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Last summer, we took our first family cruise. I’ve been on over two dozen cruises but I hadn’t been on one since the pandemic began and I hadn’t ever done a cruise with my two kids, who were three and six years old at the time … so I was feeling like a bit of a newbie as we prepared for our adventure. My wife, Natalie, felt the same and has been up in the middle of the night doing all kinds of research. RELATED: Cruise Review: 22 Reasons to Sail on Enchanted Princess
Natalie sent me a TPG article titled ’22 Cruise Cabin Hacks That Will Transform Your Voyage”, written by one of my friends, Fran Golden. Fran is a prolific cruiser, who was married at sea to another cruise writer and the late, great Gavin McCleod did a reading at the ceremony. If you don’t recognize Gavin’s name, no doubt you will recognize his face and the character he brought to life … Captain Stubbing of The Love Boat. I just happened to be in the audience; here’s my story: Love Boat Cast Reunites to Christen Regal Princess.
Fran writes, “You and your family will likely bring along a selection of electronics — tablets, phones, cameras, an electric shaver and maybe even a curling iron or other gizmos. That’s a lot of stuff to plug into what may be a very limited number of outlets. Bring an outlet extender to accommodate all those cords (though make sure it is not one with a surge protector, as those are banned by cruise lines).”
Fran hit the nail on the head because between ourselves and our two kids, we will definitely be traveling with a fair number of electronics. But it’s especially good to know that you can’t use an outlet extender or power strip that’s surge protected aboard cruise ships as most ships ban them. So Natalie did some more research and found this one that is highly rated, is Amazon’s Choice and only costs $26 (at the time of publication, it’s on sale for $17.99, 28% off).
The Cruise Power Strip No Surge Protector with USB Outlets – Ship Approved (Non Surge Protection) Cruise Essentials is a must-have for anyone bringing multiple devices on a cruise. It has three, 3-prong outlets and two USB sockets for a total of five plugs you can use at a time. Note: According to their materials, this power strip is “approved for Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Norwegian & most lines’ policies (NOT Disney).”
Cruise cabins have a limited number of electrical outlets but with this handy device, you can come back from a day of sightseeing or dinner and charge everything in one go.
In terms of other essentials to bring on your cruise, I would also add a portable charger, the item that flight attendants say they never leave home without. So, if you’re out touring and your phone or tablet is almost out of power you don’t need to waste time trying to find a café or worse, sit in one next to an outlet to charge. You can charge your phone on the go. Even Princess Cruises Celebrations Ambassador Jill Whelan suggests it as well. She told The Today Show, “Consider bringing an external battery for your phone. Having extra battery life is vital, and even if you don’t ever use it, the peace of mind is everything.” Whelan also recommends bringing a fanny pack (like this one) with you.
And if you’re traveling internationally and staying in hotels or a house rental before or after your cruise, don’t forget the right power adapters or better yet bring a universal international travel power adapter like my wife and I do.
GOOD TO KNOW: Not only are surge protectors banned on cruise ships but so are extension cords so be prepared to get those items confiscated or pony up for the ones we’re recommending at a gift shop in a major city, which will no doubt be charging much more money.
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