Got customers confused by cruising terminology? Allow us to crack the code
For the first-timer, the cruise industry can feel like a members-only club, full of confusing terminology and secret handshakes. It means new customers will come armed with plenty of questions – particularly when booking a luxury holiday, where many people fret about committing embarrassing faux pas. Here, we look at some of the most frequently asked questions for new to cruise customers…
What’s included in the price?
As a rule of thumb, the more high-end the cruise line the more is included in the price. While food and non-alcoholic drinks are complimentary across the industry (save for at speciality restaurants), customers will find their alcohol and, sometimes, even shore excursions are covered in the price on many ultra-luxury ships. The bottom line may be high, but there is a hell of a lot included.
Is it worth getting a shore excursion?
You can leave the ship without paying for a shore excursion, but some of them are fantastic.
Can I bring the kids?
While many holidaymakers turn to luxury cruising after the kids have grown up, it doesn’t have to be the case. It’s true that many high- end operators are adults- only, but not all: Crystal, for example, has children’s facilities on both of its ships, while Regent Seven Seas offers designated ‘family-friendly’ itineraries. See the cruise adviser Family guide for more details.
What should I wear?
The cruise ship dress code, a perennial worry for customers, varies line-by- line, as our dress code boxout below demonstrates.
Do I need to tip?
Some lines add gratuities for each customer to the room bill, while others include it in the cruise fare, meaning at-the-table tipping, in general, is not required or expected on luxury cruises. Customers, however, should check so they aren’t presented with any surprise charges on the final night.
Aft The back of the ship
Bridge The navigational control centre
Forward The front of the ship
Cashless system No need to carry cash around the ship as your cruise card can be used to make purchases on board
Deck Each level (floor) of the ship
Inside cabin A cabin situated in the middle of the ship with no window
Outside cabin A cabin that comes with a window, but no balcony
Port The left of the ship (to remember it, there are four letters in both ‘left’ and ‘port’)
Second seating The later of two meal times in the ship’s main restaurant.
Ship You always cruise on a ‘ship’ never a ‘boat’
Speciality restaurant A fine dining or signature restaurant that will require booking and sometimes a fee
Starboard The right of the ship
Stateroom Your cabin or berth
Tender boat If your ship is too big to get in to a particular destination, you’ll have to jump on a small boat to take you the short distance to shore
Cruise Adviser top tip
If your client is worried about getting seasick then choose a cabin that’s in the middle (midship) and on one of the ship’s lower decks. The higher up and closer to the aft or forward you are then the more likely you are to feel the ship roll.