This blog is a continuation of my mini-series on the best gadgets to take with you on a cruise. Remember it’s a collection of some of the most useful, as well as some of the most unusual and fun, so not every item on this list might be to your taste, but you can have a read and see what you think.
This actually featured on Dragon’s Den not too long ago apparently (I’ve long since given up on watching). Basically it’s a small keyring item that you can attach to your keys, or other important items that you might end up taking out to sea on a small boat (either as part of a tender or as an excursion tour) and if it goes overboard, a bright illuminated balloon will inflate and act as a buoy so that you can safely recover them. And it only costs £7.99. So if you’re the kind of person who wears jeans with shallow pockets, and who’s eternally nervous, this could give you peace of mind.
This is the most bizarre-looking item on this list, and I’m not sure anyone would want to use it, but it’s here for being so out-there. Plus it could be useful if you’ve got a long flight before your cruise. This is essentially a cushioned neck brace, which will support your head so you can have a sleep on the plane without having your head lolling about all over the place. So you won’t wake up with a crick in your neck, nor will you wake with your head on the shoulder of a potential stranger next to you, with a suspicious-looking water mark that is probably drool…
Simple, easy-to-use, but highly useful – the portable charger is the ideal gadget. Portable chargers are fairly ‘ronseal’ – they do exactly what they say on the tin. Simply plug it in at home, charge it up and then when you’re out and about, and your phone splutters and coughs its way to zero battery, you can simply plug this in to extend the life for another couple of hours or so, which can get you out of a tight spot if anything goes wrong.
When you go on a cruise, generally you’re going abroad. And sometimes you might decide to head off the beaten track, so you aren’t being shown around by a guided tour who speaks English. That’s when a translator comes in handy. These days you can get apps for your phone, but a specialist translator is more likely to be accurate and to have the phrases you need.
We’re only a couple of years from having speaking translators that are almost as-live, but for now these text-based gadgets are the next best thing.
This one could be a controversial choice, but I wanted to pick something on which you could play games. I know that these days everyone plays Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja on their phone or tablet, and I know that there are other dedicated portable gaming consoles such as the PSP Vita. But I went with the 3DS for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s the most family-friendly, so it’s something every one can use to keep yourself entertained either on your flight or when you’re on the cruise itself enjoying down time. Also, it has engaging games that could last. App-based games are generally best for short bursts, but if you’ve got a few hours to kill then there’s nothing better than some of the major titles from Nintendo.
Part three, the final part of this series, has some interesting ways of capturing memories, of keeping entertained and of keeping your teeth clean, so look out for that.
By Ian Lewis