Nearly every cruise line has its own app these days. Anyone planning a cruise holiday can quickly learn to navigate their ship and discover all the things not to be missed on their cruise right from their smartphone or tablet.
Each of these apps is designed by the cruise lines themselves. Use them at home or right when your holiday begins as they typically allow you to operate the app via the ship’s internal system free of charge. This represents huge savings without having to pay for on-board Wi-Fi.
But should you need more information before and during your cruise, here are our favourite non cruise line apps that will enhance your cruise experience.
“Shipmate” is the app to use before you leave home and you can continue to do so whilst onboard and after your holiday. Take a virtual tour of nearly every cruise line. To date, Shipmate has been downloaded more than 1 million times, with more than 500,000 active users. Besides stalking your vessel from home, you can check out the ship’s port of calls and obtain even more info such web cams, pictures, shopping, and tour excursions.
Similar to Instagram, many active users post their cruise photos which helps you obtain a sneak preview through another cruiser’s eyes. Hundreds of photos are uploaded daily and you can interact or chat with other users and get first-hand accounts by reading their reviews of the rooms, excursions, entertainment and food.
You can download Shipmate for free!
For counting money, download a currency conversion tool. Either “Currency” or “XE Currency” lets you know the value of your money compared to other currencies. This is especially useful on cruises stopping at many different ports.
The up-to-the-second value of the Pound to the Euro, the US Dollar or the Russian Ruble and 147 more will be right at your fingertips. Unlike trips where you tend to get a hold on the local currency after the first few days, if you’re stopping at multiple ports with different currencies, you can access live exchange rates and calculate prices on your smartphone or tablet.
This free app is available for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Currency App can be found at the iTunes App Store. This free app is available for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
The other app works on iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry and Windows devices. It can be obtained free at XE Currency.
With “WhatsApp Messenger”, you can keep in touch with family and friends whilst on your cruise holiday. This is a mobile messaging app where you can send messages, pictures, and videos using a Wi-Fi connection without having to pay for SMS fees. Payable internet access is needed if used onboard your ship. It is also easily usable at WiFi hotspots anywhere in the world.
WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia.
“Stargazing” is a great after dark activity and a good app that will help you stargaze is Star Chart. Star Chart is very simple to use. All you need to do is point your tablet or iPhone towards the night sky.
It will then identify the constellations located at that particular moment. By touching the screen, the app will then give you the names and record which stars you’ve seen. Make this a relaxing activity to share before retiring in for the evening.
Star Chart is a universal app from Microsoft and works on iPhone, iPad and Android phones.
Besides the Top Five, be prepared to have an extra light. Most guide books also suggest on any holiday to bring a torch with you. While a ‘real world’ equivalent should be packed, it’s always a good idea to have a flashlight app just in case it is left on the kitchen table.
As the majority of interior cabins are very dark, you can easily trip in the middle of the night on the way to the bathroom. Some flashlight apps do come with a compass such as Flashlight. It also comes in a version that works for Android, as well as iPhones and iPads. This is one app any traveller shouldn’t be without.
Written by Veronica Shine
Which Apps do you use onboard or to plan your cruise? Tell us Below!