1. Home
  2. Planning
  3. Cruise Policies and Inside Info
  4. Texting on a Cruise: 7 Cruise Line Messaging Apps

Texting on a Cruise: 7 Cruise Line Messaging Apps

Texting on a Cruise: 7 Cruise Line Messaging Apps (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)
Texting on a Cruise: 7 Cruise Line Messaging Apps (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)

Find a Cruise

Constant communication -- that's what modern cruisers demand. In addition to keeping in touch with friends and family back home, passengers want the ability to connect with their spouse, kid or friend who's onboard with them. Specifically, cruisers want texting on cruise ships, and lines are responding with apps to facilitate this. Though apps vary from line to line, the essential function is the same: enabling cruisers to use their own mobile devices to text other people on the same ship.

We take a closer look at which cruise lines offer texting apps to their passengers, and how they work.

Updated November 29, 2018

1. iConcierge, Norwegian Cruise Line

iConcierge app on Norwegian Cruise Line (Photo: Norwegian)

Among other capabilities, Norwegian Cruise Line's iConcierge app allows passengers to text and call people onboard the same ship without having to use their cell phone service providers' roaming service. The texting and calling functionality piggybacks on the ship's Wi-Fi system to avoid the cell service provider. Each passenger must download the app (free), then pay a small fee to unlock the texting and calling capabilities of the app, but they do not need to purchase an internet package. There are, however, a few complimentary features such as the ability to make restaurant, show and shore excursion reservations. The app is available on Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Jade, Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Spirit and Pride of America.

2. Carnival Hub, Carnival Cruise Line

For a low, one-time activation fee, Carnival cruisers can turn on the Carnival Hub chat feature and communicate with other passengers also onboard their ship; all parties must be using Carnival Hub to participate. The chat feature also has a group setting so family members or a group of friends can communicate within the same conversation. The app works on all ships in the fleet, and cruisers do not need a separate internet package.

3. Navigator, Disney Cruise Line

Disney passengers can use the Navigator app on all ships to send free text messages to other people on the same ship also using Navigator. There is also a group chat feature. Though the app does connect to the onboard Wi-Fi, there is no charge to app users for access.

4. MSC Traveller Web, MSC Cruises

Not an app in the traditional sense, MSC Traveller Web is a web-based service that offers app-like functionality and works (for free) on any device connected to the MSC intranet -- no internet package purchase required. You can use it to add contacts, chat with other passengers in real time and even share photos. The web app is only available on MSC Divina, MSC Magnifica and MSC Preziosa.

5. Navigator, Holland America Line

Navigator Web Service by Holland America Line (Photo: Holland America)

Holland America's web-based Navigator service (not an app) allows for several onboard functions, including booking spa treatments, specialty dining and shore excursions; monitoring your onboard account; checking the daily schedule; viewing and buying professional photos; and, of course, texting other passengers who also use the service. It's available fleetwide, and anyone with a Wi-Fi-enabled device can use it for free without paying for the ship's internet.

6. Princess@Sea Messenger, Princess Cruises

Passengers onboard all Princess cruise ships (except Pacific Princess and Ocean Princess) can use the web-based Princess@Sea Messenger service to send instant messages to other people traveling on the same ship. However, you will need an internet package to use the service via Wi-Fi on your phone.

7. Royal iQ, Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean passengers on Quantum, Anthem, Harmony and Ovation of the Seas can use the Royal iQ app to call or text other passengers onboard the same ship. The app is free to download, but the Royal iQ Communications Package (which enables the texting and calling) incurs a per-device fee.

Find a Cruise

Popular on Cruise Critic

What Not to Forget On a Cruise: 10 Things to Remember to Pack
We all know that sinking feeling when you realize you've left something important behind, whether it's your phone in the car or your wallet at the restaurant you just left. That feeling is much worse when you're on a cruise and discover that you've forgotten something at home. While not every "oops" will upend your cruise, some will, while others can prove to be enough of headache to put a dent in an otherwise great vacation. From A to Z, we list a few critical things not to forget the next time you cruise.
7 Ways to Outsmart Deck Chair Hogs
In the wee hours of the morning, under the cover of darkness, they creep. Their flip-flops smack across the pool decks of cruise ships everywhere as they shuffle like a horde of zombies armed with towels, sunscreen and books. If it sounds like a scene from a horror movie, you're on the right track. We're talking about deck chair hogs -- those inconsiderate fellow passengers who rise before the sun to stake out prime poolside real estate, mark it with personal belongings and then abandon it, rendering it useless to others. If you've had enough, we urge you to stand up to these selfish sunbathers and claim the deck chair that's rightfully yours. Join the peaceful revolution by employing the following seven tips for outsmarting deck chair hogs.
How to Find the Best Cruise Bargains in 2019
It's the end of a decade, 2019, and a lot has changed in the world of cruising -- race cars, haute cuisine, digital everything -- but some tips on how to save on your next sailing stay tried and true. To uncover the best ways to land a cruise bargain this year, we spoke to travel agent experts and consulted industry surveys. What we found is that cruising shows no signs of slowing down, but getting on the right ship to the right destination might mean taking quick action. We've narrowed down the who, what, where and when of finding the best cruise deals in 2019 so you can spend less money and more time enjoying the seas.

Find a Cruise