Cruising can be a power struggle. . .
In this high-tech age, we all travel with plenty of power-hungry electronic devices that all need charging, sometimes all at once. Travelling on a cruise is certainly no exception. This summer, on our Western Mediterranean Cruise, (Celebrity Reflection, July 2017) our device inventory consisted of two iPhones, an eReader, a digital camera, an iPad Mini, Fitbit personal trackers and a portable USB fan.
After my first cruise (RCCL Enchantment of the Seas, NYE 2011) and my first overseas trip, (Venice and Celebrity Constellation, 2015) I learned the importance of thinking ahead and making a plan for the charging of electronic devices on a cruise and in Europe.
Many travellers are surprised to discover that cruise ship staterooms often only have one or two power outlets. To confuse matters, even if you find two or more power outlets, one of them is liable to have a continental two pin European socket which is wired for 220v. Only the most modern of ships now include a USB charging outlet in their staterooms.
If you have read any travel blogs or visited any cruising websites, you know that they all suggest that cruise ship travelers should pack a compact power strip to take care of their charging needs. I echo that advice and encourage everyone to bring a power strip along on all their cruises.
Bringing a power strip and understanding that all the walls in your stateroom are made of steel are probably the best two cruise hacks you may ever learn.
Please Note: Before you bring a power strip on-board for your next cruise, check with your cruise line or travel agent. It is important to find out if there are any restrictions or regulations about power strip use. A confiscated power strip will obviously do you no good on your cruise.
My new device charging strategy.
This summer, I employed a new device charging strategy. I set out to harness the power of the European-style outlet in my stateroom to expand my charging capabilities. This can be done a number of ways. I chose two different devices to take advantage of the European-style 2-round pin outlet.
Bestek Portable International Travel Adaptor
For most of my charging needs, just to be extra cautious, I used a BESTEK Portable International Travel Adapter with 4 USB (6A Max) Charging Ports for iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Tablet, etc.’ This is a voltage converter that takes the 220v from the European-style outlet and converts it to 110v. I used a voltage converter to make extra sure that only 110v was flowing through all my charging cables. Although nearly all modern electronic devices are designed to operate at 110v or 220v, you must check on the label to confirm the voltage requirements of the devices you are charging in a 220v outlet. This a great device for all your travel charging needs. One thing I really like about this device is that the “default” plug is a 2 Pin.
While you can buy an adapter for the different plug styles you may encounter around the world, those adapters do nothing to alter the voltage coming through to your device. This voltage converter changes the voltage running through your charging cables is 110v and not 220v. I like the extra piece of mind that it offers me. This voltage converter served me well both in Rome, at our pre-cruise hotel, and on the ship.
EZOPower EU 2-Port USB Charger
For those times when I was only charging the iPhones, which I know are designed to charge with either 110v or 220v, I used the 2 pin USB wall charger that I had purchased for our pre-cruise stay in Rome, Italy. I chose to bring the EZOPower EU 2-Port USB Charger 3.1A 15W Europe Plug USB Travel Wall Adapter along with us on our summer trip to Europe.
Please Note: Whenever you are using the 220v European-style 2 pin outlets, it is very important to remember that you are tapping into 220v. This could pose a big problem if you are not careful. Virtually all hair care appliances like curling irons and wands, hair straighteners and flat irons that are bought in North America will only operate on 110v. Do not plug them into any 220v outlet, even with a voltage convertor. That can be very dangerous. Also, remember that voltage and wattage are two different things. Not all electric appliances can be used with a voltage converter. Read all directions carefully.
Bestten 3 Outlet Portable Travel Surge Protector with Dual USB Charging Ports.
For domestic travel in North America, and for my charging needs on a cruise, I have chosen the Bestten 3 Outlet Portable Travel Surge Protector with Dual USB Charging Ports.
I really like this device because the cord wraps into the base for easy storage and travel. I love that it has 2 USB ports for charging, as well. I have been very happy with the compact nature of this product. Because it stores flat, it takes up very little space in a pouch or in my carry-on luggage. I always pack this power strip in my carry-on luggage to ensure that I have charging capability for multiple devices at the airport or cruise terminal.
Please Note: Before you bring a power strip onboard for your next cruise, check with your cruise line or travel agent to see if there are any restrictions or regulations about their use. A confiscated power strip will obviously do you no good on your cruise.
If you travel with an array of power-hungry electronic devices, like I do, it is important to make a plan for charging those devices before you travel.
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