Common Cruise Ship Terms

Here are the most commonly used ship-related words you may hear while on your cruise.

  • Aft – at or near the back (the stern) of a ship
  • Atrium – the center area of a cruise ship. Typically, it’s open for several stories (decks).

Atrium on a cruise ship. (Photo:dbvirago / 123RF Stock Photo)

  • Berth – a built-in bed or bunk in a ship’s cabin or stateroom
  • Bow – the very front of the ship
  • Bridge – where the navigational control center is located

A ship’s Bridge. (Photo: Creative Commons CC0)

  • Cabin – also known as a Stateroom or Berth
  • Captain – the person who is in command of a ship
  • Disembark – to get off a ship
  • Embark – to get on a ship
  • Forward – the front, or near the front, of a ship
  • Gangway – the ramp or walkway that connects the ship to the dock for embarking and disembarking
  • Knot – a unit of measure for speed of a ship or boat. (1 knot = 1.15 miles per hour)
  • Leeward – the side of the ship that’s out of, or away from, the wind
  • Muster – to assemble together on the ship, usually for roll call, inspection, or the required life boat drill
  • Muster Station – the appointed location on a ship to assemble; assigned based on stateroom location
  • Nautical – having to do with sailors; navigation (by ships or boats)
  • Port – the left-hand side of the ship as a person faces forward

Port and Starboard (Illustration: Igor Romanov 123rf.com)

  • Port-of-Call – stops on a cruise itinerary
  • Purser – a ship’s officer who is responsible for all money and transactions
  • Starboard – the right side of the ship while facing forward
  • Stateroom – also known as a Cabin or Berth
  • Stateroom Steward – the person who maintains the cabins or staterooms during a cruise
  • Stern – the very back (aft) of the ship

Cruise ship tender. (Photo:woodysphotos / 123RF Stock Photo)

  • Tender – a boat that carries passengers from a ship to the shore when the ship cannot dock directly in port, usually due to shallow waters
  • Windward – the side of the ship that’s toward the wind (it’s the windy side)

Common Cruise Ship Terms

Here are the most commonly used ship-related words you may hear while on your cruise.

  • Aft – at or near the back (the stern) of a ship
  • Atrium – the center area of a cruise ship. Typically, it’s open for several stories (decks).

Atrium on a cruise ship. (Photo:dbvirago / 123RF Stock Photo)

  • Berth – a built-in bed or bunk in a ship’s cabin or stateroom
  • Bow – the very front of the ship
  • Bridge – where the navigational control center is located

A ship’s Bridge. (Photo: Creative Commons CC0)

  • Cabin – also known as a Stateroom or Berth
  • Captain – the person who is in command of a ship
  • Disembark – to get off a ship
  • Embark – to get on a ship
  • Forward – the front, or near the front, of a ship
  • Gangway – the ramp or walkway that connects the ship to the dock for embarking and disembarking
  • Knot – a unit of measure for speed of a ship or boat. (1 knot = 1.15 miles per hour)
  • Leeward – the side of the ship that’s out of, or away from, the wind
  • Muster – to assemble together on the ship, usually for roll call, inspection, or the required life boat drill
  • Muster Station – the appointed location on a ship to assemble; assigned based on stateroom location
  • Nautical – having to do with sailors; navigation (by ships or boats)
  • Port – the left-hand side of the ship as a person faces forward

Port and Starboard (Illustration: Igor Romanov 123rf.com)

  • Port-of-Call – stops on a cruise itinerary
  • Purser – a ship’s officer who is responsible for all money and transactions
  • Starboard – the right side of the ship while facing forward
  • Stateroom – also known as a Cabin or Berth
  • Stateroom Steward – the person who maintains the cabins or staterooms during a cruise
  • Stern – the very back (aft) of the ship

Cruise ship tender. (Photo:woodysphotos / 123RF Stock Photo)

  • Tender – a boat that carries passengers from a ship to the shore when the ship cannot dock directly in port, usually due to shallow waters
  • Windward – the side of the ship that’s toward the wind (it’s the windy side)