Cruising Basics, Part 1: Taking the Mystery Out of Ships’ Prefixes
If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you’ve already seen the alphabet-soup on the ship right before its name. And you’ve heard people referred to as pursers and helmsmen and first or second officer. And you’ve had the opportunity to be confused by nautical terms such as leeward, prow, and yaw. If you HAVEN’T been on a cruise yet, now you will learn what to expect!
A thrifty traveler isn’t just someone who wants to get the most out of every travel dollar. The thrifty traveler is also an intelligent and well-informed traveler – even if that means having to learn another language. Therefore, here is an introductory 3-part course in “cruising language.”
We’ll begin by taking the mystery out of ships’ prefixes. Ships have “titles” before their names, just like people do (e.g., Mr., Ms., Captain). These are referred to as the ship’s designation.
- H.M.S. = Her/His Majesty’s Ship (British)
- M.S. = Motor Ship
- M.T.S. = Motor Turbine Ship
- M.V. = Motor Vessel
- N.S. = Nuclear Ship
- R.H.M.S. = Royal Hellenic Mail Ship
- R.M.S. = Royal Mail Ship
- S.S. = Steamship
- STR = Steamer
- T.S. = Twin Screw
- T.S.S. = Turbine Steamship
- U.S.S. = United States Ship (U.S. Navy)
Have you seen other prefixes? If so, let me know and I’ll find out what it stands for!
Tomorrow we’ll discuss “Who is in Charge of What?”