What technology can you buy for your cruise vacation that will enhance your journey?
When I tried out Apple’s AirTags on a recent Royal Caribbean cruise, it opened my eyes to how certain gadgets can enhance the experience. Whether it’s to track luggage or just add to the fun, there are plenty of gadgets and add-ons to assist you.
Despite my general geekiness, I’m the first person suspicious of bringing more tech on a cruise for tech’s sake. I try to keep the amount of bulk down. So if something requires extra baggage or more effort to get it on board, it better make a real difference.
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With that in mind, here are my top picks for the best tech travel gadgets to take on a Royal Caribbean cruise.
For years I’ve carried a portable charger with me on cruises to ensure my phone doesn’t run out of power.
As cruise phones require more and more use, the battery seems to be draining faster than ever. Even compared to at home, I use my cell phone more often.
One reason for this is Royal Caribbean’s shift to making its app far more critical than it was before 2020. The other aspect is simply enjoying being online while lounging by the pool or staying in touch with friends and family .
As my eldest daughter reaches the age where she has limited “free roaming” options during the day, texting her with her also affects my phone’s battery consumption.
I’ve always been a fan of Anker’s line of products for their sleek design, reasonable prices, and durable quality.
The Anker PowerCore 20 External Battery Pack provides enough power to charge an iPhone multiple times before it needs charging.
Noise canceling headphones
Before I ever got noise-cancelling headphones, I foolishly thought that there wasn’t that much of a difference from regular headphones. First of all, I didn’t think it was important to have them on a cruise ship.
I was very wrong.
Not only are noise-cancelling headphones useful off an airplane, they also make a tremendous difference when it comes to enjoying “me time” onboard a ship.
I really love putting them on when I’m out on the pool deck so I can enjoy the breeze and sun while lying on a lounger without all the conversation, music and noise you’d have to endure around you.
Then, of course, there’s the benefit these headphones have on the journey to and from your cruise. I just can’t imagine not having them these days.
For years I’ve used and recommended Sony’s WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones for over-the-ear comfort and unbeatable noise cancellation.
I know many other people who prefer the Apple AirPods Pro because they offer noise-cancellation without the weight and size.
When my wife told me she needed an e-reader in addition to her iPad, I didn’t understand why until I saw the difference once we were on the pool deck.
If you’re a reader, Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite is the best option to take on a cruise so you can read outdoors when the sun is overhead.
Today I can no longer imagine a cruise without an outlet extender.
Even if you’re traveling alone, the lack of power outlets in a cabin is quite annoying. I recently tried Cruise On’s aptly named “cruise ship power strip” and was very pleased with how well it worked.
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It takes up a socket space and offers 3 new sockets as well as 2 USB plugs.
Some readers have recommended purchasing a European travel plug adapter instead or in addition, since your cabin also has these sockets.
AirTags or Bluetooth trackers
Another item I’ve switched to is AirTags in my luggage.
The AirTag is a small, button-shaped tracking device that can be tracked via Bluetooth right next to Apple devices in the Find My app.
A single AirTag costs $29 and a 4-pack costs $99. If you have an Android phone, Tile Pro costs $92.99.
While AirTags aren’t GPS trackers that provide accurate location information, they work well enough to give you an idea of where your luggage is right now, especially if you’re playing the Is my luggage still on the cruise ship game.
Just like noise-cancelling headphones, AirTags will benefit you beyond the cruise. It’s worth the peace of mind of having an idea of where your luggage is.