Ship Mate – an iPhone App for Royal Caribbean Cruise Passengers

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As cruise ships get larger and larger I worry that people could spend a significant portion of their trip wandering lost around the corridors. But for those of you who have an iPhone and are traveling on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship there is an app for that. Ship Mate is a free app by Mike Jirout let’s you carry around a guide to the various Royal Caribbean ships in your pocket. When you first start up Ship Mate it asks you to choose a cruise ship and a sailing date.

The app then brings up a menu with buttons for:

  • Excursions
  • Restaurants
  • Shops
  • Decks
  • Ports
  • Contacts

You can use this menu to browse through text descriptions of the various offerings on the cruise. For instance the restaurant guide will tell you the cuisine, the additional cost (if any), the dress code and mechanism to make reservations. If you click on the Decks item you can bring up a deck by deck directory or map of the deck. You can pinch and zoom into the deck plans to navigate your way around the ship.

The contacts area acts as a sort of cruise specific address book for the ship storing names and cabin numbers for passengers. So if you are traveling with a group or just met someone in the jacuzzi you can save their name and cabin (note that the iPhone should probably not be brought into the jacuzzi).

Ship Mate is currently an entirely offline app which is not inappropriate based on how much ships are charging for cell phone service. The information for some ships is much more complete than for others. It would be nice if the app had a few more pictures instead of just text information. The app will also not win any beauty contests in its current incarnation, but if I was sailing on a Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship I would have this app on my iPhone.

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

4 Responses to “Ship Mate – an iPhone App for Royal Caribbean Cruise Passengers”

Michael Given


The reaction to the Royal Connected device has mostly been positive. I experienced an odd reaction though when the technology was being explained at a seminar at the New York Times travel show. When they got to the part about GPS tracking many in the crowd chuckled. A few comments afterward centered around technology invading the vacation experience, which I found kind of odd since many of the same people in the crowd were on their laptops and cellphones texting and tweeting along while the presenters spoke. I guess technology can invade the seminar experience, but keep it off the lido deck?



That is a funny reaction. πŸ™‚



Also i would recommend “Celebrity Cruises”, “Royal Caribbean” and for UK users “Cruise Deals” apps. Just search for those on iTunes.

We have designed those 3 and currently working on the app for Fred. Olsen should be out within 2 weeks.

Hope that helps



Great Idea. Eventually all cruise lines will ned to go this way.

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