Let’s face it, the days of going on a cruise and being completely removed from technology are basically gone. We are finding more and more cruise gadgets on the pool decks even with those who are committed to being “unconnected” while on their cruise.
Cruisers can often be found checking their email while in port or posting photos to Facebook and Instagram. Yes, The Princess and I cruise to relax, but we too are guilty of relying on our digital devices.
Well, at least we do not bring our work computers!
Your Top Tech Cruise Gadgets Often Come in Handy – Photo Credit Daniel Piraindo|Source|CC By 2.0
So, if you are trying to decide what technology you should bring on your next cruise, here is our technology edition of the 10 top cruise gadgets.
Technology Edition: 10 Top Cruise Gadgets
You use your smartphone so much that you probably don’t even consider it a top cruise gadget. While some cruisers claim to leave their smartphones at home, having at least one smartphone is helpful-you never know when you might need to use Google Maps during your trip!
Be sure to check with your wireless provider to determine coverage, and you may want to purchase an international plan for the duration of your travels.
Royal IQ App – Royal Caribbean International ©
There is nothing better than relaxing by the pool with a good book, or perhaps playing a friendly game. Well, instead of relying on the cruise ship to provide you with solid reading material or packing a pile of books in your carry-on, you can just pack a tablet computer. Whether you are a fan of Apple iPads, Android tablets, or my personal favorite, the Kindle Fire HDX , personal computers can save space when packing.
DB Always Has His Kindle HD Fire on a Cruise – Photo Credit Jorge Figuer0a |Source|CC By 2.0
Cruise lines know you are considering bringing your tablet and smartphone as they are creating internet plans to cater to these devices. While internet speeds are getting better, and WiFi is increasing across all brands, other innovative internet options are being rolled out. For instance, Carnival Cruise Lines has just announced a new social media internet package, starting at $5 a day, letting you use your smartphone or tablet to access popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The plan is currently available on 13 ships and will be available fleet-wide by early 2016.
Carnival Funhub is Accessible Using WiFi on Your Phone Free of Charge, Carnival Cruise Lines ©
Pocket Digital Camera
While we may not be professional photographers or have a fancy DSLR camera, we rely on our digital camera, along with our smartphones, to take pictures. Not just any digital camera, we love the powerful and reliable Sony Cyber-shot RX-100.
While a pit pricey (the base model costs over $400), this 20.2 megapixel camera packs quite a punch. What gives the Rx-100 its impressive power is the larger 1″ CMOS Sensor. Not to mention the 3.6 optical Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens.
The camera does come with plenty of options for customizing if you know a thing or two about photography. It also allows for shooting in almost any lighting conditions with an ISO Sensitivity that ranges from 125 to 6,400.
Best of all, it fits in your pocket!
Don’t hate us, but 2015 is the year of the selfie stick.
We Grabbed this Photo in Front of Enchantment of the Seas on Our Last Cruise Via Our New Selfie-Stick
Yes, I caved. While I never mind asking a fellow cruiser or random stranger on an island to take a photo, we did take the plunge and invested in a selfie stick this year.
But, this is not your ordinary selfie stick.
We purchased the Quick Pod Selfie extreme. This versatile selfie stick can be used with a Go Pro, a Smartphone, even our Rx-100 camera can be attached to give us complete shooting control. A nice little mirror at the base allows you to line up your shots, and it comes with many accessories including a wrist strap, floor bumper, and a carrying case.
Yes, it might be over kill, but with the ability to extend from 1.5 to over 4 feet, this selfie stick not only lets you grab pictures of you and your princess, but can incorporate the scenery as well. With its flexibility and multiple uses, this “technological” attachment is definitely one of our top cruise gadgets. Caution, use this stick wisely.
Belkin Power Curve Mobile Adapter
The power strip debate-are you allowed to take them with you on a cruise? Some cruise lines explicitly forbid extension cords and surge protectors, unless necessary for medical devices, while others do not seem to enforce it.
Instead of taking any chances by packing those bulky devices, we have discovered the Belkin Power Curve Mobile adapter. While a variety of models exist, we do not go anywhere now without this nifty device.
Our Belkin Curve in Action on Quantum of the Seas
With two plugs and two USB ports, this small device can be easily packed and provides you with enough options to power up to four devices at once. This device will help to free up room so you can actually plug in things like your hair dryer or curling iron. This is definitely one of the top cruise gadgets we have seen in quite some time!
Wearable Video Camera
As a Christmas gift this past year, we decided to purchase a Black Friday deal on the Go Pro Hero 3, Silver Edition. Newer models exist and other manufacturers offer comparable cameras, but Go Pro was the pioneer in this field.
What makes this camera great is the ability to get 1080HD video without even thinking about it. You can attach this camera to a hat, a selfie stick, or a wrist strap to capture amazing video and vacation memories.
This Sail-in Video Was Captured Using Our GoPro
The camera also offers some other nice features including time-lapse photos and wireless control from a remote (additional costs apply). While it might not be for everyone, a camera that you can wear is definitely one of our technology top cruise gadgets.
These accessories are necessary for almost all of your top cruise gadgets. We make sure that all of our devices are protected with hard cases to ensure a longer shelf life.
For our Go Pro, the casings made by the manufacturer are quite rugged and have served us well so far. We have not tested the waterproof housings yet, but we are confident they too will be as reliable and dependable as the other hard cases.
For our iPad, we rely on the Otter Box Defender Series. Yes, it does make the tablet a bit thicker, but the three layers of protection give us the peace of mind. Knock on wood, we have had no major tests of the case, but we are certain it would perform well in case of a major drop or water accident.
This Joto Waterproof Case is Solid and Inexpensive!
For our iPhones, we have basic cases that we use year round, but for our trips, we pack waterproof phone cases. Perfect for those beach trips or times spent near the water, these cases give you easy access to your phone with additional protection. They are not fool proof, so I would not recommend submerging your phone in water when in one of these travel pouches, but they are an inexpensive accessory to have around the pool or at the beach.
We are not big music aficionados, but when we travel, we each bring our own set of headphones especially for flights. The Princess is fine with some basic, pink earbuds. I like wireless headphones, which I also use back home for running or going to the gym.
The Sound Quality on these Swift Headphones is Dynamite!
Last year, I purchased the highly rated Mpow Swift headphones from Amazon, and they are great. For the price, the sound quality is loud and clear. I usually have issues with the fit of earbuds, but I almost never have issues with these ear buds falling out. Best of all, these headphones are wireless and have a soft backing.
Whether you are a music fan or just want something to listen to the tv/radio on the plane, packing some travel headphones is a must and that is why they are on our list of top cruise gadgets.
For those of you who can do a 7 night Caribbean cruise with only a carry-on bag, I salute you. If you are more like The Princess and I, with a few suitcases of various sizes teetering on the 50lb. airline allotment, then a digital luggage scale is a great investment. All it takes is one extra weight baggage fee and you too will be singing the praises of this top cruise gadget.
After One Excess Baggage Fee, You Will Be Sure to Purchase One of These Scales
There are a variety of different luggage scales to chose from at inexpensive prices. Think about it-nothing is worse than standing at the airline ticket counter rearranging your dirty clothes and keepsakes because your luggage is too heavy on the return trip home.
Extra Memory Cards and Batteries
You can never be over prepared, especially for a cruise, so you should also consider packing some extra back-up. We bring a back-up battery for both the Go Pro and our Sony RX-100. Switching these out during down times means you can get photos/videos of your full day in port and the nightlife on the cruise ship every day.
We always have multiple memory cards for our devices as well. The GoPro takes MicroSD cards, and we have both a 64GB and 16GB card on us at all times. The Sony RX-100 takes SDHC memory cards, and we have a 32 GB and 8 GB back-up. With close to a 100 gigabytes worth of photo and video capabilities, we have yet to run out of memory card space!
Do you agree with our list? What would you add to our top cruise gadgets list? Drop us an anchor below to let us know what technology you take on vacation-maybe it will make our next technology edition of top cruise gadgets.