The best cruise apps to streamline your vacation at sea
For better or worse, you'll be hard-pressed to go just about anywhere on today's cruise ships without your smartphone in hand. Major cruise lines have embraced the cell phone as a necessary travel accessory, and they've built out the app technology to go with it.
Nearly all major cruise lines feature their own apps with basic functionality that lets cruisers peruse deck plans and daily schedules. The more advanced ones feature a sleek digital embarkation process, cabin unlocking capabilities and plenty of opportunities to reserve dining and shore excursions.
The most cutting-edge apps at sea are where you'll find travel technology at its best: think ordering Champagne with the press of a button or having a fresh pizza delivered to you anywhere on the ship.
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Whether you're angling for new towels while still in the pool or ready to order breakfast in bed from under the sheets, the best cruise apps will get you what you need quickly and easily. Here are our favorite cruise line-specific apps, as well as a few third-party apps that cruise fans will definitely want to download.
Note: Nearly all of these apps can be found on Apple's App Store or via Android Apps on Google Play. Be sure to download your cruise line's app onto your phone or tablet and log in to your account before you set sail. Once on board, opt for your phone's airplane mode and hop on the ship's Wi-Fi. Cruise line-specific apps will be free to use on board — no Wi-Fi package required.
Carnival HUB app
No matter where you are on a Carnival Cruise Line ship, there can be a pizza headed your way with just a few taps of the Carnival HUB app . Just mark your exact spot on the ship, take a selfie to identify yourself, and your order will be there shortly. The delivery is $5 but the pizza with unlimited toppings is free.
The HUB app is useful for perusing menus throughout the ship, reserving your seat for select mainstage shows and booking a ride on the new BOLT roller coaster on Carnival's Mardi Gras cruise ship. Onboard chat is available through the app for an additional $5 per person, limited to passengers ages 13 and over.
Celebrity Cruises App
The Celebrity Cruises App brings a smart-home sensibility to sea on Celebrity Cruises ' Edge-class ships (Celebrity Edge, Apex and Beyond). The app transforms your phone into a handy remote that controls your cabin's TV, room temperature, lighting options and window shades. Having clearly labeled, easy-to-dim lights at your fingertips is an understated luxury that we wish all ship cabins had.
Other winning app features found fleetwide include a digital key to get into your stateroom (not available on Celebrity Reflection), free in-app chat to connect with your group on the ship and an easy dinner reservation system.
Related: Wi-Fi on cruise ships: 5 things to know about internet use on board
Cruise Norwegian app
Norwegian Cruise Line 's Cruise Norwegian app has a rare and coveted feature for traversing the high seas: onboard-only phone calls, voicemails and messaging. It's a premium feature but at $9.95 per person, per cruise, the convenience of communication is worth the nominal price. Rates for calls off the ship start at $0.79 a minute. If your communication style is through gifts, the app can help with that, too: a few taps sends wine, flowers and specialty treats to any cabin on board.
Locate a cruise ship anywhere in the world in real time and then explore it with the free CruiseMapper app . The app is the most comprehensive cruise ship tracking app available, pinpointing nearly every major passenger ship at sea on all oceans, rivers and lakes at its exact location. Learn more about each ship with deck plans, cabin details, itinerary schedules and reviews.
Cunard Line's My Voyage
Cunard's My Voyage app is most useful as an onboard digital planner for your days at sea. A few features from the app that add some convenience to your getaway include virtual queues for restaurants, so you can grab a pre-dinner cocktail instead of waiting in line, and virtual restaurant reservations for those that want to plan ahead. If you're not feeling up to snuff, the app's telehealth feature will get you seen by the onboard medical team without having to leave your cabin.
Related: How can I get Wi-Fi on a cruise for free?
Disney Cruise Line Navigator app
Disney Cruise Line has built one of the most robust app experiences at sea. The most helpful resource on the Navigator App is the onboard live chat feature that connects passengers to crew members including guest services, the port excursions team and the dining team. If your questions are a bit more than you can type, just request a one-on-one in-person meeting and the app will tell you where and when to show up. The app also features a free chat system featuring Disney emoticons, adding a touch of fun to your onboard communications.
Holland America Line Navigator app
Convenient, time-saving features are the main draw of Holland America Line 's refreshed Navigator app . Most exciting is the ability to order coffee, food or in-stateroom service from the app anywhere on the ship. If you're angling for a snack, simply fire up the app, place your order and within minutes your food will be ready for pick up at the ship's New York Deli & Pizza eatery.
The app also has a useful way of organizing your itinerary, providing you the convenience of selecting and saving activities you want to take part in to help you better plan your day. That itinerary will also include any dining reservations and shore excursions you've booked.
Mobile Passport Control
A must for any passengers cruising internationally, the Mobile Passport Control app (now known as the CPB MPC app) allows eligible passengers to upload their passport and customs declarations for digital screening. While the app and digital upload are not required to pass through customs, completing the steps on your app helps streamline your entry into the US. Consider the logistics of a large ship with thousands docking at a U.S. port, all required to go through customs at the same time, and you'll be glad you have this free app ready to help cut down on your overall wait time.
Related: Here's what you need to know about new Mobile Passport app CBP MPC
MSC for Me app
Whether you're planning your MSC cruise or already on board, the MSC for Me app can help you out. The app lets you keep in touch with your group via free in-app chat, book special events and restaurant reservations, and purchase drink packages, shore excursions and specialty dining opportunities.
The MSC for Me app is only available on MSC Cruises ' "smart" ships: MSC Bellissima, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Magnifica, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seashore, MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview, MSC Splendida and MSC Virtuosa. If you're traveling on MSC Bellissima, MSC Grandiosa and MSC Virtuosa, the app can also connect to a Bluetooth speaker in your room so you can set the mood with your favorite tunes.
Princess Cruises' MedallionClass app
Princess Cruises ' MedallionClass app has more functionality than many of the cruise line apps on this list. Use the app to order just about anything on board to just about anywhere, from food and drinks to merchandise. Restock your cabin with a few taps on the app for complimentary bathrobes, pillow options, towels, face masks, hangers and ice. Use the app to highlight activities you're interested in to create your own personalized itinerary. Keep in touch with your party through in-app messaging and location tracking via the ship's Medallion devices (more on those shortly).
If you're angling for a bit of gambling poolside or anywhere else on the ship, power up your app when the ship's at sea to wager virtual money in practice mode or real money on the app's casino. If you're looking for less-expensive thrills, PlayOcean turns the app into a digital scavenger hunt through the decks of the ship.
The app also helps to expedite the boarding process before your trip with passport uploading, a security photo and the option to pre-order your free Medallion device (a quarter-sized, wearable RFID device) that will be essential to your cruise experience.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises app
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has a less-conventional app that is most useful when in port. Built with shore excursions in mind, Regent's app provides amplification of your tour guide through the ease and comfort of your own device. Whether you're using your own headset or just holding the phone to your ear, it's nice to move at your own pace without needing to vie for a spot right in front of the tour guide.
Royal Caribbean App
The Royal Caribbean App helps save time navigating Royal Caribbean 's large-scale ships. Favorite features on the free app include the option to scan in your passport and proof of COVID-19 vaccination for expedited boarding, complimentary in-app group chats and easy dining and activity reservation access. Check the daily schedule to find fun things to do, in-app deck plans to figure out how to get there and your onboard bill to make sure all the fun you're having isn't taking you over budget. You can also watch safety videos on the app instead of gathering en masse for a muster drill.
Seabourn Source app
The Seabourn Source app is an encyclopedia of knowledge about your Seabourn ship. Start your meal planning ahead of time with daily menu updates from all the onboard dining venues, keep track of the daily activities and entertainment options available, and browse and book shore excursions. The app is a great resource to track your time in port, with detailed port arrival and departure times, ensuring a timely return to the ship.
The Shipmate app by CruiseLine.com is a third-party cruise app that helps you count down to your next cruise with helpful user reviews, photos and a chat feature. Save all your previous cruises to keep track of where you've been while exploring the app's cruise deals to figure out where you're headed next. The app's Photos Section is a favorite feature, with user-uploaded photos to explore the ships from every angle. The app also features plenty of independent tour options in most ports with competitive rates and a guarantee that you'll be back to the ship on time.
Viking Voyager app
Viking 's free Viking Voyager app is excellent. The line's robust digital presence caters to tech-savvy passengers with features that include live TV (CNBC, BBC News, MSNBC, Fox News, Smithsonian, Sky News, National Geographic and others) and weather forecasts for upcoming ports help you plan accordingly. Timely reminders for your reservations on the cruise make sure you don't miss a spa appointment or dinner reservation. The app also features an art guide to explore the onboard art collection and learn more about the many original paintings, sculptures and photographs throughout the fleet.
Virgin Voyages' Sailor App
You'll find Virgin Voyages does everything with a bit of panache and its Sailor App is no exception. Once on board, open the app and shake your phone to reveal a secret button that, with just a simple press, will send a bottle of Moët & Chandon Impérial your way on nearly any deck. Be careful, though: That shake will cost you $95 for the bottle of bubbly. A few other features include virtual queues for the ship's restaurants and the round-the-clock access to chat with the guest services team instead of standing in line .
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- Cunard Line
Is there a Cunard App?
By Minz , September 3, 2023 in Cunard Line
I have seen reference to an App for Cunard but I can't find how to download it or what it does.
Is there actually one?
We are back on board soon after a 4 year COVID forced break. Things seem to have changed a bit.
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Cunard refer to it as an onboard digital planner
Thank-you. So it isn't an App but it is seamless via the ship's wifi.
I'm not sure seamless is the right word but it works when you're connected to the ship's WiFi.
I love Cunard, but I’m not sure they have really got over the replacement of dipping pens with fountain pens. Luckily, they are good at many other things. 🙂 🙂
I love that description... yes, they do choose their areas of excellence and we purchase with our eyes wide open (hopefully).
5 minutes ago, Minz said: Thank-you. So it isn't an App but it is seamless via the ship's wifi. Minz.
It's not an App like some other cruise liners have, sitting in Google Play or Apple Store. It's actually a website redirect, which provides things like the Daily Programme and your onboard account. So if you look it on a cellphone it looks a bit App like (but it's still website hosted) - see below - and you can also access it via a laptop or a tablet. Personally I find it useful and haven't had reliability issues, once past the initial login process. Others manage perfectly well without it.
28 minutes ago, exlondoner said: I love Cunard, but I’m not sure they have really got over the replacement of dipping pens with fountain pens. Luckily, they are good at many other things. 🙂 🙂
Pens? That's almost advanced technology in some circumstances.
Some might think quills and vellum [this is Cunard, after all!]. 🙂
11 hours ago, Victoria2 said: Pens? That's almost advanced technology in some circumstances. Some might think quills and vellum [this is Cunard, after all!]. 🙂
Wax tablets and stylus . . . .
2 hours ago, rmsEtruria said: Wax tablets and stylus . . . .
I don’t think even Cunard go back that far. They haven’t got to 200 yet. 🙂
Be careful what you wish for. That Princess medallion and app seems like hard work.
21 hours ago, Pushpit said: It's not an App like some other cruise liners have, sitting in Google Play or Apple Store. It's actually a website redirect, which provides things like the Daily Programme and your onboard account. So if you look it on a cellphone it looks a bit App like (but it's still website hosted) - see below - and you can also access it via a laptop or a tablet. Personally I find it useful and haven't had reliability issues, once past the initial login process. Others manage perfectly well without it.
Thank you for sharing this info and website image. We're 5 weeks away from our first Cunard cruise so this is very helpful!
Question: Does the Onboard Dining section show MDR evening menus? Just curious. Thanks again!
Unfortunately no, that would indeed be useful. But the Britannia menus are put out well before hand and on display near the lift area. On QV they don't normally open the upper level for lunch so the dinner menu is often showing mid morning on deck 3, and you can then drop down a level for the lunch menu.
Just got off an RCI cruise and loved their app. I could see what was open for dining immediately, or look at what was open later and view the menu. Pool times, and when soft ice cream was available at the pool I could see activities by general category like entertainment or sports. Did I carry my phone around everywhere? No. I would like to see Cunard’s app become as useful.
On 9/4/2023 at 12:10 AM, WoorimBeachLady said: Be careful what you wish for. That Princess medallion and app seems like hard work.
The commonly heard term for the Princess Medallion app is, "wonky." And yes, there is a learning curve.
We have cruised twice with it and the first, it worked not at all. The second, it worked seamlessly for preboarding, but on the ship, we found it's better to not bother with it.
My opinion is that technology is a solution in search of a problem. If there's no problem, you don't need a solution. If the cruise line creates a problem so you need a solution, why sail that cruise line?
Otherwise, the Medallion App is sort of like owning a cat. It can provide some comfort and something to do, but ultimately it's pointless. (I say as a cat owner.)
So yes, we are here to see if we should try Cunard next, because I think we're done with Princess.
Ask not what your cat can do for you — ask what you can do for your cat.
- 1 month later...
Do we have to purchase a Cunard wifi pkg in order to use the digital planner when on QM2? Or does it work via a free intranet?
35 minutes ago, Carnevale said: Do we have to purchase a Cunard wifi pkg in order to use the digital planner when on QM2? Or does it work via a free intranet?
Free - but you need to sign into Cunard Guest WIFI to access it
On 9/6/2023 at 3:35 AM, mtnesterz said: The commonly heard term for the Princess Medallion app is, "wonky."
Perhaps I should give it a go!
I actually thought the Princess Medallion, and usage of, was great!
I am looking forward to finding out what new innovations come with QA.
Like @LadyL1 I think the Princess medallion and app are great. There are lots of very useful features and it is easy to use. But I expect there can be different experiences among others.
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Cunard Cruises WiFi Packages - How much do they cost in 2023?
Cunard do not offer WiFi included in their cruise fares and you have to buy their individual packages on board. In this post we cover all the options available.
Relevant reading –
Cunard Drinks Prices and Packages
Cunard Dress Codes – What to pack for a Cunard Cruise
Cruising at Christmas with Cunard – What do the ships look like?
Cunard WiFi Packages 2023
We are happy to report that WiFi on Cunard Ships has considerably improved since our first experience. In fact on our latest Queen Mary 2 transatlantic cruise we were able to do our regular Thursday Night Live Stream which was fabulous!
Cunard state ‘From $15 per day, our newly upgraded internet service, Cunard Guest Wi-Fi, will be available across our fleet, offering you a choice of packages to suit your needs while at sea’.
The Essential Voyage plan includes
- web browsing.
- music streaming.
- Social media (text and images).
This plan is available on board for $24 per 24 hours or $15 per day if purchase the package for the whole voyage.
The Premium Voyage plan includes
- Video streaming.
- 3x faster connection speed than the Essential plan.
This plan is available on board for $36 per 24 hours or $20 per day if purchased for the whole voyage.
Cunard also state that – Members of our loyalty scheme, Cunard World Club , may be eligible for complimentary internet credit, redeemable against our internet plans.
- Gold members receive $45 per person.
- Platinum members receive $80 per person.
- Diamond members receive $135 per person.
History - 2022 - Cunard Cruises WiFi and Internet Time Plans
To access the Cunard Cruises WiFi you have to download the Cunard Cruise App called My Voyage. We had difficulty accessing the app at first but after a quick trip to reception this was sorted.
Cunard Internet Plans that you can purchase on board –
Starter Plan – 30 minutes for $15.00, rate – $0.50/minute
Gold Plan – 120 minutes for $45.00 rate, – $0.38/minute, eligible after 2 voyages or 20 nights.
Platinum Plan – 240 minutes for $80.00, – $0.33/minute, eligible after 7 voyages or 70 nights.
Diamond Plan – 480 minutes for $135.00, – $0.23/minute, eligible after 15 voyages or 150 nights.
960 Plan – 960 minutes for $220.oo, – $0.23/minute
1920 Plan – 1920 minutes for $330.00, – $0.17/minute
The Cunard World Club benefits are shown above, for example we are Gold so were able to have 120 minutes complimentary WiFi, this is available once from the start of each voyage and only one per person per voyage, however you can purchase additional plans once your current plan reaches zero minutes.
Our biggest tip is make sure you log out each time you use the app. We both learnt the hard way and lost valuable minutes!
Accessing Cunard Cruises WiFi and Internet
For further information the My Voyage App does enable you to access some free sites without having to buy a package. On our cruises the free sites we could access were – Cunard Line, My Account, Brochure Request, Cunard Competitions, Luggage Forward, My Cunard, Embassy – USA, UK GOV – Embassies and Portuguese Passenger Locator Card – as one of our ports was Lisbon. We would presume this would change to the relevant country that your cruise would be visiting.
Mobile Phone Roaming Charges
To save money on WiFi it is also worth checking with your existing mobile phone plan to see if you are able to use your data in the countries you are visiting at no extra cost. Our plans with Sky enabled us to do this which saved us using the WiFi time when we were in port. If your plan doesn’t cover that particular country or region then you may be able to purchase an add on which could work out cheaper. You must always remember when ever you leave a port and are at sea that you turn off data roaming on your phone so that you don’t incur an unnecessary costs and come home to a large telephone bill!
Useful Links –
How much do drinks and drinks packages cost on Cunard?
Cunard Room Service Guide
Cunard Queen Elizabeth Cruise Ship Review
Cunard Queen Elizabeth Standard Balcony Cabin Review
Cunard Queen Elizabeth Deluxe Inside Cabin Tour and Review
For more of our information about cruising with Cunard visit our Cunard Page here and
watch our Cunard You Tube Playlist here .
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8 things you should know before cruising with Cunard
I recently went on my first ever Cunard cruise, there were quite a few things which surprised me about the cruise line and the cruise ships. This blog post is what I started this blog for. I came back from the Cunard cruise and just thought ‘Why did nobody tell me any of this stuff?!’
Below are 8 things which I wish I knew before cruising with Cunard.
1) You have a set meal time and a set table
2) The dress code for formal nights is strict and informal nights are still pretty formal .
3) the dress code includes most public places after 6pm , 4) 24 hour room service – and its free .
5) There is a laundry on board – and its free!!
6) cunard ships are quiet.
7) Mostly aimed at the older generation
8) No corkage fee
Have you ever cruised Cunard? Did you know about these things? Please let me know in the comments.
THE TRANSATLANTIC CROSSING WITH CUNARD – THE CRUISING BAKER
Tuesday 9th of April 2019
Hi Emma thks for reply.. I’ve been in touch with our booking agency it’s another £3, 250.00pp to upgrade.. not sure my husband and I would get more value than our booked balcony suite?? Hopefully be able to take few bottles on board in Cape Town..
Sunday 7th of April 2019
Hi has anyone done the Cape Town to Perth cruise?? It’s a 16 day cruise with only 3 days in ports. We’ve been offered to upgrade to Queens grill, we’ve paid for a cabin with a balcony. Will this be worth it, re having free drinks?? Do we get a bigger cabin? Will we have sun beds on the balcony on either cabins??
Emma Le Teace
Thanks for your comment. Are you on Facebook? I don't know the answer to your questions but we have over 4000 members in our Facebook group who may be able to help. If not, drop me an email at [email protected] and I'll try and find out the answers!
Sunday 13th of January 2019
Useful blog- thank you. There appears to be some conflicting information about whether one is allowed to take alcohol on board. Our understanding is one bottle of wine per person is permitted . Are you able to clarify this? Thanks.
Hey Phil! I'm getting really mixed messages about this one too. It seems like one bottle is definitely okay but most people I've asked in our Facebook group have been taking on whatever they want in Southampton without any trouble. It sounds like it's a different story in the other ports though.
If you're not already in our Facebook group please consider joining! https://www.facebook.com/groups/273786596385850/
Tuesday 20th of November 2018
Haha. Please try not to worry too much!! It is your holiday and people really don't spend too long looking at other passengers. You sound like you're very well cruised! Thank you for commenting.
Sunday 9th of September 2018
Thanks for your comments and observations. Great information with photos which help explanations. Just booked our first ever cruise and your site has helped us be even more excited! Thank you.
Thanks Karen! So you should be. It'll be amazing! Where are you cruising too?
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