Travel Terminology: Cruise Ship Location Words

  • AFT – The back end of the ship, usually about the rear 1/4 of the ship; the very back is the stern.
  • Bridge – This is where the captain does his thing, the control and “cruise” sailing center. Typically the bow is where this is located.
  • Decks – Think of decks as floors.  Some are mostly staterooms, some are mostly venues/activities, and some are a combination.
  • Forward or FWD – This refers to locations towards the front of the ship.
  • Lido Deck –  This is what most cruise ships refer to when talking about the main deck where the “party vibe” is happening. This is often also where there’s lots of food, sunshine, pools, and bars available. 
  • Galley – Huge and sometimes smaller cruise ship kitchen(s) where food is prepared. I recommend not taking a stateroom under the galley!
  • Gangway – This is where you typically enter and depart the ship, usually mid-ship and on the 3rd or 4th deck. Often in a larger atrium/entertainment/bar area as well. Sometimes it’s on a lower deck when leaving the ship in a port.
  • Mid-Ship – This is the center region of the ship, best for new cruisers, and is the more steady area between the forward and AFT elevators for motion reduction.
  • Muster Station – This is where you have a little meeting before the ship can sail, and where you would report if there was some sort of very rare emergency or evacuation. This is typically on your sailing key card and in your stateroom.
  • Port Side – The left side of the ship when facing the front of the ship. An easy way to remember this is PORT has 4 letters, and LEFT has 4 letters too!
  • Starboard Side – The right side of the ship when facing the front of the ship. 
  • Stateroom or Cabin – This is where you keep your stuff, sleep, shower, and rest, and hopefully enjoy a sunrise when sailing one way or the other, from your private balcony!

I hope this information is helpful to you now or in the future!

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