As cruise ships are getting massive daily, it has become complicated for us to remember the Port and Starboard.
A modern-day cruise ship like the Icon of the Seas is 1,198 feet or 365 m long.
If you are preparing for a cruise trip, remembering the Port and Starboard is important.
Knowing the Port and Starboard will help you not get lost in the ship and find yourself back in your cabin.
How to Remember Port and Starboard? Is it Left or Right?
On a cruise ship, the Port is on your right side,, and the Starboard is on the left side when looking forward to the Bow of a boat. Now, if you take a 180-degree turn, the Port will be on your left side, and the Starboard will be towards your right side. Both the Port and Starboard stay stationary and do not change their location.
I get it. Simply saying that is to the right and this is to the left won’t let you remember the Starboard and Port.
Many people get confused about remembering the Port and Starboard of a cruise ship or a typical ship.
This is why I have provided some easy-to-remember tricks to help you identify the Port and Starboard in a single glance.
I also provided printable material you can download and keep on your phone, in case you can’t remember it.
Be sure to send the printable to your friend, just in case.
Bow And Stern On A Ship
To remember Port and Starboard, you need first to know what a bow and stern on a cruise ship is.
It will be easy for you to understand and remember Port and Starboard once you have a basic understanding of the Bow and stern.
What is a Bow on a Ship?
A bow is towards the front of a ship. It is the forward area that we call a bow.
A bow on a cruise ship serves a purpose.
The bow helps to create low-pressure zone to eliminate or lower the resulting drag by the bow wave.
So always remember that the Bow is towards the forward of a ship or a boat.
Just think about the rhyme Billy Bow stands at the front, and you will never forget where the Bow is on a ship.
What is a Stern on a Ship?
Like the Bow, the Stern is another term you should understand.
A stern is towards the back side or aft-most part of a ship or boat.
The stern offers space for a tiller and steering device.
You only need to remember that the Bow is towards the front, so it’s obvious the stern is towards the back side or aft-most part of a ship.
Tricks to Remember Port and Starboard
Below are some easy ways to remember the Port and Starboard.
You may follow any or multiple tricks below to remember the Port and Starboard.
Read and find the one that you feel is easy and never forget the Port and starboard on a cruise ship ever again.
Know Where The Word Port & Starboard Came From
Another easy way to never forget the sides of the Port and starboard on a cruise ship is to understand where the word came from.
So let’s see where the word Starboard and Port initially originated from.
The word Starboard is a combination of two words.
- stéor – Steer
- bord – Side of a vessel
By now, you know Starboard means steering side. Since most people are right-handed, you can easily relate that the Starboard is on the right side of a ship when facing toward the Bow.
Back in the day, people used steering oars to steer ships. Since most people steer a ship with their right hand, this was on the ship’s right side.
When the steering oar is on the right, the boat moves to the other side, which is left. So the left side is called Port.
The Starboard on a ship is always towards the right side when you face the front or the bow area.
If you take a 180° turn and face towards the Stern area, the ship’s Starboard will now be towards your left side.
Below are some nifty little hacks to keep in mind to easily remember the side of Port on a cruise ship.
The Port is always towards the left side of the cruise ship when you face towards the front of the bow area.
The Port will be towards your right side when you face towards the Stern or backward part of a cruise ship.
The number of Letters on PORT = LEFT
Both the words port and left contain precisely four letters.
Here is a simple way to remember the Port of a cruise ship.
The word PORT has four letters. Similarly, the word LEFT has four letters, too.
So it will be easy for you to remember the Port is towards the left side of a cruise ship when facing towards the front, as both PORT and LEFT have exactly four letters.
Since the word RIGHT have five letters, you may remember it’s the Starboard to the right side.
PORT & LEFT = 4 Letters.
Port and Starboard Socks
A pair of Port and starboard socks is yet another easy way to remember the sides of Port and Starboard and never forget them again.
The red and green colors are associated with the Port and Starboard in the ship’s navigational system. It is an international convention that is widely used.
In a pair of port and starboard socks, one will be red, and the other will be green.
One must wear red socks on the left leg and green socks on the right leg.
This will be extremely useful for children to quickly find the Starboard and Port on a cruise ship.
The Number of Rs in Starboard
The word Starboard has two Rs in it, while the word Port only has one R.
Remember the word with two Rs is towards the right. In simple terms, since the word Starboard has two Rs, it is to the vessel’s right side.
Why One Needs To Learn Port and Starboard?
One might wonder why you need to learn the sides of the Port and starboard in the first place.
The ship’s captain addresses the sides by using two terminologies: Port and Starboard. They don’t use the word left or right.
In the ship’s navigational system, the right side is green, and the left is red. Red is Port, and green is Starboard.
Let’s look at an example.
Say, for example, the captain saw some dolphins on the ship’s right side. He will announce people to look towards the Starboard to find dolphins.
So every cruise traveler needs to learn both Port and Starboard. In short, once you enter a ship, Port and Starboard will be used to address left and right.
Lifeboats are found on both port and starboard sides.
Correctly remembering the Port and Starboard of a cruise ship can be very confusing in the beginning. Once you get used to both conventions, it will become easier, and you’re less likely to forget them in the future.
You need to associate the color red with the Port and the color green with the Starboard. The Starboard is always towards the right if you’re facing the Bow of the ship, and the Port is to the left.