The first time on a cruise was very exciting. I wasn’t a ship beginner. However, some of the terms and things on a cruise were absolutely new to me. In my first entry, I’ve already talked about our stay on MS Europa 2 – a beautiful 5* luxury cruise ship with the biggest space per people on high sea. Here comes a cruise beginner guide.
Below you’ll also find a little ship ABC!
Embark1 & the importance of your boarding card
As soon as you’ll check in you’ll have to leave your ID or passport at the reception and will get a boarding card. It is your personal ID, cabin keys and additional costs will be paid with it. Very important: always take your boarding pass with you. Especially ashore it will be your ID.
But first to the pool!
It’s always good to pack your swim wear in the hand luggage. Sometimes you’ll need to wait for longer until your cabin will be released. Especially on ascend and descend days the personal will be super busy. Best is to give in your luggage beforehand and spend the waiting time at the pool!
Emergency exercise is compulsory!
Due to the international Laut international maritime law you’ll need to do the muster drill within 24 hours. Most of the times the cruise will organize an appointment for everybody. Therefor you’ll only need to get your life jacket from your cabin. It won’t need longer than 10 minutes.
Let’s send some snapshots from the cruise – the problem with the internet on board
Oh yes, internet on board is still a thing. Unfortunately, some of the technologies are still outdatet. Therefore, the connection on board is not only super expensive but also quite slow and unreliable. This is exactly why my stay on the MS Europa 2 wasn’t so relaxed. Had I known that I would be without internet for the whole week I would’ve published more beforehand. Posting quick shots from the day on Social Media was quite tedious. When we laid on the roads2 I usually used my mobile data.
- Beware: on the high sea you should always turn your devices on flight mode. Satellites will be connected with the American network. This can be very expensive!
No open fire on board!
During our emergency exercise we were notified that all heat generating objects are strictly forbidden. I.e. curling wand, hair dryer, hair straightener or iron. Great! Once we’re on board and I can’t style for the occasion. Lastly, we were all on the same
boat ship and it won’t stand out if you’ll wear your hair air-dried. In the worst case you can always book a hairdresser appointment. Moreover, you can get your clothes ironed out for a convenient price or you’ll hang some pieces in the hot shower (not quite eco-friendly, though).
In many ports and islands it isn’t possible to land. Therefore, the cruise will anchor before the islands (i.e. this was the case in Santorini, Naxos and Nauplia). Passengers will be brought with tender ashore.
Get the most out of the day and book some tours!
Tours can be easily booked before or on board. In some countries you may need a visa to visit on your own. If you didn’t have the chance to get one you can still go ashore with an organized tour. For example in Russia it isn’t possible to go ashore without a visa. In most destinations you’ll also find cheaper providers onshore. In my opinion it is still the best to explore on your own and to avoid crowded touristic places.
In Nauplia we’ve done a zodiac cruising. Usually zodiacs will be used in lower water regions. For example in the caribbean you’ll need tender to bring passengers on land. We took a zodiac to make a little tour in the port of Nauplia. Moreover, we’ve gotten a great view onto the MS Europa 2.
Terms on board
“ocean carrier – what?” (ok sounds more unknowably in German) As soon as we’d descended we were bombarded with different technical terms. Also the one or the other passenger will praise oneself with his wide knowledge of ship terms. Here’s a little ship ABC:
To sign on: starting to work as a sea man
2to lie in the roads: to lie outside a port or in a river mautfall
3to embark: to go onboard
portside: in travel direction left
bridge: command center of the ship
bow: front part of the ship
bull’s eye: round cabin window
dock: Anlegestelle eines Schiffes am Hafen
assigned seating: not every ship has enough restaurants for everybody. therefore there will be assigned timetables for each passenger
Galley: kitchen on board
Gangway: versatile exterior stair to embark and disembark
stern: backside of the ship
cast off!: to take off
Liferafts: floatable emergency boats
midships: middle part of the ship
muster drill: To muster is to assemble the passengers and crew of a ship for a safety drill
Purser: person who is responsibly for finance, infrastructure, crew and authorities
ocean carrier: shipping company
furl: moving of the ship around its long axis
to pitch: rotary movement of the ship around its lateral axis
starboard: in movement direction rechts
4Tender: on-board ships which will bring people ashore
5Zodiac: rubber dinghy*retrieved from Kreuzfahrt – 11 Tipps für Anfänger | Travel the World
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I hope you’ve enjoyed this cruise beginner guide!