Hate asking for directions — or worse, looking like a tourist as you unfold a giant map — when you’re in port? Fortunately, there are transportation apps you can download in advance to help you get around easily. They mostly work in domestic and European ports so, although you may have to ask for help in, say, Ocho Rios, many ports can be navigated using these five handy mobile apps:
Where It Works: The HopStop® app covers more than 300 North American cities — and a handful in Europe — with more added on a regular basis.
What You Get: This is a popular public transit app for finding your way from point A to B. It may not give you directions for Caribbean destinations, but if your itinerary hits Boston, New York, Honolulu, San Francisco, Halifax, or Montreal, it’s a big help.
Available On: iOS® (free) devices. Unfortunately, HopStop recently dropped support for the Android™ platform.
Where It Works: Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Australia
What You Get: If you’re heading further afield, plan ahead and download this massive database of city subway maps. While HopStop is slowly expanding to European cities, AllSubway already provides offline access (no roaming charges or searching for Wi-Fi hot spots necessary) to hundreds of subway maps. It may not offer the step-by-step directions of HopStop, but it sure beats roaming charges that make your phone bill look more like a mortgage payment.
Where It Works: North America and Europe
What You Get: If reading a paper map feels too, well, primitive, break open your wallet for the Navigon® app, which turns your phone into an international GPS with turn-by-turn navigation, and (unlike the Google Maps™ service), it can even be used offline by downloading the maps of the areas you will be visiting in advance. The downside is the price, as you have to pay for each region individually.
Where It Works: New York City and London
What You Get: With a clean interface, excellent navigation, a cab cost estimator, and real-time service updates with unparalleled accuracy, this app blows Google Maps and Apple® Maps out of the water — and, unlike HopStop, it’s available on Android devices. Such a thorough endeavor is impossible on a large scale, so Citymapper is only available in two cities. Still, if any of the New York City area’s ports or London’s ports are on your itinerary, this app is worth the hard drive space.
Where It Works: Worldwide
What You Get: If you need to fly in order to reach your departure port, track your flight using beautiful maps featuring zoom capability with this handy app by Mobiata. The FlightTrack™ app tracks more than 3,000 airports and 1,400 airlines, so you know exactly when your plane will be arriving in the terminal. It also provides driving directions to airports through its integration with Apple Maps, and handy maps of every airport, showing terminal, gate, and baggage claim information.
HopStop is a registered trademark of HopStop.com Inc.
iOS is a registered trademark of Cisco Systems Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and certain other countries.
Android and Google Maps are trademarks of Google Inc.
Navigon is a registered trademark of Garmin Wurzburg GmbH.
Windows Phone is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the U.S. and/or other countries.
Apple is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
FlightTrack is a registered trademark of Mobiata LLC.