A-Z of Cruising

P&O Cruises

Alcohol package

Many different cruise lines offer alcohol packages, letting you enjoy either discounted or unlimited drinks for the duration of your voyage.


Every cruise ship has a buffet restaurant, serving a range of food and ideal if you’re looking for a casual place to dine.

Cabin steward

Your cabin steward looks after your room and can help you with any special requests, such as having fresh ice in your room every day.

Dress code

Cruise ships all have different dress codes, with various restaurants and leisure facilities only accepting people who are suitably attired.


Excursions are the tours you can take at every port that you visit. They range from guided tours to more active options, such as snorkelling, quad biking and more.

Fly cruise

A fly cruise is a package that includes your flights to get you to and from your start and end ports for your cruise holiday, meaning you don’t have to worry about organising them yourself.


Gratuities are tips for the on-board staff. Sometimes they’re included, sometimes they are automatically added to your account, and sometimes it is left to you. It varies by cruise line.

Hotel stays

If you want something extra special from your holiday, add in a hotel stay either before you set sail or once the cruise has come to an end for a fantastic package.

Internet access

Every cruise offers internet access of some sort, whether it’s Wi-Fi or through an internet café on-board. Check the price as it is often slow and can cost a lot on a per-minute tariff.

Jogging track

A lot of cruise ships have a jogging track on one of the outdoor deck areas, the perfect place for a relaxing stroll or run with views of the ocean.

Kids clubs

Kids clubs feature on a large number of cruise lines, often split for different age groups, giving the younger family members plenty to do while parents are free to enjoy their own activities.


The cruise ships classes as luxury include amazing suite rooms, gourmet dining and beautiful décor throughout for an experience to remember.

Muster drill

A vital safety briefing, the muster drill takes place on every cruise and shows you your muster point and what to do in case of emergency.


Ships that target a younger crowd are sometimes equipped with a nightclub, where you can party until the early hours every night if you wish.

On-board credit

Your cruise deal may include on-board credit, money that is added to your account that you can enjoy during your cruise, whether on speciality restaurants, spa treatments or excursions for example.


Ships have an on-board photographer, so expect to be asked to pose when you board and at various other times, such as on formal nights. You don’t have to buy but they do make great souvenirs.


One of the most common activities across all cruise ships, quizzes are great for bringing people together or for a casual bit of fun during a sea day.

Room service

Relax in your stateroom and order room service, which on many ships is included in your cruise fare meaning you can take it easy without the added cost.

Speciality restaurants

Often, bigger ships have a number of speciality restaurants that focus on a certain cuisine, with extra-special dishes. These usually involve an additional cover charge.


Sometimes a ship isn’t able to dock directly at port, if the destinations can’t handle the size of the ship. On these occasions you’ll tender to the port from an anchored location on a small boat.


Keep an eye out for cruise deals where an upgrade is offered, letting you enjoy a more spacious cabin or stateroom without having to pay the extra cost that you normally would.


Sometimes called a balcony, and on some cruise lines called a verandah, these are a great addition to your stateroom, giving you the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the view.


Becoming more of a feature on-board family ships, it’s not sufficient now to just have a pool but fountains and of course waterslides are being added to many ships aimed at children.

X – Celebrity Cruises logo

The ‘X’ is the logo for Celebrity Cruises, which may cause some confusion. It’s actually the Greek letter ‘Chi’, the first part of the former name of the line, Chandris.


Yoga, Tai-Chi and Pilates: you’ll find there is plenty of variation when it comes to the fitness classes that you can enjoy (or not) during your cruise.

Zip line

One of the more unique features on-board a cruise ship, the zip-line is an indicator of how cruise lines are trying to come up with unique attractions to move the whole industry forward.

By Ian Lewis

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Jenni Fielding
Jenni has been working in the travel industry for over 10 years. She fell in love with cruising on her first-ever cruise, a Caribbean cruise on Allure of the Seas, during her honeymoon in 2013. Nowadays, Jenni enjoys cruising with her husband and two young children. Her favourite ships are family-friendly megaships which are packed with exciting facilities. She loves sea days and had been known to skip port visits to spend more time on the ship!

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