A Glossary of Common Cruise Ship Terminology

Our lead trial lawyer Brett Rivkind has an international reputation for dedication and excellence. His hard work and success have been recognized extensively through awards and special recognitions.

List of Endorsements

Aft: Near, toward, or in the rear (stern) of the ship.

Air/Sea: A package that includes airfare to and from the port of embarkation as well as the cruise. (Also referred to as “Fly/Cruise”).

Alternative Dining: A dining option offered in addition to the ships main dining room. Venues are specialty or themed restaurants, reservations are often required, and additional charges may apply.

Atrium: An interior, multi-deck, open area of a ship that typically is centrally located near elevators, shops, cafes, and guest services.

Balcony Cabin (Veranda Cabin): A cabin accommodation with a private, exterior balcony.

Berth: The dock or pier where you embark or disembark from. Also used by cruise lines to refer to each passenger bed.

Bow: Toward or in front the ship.

Bridge: The navigation and command center of the ship, usually found high up and forward.

Course: The direction the ship is headed, typically expressed in compass degrees.

Cruise Card: Credit card-sized personal ID card given to each passenger to charge shipboard purchases, use as their cabin key card, and use to embark and debark the ship.

Cruise Director: The onboard staff member in charge of all entertainment and social events.

Debarkation/Disembarkation: Exiting the ship.

Deck Plan: A diagram that illustrates cabin and public room locations.

Dry Dock: A vessels maintenance period when a ship enters a dry dock to maintain its underwater hull and to undergo onboard refurbishments.

Embarkation: Boarding the ship.

Forward: Toward the fore or bow (front) of the ship.

First Seating: In ships with traditional or “fixed” seating, the earlier of the two evening meal times in the main dining room- usually around 6:30pm.

French Balcony: A large window with a sliding door that opens to a shallow balcony and railing. Usually found on riverboats or added to ships post-construction.

Galley: The ships kitchen.

Gangway: A ramp or steps by which passengers enter and leave the ship.

GRT: Gross registered tonage. Generally referred to as the ships “size”.

Homeport: The port in which a ship is based and sails from.

Inside Cabin: An interior cabin with no windows.

Keel: The ships “backbone” which extends underneath from bow to stern.

Knot: A unit of speed equal to one nautical mile.

Lido: The deck that features the main swimming pool and often bars and eateries.

Maiden Voyage: The ships first passenger sailing.

Midship: In or toward the middle of the ship.

Muster Station: The location where groups of passenger are asked to report in the event of an emergency (or, during a mustard drill.)

Muster Drill: All passengers must participate in this departure day drill in which passengers and crewmembers go to an assigned muster station at a set time where they are given instructions about emergency procedures. (Also referred to as a Lifeboat Drill.)

Nautical Mile: 6,076 feet (versus a land mile of 5,280feet)

Open Seating: Open access to tables in the ships dining room, as opposed to specific table assignments. An alternative to the traditional fixed dining style.

Outside cabins: A cabin with a window or porthole that offers an exterior view of the ocean or river.

Panamax: The Panama Canal permits ships no wider that approximately 110 feet or longer than 965 feet to transit. Ships that are under this maximum size are referred to as “Panamax” ships. “Post-Panamax: refers to ships that are too large to pass through the canal.

Port: The left side of the ship as you face forward.

Promenade: Usually an open walkway that transverses the ship, whether encircling it or running through the center.

Purser: The onboard staff member in charge of passengers shipboard accounts and guest relations.

Registry: The country where a ship is registered. The ship and its crew are obliged to comply with that country’s registry laws.

Repositioning: Cruises that essentially move a ship from one homeport to another when changing its itinerary.

Second Seating: In ships with traditional or “fixed” seating, the later of the two evening meal times in the main dining room- usually around 8:30pm.

Shipboard Account: A passenger account that keeps track of onboard purchases, shore excursions, gratuities, and other extras that is settled at the end of the cruise.

Shore Excursions: On-shore tours and activities at ports of call.

Single Occupancy: Solo occupancy of a cabin that is designed to accommodate two or more passengers, in which a premium is typically charged.

Starboard: The right side of the ship as you face forward.

Tender: A small vessel used to transfer passengers between the ship and shore when the ship is ata anchor.

Upper & Lower Berths: Bunkbeds

Veranda Cabin (Balcony Cabin): A cabin accommodation with a private, exterior balcony.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Boat Injury Lawyer


Brett Rivkind is a lawyer that not only cares but also a lawyer that makes a difference. Whether its speaking in congress to help promote safety awareness in legislation or representing clients in court seeking compensation for their injuries, Brett Rivkind is passionate about his dedication toward both promoting safety at sea and helping clients in need who have been harmed at sea.

Learn more   >>

Boating Accident Lawyer Miami


Jury verdict obtained by Brett Rivkind selected to hall of fame of jury verdicts. This case is believed to be a record verdict of this particular type of case.

Learn more   >>

Best Florida Boat Accident Lawyer
Jones Act Injury
Maritime Injury Lawyer
Florida Boat Accident Attorney
Boating Accident Lawyer
Boat Accident Attorney
Best Maritime Injury Lawyer
FL Boating Accident Attorneyf

Real Case Results

  • $6.3 MillionBack Injury
  • $2.9 MillionCruise Ship Injury
  • $2.7 MillionCrewmember Injury
  • $2.1 MillionSlip & Fall
  • $1.2 MillionCruise Ship Injury
  • $1 MillionSeaman Back Injury
  • $980,000Cruise Ship Injury
  • $610,000Workplace Injury
  • $375,000Shoulder Injury

Real Client Testimonials

“My only regret is that I did not turn to Brett Rivkind for help sooner.”

“After struggling for more than a year to get the cruise line to take responsibility for a series of medical blunders on board that nearly killed me, I got offered a settlement within weeks of turning to acclaimed Maritime Attorney Brett Rivkind for help”

Chris, a Crew Member on a Cruise Shiptop maritime lawyer
Read More Testimonials   >>

Get A Free Case Evaluation


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Call Today
Free Consultation

We serve clients nationally and internationally including, but not limited to, those in the following localities: Miami-Dade County including Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Doral, Hialeah, Homestead, Kendall West, Miami, Tamiami, The Hammocks, and Westchester; Orange County including Orlando and Winter Park; Osceola County including Kissimmee, Poinciana, and St. Cloud; Palm Beach County including Belle Glade, Lake Worth, and West Palm Beach; and Broward County including Cooper City, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, and Weston.


Best Florida Boat Accident Lawyer