Whether you are new to cruising or a seasoned veteran, it can be a challenge to get around a large cruise ship.
There’s weird terminology, several decks and many of today’s ships are well over 900 feet long and 100 feet wide! It’s easy to get lost.
It can even be hard to keep track of time. Some ships change with each time zone while others like the Carnival Conquest stay on ship time. Ship time is typically the time you start your cruise. For example, if you board the ship in Miami or Fort Lauderdale you are on Eastern Standard Time and that will be the ships time throughout your cruise. I found out that there are clocks in the stairwells.
Each elevator has the floor number on the side the elevator door. There is also a floor number on the side of the elevator and on the walls facing you as you come up/down the stairs. There is also have a map showing what on each deck between elevators!
The ships also have a small fold-out card with the deck plans. They can be found at the pursers desk and works great to stick in your pocket and pull out when you are going to go from one place to another.
Learning a few nautical terms will make life at sea much easier. Let’s start off with some basic navigation terminology. The front of the ship is called forward, the back of the ship is the Aft, the right side is called Starboard and the left side of the ship is the Port side. Depending on what your stateroom number determines which side of the ship you are on. Staterooms ending in an odd number (1,3,5,7,9) are on the Starboard (right) side of the ship. Staterooms ending in an even number (0,2,4,6,8) are on the Port (left) side.
If you want to really impress your friends and family, you can explain the difference between Miles per hour(MPH) and nautical miles (knots). A nautical mile is based on the circumference of the earth and is equal to one minute of Latitude and is 6076 feet. It is slightly more than a land measured mile of 5280 feet. 1 Knott equals 1.15 miles. So how fast do cruise ships go? The new large ships can go approximately 21-24 Knotts or 24-27 Miles per hour! It may not sound that fast but considering the size and weight on these large ships it’s rather impressive.
Now you have the tools to navigate a cruise ship like an expert! Go book that trip and impress your friends and family.