“ All aboard ! ” is a phrase said to give passengers a warning before departure, just before a ship (or train) leaves. Although it is not practised anymore in real-life, it is still commonly heard in movies.

There are many different ways to travel such as: by car, airplane, train and boats/ships. Thousands of people every year go on cruise ships. Did you know… that there is a difference between a ship and a boat? Boats are small to mid-sized vessels and ships are mid-sized to large sized vessels. There are also different kinds of passenger carrying vessels: ferries, cruise ships, ocean liners, yachts, sailing boats and sailing ships.

Ferry – is a small to medium sized passenger carrying ship, usually doing shorter trips.

Cruise Ship – is a large passenger carrying ship whose trips can vary from days to weeks depending on the cruise and destinations. Cruise ships value their amenities more, and what they have to offer, like swimming pools, theatres, casinos etc.

Ocean liner – similar to a cruise ship, ocean liners focus more on speed and traditional luxuries.

Yacht – Yachts vary in size, from small sail type yachts to luxurious super yachts.

Sailing boat – A small type boat with sails.

Sailing ship – A mid-sized to large sized vessel with sails.

When booking a cruise:

A cruise can be booked directly with the cruise liners or via travel agencies. Depending on the type of cruise you book, the trip will vary in length of stay, price and destinations. Here are some questions to ask when booking your trip.

  • When is the next available trip?”
  • How long is the trip?”
  • Which ports will be visited?”
  • How long do we get to visit the city?”
  • Will the ship wait for me/us if I/we return late?”
  • What is the cost per person?”
  • Do the rates vary depending on the location/view of a cabin?”
  • What are the amenities available onboard?”
  • What currency is accepted onboard?”
  • Is there a money exchanger?”
  • Can we use Visa/Mastercard onboard?”
  • When arriving at the ship:
  • Where is the check-in for the luggage?”
  • What is the process for boarding?”
  • On the ship:
    “Where is my muster station?”
  • Where can I find a life jacket?”
  • What are the different alarm signals for the different emergencies?”
  • If I see any hazards, who do I alert and how?”
  • Where is the information counter?”
  • If I am not feeling well, is there a doctor onboard?”
  • I am lost, how do I find my way around?”

  • Muster station – An area which is designated for people to gather in case of emergencies, usually very well marked.
  • Life jacket – is a floatation device which people don in order to help them float in water.
  • Don – To put on, to wear

Going on a cruise is an exciting and unique adventure, which can give you a different perspective on travelling. If you are planning on going on a cruise, taking a few English classes beforehand might help you with your planning and your trip.