Nautical Terms


ABEAM - Situated off the side of the ship
ADD ON - A supplementary charge added to the price of the cruise, usually to cover airfare or other expenses that ere not included in the price of the cruise
AFFINITY GROUP - A group traveling together from an organization formed for another purpose such as a church, civic group, or club
AFT - Toward the rear of the ship
AGENCY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM - The network of travel agencies that sells the majority of cruises, tours, and airline seats
AGENT BYPASS - A business strategy where a supplier sells directly to the public, bypassing travel agencies
AHEAD - Situated in front of the bow
AIR/SEA - A package that includes the cost of both the air and the cruise as well as transfers between the airport and the port
ALONGSIDE - Said of the ship when is is beside another vessel or pier
AMIDSHIPS - In or toward the middle of the ship (also «Midship»)
ASTERN - Situated behind the ship
ASHORE - On land

BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE - The amount of baggage carried by the cruise line at no charge
BASIS TWO -Double occupancy. Cruise prices are quoted basis two, which means on the basis of two persons sharing a cabin
BEAM - Widest part of the ship
BEARING - The compass direction toward a point to which the ship is headed, usually expressed in degrees of the compass
BELOW - Said of anything beneath the main deck; to go "below" is to go to a lower deck
BERTH - A space to anchor or moor (tie-up) the ship; to dock the ship; a built in bunk for sleeping
BILGE - The lowermost spaces inside the ship
BLAST - The sound of the ship's horn
BON VOYAGE - A French phrase meaning "Have a good trip"
BOOKING - A telephone or automated request to a cruise line requesting a reservation for a passenger
BOW - The front of the ship
BRIDGE - Area where the ship is steered and controlled. Only captain and officers are allowed to enter.
BULKHEAD - Any wall abroad the ship that divide the ship into compartments
BUOY - A floating marker, moored to the bottom of the sea or tied to an anchor

CABIN - The rooms where passengers and crew sleep. Also known as staterooms or bedrooms
CAST OFF - To let go of the lines that moor the ship to the pier
CATEGORY - A price gradient of similar cabins from the most expensive to the least expensive , or vice versa
CHART - A nautical map to guide the ship
COME ABOUT - To turn the ship around
COMPANIONWAY - Interior stairway
COMPASS - Instrument used to determine the course of the shop
COURSE - Direction toward which the ship sails
CRUISE FARE - The actual cost of the cruise, not including port charges, tips, air fare, etc..
CRUISE LINES INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION (CLIA) - A trade promotion association consisting of cruise lines and travel agencies

DAVIT - Device used for raising and lowering lifeboats and tenders
DEBARK - To leave the ship
DECK - The floor of the ship
DECK PLAN - An overhead diagram that illustrates the location of cabins, public rooms and other spaces on a deck
DEPOSIT - A partial payment of the cruise fare required at the time of the booking
DISEMBARK - Same as "debark"
DOCK - The wharf or pier; to bring ship next to the pier
DRILL - A safety test ordered by the captain
DRAFT - Distance between the water surface and the keel
DUTY FREE - Refers to items that are sold free of import (duty) taxes
EMBARK - To go on board the ship

FANTAIL - The overhang at the rear of the ship
FAM - Familiarization trip, offered travel agents to visit cruise ships, hotels and destinations
FIRST SITTING - The earlier of two meal times on a ship
FLAG STATE - The flag of the country in which a ship is registered
FORE - Toward the front of the ship

GALLEY - The ship's kitchen
GANGWAY - The ramp, bridge or stairway used to get abroad and disembark the ship
GRATUITIES - Also known as tips. Waiters, busboys and room stewards receive a majority of their compensation from gratuities on board most cruises. Different companies provide guidelines, but passengers are free to tip whatever they feel the service warrants.
GROSS REGISTERED TONS (GRT) - the way the size of ship is computed. One
GRT equals 100 cubic feet of enclosed revenue -earning space (volume) on a vessel.

HEAVY SEAS - Rough water
HELM - Wheel controlling the rudder
HOLD - Storage area below guest decks in which ship carries its cargo
HULL - The frame and body of the ship not including the superstructure

INSIDE CABIN - A cabin that does not look out on to the ocean

KEEL - The bottom of the ship
KNOT - One nautical mile per hour, equals about 1.15 land miles per hour

LATITUDE - The distance north or south from equator expressed in degrees. One degree equals 60 nautical miles.
LEEWARD - Direction toward which the wind is blowing
LINES - The ropes that tie a ship to the dock. Largest of these are known as hawsers.
LONGITUDE - The distance east or west from the prime meridian az Greenwich, England, expressed in degrees. At the equator 1 degree equals 60 miles, but on the poles it equals zero,

MAL DE MER - French for seasickness
MANIFEST - List of the names of the ship's passengers,crew and cargo
MASTER - The captain
MIDSHIP - Toward the middle of the ship
MUSTER - to assemble the passengers,crew or both
M. V. - Motor vessel

NAUTICAL MILE - 6,080.2 feet

OPEN SITTING - Seating anywhere in the dining room as opposed to an assigned table
OUTSIDE CABIN - A cabin with a view of the ocean

PIER - Area where ship docks
PITCH - Rise and fall motion of the ship on the heavy seas
PORT - The left side of the ship when facing the bow (front)

ROLL - The side to side motion on the heavy seas

SAFETY OF LIFE AT SEA (SOLAS) - A set of rules of the International Maritime Organization to prevent and control hazards at sea such as fire.
SECOND SITTING - The later of two meal times
SHORE EXCURSIONS - Tours and activities that are offered to passengers (usually at a charge) when ship is in port
SINGLE OCCUPANCY - When one person occupies a cabin instead of two
SPACE RATIO - A measurement of how spacious a ship is calculated in cubic space per passenger. Gross registered tonnage divided by the number of passengers a ship carries (double occupancy) equals the space ratio
STABILIZERS - Retractable "wings" that extent from the sides of a ship underwater to reduce motion
STAFF CAPTAIN - Second in command on board
STARBOARD - The right side of the ship as you face toward the bow (front)
STERN - The rear (back) part of the ship
STRIPES - The designation on a ship's officer's uniform of his or her rank
SUPERSTRUCTURE - The part of the ship located above the main deck
SWELL - Large wave which rises without breaking

TENDER - The small boat used to transport people from ship to a shore when ship is not able to dock

WAKE - Waves created by movement of the ship trough the water
WINDWARD - Direction from which the wind is blowing



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