accommodations for passengers on a first come first served basis when all cabins are presently either sold, under deposit or under option.