Last Updated on November 16, 2023

There are some great cruise travel apps that you can add to your smartphone, that will make your life that much easier as you travel. So what are the best cruise apps? Let’s look at the 21 best cruise travel apps. Whether you are taking your very first cruise, or if you’re an experienced cruiser, these apps can be extremely handy!

Best cruise travel apps for iPhone and Google Play

Pre-Cruise Planning Apps

Before you even step foot on the cruise ship, the planning stage can be both exciting and overwhelming.

There are many decisions to be made including regards what port of call you want on your itinerary, what cruise line to use, what time of year to go, and what cabin to choose. These decisions all require careful consideration.

Fortunately, there are several pre-cruise planning apps that can simplify this process and help you make the most of your cruise adventure.

1. ShipMate

Available for iOS and Android

Cruise Shipmate app

ShipMate is an all-in-one cruise itinerary and planning app that keeps you organized from the moment you book your cruise until the day you disembark.

It features cruise countdown clocks, which add to the excitement as your departure date approaches.

ShipMate also offers detailed ship information, deck plans, and an interactive roll call to connect with other passengers on your voyage.

You can access the latest cruise news and port guides, making it a valuable companion for both first-time and experienced cruisers.

2. PackPoint

Packpoint app

Available for iOS and Android

Packpoint is an extremely handy tool that provides you with a comprehensive packing list for your upcoming cruise trip. In fact, you can also customize your lists to fit with the type of activities and destination you’ve chosen for your cruise.

The app also allows you to estimate how much luggage you should bring, as well as providing helpful tips on packing essentials.

Furthermore, you can also share your list with family and friends to make sure you don’t forget anything for your trip.

Packpoint is an essential tool for any cruise and offers a complete solution for all of your packing needs. With features like built-in lists, voice search, and easy synchronization across multiple devices, Packpoint helps you stay organized while on the go.

Onboard Experience Apps

Once you’ve boarded your cruise ship, the onboard experience is where the magic truly begins. From dining reservations to onboard activities and staying connected with fellow passengers, these cruise travel apps enhance your time at sea and ensure you make the most of every moment.

3. Carnival HUB

Carnival Hub app

Available for iOS and Android

If you’re sailing with Carnival Cruise Line, then the Carnival HUB app is certainly worth installing.

This app allows you to manage every aspect of your cruise experience on your Carnival cruise including booking shore and port excursions, making dining reservations (such as for the specialty restaurants onboard), and seeing the daily events that are taking place onboard.

The Carnival HUB also features a chat function, making it easy to communicate with fellow passengers on the ship.

4. Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean app

Available for iOS and Android

Not to be outdone by Carnival, Royal Caribbean also has its own cruise travel app.

You can use it to check in for your cruise, plan your onboard activities, and make dining reservations at specialty restaurants. Additionally, the app provides information on port excursions and the ship’s amenities.

These onboard experience apps are designed to simplify your journey and maximize your enjoyment while aboard the cruise ship.

5. NCL Cruise App

Available for iOS and Android

NCL cruise app

Norwegian Cruise Lines also have their own cruise app and I found it very handy on the last cruise we did with them to the Norwegian Fjords.

This is useful both pre-cruise (such as to check your cruise schedule and book excursions) and during your cruise such as to check daily activities and events onboard and daily port disembarkation and boarding times.

Communication and Connectivity Apps

If you want to send family or friends your cruise travel photos whilst still onboard, then communication apps provide an easy solution. There are several decent apps in this category that can help you bridge the gap between ship and shore, and two of my favorites that I often use are below.

6. WhatsApp

Whatsapp

Available for iOS and Android

WhatsApp is one of the best free messaging apps on the market and you can use it to send text and photos or to make video calls.

It’s an excellent choice for staying in touch with loved ones, especially if you’re traveling internationally. As long as you have access to onboard Wi-Fi, you can keep the lines of communication open.

7. Viber

Viber

Available for iOS and Android

Viber is another messaging app that provides free text messaging and voice and video calling.

Similar in many ways to WhatsApp, Viber is an excellent option for staying connected with other people, even when you’re at sea.

With these apps that rely on Wi-Fi though, just make sure that you have the appropriate data package for your smartphone so that you do not run up a large bill.

Navigation and Exploration Apps

Exploring the various ports of call is one of the highlights of a cruise. The issue sometimes though can sometimes be wayfinding, i.e. navigating around without getting too lost. There are some great apps that can help you easily find your way from the boat to the local attractions and back again.

8. Google Maps

Google Maps

Available for iOS and Android

You quite possibly are already very familiar with Google Maps. If not though, then you are missing out on a wonderful free app that can help you navigate unfamiliar destinations.

If you do not have a roaming data package, before you set foot in a new port of call, download offline maps for the area. This way, you can access maps and directions even without an internet connection, making it easy to explore without getting lost.

9. Maps.me

Maps.me

Available for iOS and Android

Maps.me offers detailed, user-generated offline maps that are incredibly handy for independent exploration.

Whether you’re wandering through historic streets or embarking on a scenic hike, Maps.me provides really accurate directions and points of interest without eating up your data.

10. TripAdvisor

Available for iOS and Android

Tripadvisor is another service you might have already used but perhaps you were not aware that they have an app for iOS and Android.

Whilst I hope you take a look at our ports of call guides on this site, it is fair to say that the Tripadvisor app can also be really handy to have on your phone to check the local destination tips, particularly for local attractions.

Entertainment and Relaxation Apps

While cruising offers a multitude of onboard entertainment options, there are moments when you may want to unwind in your cabin or relax by the pool. Entertainment and relaxation apps can help you make the most of your downtime during your cruise.

11. Kindle

Available for iOS and Android

If you’re an avid reader, the Kindle app is a game-changer.

If you want to save precious luggage space for buying souvenirs abroad in the ports of call, you can save lots of packing space by leaving those books at home and using the Kindle app to take as many eBooks with you as you want.

The latest Kindle devices are waterproof and can be read even in the sunshine where there is glare.

12. Netflix

Netflix

Available for iOS and Android

Netflix offers the perfect solution for entertainment during downtime on a cruise. Download movies and TV shows before your cruise, and you’ll have a selection of on-demand entertainment ready to enjoy, even when you’re offline.

Health Onboard Apps

If you are interested in staying fit and healthy whilst on your cruise, these apps can be especially useful:

13. Seven App

Seven app

Available for iOS and Android

This is a BRILLIANT app and is one that I myself use daily!

You do 7 minutes of exercises every day and this app breaks it down into 30-second sections and it plans the routine for you based on your:

  • fitness level
  • fitness goals

You end up doing everything from squats, press-ups, and hand walkouts, to arm circles, and dozens and dozens of other exercises. As I write this post, this is a print screen of my seven-minute plan the app has made for me today and that it will guide me through.

Paul's cruise fitness schedule for today from the Seven app

14. Couch to 5K Running Plan

Couch to 5k

Available for iOS and Android

This is another BRILLIANT app and a free one from the NHS.

There is normally always a jogging track on one of the upper decks on medium and large cruise ships and this makes it an ideal environment for doing a run every morning.

If you are new to fitness and running, then this app is amazing because it takes you from someone who is not used to running at all to someone who, within a few months, will be able to successfully run 5k.

Valeria used this app (she hadn’t tried jogging in 25+ years) but within 6 weeks she did 5k in less than 40 minutes, which for a non-runner who was unable to run around a soccer pitch before she started, was a minor miracle.

15. AllergyEats

Allergy Eats

Available for iOS and Android

If you have dietary restrictions or food allergies, dining during a cruise can be a concern. AllergyEats is a valuable app that helps you find restaurants and dining venues that cater to specific dietary needs.

This app can also be especially useful if you plan to eat any food in the local ports of call.

Money Management and Budgeting Apps

There are many opportunities to part with your cash during a cruise so it’s handy to be able to keep track of your expenses to stay within your budget. Money management and budgeting apps can help you monitor your spending and ensure you don’t overspend during your cruise vacation.

16. Mint

Mints app

Available for iOS and Android

Mint is a popular budgeting app that can help you keep a close eye on your finances during your cruise.

It is so easy to overspend on a cruise if you start booking excursions, and decide to try a specialty restaurant onboard (I don’t use the specialty dining myself but many people do), and go shopping onshore.

So, if you want a better grasp on your cruise spending, set budget goals, receive expense alerts, and get a clear overview of your financial health throughout your cruise, this app is a good choice.

17. Splitwise

Splitwise app

Available for iOS and Android

If you’re traveling with friends or family, Splitwise is a handy app for splitting expenses and managing shared costs.

It allows you to create shared expenses, record who paid for what, and keep everyone on the same page.

This ensures a fair and transparent way to handle expenses during your cruise.

18. Xe Currency

Xe.com app

Available for iOS and Android

When you’re cruising to different countries, it’s useful to understand the exchange rates, so that you know how much you are spending.

Xe Currency provides real-time currency conversion and exchange rate information, helping you make informed financial decisions and avoid surprises when making purchases in foreign currencies.

Other Cruise-related Apps We Like

19. Cruise Tycoon

Available for iOS

Cruise Tycoon app

Cruise Tycoon is very well-designed and is a somewhat addictive game that you can play on your smartphone.

Just be careful that you do not spend all of the cruise playing this game, as you try and manage your own cruise line in this fun game. It’s a bit like football manager but travel-based rather than sports-based.

If you are traveling with kids or teenagers and you are trying to get them to embrace the whole cruise travel culture, this game might get their attraction and spike their interest in cruise travel.

20. Express VPN

Express VPN app

Available for iOS or via their site

I highly recommend thinking about security when it comes to your electronic devices.

Many people, for example, get into a cruise port and then log on to the local free WiFi and leave themselves at risk of their smartphone or iPad being hacked because they are not using a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

A VPN is simply a piece of software (you can download it as an app) that you turn on and it acts as a shield, i.e. an extra layer of protection between your device and other people.

Considering that you might have banking apps or do transactions on your device, it is always worth protecting your device against fraudulent activities, as best as you can. A VPN will greatly help.

21. Google Translate

Available for iOS or Android

Were you aware that you can not only enter text and get the translation but you can also take a photograph (such as of a menu in a foreign country) and Google Translate will translate the photograph into text?

You can also get Google Translate to provide the answer as audio!

If you do not already have Google Translate on your smartphone, I highly recommend downloading it!

Conclusion

In the world of modern travel, cruise vacations have undergone a remarkable transformation thanks to technology, and at the heart of this transformation are cruise travel apps. These digital companions have become invaluable tools for ensuring a seamless and enjoyable cruise experience from start to finish.

From the moment you start planning your cruise to the day you disembark, cruise travel apps offer a wealth of benefits. They help you research and choose the perfect cruise, connect with fellow travelers, organize your itinerary, book dining reservations, navigate new destinations, and even manage your budget.

Paul Symonds