There are certain words in the universe that only cruise passengers will ever understand (and hey, we’re okay with that!).
Here are 11 of those words.
A porter is the person who takes your checked bags for you when you arrive at your embarkation port. They ensure that your bags get onto the ship as quickly as possible, so be sure to tip them.
2. Repo Cruise
Short for “repositioning cruise,” this refers to the cruise when a ship is moving to a new home port. For example, when the Carnival Vista debuts in May 2016, it will be sailing Mediterranean cruises until October 2016, when it repositions from Barcelona to New York. Just a few weeks later it will reposition again to sail roundtrip cruises out of Miami. Repo cruises can be great because they may call on unique ports or have more sea days than normal, but the downside is having to arrange transportation to get back home from different port.
The lido deck is the main deck of the ship where you will find its pools, sports courts, buffets, minigolf, etc. Different ships and cruise lines offer different activities, but on any ship the lido deck is where the action happens.
The purser is the lead staff member in charge of handling finances aboard the ship. These days, the “purser’s desk” is usually just referred to as “guest services.”
5. Muster Station
Your muster station on a cruise ship is where you would go in the event of an emergency. Should the captain ever have to make the call to abandon ship, you will meet at your muster station, which is usually in front of your assigned lifeboat. It’s rare that you’ll ever have to meet here aside from the safety drill before you sail, but it’s important to know where it is just in case.
6. Ship’s Time
This one is important. When a ship calls on a port, it is important to keep your watch on the ship’s time, which is the time shown on the ship’s clocks. If you travel into a new time zone, sometimes the ship’s captain will go ahead and adjust the ship’s clocks. But sometimes, especially if you’ll only be in that time zone a few hours, the captain will not adjust the ship’s clocks to the local time. It’s not always a good idea to rely on your smartphone for the time, because sometimes your phone will update to the time zone once it connects to a wifi network/ This is why you should use a watch. You don’t want to be sitting on the beach watching your ship sail away because you thought you had one more hour to get back onboard.
A promenade is a long, open walkway where you can take a leisurely stroll. On some ships the promenade is outside and you can enjoy the scenic ocean views, and on other ships there is a promenade inside that’s lined with shops and eateries.
8. MDR (Main Dining Room)
The main dining room is where you’ll find your wait staff and a full course meal waiting for you every night. You’re given a three-course menu and can order as many dishes as you like – everything is included in your cruise fare. The main dining room is also open for brunch on sea days if you prefer the white linen tablecloths and friendly wait staff over the lido deck buffet.
The gangway is the ramp between the ship and the pier that you use to debark the ship while it’s in port. You walk over it right after you badge out with your sailing card and just before you’re greeted by a man in a pirate costume wanting a picture.
For those ports that ships cannot dock in, cruises use a tender to transport people to and from the port. The tender is a smaller boat that ties up to the cruise ship so that passengers can board it safely, and then it carries passengers to the port and back again. Tenders usually run back and forth between the ship and port all day, but be sure you don’t miss the last one!
11. Pier Runner
A pier runner is the person you never want to be. This is the guy running down the pier at 3:59 when the ship departs port at 4:00. Make sure to stay on ship time so you’ll never be a pier runner.
What are some cruise words that you may know, but your friends don’t?