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What is a cruise port of call

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Novice trip-takers may not know what is a cruise port of call

Novice trip-takers may not know what is a cruise port of call

If you are about to embark on a cruise it behooves you to learn the seafarer?s lingo. Such as what, you inquire? Firstly and importantly, you need to know what is a cruise port of call.

Ports of call are places where ships dock in the course of a voyage. The ship may stop so it can obtain supplies at the port of call, undergo repairs, and load or unload cargo. Anywhere that a ship stops, not including its home port, is considered a “port of call.” A port of call is an in-between stop. It is not the home port or the destination (necessarily.) It is a mid-journey stop. A cruise ship usually allows its passengers to disembark and roam around the area.


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Other terms and expressions that you may want to familiarize yourself with before heading out on your cruise include bow, which is the front of the boat. The left side of the boat, when looking forward, is the port side. The right side of the boat (when looking forward) is the starboard side. The back of the boat is the stern.

The bridge of the ship is the location from which the ship is commanded. The captain can see nearly 360 degrees around the ship from this vantage point. This area is raised so that the captain has an unobstructed view.

If the captain of the ship orders everyone to the starboard side, you need to know that this means you go to the right side of the ship when looking forward. If you are looking toward the back or the stern of the ship, turn around and get oriented so you can follow commands.


It is imperative that you know what the specific rules are of the cruise line that you are taking. Some ships may require that you disembark at a port of call while others don?t.

Every ship has a method for disembarking. You will probably need a SeaPass card along with other forms of identification. The SeaPass confirms your identity and that you are a guest on the ship. When you leave the boat, you swipe the card. You are checking out. Be sure you know what time you must get back to the ship. You don?t want it to leave without you.

You may walk down the gang plank and directly to the port or you may be ferried to the port of call in a small boat.


Before leaving on your cruise, research the ports of call that you will be visiting. Some ports are urban, some have beautiful beaches, others are particularly great for shopping. If the port of call is famous for its food, be sure to eat their cuisine while visiting. Take safety precautions. You are in a foreign country. You don?t want to become a victim of a pick pocket or mugging.


What countries are you visiting? Do you need a passport or Visa?

When you receive your ticket packet information prior to the cruise you are given specific instructions regarding the travel documents of forms of ID that you need for you trip Usually, you are required to have a least one state-issued pictured identification, such as a driver?s license, even if the ship is staying in United States territory waters.

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If you are traveling to ports in foreign lands, you need to take your driver?s license or some other type of government issued piece of identification as well as your birth certification that has a raised seal on it or your passport.
Most ships do not remain overnight in ports of calls. There are various reasons for this including the disturbance (noise, music) that it creates for those who live in the port of call. Some cruise ships allow gambling. This is not in favor at some ports of call such as the Cayman Islands. If the cruise ship docked overnight it would be compelled to close down its casino, which it doesn?t want to do because the cruise line would lose money as a result.
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