Camping World

Save Money on Cruises – Common Shipboard Cruise Terms for Newbie

USS Boyd DD544I guess one of the reasons I always felt comfortable on cruises is because of my time in the U.S. Navy – I like the sea! If you are headed off for your first, cruise, I thought I’d give you a, “brush up” on the lingo you’re likely to hear. From aft to windward, I’ve got you covered.

  1. Bow – The very front of a ship. That’s where Leo DiCaprio was standing for his famous, “King of the world!” line.
  2. Stern – All the way at the other end of the ship… the back end of the boat or ship.
  3. Forward – Toward the front, or bow, of the ship from where you are standing. So the bow is the place, (noun) and forward is the direction… You head forward to get to the bow.
  4. Aft – Toward the back, or stern, of the ship from where you are standing. So, the stern is the place (noun) and aft is the direction… You head aft to get to the stern.
  5. Port – The left side of the ship as you face forward, toward the bow. And, it also is where the ship stops, and you get on or off.
  6. Starboard – The opposite side from port… right side of the ship as you face forward.
  7. Gangway – The temporary walkway, generally covered, that passengers and crew use to board the ship from the shore or dock.
  8. Bridge – This is where they drive the ship. It has the steering wheel (helm) engine order telegraph (lee helm), radar, navigation, radios, etc. that the ship’s Captain and officers need to make sure the ship gets to the next port on time. Passengers are RARELY allowed on the bridge.
  9. Embark/Disembark – When you go aboard the ship, you embark. When you leave the ship, you disembark.
  10. Fluke – On shipboard, not a chance happening or something good that happens by accident. In the ship’s world, the point, or blade, of an anchor that catches on the ocean floor to keep the ship in place.
  11. Leeward – The side of the ship sheltered from the wind. It could be port or starboard depending on which way the wind is blowing and the ship is traveling.
  12. Windward – The windy side with no shelter from the wind.
  13. Knots – This is not referring to the knots on a rope (though originally, it did), but rather the speed at which the ship is traveling. Actually, the number of nautical miles a ship travels in an hour. A nautical mile is just over 6,000 feet or about 1,800 meters.

How about boat vs. ship… generally boats are less than 125’ (38m) long, and ships are longer than 125’ (38m). Simple… the exception is submarines… they are always, “boats.”

A bit of history… did you ever wonder how Navy sailors don’t crash into each other when running to battle stations (general quarters)? Simple… when running forward (toward the front of the ship), stay starboard (right side of ship). When running aft, stay to port – the fun part is, it is still to your right as you are running aft.

Get a bit familiar with this list, and you’ll be an old salt compared to some of the other newbies aboard.

Happy Cruising!




P.S… Just for fun, I thought I’d include a photo of the ship I “cruised” on for about 3 years in the mid-60s, a WWII vintage Fletcher Class Destroyer (affectionately referred to as, “Tin Cans”), the USS Boyd, DD544.

P.P.S…. If you are looking for very good pricing on some tough “Working Person” clothes, take a look here.

Save Money on Cruises – What Every First Time Cruiser Should Know

Cruise_Ship-02Since I got on the subject of cruises, I’m going to run a series on vacation cruising… a wonderful way to enjoy a vacation, and, because of their all-inclusive nature, one of the great resources to live better for less.

So, you’re finally heading off on a highly anticipated, and richly deserved, cruise. But before you head for the high seas, you might want some inside information on some of the ins and outs of the cruising world.

First, by all means check out David Kirkland’s eBook, Intelligent Cruiser. He has a definite insider’s perspective on the cruise industry, and can help you save money on your cruise vacation.

Next, here are a few basic concepts that first-time cruisers should know before stepping aboard.

  1. Check out the cruise line. I know, you heard that Joe’s Super Cruises was really great… but you still want to check to see any problems – did they discretely file for bankruptcy last year? Or have their passengers consistently complained about poor food or bad service? A quick internet search can give you a bunch of information, but look past the hype from their PR department and see what individuals have to say. There are quite a few forums and review sites where previous passengers rate their experiences, good and bad, though one thing that I have found is that folks who have had bad experiences are more likely to comment than folks for whom all went well. And, of course, the Better Business Bureau may have a rating on the company and a listing of complaints. And here’s a good tip, your insurance agent may have some insight on cruise lines that insurance carriers don’t like to underwrite any more – which may be an indication of potential problems.
  2. Packing with a plan. Every cruise ship will have its own dress suggestions and will give you this information well before your trip so you can plan accordingly – they want you to have a good time, and feeling comfortable is part of the cruise experience. Some are more casual, some more formal, and some, their “code” is more of a guideline than a strict rule. Your travel agent should have good insight and advice here. And if they say, “formal dining,” rest assured that there are casual options available.
  3. Pack your carryon to get you through most of the first day after boarding. I have seen the baggage handling on a larger cruise ship, and have been astonished at the efficiency – it is remarkable! But they are still handling, on some cruises, THOUSANDS of bags, and this just takes time. So be prepared. Put bathing suits, sunscreen, toiletries, and some casual clothes in the carryon to carry you for the day – especially if you embark early in the day.  For the young ‘uns, definitely a change of clothes and some favorite toys and games may help if your bags happen to be the ones delivered later in the day.
  4. Remember: All-Inclusive doesn’t mean there won’t be extra charges. Souvenirs, of course, will be your first extra. Then, some shore excursions may be extra (and worth it!), and, though soft drinks may be free, alcoholic beverages are rarely included. Spa services, internet charges, gift shop… plan for all these extras as you budget your trip… your travel agent, or the cruise line, will have good insight here. Keep track of where and when you “card swipe” your room key to make sure there are no expensive surprises at the end of the cruise.
  5. Tips for tipping. Another add-on to budget for is tipping. As a rule, these days, budget $10 per person, per day. So, maybe a couple with two teenagers on a seven-day cruise might expect $280 in tips. Again, your travel agent or the cruise line will have good information for you in planning this expense – talk to them.

OK… this was the first post in this series. I’ve got several more that I’ll be covering, so keep an eye out for them. And feel free to comment so others can share from your experience too. But in the meantime, Happy Cruising!

Another place to look for advice and insight into cruising is Amazon… they have a LOT of books to help you have the best experience and save money at the same time.


Save Money On Cruise Vacations

Cruise ShipAs people who are looking to save money on vacations while we are starting our own business, cruises have often seemed out of reach. I just read an interesting book, Intelligent Cruiser by former cruise ship officer David Kirkland, which may open up these exciting vacations to those who thought they couldn’t afford them. This is a great source of “insider” information on the “art” saving money on cruise vacations… not just buying your tickets, but also saving on some of the “extras” that make cruising even more fun.

Years ago, I had the opportunity to present several business meetings on cruise ships, and I was very impressed by how much fun the cruises are, and how much the crew does everything in their power to make sure every passenger has a great time – and from what I see on TV ads, it cruise vacations have only gotten better.

In David’s 75 page eBook, Intelligent Cruiser, you “learn the ropes” of the cruise industry, and how to maximize your fun while minimizing your costs.

So if you thought you couldn’t fit a cruise into your vacation budget, by all means read David Kirkland’s book, Intelligent Cruiser and learn how you might be able to fit one of these exciting vacations into your budget.



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