Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Technology for Cruise Travelers

As I prepare to celebrate the eleventh anniversary of's creation, I'm reminded of how things were back in 2001. Other than a laptop without WiFi, I had no tech devices. There was almost no Internet availability on cruise ships, so I was pretty excited to see the first Internet cafe at sea on Norwegian Sky that year. But hooking up via my own laptop meant paying the per-minute telephone charge! An expensive option I chose not to use.

However, things have changed, as I've illustrated here. Instead of a car phone, I now have a smartphone clipped to my belt at all times. It keeps me in touch with my calendar and contacts as well as notes and reminders. It also acts as a camera when I don't have one at hand. My iPod Touch also fills in as a camera and holds a lot of info in addition to my favorite music. I could listen to music on the BlackBerry, but the iPod battery lasts longer on trips that include lengthy airplane flights (thank you, Steve Jobs!) and I don't have to worry about my mobile phone not working upon landing.

Noise cancelling headphones aren't a complete necessity, but I've found they are as functional on a road trip as they are on an airplane. There's a lot of noise on the highway and they block out those distractions.

Instead of several paperback books, I now carry a Kindle. For anyone who loves the feel of books as I do, I can assure you that you don't lose that sensation with a Kindle in hand. Some ship libraries aren't well stocked and if I run out of reading material, I can download a new book with its WiFi feature. Best of all, the Kindle is readable in bright light so I can use it on my balcony as well as out on deck.

You don't have to be a total geek, or spend a lot of money, to travel with technology. Over the years I've received some of the devices I enjoy as gifts and have even 'bought' others with American Express Memberhip Miles. Put the ones you'd like on your must-have list. They make travel so much more pleasurable and hassle free.

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