With smart phones, tablets and iPads becoming a significant part of everyone’s life it is no wonder that you can find an app for almost anything these days.

Travel apps have become extremely popular and provide a quick, fun and efficient way to enhance the travel experience.  From apps to search holidays, check-in flights, find a local taxi, translate languages and check that all important weather forecast - your phone will soon be all you need when travelling.

From spending years at sea and constantly travelling I can vouch for one who relied on my phone and it's apps. Now I go cruising for fun or familiarisation trips, I've researched and tested the apps that all cruisers should have.

During my research I could not believe how many cruise apps are out there – there is one for every cruising need.

It was a tough job but I have managed to narrow it down to my top 5:

Pack The Bag

The only thing I dislike about going on holiday is packing! When I was going to work onboard it was easy as I only had to pack uniforms, however when cruising for pleasure it is a different story. Rest assure this app will save your life as it does everything for you, except physically put the items in the suitcase! You are required to enter some information about your holiday including type of holiday, duration and how many people travelling. This clever app then compiles a check list of all the items you should take, including the things you often forgot - like medicines and plug adapters. It allows you to tick off when you have packed a certain item and set alerts for the things you still need to pack. Amazing!

Cost: Free

Good for: Those who find packing as stressful as me.

 

Touchnote

One of the best things about going on a cruise is sharing memories and pictures. It can often be hard and time consuming to send a postcard on a cruise due to travelling to various destinations in a short period of time. However, with this app you will not need to worry about running around buying and posting postcards. Touchnote allows you to send personalised postcards with your own unique photo and message to other smart phone users – without even having to find a post office. A great way to share pictures with those left back at home.

Cost: Free

Best for: Sharing memories with friends and family.

 

Ship Mate

I love this app and it’s definitely a must for cruisers. It is basically a diary/forum/cruise planner/gallery and webcam in your pocket! It's features include a countdown to your next cruise, webcams from onboard ships (totally awesome), ship locations, picture galleries and a message forum. The web cams are terrific and allow you to see live footage from over 40 different ships. I really like the ship location finder that allows you to see where in the world ships are. My favourite feature of the app is the image gallery where you can upload and share pics from your cruise and browse other cruisers snaps.

Cost: Free

Best for: Cruise lovers

 

Simply Declare

Everyone loves shopping when they go on a cruise, whether onboard or in port. I am sure I am not the only one that worries about how much duty free I am carrying and if I am going to get stopped at the airport – so this app is a life saver. Simply Declare allows you to easily manage your purchases and enable declaring them hassle free. All you need to do is simply set the total amount you can spend and as you buy items, it will tally up what you have left to use. A great feature of this app is that it will automatically calculate the exchange rate between multiple currencies, and the rates are updated in real time.

Cost: Fee

Best for: Hassle-free shopping

 

Iglu Cruise

Searching for a cruise should be just as fun as going on the cruise itself. The Iglu Cruise app makes searching for a cruise enjoyable with its easy to navigate and helpful layout. You can search all cruise lines and itineraries aswell as browse the current Top 10 deals. When you find a cruise you like you can enquire, call or add it your saved shortlist – which means you will not have to search for it all over again. The way the cruises are shown ensure all relevant information is clearly displayed including itinerary specifics, accurate price details and ship information. Browse, search and book cruises from wherever you are..perfect :-)

Cost: Free

Best for: Browsing and planning cruises from the train, a bar or during a walk!

 

Some other apps I think are great for cruisers but couldn't squeeze into my top 5 are Cruise Critic, Royal Caribbean’s WOW Finder, Pin Drop and Wi-Fi Finder.

I really enjoyed testing out these apps and I definitely recommend you to try them when going on your next cruise - I have a feeling you will thank me.


By Sally Grimes