Want cruise information? Apps will lead the way

Cruise apps
A host of smart-phone apps can make your sea faring more serene.
(Los Angeles Way)
For the Los Angeles Times

Pondering a cruise? There’s an app for that. In fact, you’ll find several you can use for planning, booking and enjoying cruises. Unless otherwise noted, all apps work on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad (a few may also offer a specially designed version for iPad). BlackBerry and Android availability noted as applicable. Most are free or cost less than $5.

Before you cruise

Cruise Finder, by iCruise: This must-have app has itineraries for every major cruise line, searches for hot cruise deals and includes photos, deck plans, etc., for more than 220 cruise ships. Free

Cruise Finder, by Condé Nast Traveler: This app helps plan cruises but is less comprehensive than iCruise’s. It does include a few lines Cruise Finder omits, and its Condé Nast Traveler articles and insider tips are pluses. Free


Berlitz Cruise Ships 2011: This touch-and-scroll version of Douglas Ward’s book “Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships” features reviews and ratings for 284 ships and recommendations for explorers, families, etc. It has fewer photos than either Cruise Finder app and no deck plans. $11.99

Ship Mate: Eight versions, each specific to Carnival, Celebrity, Costa Cruises, Holland America, MSC, Princess, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. Ship Mate’s strengths are its deck, itinerary and offshore excursion info. Both Cruise Finder apps are better for booking cruises. $1.99

Cruise Cam: Features cameras from almost 100 ships and 12 cruise lines and more than 150 port cams, letting you sample a cruise from afar. $1.99

While onboard


Cruise Card Control: Helps track bar tabs, fees for shore excursions, souvenir costs and other expenses. $1.99

Ship Finder: Tracks ship movements in real time. The paid version provides more details. It’s fun tracking nearby ships. Free version and an upgraded $4.99 version.

Ships Ahoy!: Point the camera of your iPhone 4 or 3Gs at a ship to see its name and details. $2.99

TripAdvisor: Cruise forum offers discussions on cruise lines and itineraries, and reviews can help users arrange their own shore excursions. Also available for Android and BlackBerry. Free

Embarkation points

There are numerous apps for cities where cruises embark, stop in port or end. Search iTunes for “Los Angeles,” “Miami,” “New Orleans” or “New York City,” and you’ll have dozens of choices. Here are just a few of the free apps.

The Alaska App: Entertaining mobile version of can help you can locate a diversity of topics that include mountains, moose and mochas. Free

Miami: Guide to Miami lodging, dining, beaches, etc., from the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. Free


iVisitLauderdale: Guide to hotels, dining, water activities, etc., for greater Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Free

Los Angeles Way: Comprehensive guide to dining, Wi-Fi, shopping, tours, etc. Free

New Orleans City Guide: Details architecture, culture, night life, the French Quarter and more. Available for Android and BlackBerry. Free

New York Way: Comprehensive guide to events, street eats, subways, etc. Free

Miscellaneous tools

Taxi Magic: Helps you find a taxi back to the ship if you wander ashore on your own. Available for Android and BlackBerry. Free.

Frommer’s Travel Tools: Includes a time translator, tip calculator, city guides, virtual postcards and more. Free

Simply Postcards: Choose a photo and recipient and prints, stamps and mails your real postcard the next day. App and first postcard are free, then prices range from $1.99 each to $30 for 30.


Google Maps: For directions by car, foot or public transportation. It’s my most essential app. Free.

Weather Channel app: Carrie Gonzalez of Cruise Critic says: “When you are in a different location every day, it’s useful to keep a check on the weather.” Available for Android and BlackBerry. Free.

Evernote: Helps you organize photos and keep track of where you saw what, etc. Available for Android and BlackBerry. Free.

XE Currency: App converts U.S. dollars to more than 180 world currencies. Available for Android and BlackBerry. Free.

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