Make sense of cruise ship terminology with our jargon buster…


When planning a cruise holiday, you may come across a range of words and terms which you don’t understand. Here is a comprehensive jargon buster to get you up to date the next time you board a cruise ship:


If you are aboard, you are on the ship. If you are ashore, you are on land.


The option to add things to your cruise, usually at a charge.


An area towards the rear of the ship.

Alternative Dining

The option to eat at a different restaurant other than the one found in the main dining room. Charges may apply.


Berth can be the cabin beds or the space where the ship docks when stationary.

Boarding pass

The pass you need to gain entry to the ship. It is used as a form of identification. Make sure you don’t lose your boarding pass.


The area at the front of the ship.


The cockpit of the ship where the captain navigates.


The bunker is the fuel tank and storage area. Bunkering is the process of fuelling the ship.


The accommodation on the ship. The room you will be sleeping in.

Cashless system

No need to pay in cash. Boarding cards can be used to make purchases on cruise ships to make things easier for passengers.


The direction the ship is heading.


A device used to lower the lifeboats on the ship.


The floors of the ship.


To dock means to bring the ship to a stop at a landing pier.


The kitchen of the ship.


The narrow path used to board the ship.

Gross Registered Ton

The measurements of ships referring to how big and heavy it is.


The structure and outer shell of the ship.


The unit of speed for how fast the ship is travelling.

Muster station

The assembly point in the case of an emergency.

Port side

The lefthand side of the ship when facing forward.

Port of call

The destinations the ship calls at to allow passengers to disembark.


The sway of the ship.


The right hand side of the ship when facing the bow.


The area at the back of the ship.

What do you think of this blog? Have you come across any other words you weren’t sure of when searching for cruise holidays? If so, please leave your comments below.