Maritime Lingo!

Well for a bit of fun I thought I would introduce you to some Maritime lingo and dispel a few myths in the process as to what they mean.

For Example:

Dry Dock – This is when a ship is taken out of service for repairs, maintenance or a refit.

It has absolutely nothing to do with a port of call where they do not serve alcohol!

Forward  or Bow – The Front of the Ship

Aft or Stern – The Back of the Ship

Port – The Left-hand side of the ship when you are facing the front

Not a Lovely Drink that goes down well with a nice piece of Cheese

Starboard – The right-hand side of the Ship

Atrium – The central passenger area of the ship, usually housing the Reception, Guest relations

and a large sculpture and Staircase.  Grand and Glitzy on most ships.

Stateroom – This is just another word for a Cabin

Veranda – Again this is just another term for a Balcony

Lido – This is usually the Open pool Deck Area of a ship

Muster Drill – Apart from being the most boring yet arguably important part of the cruise.

It is a drill to ensure you know where to go and what to do should the ship experience an emergency situation.

Onboard Credit – it is funny how often I get asked what this is.  It is basically money that has been added

to your onboard account or tab which you can spend on drinks, excursions, shopping or anything else you can purchase onboard.

Passenger- Crew Ratio – Well this one is simply how many passengers there are per one cruise member on the ship.

Promenade – This is a deck of the ship which usually allows you to walk all the way around the ship on the outside.

Sailaway – This refers to the moment when a ship leaves the port, usually there is a celebration as the ship sails from the port at the start of the cruise.

Shore Excursion – This refers to a tour or excursion that you book when in port to visit a specific attraction or area.

Stabilizers – These are used by the ship when heading into rough seas.

They are not a strange set of training wheels that appear at the side of the ship or as one passenger asked, Do they allow the ship to go on land?  No, and Yes that really did happen. I had no words!

 Tender – This is a term given to a small craft carried by the cruise line to ferry passengers ashore in ports where they cannot dock in the port itself.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the ship’s crew being nice to you!

Towel Animal – This is an elusive yet shy creature, often found when returning to your cabin late at night.

Secret Codes:

Staff use codes onboard to relay information without alarming the guests.  These vary on different cruise lines.

An Alpha, Code Blue or Operation Bright Star – This, unfortunately, has nothing to do with the crew going star gazing. It refers to a serious medical emergency onboard the ship.

A Rising Star – This again has nothing to do with star gazing but refers to a passenger having passed away.

Charlie – Is used forsignifyingy a security threat

Code Orange – Refers to early stages of a reported infection, where the buffet is no longer self-service but pools and public rooms remain open.

Code Red – Refers to a wider outbreak of norovirus, which results in the closure of pools, whirlpools and self-service dining and requires the crew to scrub down all public areas each day.

Bravo – Refers to a fire onboard

Kilo – This is a request for staff to go to their emergency stations.

Oscar or Mr Mob – Refers to a man overboard

30-30 – Is a mess that needs cleaning up

Papa – An Oil or pollution spill

Perhaps you have a term you want explaining or a code to add to the List.

Let me know.




About Me

I have worked in the Travel Industry for 33 years, ever since leaving school. My Dad was in the Navy so I guess I get my wanderlust from him. I was a Manager in a successful Travel Agency for 16 years before joining I am married and have a son who…

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