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Florida Guide > Miscellaneous

CRUISING DIRECTORY - PART 1

If you have decided to book a cruise then it is important that you become familiar with the ‘lingo. ’ It could save you a lot of embarrassment. So here is a light-hearted guide to all the words and phrases you should know, including some of the more technical terms which you must memorise, in order to become a cruise bore.

We will start with some of the words which you will need to become familiar with before you even book your cruise.

Ship – this is the word to use when describing your cruise liner. Whatever you do, don’t call it a boat. You could, at best, be keel hauled, at worst you might be cut adrift in a lifeboat with 2 ships biscuits and a tot of rum.

Keel Hauling – a rather unpleasant way to go snorkelling. This historic form of punishment was generally meted out to recalcitrant crew members, and involved them being tied to a long rope that went beneath the vessel. The miscreant was then thrown overboard on one side of the ship, and dragged under the ship’s keel to the other side. When given the choice it is infinitely better to volunteer for the talent show rather than opt for this form of punishment.

Stateroom – once called a cabin – it will have a sleeping area, a TV, a small seating area if you are lucky, an en-suite bathroom, and hanging space for your clothes – essentially it is just the same as a cabin, but sounds posher.

Ocean View Stateroom – this is a cabin with a window of varying proportions which enables you to see the sea. On older ships it may just be a rusty round porthole, but on the newer ships it may be a huge panoramic window offering a splendid view of the ocean. It could even be a floor to ceiling patio door, if you book a balcony cabin.

Ocean View Stateroom – Partially Obscured – this is a poor man’s outside cabin, but not to be sneered at. It will have a large window, outside of which is a lifeboat, which does exactly as it says, it obscures your view. According to where the lifeboat is situated you will either have a small bit of either the front or back of the lifeboat obscuring your view – the preferred option – or it will have the middle section of the lifeboat which will block most of your view. However, if you choose right you will still have a good view of the sea, and importantly, you will have light which will help you wake up in the morning. When booking this type of cabin never fling open the curtains if you are not fully dressed, as otherwise you could well shock the poor Phillippino crew member who is busy cleaning the lifeboat, or testing the engine.

Inside Stateroom/Interior Stateroom – this is a cabin built in the centre of the ship which has no window of any sort. Thus you will not be able to see the sea. If you book this option make sure you pack at least 3 alarm clocks, as waking up in a pitch black cabin is not easy. Make sure you ask your Cabin Steward to wake you at a certain time, or order a continental breakfast from room service to be delivered at the time you wish to wake up. You can always recognise those who have an inside cabin as they will turn up for breakfast, bleary eyed, at the end of the lunchtime service. If you have teenagers you may find they sleep for the whole of the cruise, which could be an advantage.

Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony – this has a private seating area outside your stateroom – you will have to pay extra for this, but it is well worth it. Sometimes called a veranda. You will access it via large patio doors, and it will have some patio furniture for you to relax on. It is a marvellous place to sit and watch the sea go by, and from it you will experience some breathtaking sunsets and sunrises. Great for sunbathing or just sipping the odd glass of chilled champagne.

Suite – a larger stateroom, maybe with a separate living area, and a larger balcony. Some suites have separate bedrooms, numerous marble bathrooms, a grand piano, dining room, several plasma screen TVs, and even a Jacuzzi. According to how much more you pay (see Owner’s Suite) you may even get your own butler who will discreetly pamper to your every need. Little extras like petit fours and chocolate strawberries may appear like magic each night, and you may even dine in a separate dining room on some ships – if you pay enough.

The Penthouse Suite or Owner’s Suite – usually the ultimate in comfort, space and luxury. As its name implies, should the owner of the cruise line choose to sail on board one of his ships, this is where he would be accommodated. However, he is more likely to be lying back on his private 500ft yacht off the Maldives than mixing with the hoi-polloi. Book this if you have a spare arm and leg, and especially if you want to boast to your neighbours family and friends when you get home.

So now you should be fully equipped to book your stateroom. But there is more to come………. .

We aim to provide accurate and useful information, but if you feel anything provided here is not accurate or out of date, please email us with the address of the page concerned and any comments so we can amend as necessary.

Page added on: 30 August 2007
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