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macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 15, 2010
Last week my family and I took a cruise over Thanksgiving (cool story bro!). It was my first travel experience since getting my AW over the summer. I was curious how it would work, and how much benefit it would give me during my trip.

Part I: Up in the air
We flew across the country to get to the cruise port. So I installed the Delta app on my phone and watch, along with Kayak, which I used to aggregate all of our travel, including air, hotel, rental car and cruise details.

For the flights, I set up a new modular face that included the time zone we were flying to, along with Kayak's newly-updated complication that shows flight number and departure time. No gate number, which is a surprising omission.

I did not use Wallet on the watch for my boarding pass, as I was responsible for all 4 of our boarding passes (easy to switch traveler in the phone app).

Biggest benefit of using the AW in the airport (besides constantly checking the time), was getting notifications, via the Delta app, of flight status (gate changes, now boarding, bagging claim, etc). While I still would have received those notification on my phone, the airport was loud and crowded and I doubt I would have noticed all of them. But a gentle tap on my wrist couldn't be missed.

On the flight, everything went into airplane mode. I caught a few Zzzzzzzzs. It was handy to have both time zones on my wrist.

Part II: Near, far, wherever you are...
Once we got on the cruise ship, I set up my "vacation watch face" -- utility with the day/date along the bottom (because time is a flat circle on a cruise ship), my home time zone in the right top corner, and activity rings in the left.

I was curious how active I would be navigating a 3000 person ship for a week. Sadly, not as much as I thought. Except for the 2 days that I went to the gym, I didn't hit any of my activity goals. But it was vacation!

Power outlets are a scarcity in the cabin -- only two. I brought a 6 foot extension cord, a surge protector, and a 5 port USB charger to handle all of our devices (2 phones, 2 ipads, 1 android tab, my watch, and my USB fan -- gotta have my air moving.). I was able to stretch the extension cord from the outlet to the nightstand, where I plugged in my watch charger and fan. Without any other clocks in the cabin, nightstand mode on my AW was the only way I could quickly see the time...mainly telling my kids that it was too early and to go back to sleep. I have a standard digital clock on my nightstand at home that's bigger and easier to read, but I definitely see the benefit of nightstand mode during travel. Even moreso than my picking up and waking up my phone.

About halfway through the week we broke down and bought the Internet package. It was discounted and pro-rated. It was also very very slowwwwwwww. But I still got notifications from my phone to my watch throughout the ship (mainly football scores on Thursday and Friday. RIP Romo).

Part III: Land ho
Our cruise stopped at three ports. At the first one, we got off the ship and walked around for a couple hours to shop and mingle. I took my phone and watch with me (looking for a free, faster WiFi signal....but couldn't find one.) The next two were beach stops. So I left my phone and watch in our cabin's safe. There were obviously tons of phones being used out there (so. many. selfies), and I even saw a few Apple Watches. But to me, the risk (getting ruined by sand and saltwater) wasn't worth the reward (getting my steps tracked). Instead, I brought my old, reliable Casio digital watch.

Like most $15-20 digital watches, it has an hourly chime. This was hugely beneficial, as it helped keep track of the time (which flies by when you're on the beach). A simple beep-beep every hour let me know that we were one hour closer to having to get back to the ship. So simple, so standard on digital watches. Pretty shocking that it's not an AW feature. Never crossed my mind until then.

My Apple Watch was a useful tool on my travels. Was it essential? No. My phone would have done the job just fine. But the notifications and nightstand mode were quite handy (err, wristy?). And I liked being able to create custom faces with complications for specific situations.

Battery life was never an issue, BTW.

Now onto my next trip!


macrumors 68040
May 6, 2008
Panthers fan, so sorry about Romo. :D

Thanks for sharing the story... didn't sound like you really used it all that much for other than a world time watch, but that is useful. I travel quite a bit and one of the things I like to use it for is controlling my music so I don't need to yank out my 6s Plus to do it.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2015
Interesting experience. I took mine off on our cruise and went back to my old Timex Expedition. First time since the original AW was released that I haven’t worn it daily. I normally bristle when people tell me to take a break from being connected, but you know, it really was freeing. I did miss fast Internet though; I enjoy reading up on the places we visit, and the natural history along the route.


macrumors 6502
Jul 1, 2012
I agree about the hourly chime! I remember at school there used to be a cacophony of bleeps from about 2 minutes to the hour until a minute or so after. Classic. I suppose if you have a S2 or newer then the saltwater shouldn't be a problem as it's designed for open water swimming, presumably in the sea, right? Sand however, not so much!


macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 15, 2010
wow consider me shocked that this 3+ year post got bumped this morning....i think i've been on 2 cruises since then...and just got back from a week-long mexican vacation...all with my trust S3 AW.
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