Taking a cruise vacation can be a fun, exciting, and a truly memorable experience, but to get the most out of this type of vacation requires some planning. The following are 22 smartphone and tablet cruise apps (available for iOS and Android) that’ll help you plan and experience the most exciting vacation possible, and potentially save money in the process.
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Try Out These Best Cruise Apps:
#1 Ship Mate
This cruise planning tool allows you to keep track of your cruise plans, virtually explore cruise ships and deck plans, discover what to do at various ports of call, and share your cruise experiences with others. For frequent cruisers, the app keeps track of your past trips, and offers a countdown calendar for the future cruises you’ve booked.
In addition to booking independent shore excursions at each port (that are not affiliated with the cruise line), the app shows you the best shopping spots at each port, allows you to view live deck cams from participating ships, seek out advice from other frequent cruisers, research cruise pricing (using independent tools that’ll help you find the best deals), and track the current location(s) of your favorite ships.
Keep in mind, while you can save money – sometimes a lot of money – booking your own independently operated shore excursions, when you book directly through your cruise line the biggest advantages are that the excursion/tour operators are vetted by the cruise line, and that if there’s an unexpected delay during your excursions and you miss the all-aboard time, the cruise ship will not depart without you. This is not the case if you book your excursions or tours independently.
For more information about this app, visit https://shipmateapp.com.
#2 TripIt and TripIt Pro
Embarking on a cruise vacation often involves air travel to and from the ship, a hotel stay the night before embarkation and other travel-related planning that allows you to get to the ship and then home after the cruise. One app that allows you to manage all aspects of your travel is TripIt (free) and TripIt Pro ($49 per year).
Beyond being able to keep track of your entire travel itinerary using one app, TripIt and TripIt Pro continuously monitors your flights, for example, and automatically and immediately alerts you of flight cancellations, delays, and gate changes. You’ll also receive reminders about when you can check-in or out of hotels, be able to access and manage all confirmation numbers in one place, access real-time airport security line wait times, and have the ability to share your entire itinerary (or just parts of it) with other people via text message or email.
For more information about this app, visit: www.tripit.com/web/download.
This independent service allows you to research and book tours, shore excursions, and attraction tickets in almost every popular tourist destination around the world. Simply enter the location and date(s) you’ll be visiting a location, read tour and activity descriptions, and then book online. Many tours guarantee you’ll be back before your ship’s “all aboard” time, so look for this assurance before booking an independent tour at a port of call.
The folks at Viator have carefully curated its massive and ever-expanding list of activity offerings, and typically offers discounts, even on same-day or last-minute bookings. For more information about this app, visit www.viator.com.
#4 One of the Must-Cruise Apps – The Proprietary App for Your Cruise Line
Virtually all of the major cruise lines now offer a proprietary smartphone app that’s designed to be used on the ship, during your cruise, even if you do not purchase an Internet package. In addition to offering detailed and often interactive maps of the vessel you’ll be cruising on, these apps offer many additional features to help ensure you never miss an onboard or shore-based activity.
Use the app (for example the Royal Caribbean App) to plan your days by viewing a daily listing of onboard activities, plus make dining, theater/entertainment, or shore excursion reservations, as applicable. Some cruise line apps also allow you to send and receive text messages with other passengers, view and purchase photos taken of you and your travel companions while on board, plus keep track of your account summary (in real-time) as the cruise progresses. You can easily see how much you’ve spent on shipboard incidentals (drinks, spa appointments, shore excursions, photos, etc.), so you can stay within your budget.
Keep in mind, when using the official app from your cruise line while aboard the ship, a paid Internet package is not required, so you can use the app for free. In some cases, if you want to use the onboard messaging function, to communicate with other passengers via text message using the app, a small fee will apply.
#5 Journi Blog
You’re going to experience a lot during your cruise, and you won’t want to forget a moment of the high seas adventure. To help document your vacation, reminisce later, and share memories with others, the Journi Blog app is the perfect, easy-to-use tool for maintaining a trip diary that includes text and photos. Because you mobile device keeps track of the time, date, and your location, as you create entries, all pertinent details are recorded on your behalf. The app will also automatically record the weather within your diary during each day of the trip.
Based on the locations you visit, at the end of your trip, the Journi Blog app creates a detailed map that shows where you’ve been and includes this information within automatically formatted photo books that the app can create for you. A separate fee applies if you want a printed version of the photo book created for each of your vacations. The digital version of your travel diary can be kept private, synced between all of your own computers and mobile devices, and/or shared with others via social media. By the end of your cruise, between the meals, ports-of-call, attractions, activities, shows, and other experiences you have, you’ll be happy to have an easy-to-use app that’ll help you document and remember every detail.
The core features of this app are free. However, to unlock all of its features, you’ll need to pay a monthly subscription fee ($4.99), although discounts are offered if you pre-purchase a six month or one-year subscription. For more information about the Journi Blog app, visit: www.journiapp.com.
#6 PackPoint Packing
When you go on a cruise, you will need to pack. This app is a great option to make sure you pack what you need for your specific cruise. PackPoint offers you the personalized packing suggestions you need. Just answer a few simple questions and they will give you a customized checklist for packing.
You will provide your gender, where and when you plan to travel, what type of activities you will be doing, and a little bit more information. the app will look up the weather forecast for your travel dates and offer a list of items to pack.
PackPoint does everything except packing the items for you. You can get PackPoint Premium for just a few dollars and it will even connect your packing list with TripIt.
#7 XE Currency
When cruising, you might end up doing some shopping in another country. This can make it hard to figure out how the price of an item translates into your currency. XE Currency makes this much easier for you.
It’s easy to convert any currency into U.S. dollars or any currency into another currency. This can help you make sure you’re not paying more than you want for a specific product. This app will also give you a list of live currency rates.
You can get XE Currency for iOS, BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Phone.
#8 Wi-Fi Finder
It’s not always easy to get on the internet when you’re on a cruise. Sometimes, you need a little help to find the right connection. Plus, it can be expensive, depending on your smartphone plan, if you use your cellular network.
Wi-Fi Finder offers an easy way to find the connection you need. If you need to stay connected, sent a quick message, or just upload a few pictures to social media, this app will help you find the Wi-Fi connection you need.
When you arrive at a port, it can help you find the nearest cafe, bar or another establishment with wireless internet. It will provide a local directory or you can use the Wi-Fi scanner to find the nearest hotspot. The Wi-Fi Finder app is available for both Android and iOS.
#9 Cruise Critic Forums
If you love the website by the same name, you’ll love taking the Cruise Critic Forms on your cruise with you. These forums are filled with questions and answers. You can use the app to figure out answers to your questions and to help out others planning a cruise.
It’s best if you join the roll call for your sailing after you book your cruise. This will help you stay connected before, during, and after your cruise. You can get this app for iOS and Android.
#10 My DataManager
It can be expensive when you start roaming on a cruise with your smartphone. My DataManager will help you stay on top of things and avoid overages. You can set this app up to give you custom alerts when you have gone through too much data. It’s a free app for both Android and iOS.
#11 Relax Melodies
Do you need white noise to help you sleep? Are you worried about how well you will sleep on your upcoming cruise? The Relax Melodies app is a great choice to help you get to sleep at night. It offers many white noise choices to consider.
With this app, you can customize your playlist to set the right mood. It can be used to help you sleep better or to just set a specific mood in your room. The app is available for iOS, Windows Phone, and Android.
#12 JetLag Rooster
Maybe you are changing time zones or you took a flight into a new time zone before getting on a cruise. You might need a little help trying to figure out how to deal with the jet lag of changing time zones.
This handy app will give you the ability to make a gradual transition to your new time zone. Just put in your travel dates and both the current and future time zone. JetLag Rooster will allow you to create a custom alarm clock with bed and wake-up times to help you feel great after your flight in or after switching to a new time zone.
You can get this app only for Android currently.
#13 iTanSmart Free
While you might book a dinner with lobster on the menu on your cruise, you don’t want your skin to match the color of your meal. The iTanSmart Free app is a great option for your upcoming cruise.
This app will provide you with the sun protection factor (SPF) so you can get the right sunscreen for your skin tone. You will also get a weather forecast with the iTanSmart Free app.
Get this app on iOS or Android before you set sail and make sure you don’t become sunburned on your cruise.
#14 iTranslate Voice Lite
If you plan to take a cruise to a country that doesn’t speak your language, this app might be priceless. With the iTranslate Voice Lite app, you get a language translator you can actually use. This is a great choice to help you communicate, no matter where you are or what the situation is.
With iTranslate Voice Lite, you will be able to speak into your phone and the app will translate the message automatically that you can play back with any language they support. This works for people speaking with you, too.
It’s a very fast and easy app to use and the translations are seamless. If you want to get the best experience with iTranslate Voice or you travel often, the upgraded app is just $6.99. The upgrade offers 40 different languages and the ability to search for the definition of common phrases and words.
More Cruise Apps You Must know About – Continue Reading
#15 TravelSafe Pro
While you might be able to call 9-1-1 in some areas, not all countries use this emergency line. When an emergency strikes and you’re in a foreign country’s port, you need to be able to get the right emergency response team to help.
TravelSafe Pro offers an offline database of ambulance and police numbers for all the countries on your itinerary. If you get the pro version, you will also get the addresses and numbers for all the embassies. This is a free app available on Android.
#16 Mobile Passport
An easy way to get through customs comes with this great app for cruising. Mobile Passport offers a way to skip the long wait and simply scan your passport, answer a few questions, and be on your way.
You don’t have to worry about all the time it takes to get through customs and fill out your declaration form with this app. Instead of using the traditional blue-and-white paper declaration forms, you can simply enter your information electronically before you get to customs. Then, when you arrive at customers, you will be able to use the special Mobile Passport line, which is often much shorter.
This app is officially sanctioned by U.S. Customs. It’s available on both Android and iOS.
#17 Cruise Deals
If you’re looking to book a cruise, you can use the Cruise Deals app to find the best deal possible. You can browse the cruise deals on this app, but you can also look based on a cruise line you prefer, a specific ship, a specific destination, a duration for your cruise, and a sailing date.
The Cruise Deals app even allows you to set up price alters. This means, if a specific cruise goes down in price, you will be the first to know. If you’re trying to score a great deal on a cruise, this is the app for you.
Maybe you want to track your ship as it heads out or you want to track another ship. CruiseMapper is a cruising app that will allow you to track any ship you want. you can see the ships around you or see where your ship is going with this app.
You get colored map visuals, detailed itineraries, and even port schedules. This app will allow you to see cruise ship videos and reviews, along with a database of 20,000+ sailings.
#19 Your Bank’s App
Another one of the must-take cruise apps you will likely want when you go on a cruise is your bank’s app. You can run into some issues with banking when you go on a cruise. Sometimes, a transaction gets flagged as potential fraud or you might hit your daily limit and not realize it.
With the app that matches your bank, you’ll be able to quickly access the information you need. This app will help you stay up-to-date on your balance and keep your budget in check.
Maybe you want to check out a country when you get to a port. The Uber app might be just what you need when you need to get a ride to a fun attraction. Of course, you want to go through the excursions from your cruise ship, when possible.
If you plan to go off on your own, Uber can help you avoid having to use a taxi. It can be a bit more reliable in some areas, and cheaper, as well.
Cruise Apps Takeaways
You don’t need to download all of these 20 Cruise Apps, but after you read the whole list and have all the information before your next cruise, we would recommend that you choose around 5-7 Cruise Apps
that will best serve you to save money, manage your time and save the best memories from your next cruise.