Easiest Spanish for Cruise Ships

Easiest Spanish for Cruise Ships explains how an article or onboard hour talk on Easiest Spanish can prepare you for Spanish you will encounter in Spanish speaking port towns.

Ever wish you knew Spanish? Well, you already know more than you realize about Spanish. Just because you know English. Many Spanish words look like English words. That’s your Easiest Spanish Introduction!

For example, imagine you are on your first cruise to a country where Spanish is spoken, such as Mexico or Spain, or the countries of Central America or South America. You settle into your cabin on the cruise ship, excited about going to a foreign country, but also dreading the language barrier.

Then imagine that you pick up an onboard magazine and discover an article that is an Easiest Spanish Introduction. Here is the gist of it, with only some of the examples:



There are 100 Easiest Spanish words to describe your voyage on a cruise ship. This can be your Easiest Spanish Introduction.

The very easiest are English words borrowed by Spanish.


Spanish Words Spelled and Pronounced Like English

Some Easiest Spanish words are pronounced almost the same way as in English. If you pronounce these words as you usually do in English, a Spanish-speaker will understand what you mean.

The check-in is ‘la check-in’ [“check-in”].

The duty-free store is ‘el duty-free’ [“duty-free”].

Cola is ‘el cola’ [“cola”].

And no is also ‘no’ [“no”] in Spanish.


Spanish Words Spelled Like English, But Pronounced Differently

Next-easiest are Spanish words spelled like English, with some parts pronounced the same, but other parts pronounced differently.

The example below reveals that in Spanish the vowel -i- is pronounced “-ee-”. The rest of the word is pronounced as in English.

The view out the window is ‘la vista’ [VEES-tah].

The wine is ‘el vino’ [VEE-noh].


The stress may be on a different part of the word in Spanish than in English:

The security inspector is ‘el inspector’ [een-spehk-TOHR].

The salmon served during the cruise is ‘el salmón’ [sahl-MOHN].


Spanish Words Spelled Differently Than English

Spanish words spelled differently than English make you realize that they are really Spanish words even though they are spelled a lot like English.

The next-easiest are Spanish words spelled like English – but with an additional letter added at the end.

The ‘music’ is ‘música’ [MOO-see-kah].

Other Spanish words are spelled like English, but with several letters added at the end:

The visa travel permit is ‘visado’ [vee-SAH-doh]

The x-ray security machine is ‘rayos x’ [RRAH-yohs x]

Other Spanish words start out spelled like English – but letters are missing at the end:

So tea is té [teh].

And salt is ‘sal’ [sahl].

A reservation is ‘reserva [reh-SEHR-vah].


The next-easiest are Spanish words spelled a little differently than English in various ways. There are several types listed below:

Some Spanish words related to English have a different letter at the start:

on / in the cruise ship is ‘en’ [ehn]

More Spanish words start out spelled like English, but have a different letter at the end:

To pass through security is ’pase’ [PAH-seh].


English words ending –y are spelled –io or –ia in Spanish:

Your itinerary is ‘itinerario’ [ee-tee-neh-RAH-ree-oh].

An emergency is ‘emergencia’ [eh-mehr-HEHN-see-ah]


English words containing –tion are spelled –cion in Spanish:

The customs declaration is ‘declaración’ [deh-klah-rahs-YOHN]. Your ID / identification is ‘identificación’ [ee-dehn-tee-fee-kahs-YOHN].

English words containing –ction are spelled –ccion in Spanish:

A rstaurant section is ‘seccion’ [SEHKS-yohn].

Pre-cruise instructions are ‘instrucciones’ [een-strook-see-OH-nehs].


Other Spanish words also start out spelled like English, but toward the end are spelled differently to varying degrees:

Your passport is ‘pasaporte’ [pah-sah-POHR-teh].

The passengers are ‘pasajeros’ [pah-sah-HEH-rohs].

Your vacation is ‘vacaciones’ [vah-kah-see-OH-nehs].

Other Spanish words are spelled differently than English in various ways.

A tourist is ‘turista’ [too-REES-tah].

Airport security is ‘seguridad’ [seh-GOO-ree-dahd].

And potatoes are ‘patatas’ [pah-TAH-tahs].

A salad is ‘ensalada’ [ehn-sah-LAH-dah].


Finally, sometimes a Spanish word looks similar to another English word which is somehow related enough to suggest the correct meaning of the Spanish word.

Some Spanish words resemble less-used synonyms in English:

To board the ship is ‘embarcar’ [ehm-bahr-KAHR] like embark.

The boarding area is ‘zona’ [SOH-nah] like zone.


Other Spanish words are loosely related to English words, but close enough to help you remember what the Spanish words mean:

Water is ‘agua’ [AH-gwah] like aquatic.

A movie is ‘cine’ [SEE-neh] like cinema.

Smoking is ‘fumar’ [foo-MAHR] like fumes.

Check-in is ‘registros’ [reh-HEES-trohs] like register.

Your baggage is ‘equipaje’ [eh-kee-PAH-heh] like equipment.



Excuse me is ‘me excusa’ [meh ehs-KOO-sah].

Non smoking is ‘no fumadores’ [noh foo-mah-DOH-rees].

Car rental is ‘renta de carros’ [REHN-tah deh KAH-rrohs].

Your camera is ‘cámara fotográfica’ [KAH-mah-rah foh-toh-GRAH-fee-kah].

Your cell phone is ‘teléfono de la célula’ [teh-LEH-foh-noh deh la SEH-loo-lah].


Note: Although there are so many easiest Spanish words that resemble English and mean something similar, others have different meanings. So not all Spanish words that look like Engish are truly easiest cognates, such as these Spanish ‘false friends’ for air travel:

False Friends:

To arrive is ‘llega’ [which is not leg or legal].

Credit card is ‘tarjeta’ [does not mean target].


Return To Easy Travel Words

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