The Expert’s Guide to… Cruise Lingo
Are you a newbie when it comes to cruise holidays? There are more than a million Australians taking a cruise holiday each year and with this increasing popularity comes an increase in repeat cruise passengers who have mastered the art of cruisespeak and who know their purser from their cruise director and their galley from their gangway. If you want to fool everyone into thinking that you too have seen your share of shore excursions, simply browse our cheat sheet of the most important terms so that you can fake it until you make it.
- Ship: first, and perhaps most importantly, under no circumstances should you refer to the majestic vessel upon which you are sailing as a “b…t” (rhymes with “float”). You are embarking on a cruise, not rowing around a pond.
- Tender: not a lyric from an Elvis tribute show in the onboard theatre, but rather, a smaller vessel that is used to transfer you from ship to shore when the ship is unable to tie up alongside the dock and instead drops anchor in the bay.
- Roll: the movement of the ship when the seas are less than smooth. As you lurch from side to side like a drunken sailor on your way back from dinner, you can rest assured that it’s the result of a slight swell rather than too much wine.
- Speciality restaurant: pretty much every cruise ship has at least one dining option where meals are included in the price of your holiday, but most ships also offer a range of fine dining options for when the chocolate fountain has lost its allure. You may have to pay a supplement to dine here, but it’s well worth it if you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply feel like spoiling yourself.
- Lido deck: generally, speaking, this is where you’ll find the pool (and very likely the poolside cocktails). Remember the golden rule of the lido deck: it is generally considered poor form to “save” yourself a pool chair by leaving towels/books/flip flops on a chair before you head off to breakfast for a few hours).
- Muster station: this is the spot to which you will be required to assemble (with life jacket) at the start of your cruise, as part of your emergency briefing. All going well, you will visit this spot once and never think of it again, but cruise lines are like cub scouts: they like to be prepared.
- Open seating: in many cases, the days of being allocated a specific seat at a specific table and a specific time for each meal have long since vanished beneath the waves, in favour of informal seating in both buffet-style and speciality restaurants. However if you are planning to try one of the ship’s speciality restaurants, a reservation is probably required and you will be allocated a table.
- Cabin: your accommodation for the duration of your cruise is not just a “room”; it is a cabin, a stateroom, or if you are really spoiling yourself, a suite. Your cabin will be attended by a cabin attendant or butler, whose aim is to make your time aboard as enjoyable as possible. Need an extra pillow or having trouble opening the safe? Give them a call.
- Shorex: we are now entering the upper deck of cruise lingo, which involves not just jargon but also abbreviations and acronyms. A shorex is a shore excursion, which can be booked through the cruise line or independently. It’s a good idea to plan ahead and book your shore excursions early in order to avoid missing out.
- Enrichment: you’re probably not going to debark (leave the ship) any wealthier than when you came aboard, but the ship’s enrichment program may leave you with a new skill or hobby. Examples may include art, cooking, photography or special interest subjects that are relevant to your destination.
If we have inspired you to get onboard, your personal travel manager can help you find the best cruise holiday to suit.