rcclwayfinderNew for some, a review for others, here is a list of terms that can help prepare you for your cruise. We hope this helps!

  • Aft – the back or near the back of the ship
  • Atrium – the central court (or center area) of a cruise ship, usually rising through more than one story of the ship’s interior
  • Berth – a built-in bed or bunk, as in a ship’s cabin or stateroom
  • Bow – the very front of the ship
  • Bridge – the navigational control center
  • Cabin or Stateroom Steward – a person whose work is to take care of the guests aboard a ship.
  • Captain – the person in command of a ship
  • Deck Plan – an overhead diagram of the cabins and the public rooms
  • Disembark – to unload (passengers or goods) from a ship
  • Dock – where your ship ‘parks’ when in port
  • Forward – faces the front of the boat
  • Gangway – allows you access on and off the ship
  • Knot – a nautical mile (see Nautical below)
  • Leeward – the side of the ship that is out of or away from the wind
  • Midship – the middle of the ship
  • Muster – to come together or assemble aboard ship for inspection or roll call
  • Muster Station – a specific location on ship to gather, based on stateroom assignment
  • Nautical – of or having to do with sailors, ships, or navigation. A unit of speed of one nautical mile (6,076.12 feet or 1,852 meters) an hour: abbrev. kn or kt [to average a speed of 10 knots]
  • Pier – a structure built out over the water and supported by pillars or piles: used as a landing place.
  • Port – the left-hand side of a ship as one faces forward: opposed to starboard. Port – so named because the side toward the port (dock), since the steering oar (see starboard) prevented docking to the right.
  • Port of Call – regular stopover(s) on a cruise itinerary.
  • Purser – a ship’s officer in charge of accounts, freight, tickets, etc., esp. on a passenger vessel. Important to you – a Purser takes responsibility for all money, transactions.
  • Port – the left hand side of the ship while facing forward (bow). Easy to remember since “port” and “left” each have four letters.
  • Ship – You always cruise on a “ship,” never a “boat”.
  • Starboard – the right side of the ship while facing forward (bow).
  • Stateroom – your cabin or berth
  • Stern – the very back of the ship
  • Tender – a boat for carrying passengers to or from a ship close to shore.
  • Windward – on the side of the ship from which the wind blows; toward the wind

That's me, on the right, wearing my Ministry of Supply 'Core' shirt.

That’s me, on the right, wearing my Ministry of Supply ‘Core’ shirt.

The debate goes on.  Cruisers who long for the cruising of yesterday (dressing up, all-assigned dining tables and time, etc.) versus the growing number of cruisers who seem to enjoy the options cruise lines offer today, allowing for more choice with regards to dining and dress.  Well, I found a line of clothes that allows you to both look good and feel comfortable doing so, all day long.

The company is Ministry of Supply, based out of Boston, MA.  As of this writing, MOS offers clothing only for men, and they certainly do not market themselves in the world of cruising, but towards the business professional (think “the active professional”).  I can’t speak for all male cruisers, but I for one prefer to dress more business casually for dinner on board, than I would more formally.  Heck, you’re on holiday!

MOS takes the technology principles that exist in performance apparel (think Under Armour, Patagonia) and bring it into professional clothing like dress shirts and pants.  Who wouldn’t want this on their cruise vacation, particularly if you want to look great, and feel comfortable as you cruise into warm weather climates!  I purchased one of their shirts and wore it all day long in Bermuda.  It did what it was supposed to do, and I felt comfortable both in the outdoor heat and in the air-conditioned restaurants we visited.  Now, MOS is looking to produce a performance dress sock!  You can read about it HERE.  Their entire line can be found HERE.

Here’s to a comfortable cruise!!

Between Facebook, LinkedIn and face-to-face conversations (yes, you read correctly), nearly 80% said they only give cruise lines one (1) “chance” before saying “they would never come back” after negative experiences.  It was a very informal question posed; I didn’t get into the food, the service, the entertainment or even the friendliness of the staff.  I kept it basic, and the answer, by a wide margin, was one.

With one person in particular, I followed up by asking if she would return to her FAVORITE restaurant after a bad experience.  I did not ask the same follow-up question with regards to her favorite cruise line.  But, I venture to guess that her answer would have been the same as the restaurant…”Yes.”  Tomorrow, I am going to pose the restaurant and cruise line follow-up questions, because now I am curious.

I realize the investments are not the same, and that is a HUGE factor.  Take even a date night at your favorite upscale steak-house, where the average bill for two will be around $120-$150.  If you had a bad steak one night, realizing typically good restaurants may have a bad night once in a while, you may be pissed, but you are more likely to return. Why? The $120-$150 investment is not as steep as a cruise vacation for two; or a trip to a hugely popular resort in Central Florida!  I have many thoughts as to why the number was nearly 80%, even for a “glass-half-full” type of guy like myself:

  • A bad night out didn’t cost you vacation time, or even one-day lost at work…but a cruise on the other hand will cost more money in addition to the vacay and work time, as well as potential travel expenses getting to the ship
  • If it is your FIRST cruise with a particular line, you have no basis for comparison…only hearsay from others
  • The cruiser may already have loyalty “points” built up with another line, therefore will not chance it again on the negative experience
  • The cruiser may have gone with a new line (for him/herself) with preconceived notions, so a nice time was NOT going to be had regardless.

I’m sure there are many more reasons.  But now, what about negative experiences on what is currently your FAVORITE cruise line?  After spending  money on airfare, the cruise itself, shore excursions and other on-board expenses, using vacation time and having to get caught up at work…would you again sail with your favorite cruise line after a negative experience?  With regards to this question, I’m sure people think about some of the items mentioned above, such as perks and loyalty programs as well as past positive experiences (heck, they just had a bad week…).

I would LOVE to have more of your thoughts here on the blog and on our Facebook page; especially from those who said they would only give a cruise line one chance!  Does this include your FAVORITE cruise line?

How Victoria looked when we arrived during our 2009 Alaskan Cruise.

How Victoria looked when we arrived during our 2009 Alaskan Cruise.

My wife Cathy and her girlfriend are in Seattle as I write this, a girl get-a-way!  Today, they took a ferry to Victoria, British Columbia.  We went to Victoria, together, during our Alaskan Cruise (also out of Seattle) in 2009.

I was psyched; I heard how beautiful Victoria was, and everybody told me…make sure you check out Butchart Gardens.  I’m a control freak, and normally as organized as anybody.  I’m not sure what happened in 2009, but I did not do my homework.  I did not realize how late we would be arriving into Victoria, and that it was the “token foreign port stop” during the cruise (Alaska, of course, was all U.S.A.).  Well, we arrived even later than advertised, it was dark, we only had four hours, and, the Gardens were closed!

Today, Cathy and her friend took the Victoria Clipper Ferry from Seattle to Victoria, and are also headed to the Gardens.  The high-speed ferry takes about 2:40 hours from port to port, and averages $145 per person, round trip.  I wish we had the time after the cruise in 2009.  Hope you enjoyed the trip babe!

Grid-It XL for your suitcase.

Grid-It XL for your suitcase.

I go to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas almost every year, and I almost always leave with something…or at least with the information for the intent (since you typically can’t buy products on the trade show floor).

This time around, it was the Grid-It, by Cocoon; I love it.  It’s been around, but it didn’t grab my attention until I walked by their booth.  And, there might have been a rep (or model), almost as beautiful as my wife (but not quite), holding one as I walked by!

This thing is great.  It’ll hold and organize your pocket camera, phone/iPod/mp3 player, a small portable speaker (like the Jambox), drugs, toothpaste and more.  I got the three pack, and the one that holds an iPad!  These items help take the stress out of packing, and further enhances your cruising experience.