If you haven’t cruised before or are still new to cruising, there may be terminology that you may not know (or understand). This glossary will be VERY helpful in learning what certain words or other phrases are so you will be ‘in the know’! (You may want to bookmark this page for easy reference as you do your research so you can come back to it easily!

  • Aboard: Onboard or on the ship; the opposite of ashore. Used when referring to being or doing something on the ship.
  • Abreast: Alongside something, usually another ship or dock.
  • Add-On: A supplementary charge added to your cruise fare. Typical add-ons might be: travel insurance, flights to and from the cruise, pre- and/or post-cruise hotel packages and pre-or post-cruise land tours.
  • Air/Sea Package: A package deal that includes the cruise price, airfare and transfers between the airport and the ship.
  • Air Transportation: The term for your flight to/from your cruise embarkation and disembarkation points.
  • Aft: The rear (stern) of the ship.
  • Atrium: An inside area of the ship, often lush with plants, often under skylights, but usually always multi-decked, to help give the ship the sense of space and outdoors. Some ships also have balcony cabins that overlook the atrium area.
  • At Sea Days: These are the days when you do not stop at a port. People either love them or hate them – those that love them see these at sea days as forced relaxation and an opportunity to really read a good book or just relax. Those that don’t like them prefer to be ‘doing something’ and have a hard time just enjoying being out on the water.
  • Baggage Allowance: The amount of luggage you are allowed to carry onboard. Usually, the baggage allowance for the airline is going to be much more of an issue than what the cruise line will allow.
  • Balcony Cabin: An outside cabin with a balcony, sometimes called a verandah. Recently, the demand for balcony cabins has resulted in new ships with more balcony cabins than window cabins.
  • Beam: The width of a ship at its widest point, and one of the determining factors as to whether a ship will fit inside the locks of the old Panama Canal.
  • Below: The term used for the lower decks of a ship.
  • Berth: The industry term for ‘your bed’ in the cabin. It’s also where the ship will dock at the pier. (This can be confusing because they are the same word, but yet mean completely different things).
  • Bearing: The ship’s compass direction, such as a “northwest bearing.”
  • Boarding Pass: The document you will need (along with your passport or other photo ID) when you arrive at the embarkation port in order to board the ship.
  • Booking or Booking Number: This is the term for your reservation on the ship. Everything you do, either leading up to the cruise, while onboard and sometimes even after the cruise, will reference this booking number, so it is important that you have that number handy throughout the entire process.
  • Bow: The front, or forward, part of a ship (pointy end).
  • Bridge: Where all of the navigational activities of the ship take place – usually on one of the upper decks (hint: if the cabin you’re considering is near the bridge, it’s usually a good cabin.)
  • Bulbous Bow: A rounded forward extension of the keel, which creates a frontal wave to reduce resistance.
  • Bulkhead: Basically, a wall. A bulkhead is an upright partition that divides the ship into compartments or cabins. There is also usually a water tight door at this point that can be closed in case of an emergency to reduce the chance of any emergency spreading throughout the ship.
  • Bulwarks: The protective structure, lip, or railing that surrounds the open, exposed deck areas of a ship. Scuppers (openings) are provided in bulwarks to allow for drainage of seawater or accumulated deck water.
  • Cabin: Your room on the ship, also referred to as stateroom or suite.
  • Cabin Steward (Room Steward): The person who services your cabin. This person will be one of the recipients of the gratuities charged to your account per day.
  • Call: This is the term for when you ‘stop’ at a port, hence ‘port-of-call.’
  • Capacity: The total number of passengers possible on the ship, usually including pull-down and rollaway beds. A ship can usually carry more passengers than the number of berths.
  • Captain’s Party: A party held for all passengers to meet the captain, usually held before dinner the first formal night.
  • Category: For each type of cabin (i.e. inside, window, etc.), there are various ‘categories’ within that type of cabin – it’s the placement on the ship and the amenities included that determine the price of each category. Some categories will be on more than one deck, but will vary with their placement. This is probably the most confusing part to guests.
  • Channel: The deepest part of a river or harbor.
  • Colors: Colors are the national flag flown by the ship
  • Companionway: An interior stairway. Entrances into shipboard companionways often begin with a step up, before you make your way down.
  • Concierge: Once you book into the concierge level, you are entitled to extra amenities, such as what would be available through a concierge at a hotel. There is also usually also a private section of the ship reserved only for those passengers.
  • Course: The ship’s route from one port to the next.
  • Crossing: A ‘crossing’ differs from a cruise in that a cruise is usually a round trip voyage, whereas a crossing starts and ends on different sides of an ocean. Not to be confused with a repositioning cruise.
  • Cruise Director: This is the person in charge of the activities onboard the ship throughout the entire cruise. These people are usually VERY outgoing and there may be more than one of them, depending on the size of the ship and the itinerary. You will see them everywhere, but it is their job to make sure you have an enjoyable cruise.
  • Cruise Fare: The actual cost of the cruise per person (not including port charges or any other add ons).
  • Cruisetour: This is a scheduled land portion that enables you to delve further into the area. This differs from a shore excursion in that it usually happens a specific number of days either prior to the cruise embarkation or following the cruise, not during the cruise.
  • Davit: A shipboard device used in lowering and raising the ship’s lifeboats or tenders. On some cruise sailings, there will be crew training where you will actually get to watch the davits in use – pretty cool actually!
  • Debark/debarkation: To get off the ship – also called disembark
  • Deck: On a ship, each floor is called a deck (the savvy cruise passenger does NOT refer to a deck as a ‘floor.’)
  • Deck Plan: Each deck has its own deck plan, which shows you where everything is on that particular deck – found at least at every elevator.
  • Deposit: The amount of money you need to pay to secure your booking (partial payment). Once your deposit has been made, you can then make other arrangements (air, shore excursions, etc.).
  • Direct Booking: Booking with the cruise line yourself rather than using a travel advisor.
  • Double Occupancy: This means the price is based on there being two people in the cabin (see Single Supplement)
  • Draft: The depth of water needed to sail so that the ship doesn’t touch the ocean floor and is measured from the waterline to the lowest part of the ship, usually the keel.
  • Dry Dock: When a ship is taken out of service and goes in for maintenance and repairs on the keel and hull.
  • Edocs: In an effort to reduce costs, most cruise lines have gone to edocs, which consists of your boarding pass and luggage tags that you will need to print out prior to boarding. You usually can only print these out once you have filled out the immigration requirements online.
  • Embark/embarkation: To board the ship (opposite of debark or disembarkation)
  • Fantail: The rear overhang of a ship
  • Final Payment: The period of time prior to sailing when the final payment is due. This is the point at which you must pay for the remaining balance of your cruise. Once you have made your final payment, there is usually a fee schedule of the portion of the money you would be refunded if you canceled your cruise. So if you are NOT going to go, it is best to cancel before you actually make that final payment.
  • Fixed Seating: Also called, traditional seating, this refers to the older style of cruising where everyone onboard either had first or second seating. Now, pretty much all cruise lines have some sort of dining where you are not held to a schedule (although most still do have the traditional seating as well.)
  • Fleet: The number of ships in a cruise line.
  • Fore: The front (or bow) of the ship (pointy end)
  • Formal Night: Also called Elegant Night or Dress Up Night, this is the opportunity you have to really dress up.
  • Formal Portraits: Formal Nights are also a chance for the ship’s photographers (if they have them) to take a formal portrait of those you are traveling with, usually with a variety of backdrops available.
  • Forward: Toward the front of the ship
  • Frequent Cruiser Program: Also called Past Guest Number. All major cruise lines have membership clubs for their frequent cruisers. In most cases, eligibility begins with the completion of your first cruise with that cruise line. Advantages may include membership pins, cruise discounts, specially-selected cruises, onboard amenities, private cocktail parties, early notification of new itineraries, and newsletters or e-mails.
  • Friends of Bill W.: Onboard meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • Friends of Dorothy: Onboard gatherings of gay/lesbian passengers.
  • Funnel (Stack): The ship’s smokestack. to help send the exhaust away from passenger decks. The funnels on Carnival’s ships have a distinctive “winged” upper portion
  • Gangway: The ramp from the ship to the shore by which passengers embark or debark a ship.
  • Galley: The ship’s kitchen.
  • Gateway City: This is the nearest airport city to your home.
  • Gentleman Host: A cruise-sponsored program whereby well-traveled, mature gentlemen (usually retired bankers, businessmen, etc.) are employed onboard to serve as dance partners, conversationalists, and shore excursion escorts for single women.
  • Gratuities: Tips for your dining room server, assistant server, cabin steward and sometimes Maitre ‘d. Many years ago there were ‘suggested’ amounts for each, but now, they are usually added to your account on a daily basis. If you dispute the charges, you can go to the purser’s desk and negotiate a different price. Some cruise lines have a no-tipping policy or include tips with the price you pay.
  • Gross Registered Ton (GRT): A measurement of enclosed passenger space, including the space in cabins, lounges, showrooms, and dining rooms. This does not apply to open spaces, such as decks and pool areas. This is what determines the Fees and Port Charges your ship is charged by the port.
  • Guarantee: When you initially book a cruise, you ‘may’ want to book into a ‘guarantee’ category. This means you will be ‘guaranteed’ at least the type of cabin you are booking into (inside, window, etc.). HOWEVER, you won’t be assigned to your cabin until just prior to boarding (usually within the last two weeks) and have NO control over where the cabin is. You must accept that cabin also (no negotiating a cabin change). Cabins are assigned from what is not yet booked. Depending on your situation, this MAY save you a considerable amount of money, and sometimes you can land a good cabin, especially if you really don’t care where you are on the ship. If you DO care, then booking into a guarantee is NOT for you! These cabins are usually leftover cabins that are not sold during the selling process. SOMETIMES you are even upgraded to a higher type of cabin if the level you booked into is full (for example – if you booked a ‘window guarantee’ on a ship that didn’t have that many window cabins if they were out of window cabins you might be upgraded to a balcony cabin, HOWEVER, it would probably be one of the least desirable balcony cabins that did not sell – it would NOT be one of the prime balcony cabins!)
  • Guest Lecturer: An individual, not usually on permanent employment with the cruise line, who speaks on a particular hobby, skill, or activity that he or she is considered an expert. Typically, guest lecturers offer lectures and seminars on history, sports, entertainment, books, etc.
  • Harbor Pilot: See Pilot.
  • Head Waiter: Supervises all waitstaff in his or her section to monitor service and efficiency. The Head Waiter determines who sits at which table for traditional seating.
  • Headway: Forward movement of a ship through the water.
  • Helm: The ship’s steering equipment, located in the bridge
  • Homeport: The regional port where the ship is based.
  • Hotel Manager: The Hotel Manager oversees the entire hotel operation, just like a Hotel Manager on land, and oversees housekeeping and other passenger services.
  • Inaugural Sailing: The first sailing of a newly built ship with passengers. This is usually the first of that ships “Inaugural Season’.
  • Inside Cabin: Also called Interior Cabins, this is a cabin with no windows – unlike window or balcony cabins that are usually on specific decks, these cabins are scattered throughout the ship and their prices will vary considerably, depending on which deck they are on.
  • Inside Passage: The sheltered channels islands between Vancouver and the main portion of Alaska, protected from the Pacific Ocean by forested islands
  • Itinerary: This is the schedule of the ports and ‘at sea’ days on a particular voyage
  • Jacobs Ladder: A rope ladder lowered from the deck of a ship while at sea, to facilitate the boarding of the crew or emergency staff
  • Keel: The centerline of a ship running from fore to aft. Think of it as the spine, or backbone of a ship
  • Key card: Also called Sail and Sign, Cruise Card or other cruise line specific name, this is the card that has all of the information regarding your onboard account. It is usually also the key to your cabin and will list your muster station and dining choice.
  • Knot: A unit of speed reflecting one nautical mile per hour, or 1.15 land miles per hour. (A nautical mile is 6,080.2 feet; a land mile is 5,280 feet, hence the speed differential.) Most cruise ships move along at about 18 to 23 knots
  • Large Ship: A ship in excess of 100,000 gross registered tons (GRT).
  • Latitude: The distance north or south of the equator, expressed in degrees.
  • Lifeboat: Small boat carried on the vessel (also called tenders) and used in case of emergency. By law, the total capacities of all lifeboats far exceed the total number of passengers and crew members onboard.
  • Leeward: The side of the ship sheltered from the wind.
  • Lines: The ropes used to tie up the ship while it is docked.
  • Longitude: The distance east or west of the prime meridian, expressed in degrees.
  • M.S.: Abbreviation for “Motor Ship”
  • Maiden Call: The first time a ship calls at a particular port.
  • Maiden Voyage: The first sailing of a ship following sea trials. Once a ship has had her inaugural sailing, there will be many maiden voyages.
  • Master: The person who is in charge of the ship; the captain. (Also the term given to a young man during the booking process.)
  • Midship: In or toward the middle of the ship. Midship cabins are considered the most stable cabins on a ship, therefore are the most expensive in any category.
  • Minibar: A small refrigerator containing alcoholic beverages and a cabinet with glasses, an ice bucket, etc. There is usually a charge for items consumed from a mini-bar.
  • Mini-Suite: This is the least expensive ‘suite’ category and is larger than a balcony cabin, but not as large as a Junior Suite or Suite.
  • Moor: To hold the ship in place with lines at a berth
  • Muster Drill: A mandatory safety demonstration conducted by members of the ship’s staff that instructs passengers on the route to and location of their muster station (lifeboat), use of their life preserver and other important safety information. The muster drill MUST occur within 24 hours of the departure of the ship, and in most cases happens before you actually set sail. It is the ONLY required thing you must do on a cruise.
  • Muster Station: A meeting place onboard the ship that usually refers to the area where one would go to get into the lifeboats in case of an emergency. This will be printed on your key card (which you should ALWAYS have on you).
  • Nautical Mile: A unit of measurement equal to 1/16 of a degree of the earth’s circumference; it’s measured in the U.S. as 6,080.2 feet or internationally as 6,076.1 feet
  • Obstructed View: An obstructed view cabin is one with a window (french balcony) with some kind of obstruction preventing a full view. This is usually a portion of one of the lifeboats or some section of the ship that’s just in the way. This can be a nice cost-effective way to have a window cabin without the price tag. These cabins usually have better placement on the ship than window cabins, so worth looking into.
  • Officers: The Deck Officers, in order of command, are – Captain, Staff Captain, Chief Officer, First Officer(s). The Captain is first in command of the ship. As second in command, the Staff Captain is fully capable of assuming command of the ship, if necessary. The Chief Officer’s primary responsibilities include overseeing maintenance and supplies for the ship. The First Officers’ main responsibilities are to maintain around-the-clock staffing of the bridge, even while the ship is in port.
  • Onboard: Located on the ship – carried or used on the vessel
  • Onboard credit (OBC): Aka Shipboard credit – A credit applied to your onboard account that you can use for onboard purchases. Often an incentive, reward, or selling feature.
  • Open Seating: When there is open seating, you could be seated anywhere in the dining room – no assigned table.
  • Outside Cabin: A cabin along the exterior portion of the ship, usually with a window, porthole, or balcony.
  • Panamax: In order to fit through the locks of the old Panama Canal, a ship can be no wider than 110 feet, no longer than 1050 feet and no deeper than 41.2 feet . Ships that are larger than that are called Post-Panamax and can now go through the new locks.
  • Passenger Space Ratio: The number of gross registered tons (GRT) divided by the total passenger capacity
  • Passenger to Crew Ratio: The total number of passengers divided by the total number of crew members
  • Passport: A government issued photo ID that is renewable every 10 years. In many countries, this must be valid at least 6 months after the last day of your cruise.
  • Past Passenger Program: A loyalty program to reward repeat passengers. Benefits increase with frequency, perks can include cocktail parties, amenities, shipboard credit and even free cruises!
  • Patch: A transdermal medication that is applied to the skin via an adhesive patch to prevent or reduce the onset of seasickness.
  • PAX: Industry term for passengers
  • Penthouse: A penthouse cabin is also one of the larger, most elite cabins on a ship and will usually qualify for concierge services and include butler service as well.
  • Per Diem: The cost of the cruise per person, per day.
  • Photo Gallery: A place onboard where the photographs taken by the ship’s photographers are displayed and available for purchase, reprinting, enlarging and custom framing.
  • Pilot: A person licensed to conduct a ship in and out of a port. Pilots (aka Harbor Pilot) are familiar with that harbor’s traffic, tides, currents, and channels and are generally employed to conduct ships to and from their pier or anchorage. Pilots are not members of the ship’s company, but board the ship prior to arrival at port. On departure, once the ship has been conducted to open water, the pilot debarks the ship. (Always fun to watch them come alongside the ship and jump on or off the moving vessel!)
  • Pilot Boat: The small boat which brings or retrieves the pilot from the ship.
  • Pitch: The rise and fall of the ship’s bow while at sea.
  • Pod: A self-contained ship engine and propeller mounted onto the hull at the back of the ship. Pods can rotate to steer the ship, replacing traditional propeller and rudder systems.
  • Port: The left side of the ship when facing forward (The way I remember this is “I “left” my “port” wine at the dock – (and it works!): also the name of the harbor for where the ship will call (port-of-call)
  • Porthole: Circular “window” in the side of the ship, usually towards the bow.
  • Port Charges: The charge levied on a cruise ship by local government authorities in order to call at that port (which usually covers maintenance of their cruise terminal). This charge is passed on to the cruise passenger and will vary from port to port.
  • Port-of-Call: The city(s) the ship will stop at on its voyage.
  • Private Island: An island or beach property leased or owned by a cruise line for the specific use of its cruise passengers. Private islands typically offer an array of beach and water sports.
  • Promenade Deck: An open deck on the ship, usually midship with deck chairs, where you can take a nice leisurely walk. Sometimes folks will jog, especially if there is no jogging track onboard ship. On some ships, a section of this deck is also where smokers can have a cigarette. On older ships, the Promenade Deck always went all the way around the ship, but anymore, they do not continue around the entire ship.
  • Purser (Guest Services): This is the place onboard where you would go to discuss any issues you’re having onboard.
  • Quad: A cabin that can accommodate four passengers
  • Quay: Artificial area protruding into the water to facilitate loading and discharge of cargo, landing, and embarkation of passengers, and repairing or refitting of ships.
  • Quarters: Officer, crew, and staff accommodations onboard a ship.
  • Registry: The country in which a vessel is registered. For tax purposes and some regulatory reasons, most cruise ships are not registered in the US, but countries such as the Bahamas, Liberia, and Panama are favorites.
  • Repositioning Cruise: A repositioning cruise is when a cruise ship is moved from one area of the world to another area for a new season. The most common repositioning cruises occur in early May and late September when the cruise lines move their ships to Alaska for the short Alaska season (Mid-May to Mid-Sept.). Amongst other scattered repositioning cruises, generally, there are usually also repositioning cruises to Europe in mid-April and back again in mid-October. This is a good opportunity to get a good price on a cruise since they really want to sail full (no empty cabins).
  • Roll: Sway of the ship from side to side while at sea
  • Sailaway: When the ship sails, especially from its departure port, it is called a sailaway and is often accompanied by a party on the pool deck. This is also a good opportunity to take one last look at the port you have been in and get some good photos as you ‘spillway.’
  • Sailing Time: The actual hour at which the ship is scheduled to clear the dock and sail.
  • Scuppers: Openings in the bulwarks to allow for drainage of seawater or accumulated deck water.
  • Second Sitting: Also called “late seating,” the later of two meal times of traditional seating in the ship’s dining room.
  • Ship: A sea-going vessel. A boat can be put on a ship, but a ship can not be put on a boat, ergo, the correct term is cruise ‘ship,’ not a boat.
  • Ship Layout: This takes the ‘deck plan’ one step further and shows you ALL of the decks at one time – this is especially important when selecting your cabin to see what is immediately above and immediately below the cabin you are considering.
  • Shore Excursion: Once you have arrived at the port of call, a ‘shore excursion’ is the opportunity to take some kind of tour of the city. There can be a wide variety of tours, depending on what that city has to offer and can vary widely in price and activity level.
    You do NOT have to book a shore excursion through the cruise line (although, they would like you to think so). The challenge with a non-cruise ship shore excursion, however, is getting from the ship (often docked in an industrial area, with limited transportation out of the dock area) to where the tour begins. Crafty non-cruise ship operators realize this and will come up with a way to make it easy for you to book with them anyway. The downside of this would be if the cruise ship is unable to call at that port for whatever reason, you might be out the money you have prepaid for your excursion. It is also VERY important to allow enough time to get back to the ship before it sails – they will NOT wait for you unless it is a shore excursion booked through the ship! (Keep in mind that in some other countries, their vehicles and condition of them may be in questionable shape and you run the risk of being stranded and not able to make it back to the ship before it sails, so pick your excursions wisely).
  • Shipboard Account: A day-by-day, itemized account of a passenger’s onboard purchase activity. A drink from a bar, shore excursion, gift shop purchase, spa, Internet charges, etc., are all items that will be added to your shipboard account. It’s VERY easy for this to accumulate rather quickly since you don’t really see the total until the morning you are to disembark, however, you can always ask to see it at any point during the cruise. Some cruise lines even have this available through their TV system. If you are traveling as a family, you can have the charges for multiple cabins linked to one account.
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): Since cruises are based on double occupancy, there is often a charge applied to someone choosing to occupy a cabin by themselves. This fee, a single supplement, can be as much as 100% or more of the cruise fare (double). You would not, however, be charged double port charges or gratuities since there is only one person occupying the actual cabin.
  • Sister Ships: Ships built of the same design, owned and operated by the same cruise line
  • Small Ship: A ship with a GRT (gross registered tonnage) of less than 40,000 tons.
  • Social Host/Hostess: Also called Assistant Cruise Directors, they help the cruise director with the various social activities and functions onboard.
  • SOLAS: An acronym for Safety Of Life At Sea. An international convention convened whereby the design, construction methods and materials, life safety equipment, fire protection, and safety training of all cruise ships and staff were implemented. All major cruise lines abide by all SOLAS requirements.
  • Space Ratio: A measurement of cubic space per passenger. The Gross Registered Tonnage, divided by the number of passengers, equals the space ratio. The cruise lines do a VERY good job of making sure that a ship feels ‘intimate’ yet not confining – a very hard task to achieve actually…
  • Specialty Restaurant: A smaller, sometimes boutique, restaurant onboard, sometimes with a cover charge
  • Stabilizers: Wing-like retractable devices that extend from the side(s) of the vessel to reduce roll and produce a more stable ride. These are usually available on most of the recently built ships.
  • Starboard: The right side of the ship when facing forward.
  • Stateroom: Your cabin – also referred to as accommodation.
  • Stem: The extreme front of the ship.
  • Stern: The rearmost part of a ship. (Hence the term from stem to stern)
  • Suites: There can be a variety of categories within the suite category, such as Mini-Suite, Junior Suite, Grand Suite, Owner’s Suite, etc., but generally these cabins have separate living and sleeping areas and are the best, most lavish cabins onboard.
  • Swell: The rising and rolling motion of the surface of the sea away from shore – a non-breaking ocean wave.
  • Tender (or Launch): Another name for the lifeboats onboard. The tender is what is used to move passengers from the ship to the shore when they are unable to dock (either there is not a dock suitable for a large cruise ship, or there are more ships in port than the dock can accommodate. The tenders typically hold 150 or so passengers and have provisions to also act as a lifeboat in the case of an emergency. Passengers with certain disabilities may be restricted in their use of tenders going ashore at a port.
  • Thalassotherapy: The use of seawater and other sea products, sometimes in a Thalassotherapy pool, to help remove toxins and increase circulation. A number of cruise ships now feature these therapies.
  • Theme Cruise: Any cruise that offers or suggests a specific onboard “theme” such as sports, music, wine, food, etc., to bring people together with a common interest. There are companies that deal strictly in VERY specific theme cruises.
  • Third Party Travel Insurance: Most cruise lines offer travel insurance as a convenience to their passengers, however, depending on your age, you might be able to find a better price through a third party insurance company. That being said, if you are an older passenger, travel insurance through the cruise company might be the least expensive insurance you can find as most cruise line travel insurance prices are based on the price of the fare, not the age of the passenger.
  • Thruster: Small perpendicularly mounted propellers in the keel that move the ship sideways, usually located both forward and aft.
  • Transatlantic: A cruise (or crossing) that crosses the Atlantic Ocean – oddly enough, there are various courses.
  • Transpacific: A cruise (or crossing) that crosses the Pacific Ocean from the Americas to the Far East.
  • Transfer: Transportation from the airport or hotel to the ship and vice versa
  • Travel Insurance: Insurance to cover various aspects of loss before or during your vacation, including the cost of the cruise, should you need to cancel. Travel insurance is usually available with the cruise line directly or through a third-party provider.
  • Triple: A cabin that accommodates three passengers.
  • Twenty-four hour clock: Also known as military time, rather than repeating noon through midnight as 1 p.m., 2 p.m, etc., 1 o’clock would be 1300 hours, 2 would be 1400 hours etc. Once you know military time, it is easy, but it can confusing at first.
  • Underway: A ship in motion. Once your ship has sailed, the ship is considered “underway.”
  • Upgrade: A change in cabin assignment to a better category
  • Upper Bed: A bed similar to a bunk bed often folded or recessed into the wall or suspended from the ceiling. These would be used for a triple or quad cabin.
  • Wait List: When current accommodations and/or dining times are not currently available, you will be put on a ‘wait list’ in hopes of acquiring the desired item
  • Wake: The track left in the water from a moving vessel
  • Windward: Facing into or the direction from which the wind is coming. (Opposite: Leeward)
  • Window cabin: A cabin on the outside of the ship with a window or porthole for viewing. On the newer built ships, the window cabins are generally on the lower decks of the ships, and the balcony cabins are on the higher decks, however, there can be window cabins on the upper decks as well, usually facing forward.