Frequent travelers by air and land know to customize their home screen with apps that are appropriate for any given trip. The specific app for the airline they are booked on as well as other service providers they might use along the way. The Hotel, airport, car rental company; apps like that. When it comes to cruise travel, there is no shortage of apps to choose from. Here are my favorite free cruise apps to load before boarding.
WindSpeed- Believe it or not, there are a number of free cruise apps that will check windspeed. It’s something I think is just fun to do while on a cruise, either in miles or knots per hour.
My Radar – or any other radar program is a must for those who might be prone to motion discomfort. If clouds loom in the direction the ship is headed, you’ll know what’s in store before you get there. I like My Radar because it comes from NOAA, the U.S. government’s weather forecasting arm and has the fastest refresh rate of those I tested.
TripIt –is one that frequent travelers know is a must have. It did not make our list in the past because it lacked the ability to import cruise line itineraries. Now it does. TripIt provides a great platform to launch planning and share trips with friends.
DarkSky is actually one that has a permanent place on my smartphone home screen, providing accurate information any where I might be around the world. Featured: the forecast for the next few hours, which lets me know if it really is going to continue raining when I am ashore or not. As free cruise apps go, this one is worth paying for.
GoogleMaps. If you have not allowed Google to have their way with you, sharing with them your location at any given time, now is the time to do that. Google maps works anywhere on the planet and provides an offline breadcrumb trail back to the ship. Recently updated, we can now easily share directions with your friends who might also be lost.
SpeedTest is a good one on land to see if the speed promised is actually delivered by your Internet service provider. At sea, speeds will no doubt be rather slow but as a shared connection, knowing when and where the speed is best can help with uploading photos or communicating with others, getting the most out of that paid Internet package.
Carnival FunHub – Download the Carnival Hub app to chat with friends, check dining options, music and entertainment. Rather than carrying the daily shipboard newsletter along with you, the FunHub app works for free to produce the same information. Want more than that, you’ll pay. Still, the Carnival FunHub is one of our favorite free cruise apps.
Three different types of plans that can be purchased for either a 24 hour period or for the entire length of the cruise at a discount – price for voyage plans vary by length of cruise:
- Social ($5 USD per day) – Includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp but not other websites or apps.
- Value ($16 USD per day) –All of the Social package plus e-mail, news, sports, weather, banking and finance but not Skype calling or music streaming (such as Spotify).
- Premium ($25 USD per day) – From e-mail to Skype, our Premium plan promises the fastest possible connection, at speeds up to 3 times faster than our Value Plan. Supports Skype video calling, where coverage allows.
Cruise line Internet access continues to become more efficient and affordable. While some cruise lines do a better job than others, cruise travelers are finally getting close to experiencing the same speed at sea as they do on land. While they still charge for it (and I hope they stop that at some point) all this new ability brings reason to look at smartphone apps specific to cruising. Well, that and the fact that anything I can see on the computer at home, I can now see on the computer at sea. That brings major league sports. Enough said.
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