Cruise Abbreviations and Acronyms Explained



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Isn’t it frustrating when you’re reading something that uses abbreviations or acronyms that aren’t explained, and you don’t understand what they’re talking about?

Jewel of the Seas

While they can be really handy for cramming a lot of information into a small space – you might see them used on adverts for cheap cruises, for example – if you don’t know what they stand for, then they’re frustrating and useless.

So, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most common abbreviations and acronyms used in the cruise industry, so you never need to be confused by them again!

1. ABTA

Association of British Travel Agents. A UK-based travel association that helps ensure quality and reliable services from its members, including cruise lines.

ABTA logo

2. AFT

This isn’t actually an abbreviation or acronym, it’s just a word – “Aft”. Some people think it’s an abbreviation, though. It refers to the back of the ship. Staterooms labelled as “aft” are located near the rear of the ship.

Read more: Bow Vs Stern Vs Aft – Why Are They Called That?

ship Aft

3. ATOL

Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing. A UK financial protection scheme that covers most air package holidays sold by travel businesses based in the UK.

If your cruise has flights included in the package, you want it to be ATOL-protected. Then you’re guaranteed to be looked after if the airline goes out of business while you’re on your cruise.

ATOL logo

4. B2B

Back to Back. Refers to booking consecutive cruises, where a passenger remains on the ship for the next voyage.

5. BPG

Best Price Guarantee. A policy offered by some cruise lines ensures that if a lower price is found for the same cruise, they will match it.

Costa Cruises Best Price Guatantee

6. C&A

Crown and Anchor. Royal Caribbean’s loyalty program, offering rewards and benefits to frequent cruisers.

Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor Society Levels

Read more: Royal Caribbean Diamond Benefits

7. C&S

Cruise & Stay. A package that combines a cruise with a land-based hotel stay either before or after the voyage.

A Tui hotel

8. CC

Cruise Critic. A popular online forum and review site for cruise-related information.

Cruise Critic logo

Visit the Cruise Critic website.

9. CD

Cruise Director. The staff member responsible for all onboard entertainment and activities.

Carnival Cruise Director John Heald

Read more: Carnival Cruise Director Schedule

10. CCL

Carnival Magic

Carnival Cruise Line. This popular cruise line is known for its fun atmosphere and wide range of destinations. Because it’s typically shortened to just “Carnival”, people sometimes don’t realise that CCL means the cruise line.

11. CO

Cabin Occupancy. Refers to the number of people staying in a cruise ship cabin.

a cabin for four people

12. DBP

Deluxe Beverage Package. A beverage package offered by some cruise lines that includes a variety of drinks, usually this is the top drinks package. Sometimes called a Premium Beverage Package though PBP is less commonly used.

Close-up of a person's hand holding a smartphone displaying a cruise ship's Deluxe Beverage Package offer, with a variety of alcoholic drinks in the background on the screen, suggesting the convenience of mobile booking.

13. DCL

Disney Cruise Line. A cruise line that offers family-friendly cruises with Disney-themed entertainment – and that charges pretty hefty prices (but they are good cruises…)

Disney Wish

14. FCC

Future Cruise Credit. Think of it as money to spend on a cruise – usually awarded when a cruise is cancelled or adjusted, in lieu of a refund, so you can use the FCC towards another cruise instead.

Read more: Future Cruise Credit: 12 Vital Things to Know

15. FOD

Friends of Dorothy. A term used to refer to LGBTQ+ gatherings or meetups on cruises.

Celeb cruise lgbt wedding

16. FTTF

Faster to the Fun. A program offered by Carnival Cruise Line that provides expedited boarding, priority luggage delivery, and other benefits.

Carnival Faster To The Fun Logo

17. GTY

Guaranteed Stateroom. A type of booking where the guest is guaranteed a room in a specified category, but the exact room is assigned at a later time.

Where the Y comes from, I actually don’t know. Some people think it comes from “Guaranty” or that it’s a shortened form of “GuaranTee categorY”.

18. HAL

Holland America Line. This premium cruise line is known for its elegant ships and exotic destinations.

Cruise mummy with Holland America Line

Read more: Holland America Ships Ranked From Best To Worst

19. INT

Interior. A cabin on the inside of the ship that (usually) has no windows, and is typically the cheapest option available. Sometimes called an Inside cabin.

Modern cruise ship stateroom featuring a neatly made bed with striped bedding and vibrant geometric throw pillows, flanked by nightstands with lamps, and abstract art pieces above the bed headboard.

20. ITIN

Itinerary. The planned route or schedule of a cruise, detailing the ports of call and durations.

21. MDR

Main Dining Room. The primary dining area on a cruise ship where guests can enjoy meals included in the fare.

Main dining room

22. M&M

Meet and Mingle. Social events are organized on cruises, often for specific groups like families, singles, or loyalty program members.

group of people mingling on a Carnival cruise

23. MSC

Mediterranean Shipping Company. A global shipping company that also operates a cruise line, known for its Mediterranean cruises. Pretty much always referred to as MSC.

MSC Virtuosa ship

Read more: MSC Cruises Cabins to Avoid

24. NCL

Norwegian Cruise Line. A cruise line known for its “Freestyle Cruising” concept, offering flexible dining and entertainment options. There’s also NCLH which is less commonly used, standing for the parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

One of the gorgeous NCL cruise ship docked

Read more: NCL Ships By Age And Size

25. NT

Nights. Refers to the number of nights included in a cruise itinerary.

26. OBC

Onboard Credit. A credit that’s provided to guests to spend on additional amenities while on the cruise, like spa services or excursions. Can sometimes be referred to in the UK as OBS or Onboard Spend(s).

Read more: Carnival Onboard Credit

27. OV

Ocean View. A type of stateroom with a window offering a view of the ocean.

Ocean View room on Borealis

28. P&O

Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. A British cruise line that’s known for its history and global destinations. It’s definitely better to stick with “P&O” for short.

Read more: 6 Things That P&O Cruises Does Better Than Other Cruise Lines

29. PCC

Personal Cruise Consultant or Personal Cruise Concierge. A dedicated representative from a cruise line (or sometimes from a travel agent) who assists with bookings and inquiries.

A personal cruise consultant with a radiant smile and headset engages in a friendly conversation, with a male colleague working in the background within a bustling cruise line call center environment.

30. PP

Per Person. Pricing or costs on a cruise that are calculated for each individual passenger.

31. PPPN

Per Person, Per Night. Refers to pricing or costs on a cruise calculated on a nightly basis for each passenger.

This is the best way to compare cruise costs, though make sure it includes all port fees and taxes, too – sometimes they’re listed separately.

32. RCI

Icon of the Seas - Sea Trials

Royal Caribbean International. This very popular cruise line is known for its innovative ships and wide variety of destinations.

Read more: Who owns Royal Caribbean?

33. RSSC

Regent Seven Seas Cruises. An ultra-luxury cruise line known for its all-inclusive cruises and exotic itineraries.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

34. SOLAS

Safety of Life at Sea. An international maritime treaty ensuring the safe operation of ships, primarily focusing on the safety of passengers.

Read more: Do Cruise Ships Have Enough Lifeboats?

35. TA

Travel Agent. A professional who assists in booking travel arrangements, including cruises.

A smiling travel agent wearing a headset sits at her desk with a large colorful globe beside her, signaling readiness to assist with travel plans, depicted in a bright, modern office setting.

Read more: The Best Way To Book A Cruise (Online, Phone or In-Person)

36. VIFP

Very Important Fun Person. Carnival Cruise Line’s loyalty program offers benefits and rewards to repeat guests.

VIFP logo

Read more: Carnival Cruise Card Colors Explained

37. YTD

Your Time Dining. A dining option on some cruise lines where guests can dine at any time during dinner hours, rather than at a set time. Also called ‘My Time Dining‘ on some cruise ships.

A joyful family moment at a restaurant with a young boy playfully toasting with water, mirroring a smiling bald man with a glass of red wine, amidst a bustling dining setting with attentive staff in the background.

Final Word

There you go – a long list of abbreviations and acronyms related to cruising, explained. If you think of any others, or you come across one that you don’t understand, drop it in the comments and I’ll add it to the list.

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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