Understanding Cruise Terminology

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Knowing a little cruise terminology such as port side, aft, and muster station may help you feel more comfortable when taking your trip.

Knowing the right terms also help others to feel comfortable around you.

It is surprising how many people use the term boat (and not ship) when referring to their cruise vessel.

A little knowledge goes far; as long as it is within context and you do not attempt to show that you know more than you really do.

Of course, over time, you will learn various cruise terms as you go about the business of planning, booking, and taking your cruise.

Click here for an alphabetical list of cruise terms.

Do you know the
Cruise Terminology: Muster Station?

For example, during your first day at sea, all passengers participate in a safety drill. During this drill, you retrieve your life jacket from your cabin, and follow instructions on how you should get to your muster station.

This cruise safety drill is important in the (very) unlikely event of an emergency. You learn how to properly wear and secure your life jacket. Do not worry and do not get nervous about having a safety drill. It is only one of many precautions cruise lines take for your safe return. Cruise ships have dozens of safety measures ("behind the scene") that you will never know about. 

Cruising of course is safer than flying; and it is a lot safer than driving.

Cruise Terminology:
Have you figured out the meaning of muster station?

The term muster station refers to where you must assemble, and your cabin assignment determines your muster station. If the need arise, this is your location for departing the ship. This location is important for a few reasons that you will discover during the safety drill.

The primary reason for assigning muster stations of course is to ensure that everyone is able to get a seat in one of the lifeboats.

And yes, there are plenty of lifeboats. The total of all seats throughout the lifeboat inventory is enough for every person onboard the ship. Lifeboats are all alongside the cruise ship. Depending on the size of the ship, lifeboats are located on multiple decks of the ship. And, lifeboats are motorized.

For more information, see the page on fear of cruising about lifeboats and other concerns. Especially view the page if you are a first time cruiser.

Also, read cruise safety for information about your personal safety aboard ship.

When you take a cruise, it is mandatory that you identify your muster station. Please do not miss your safety drill.

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