Cruise Bruise

Cruise Ship Communications
Cruise Ship Emergency Communications

Bells - Horns - Public Address Cruise Ship Communications

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Cruise Ship Communications
Cruise Ship Emergency Communications

Bells - Horns - Public Address Cruise Ship Communications

Cruise Ship Communications

Horns / Whistles
  • 1 short blast means "I am changing course to starboard."
  • 1 long blast every two minutes when operating in fog
  • 2 short blasts mean "I am changing course to port."
  • 3 short blasts mean "I am operating astern." or dismissal of drill
  • 3 long blasts means Man Over Board
  • 7 or more short blasts on ship's whistle followed by a long blast go to muster stations, or abandon ship.

  • Verbal Cruise Ship Communications

  • Mr. Skylight - This is paged over the PA system. It is an alert for the crew onboard and means there is a minor emergency somewhere.
  • Mr. Mob - This means Man OverBoard.
  • Code Blue - Medical Emergency onboard
  • Bravo, Bravo, Bravo - Fire or serious accident onboard
  • Pan-pan or Pan-pan medico - There has been an emergency, but it is not life threatening at the moment. These may go out during the first three minutes of the top of the hour, and three minutes at the last of the hour, over the marine radio, such as 2:00-2:03am and 2:30-2:33am. This is given for engine failure, out of fuel, fire is not put out but damage onboard, medical emergency onboard that is not life-threatening but assistance is needed.
  • Mayday Mayday Mayday - Grave and imminent danger such as sinking ship, fire out of control, passengers and crew abandoning ship. If communications are down, Morse code may be used instead, such as using a pounding noise or light flashes.

  • Other Cruise Ship Written or Verbal Communication Terms

  • AFT - ALSO KNOWN AS STERN - The rear of the ship or anywhere behind the bow
  • BILGE - The lower most point on the ship's hull. This is the area where the crew lives on most cruise ships.
  • BLACKWATER - This is waste water that is sewage
  • BLOODS - The ship's passengers
  • BOW - The front of the ship
  • COMPANIONWAY - This is a stairwell
  • DRAFT - This is the distance between the water and the bilge area of a ships hull.
  • FORE - This is the front of the ship
  • FREEBOARD - This is the distance between the water line and the deck.
  • GRAYWATER - This is waste water produced by showers, basins and in food preparation
  • KNOT - A unit of speed equal to one nautical mile
  • LEAGUE - A measurement of distance- approximately 3.45 nautical miles.
  • LEEWAY - This is the side of the ship sheltered from the wind.
  • MESS - The crew dining area
  • MOOR - To secure a ship to a fixed place.
  • NAUTICAL MILE - 6,080.2 feet, versus a land mile of 5,280 feet
  • PITCH - This is the rise and fall of a ship’s bow that may occur while sailing
  • POOPED - Means that a wave hits you from over the stern
  • PORT SIDE - When facing forward, the left side of the ship
  • ROLLING - Motion of ship from side to side
  • SCENDING - Rolling and Pitching at the same time
  • STARBOARD SIDE - When facing forward, the right side of the ship
  • TENDER - A small vessel that is used to transport people and necessary supplies to and from the ship when it is anchored.
  • WILLIWAW - Refers to the strong gusts of wind that can occur at sea
  • WINGER - Dining Room Steward
  • YAWS - To deviate from the ship’s intended course

  • Supporting Information & Resources:

    Featured or New Cruise Ship Passenger Information

    Related Cruise Bruise Investigations

    Suggested Reading