Celebrity Cruises new app welcomes a new generation of passenger

Celebrity Cruises new app is more than just another little program you an use to kill time. In a natural evolution of their programming, Celebrity Cruises has added its first app and mobile web site.Celebrity is a cruise line that has fully embraced technology, rolling top-shelf brands into their onboard experience. More importantly, with this roll-out of Celebrity Cruises new app the line opens the door and welcomes a new generation of cruise passenger.

Now, iPhone users have the opportunity to download the free, new app from the Celebrity web site or from the Apple store. Other apps have been available from third-party sources for quite some time. This is the first official app from Celebrity and there are some big differences in Celebrity Cruises new app vs. the third-party apps available right now.

Users of Celebrity Cruises new app will have a wealth of functionality allowing them to view the destinations Celebrity visits, check out onboard activities including iLearn and language courses offered in the Celebrity iLounge and more.

Technology can be a big part of the Celebrity experience. Prior to boarding, guests can go online to explore a number of activities and packages available on their sailing. On board, a Celebrity iLounge is a popular gathering place that includes an Internet cafe equipped with 26 workstations. As an Authorized Apple Reseller, there is also a retail area where guests can try out and buy various Apple products and accessories plus an “enrichment center” that will offer classes on the iLife suite of programs and other general topics.

Celebrity Cruises new app welcomes a new generation of passenge
r in many ways. One of the best parts of Celebrity Cruises new app is having the ability to see menus, wine lists and even walking tours of a ship’s art collection, a Celebrity Cruises first.

Guests can use iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices with Celebrity Cruises new app to search for a Celebrity cruise and itineraries, obtain destination information, view details about each ship, connect with Celebrity’s social media sites, e-mail itineraries of interest to Celebrity’s Customer Service team, or contact Customer Service ‘live’ at any point during the experience.

Did you catch that last line?

“... or contact Customer Service ‘live’ at any point during the experience.”

That’s huge.
That’s engaging.
This is a cruise line that “gets it”.

Standard operating procedure for cruise line customer service:

Call on phone/work through problem/call back if you don’t like the result until you find someone who will tell you what you want to hear/Addressed problem but not feeling very good about it.

Glimpse at what might be coming:

“... or contact Customer Service ‘live’ at any point during the experience.”

Celebrity Cruises new app is definitely a step in the right direction.

Celebrity Cruises
new app is just one use of available Apple technology. The cruise line already uses the iPad for its menus and wine list in its Qsine specialty restaurant, which debuted this year on the Equinox, and its ships are home to “Celebrity iLounges,” equipped with MacBook workstations. Guests on board can take courses and get tips on Mac and iPod use.

“We knew our guests would relish yet another opportunity to capitalize on the latest technology in an entertaining, enriching way,” says Celebrity’s senior vice president of Hotel Operations, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.

Celebrity Cruises photo

Ten travel friendly accessories for your Apple iPad

I’m excited! Are you excited? Surely you did pre-order your iPad? (Hint: I didn’t, I want to see one in a store first). Still, if you’ve been sitting at home watching the days count down till April 3rd, here are ten travel friendly iPad accessories you may want to order before your cherished pad arrives.

In this lineup, you’ll find ways to power and protect your iPad. With cases starting at under $20, you don’t have any excuses not to keep your newest investment looking shiny as long as you can.
Colcasac iPad sleeve

ColcaSac sleeves are all made by hand, from environmentally friendly materials. The iPad sleeve is available in five different colors, and costs $30.

Product site: ColcaSac

Scottevest travel garments

Scottevest was really quick to mention that many of his garments are already iPad friendly – in fact, the Scottevest products are the only travel garments that will comfortably hold your iPod, along with almost anything else you want to carry. The iPad friendly lineup includes a vest, various jackets and even a packable windbreaker. Prices start at just $75.

Product site: Scottevest

Kensington PowerBolt Micro car charger

Your existing iPod/iPhone chargers won’t be able to power the appetite of the iPad, so to add some juice on the road, you are going to need something like the new Kensington PowerBolt Micro car charger. This tiny charger delivers a whopping 2.1 amps of power, perfect for a speedy charge of your iPad. Priced at just $24.99, it comes with the charger itself and a USB cord.

Product page: Kensington PowerBolt

Red Oxx Chica

The $70 Red Oxx Chica is a cool looking shoulder bag with space for your iPad (or Kindle/Netbook). The bag features two interior pockets with a padded panel. Best of all, the bag has enough space for any other small items you’d like to carry with you.

Product page: Red Oxx Chica

Tom Bihn Ristretto and Cache

Tom Bihn managed to introduce two iPad products less than two hours after the Apple keynote speech – making them the first on the market to actually have iPad accessories.

Their lineup consists of two bags – the Ristretto and the Cache. The Ristretto ($120) is a vertical messenger bag with plenty of space for the iPad (or a Macbook), along with other small items. The Cache ($30) is a sleek and simple sleeve designed with 1/4″ foam to protect your iPad.

Product page: Ristretto and Cache

Kensington Sling bag for iPad

At just $19.99, the Kensington Sling Bag for iPad is one of the cheapest carrying solutions out there – the stylish sling has room for your iPad along with some other essentials.

Product page: Kensington Sling Bag for iPad

BeyzaCases Thinvelope sleeve

If you need something really nice – that won’t be out of place at the next shareholders meeting, then check out the BeyzaCases Thinvelope. Available in 7 different colors, this $129 good looking “envelope” protects your iPad in style.

Product page: BeyzaCases Thinvelope (15% discount at the moment)

WaterField Designs Ultimate Smart Case, Slip Case
, SleeveCase and Suede Jacket

WaterField designs has not one, but four iPad products in their lineup. Their assortment starts at just $19 for the Suede Jacket Sleeve. Their stylish Slip Case is $29, followed by the $55 Ultimate SleeveCase and the top of the line iPad Smart Case ($59). Best of all – all these cases fit perfectly in other larger bags from the WaterField Designs lineup.

Product page: WaterField Designs iPad cases

Original Apple iPad accessories

Apple went all-out when they designed accessories for their newest product. The lineup offers 11 cool accessories, including the (must have) dock/keyboard kit, a VGA dongle, camera connection kit, case, premium headphone kit, video cables and a USB power kit.

Accessories won’t all be available at launch, but at the very least, a traveler will really benefit from the lightweight dock and keyboard kit, which may even mean you can leave your laptop at home.

Product page: Apple iPad accessories

The Apple iPad – what it means for travelers

Well, after 6 years of speculation, months of totally insane guessing, “leaked” photos and feverish anticipation, the Apple iPad has finally been revealed. At least 95% of all the leaks were fake, most tech gurus turned out to be full of crap, and those that went on Twitter claiming they were testing one, were “just kidding”.

The best part of a big Apple event like this, is that it finally puts things to rest. And just like any Apple event, there is always a huge amount of disappointment. The device doesn’t do 3D, it does not have a TiVo built in and there is no solar panel on the back. It only comes with (optional) 3G, not 4G, and in its most expensive version, it still only comes with just 64GB.

So, what can the new iPad do for travelers, and just how “magical” is it?

Well, for starters, Apple claims ten hours of battery life. This sounds impressive, but many Netbook computers easily beat that, plus Apple is not exactly known for delivering on its battery promises. At least with 10 hours of battery life, you’ll make it through a long haul flight without the dreaded “battery empty” message.

The display is reported to be stunning, and it supports multi-touch, just like the iPhone and iPod touch. Most importantly, it will offer a whole new array of online content, ebook (through the new iBook app), an office suite (iWork for the iPad) and of course multimedia content from iTunes.

What it lacks is USB and a memory card slot. Apple will gladly sell you a photo kit, but this is obviously something that should have been included from day one. There is no VGA out without an optional adapter.

A keyboard is available as an optional extra (price unknown) and the battery is not replaceable, keeping in line with their other devices. There is no camera, and no GPS – both things that could have made it really travel friendly. Update: the iPad does have A-GPS, but only on the 3G version, thanks Kraig!


  • Multimedia – 10 hours battery life, iTunes store and iTunes syncing
  • Online content – newspapers, magazines and more
  • iBook – eBook reader with a 9.7″ display and iTunes store support
  • Web browser – same awesome browser as on the iPhone, but on a larger screen
  • Email – better use of the large screen
  • Apps – support for iPhone apps and new improved iPad apps
  • Gaming – integrated accelerometer and the same high quality games as on the iPhone
  • 3G service does not require a contract


  • Keyboard – onscreen only or with an optional keyboard add-on (or any Bluetooth keyboard)
  • Storage – limited to 16, 32 or 64GB – not expandable
  • 3G – optional extra for $130 more
  • 3G service is $30/month, but will not work with your iPhone plan or existing sim card
  • No Integrated Expansion – no USB, no SD card slot, no VGA, no HDMI

All in all – both impressive and underwhelming at the same time. Whether a traveler will be able to dump their netbook and pick up an iPad remains to be seen. The price does not make it all that interesting – the 16GB version (without 3G) starts at $499, which is about $100 more than a well-spec’d netbook.

But as with the iPhone, the iPad will probably be a success not based on the hardware, but on the software. All iPhone apps will work on the iPad, and many developers are already hard at work creating iPad specific versions of their programs.

One other detail that will help travelers is the optional 3G adapter. For an additional $130, your iPad can come with an AT&T 3G adapter “with micro sim card”. Most importantly, with this adapter, you can get online for just $30/month with unlimited data and no contract. Sadly, that won’t be of much use abroad, but that price point is very impressive. Of course, it does bring the total price of the 16GB iPad to $629, or about the price of three netbooks (when purchased with a mobile service plan). You do the math.

The device will be available in 60 days, or 90 days if you want the 3G enabled version. For more comprehensive coverage of the iPad, head on over to our friends at Engadget.