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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Nautical cruise ship terms

Something first time cruisers very rarely prepare themselves for is the unique vocabulary they often encounter on their first cruise.  Not that this would cause them too many problems but it might mean they miss a few things, such as when the voice over tells them there is something worth seeing on the port side of the ship and not everyone on their first cruise knows that this refers to the left side of the ship.

To avoid such a thing happening, it is worth knowing at least some of the vocabulary you wouldn't necessarily encounter in your everyday life on land.
And remember - your vessel is never referred to as a boat.  It's a ship!  And a ship is always "she" - never "he" or  "it"!

A few other nautical terms are:

aft – refers to the rear or the back of the ship
berth – just to confuse you, this could refer to your bed on a boat, or the location in a port where a ship can be moored
bow – the front of the ship
bridge – the place where the captain and his officers steer the ship
brig – ship’s jail
draft – the depth of water (from the waterline to the bottom of the ship) needed to float a ship
fathom – a measure of six feet, usually of water depth
fore – towards the front of the ship
leeside – the side of the ship away from the wind;
midships – the middle of the ship
port – refers to the left side of the ship.
purser's desk – the cruise ship equivalent of the land lubbers Front Desk or Information Desk
starboard – refers to the right side of the ship.
stateroom – a cruise ship name for a cabin or room in which you sleep
stern – the rear of the ship
tender – a vessel that transports passengers between the ship and shore when the ship is at anchor in a port.
And last but not least, important measurement terms are:
1 nautical mile = about 6078 feet/1.15 statute miles
1 league = 3 nautical miles
1 knot (a measurement of speed) = 1 nautical mile/hour

For more helpful tips about taking a cruise, visit the Cruise Advice section of Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine

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