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Author: dleeklee

Joined: 3/31/2012
Posts: 6
Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2012

June 11, 2012

Will we need an electrical adapter for a curling iron on the Harmony and in the DonGiovoni Hotel in Prague?  This will be my first trip with GCT.

Author: lyn

Joined: 3/14/2010
Posts: 36
Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2004

June 11, 2012

Yes, you will need an adaptor on both the ship and the hotel.  The European adaptor has two round prongs on the end.  Be sure that your curling iron is a dual control for both 110 (US) and 220 (Europe) otherwise it may not work even with the adaptor.  I have been on 8 trips with GCT and my trusty Conair curling iron has worked every time.  Good luck and have fun.

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 495
Trips Taken: 15
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

June 11, 2012


What I've found to work best is a combination of a European 3 prong grounded  to US 3 prong grounded adapter and a short 3 prong extension cord. This gives you multiple US outlets with just 1 adapter plug. Also the 2 prong adapter is sometimes difficult to remove from a standard European 3 prong recessed outlet. If your battery charger has the transformer with the plug built in, many times it is too heavy and pulls the adapter out of the outlet or pulls out of the adapter. I used the following combination and it worked great.
Sorry about the large font, but I cut and pasted most of this from another document that I had done.

Monster Outlets To Go Powerstrip - This little 4 outlet, 3 prong, powerstrip gives you  great little power center for all the chargers, etc., in the cabin or hotel room, as well as a indicator/nite light, which alerts you if it is unplugged or the outlet does not have power. You need a plug adapter to adapt it to the ships outlets, such as the 
VCT VP 11B - Grounded Europe Adapter - USA to Europe Heavy Duty Adaptor Plug German Schuko. Both of these are sold by Amazon and you can search for better prices. This combination does not convert 220V  to 110V, but all of our chargers  and computers would work on both 110V and 220V. If you do need a transformer for some devices, you could plug the transformer in as well.
Do not attempt to plug a curling iron into a voltage adapter, as it will burn out most of them, but, if you do have a curling iron that works with both 110 and 220 you can plug it into the extension cord.
If any device has a 110/220 switch, make sure it is set to 220 before plugging it on or you will burn out the device. It would not hurt to have a small 2 prong adapter plug, just in case the hotel doen't have 3 prong outlets, but that would be very surprising.
Here are links to the Outlets to Go and the grounded 3 prong adapter. Look around for the best price.

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

June 12, 2012

I have never had trouble with plugging in a curling iron with a voltage converter attached to a plug adapter.....usually. That said, I used said combination on a trip to Peru. It worked fine for about the first week of the trip, then the curling iron stopped working. I thought that maybe the converter had not done its job and the curling iron had burned out or something. I did not throw it away though, and lo and behold, when I got home, the curling iron was working again!! Don't know what happened. (and yes, while on the trip, I had tried several different outlets with the curling iron, in case it was just something wrong with that one outlet). So, I do not know what the deal was on that. HOWEVER, using something with a motor (like a hair dryer) with a converter/adapter  sometimes seems to be "too much" or something. I did burn out a hair dryer in Kenya that way. And no, it didn't work when I got home either!! Luckily, most places have hair dryers furnished, probably for just that same reason. (Not in Kenya though. I was on a mission trip, and the hotel did not have any amenities at all!!) I am now in the process of replacing my appliances (hair dryer, curling iron, etc.) with 110/220 capability, and reminding myself to change it to the appropriate setting abroad and when I get back home!!  Happy travels!!

Author: ellenwade

Joined: 7/1/2012
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 3
Traveler Since: 2010

July 03, 2012

RE: Charging IPhones in Europe:

I have reviewed Apple support blogs to learn the answer to my question, but I am still unsure if I can charge my IPhone using the accompanying charger without using a converter.  I was told that the charger that comes with the IPhone has a built in "converter", and only needs a two prong adapter to work successfully.  But I don't see the 110/240 printed on the charger to reassure me!

   Someone else told me that the European voltage can be so "irregular" that a converter is recommended to avoid damage to the IPhone from a power surge. Can anyone give me a definitive answer?  Thanks for any guidance!   Ellen

Author: rwhansen

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 63
Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2010

July 04, 2012

Adding to what has been said previously, no mention has been made of surge protection.  Concerned that river boats may have power surges, I found the Simran SM-60 on for less than $26.  It has a universal three-outlet power strip with a thirteen inch cord that handles 110v-250v.  In addition, you need a plug converter for the outlet of your power source.

We returned recently from the Great Rivers cruise on the M/S Melody where this was used for the first time. At various times, I used all three power strip outlets at a time with dual voltage (110v/220v) camera battery, smartphone, and power toothbrush chargers, and curling iron.

The Simran SM-60 is one of few surge protection devices that I found that will handle both 110v and 220v.  It is light-weight and packaged nicely for travel. It is important to note that it does not preplace the need for a transformer if your device is not dual voltage. Also, the extent of surge protection is not specified in joules, but it provides overload protection and a reset button. More information can be found on Amazon, including user reviews.

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2007

July 04, 2012

The charger which comes with the iPhone does NOT have a voltage converter.  The charger is only to make the UBS connection to the power source, which is 110v.  If you plug in a socket adapter to the charging device without a voltage converter into a socket with 220v current, you will likely have very undesirable results.  Apple did thie for a reason; they want to sell you their international converter kit which contians socket adpaters for most places in the world, as well as a voltage converter.  we don'tg remember what the cost was, but it wasn't expensive.  Obviously, this can be used with ANY Apple device, computers, iPads, etc., with no problems.  If you purchase the Apple universal converter kit, you will not need your charger connection, as this kit comes with both connecting cord, UBS connection and transformer.  We recommend it, if you are taking your iPhone overseas.

For simple socket connectors, we recommend that you purchase a set of socket adapters.  You can purchase them at Radio Shack, any of the electronic stors, or even wait until you go the airport and get one at Brookstone, or any other of the concessions you'll find.  We use these adapters to plug our camera charges into the local sockets.  We don't need transformers for these, because they are dual volatage, as they all are.  We carry a hair dryer, however, we have found, with the exception of Africa, that hair dryers are provided, all using the local voltage.  that seems to be becoming the norm, but we still carry our own, which is a dual voltage model just in case.

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2007

July 04, 2012

 Just an afterthought to our previous post.  An adapter is only a device that allows you to plug a power cord with a plug of one configuration into a socket with another configuration.  It is NOT  transformer, which alters voltage. If the voltage coming out of the socket is NOT 110v, which it is not in many parts of the world, a simple socket adapter will only allow you to plug your power cord into the socket.  It will NOT change the voltage to what your device operates on.  You will also need a transformer to change the voltage to avoid b urning out your device.

Some universal adapters have the transformer built in.  Most do not, and are simple plug adapters.  We say this, because on recent travels, we have noticed sockets capable of taking either the standard American plug OR the European round plug.  Many people think that because they can plug their device into the socket it will work, disregarding the voltage which comes out of the socket, burining out their devices in the process.  When we last sailed on the River Aria, a ship with virtually the same configuration of the Harmony, we don't recall whether or not these dual sockets were used.  we really didn't pay much attention to that.  We seem to also recall that the voltage on the ship was also 110v, but you should check to be sure.  It will be in your trip information documents.

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 277
Trips Taken: 7
Traveler Since: 1999

July 04, 2012

The iPad USB (not UBS) power adapter, which is used for charging, can be used without a voltage converter in Europe. Although it very tiny and difficult to read, the information on the adapter indicates it works with 100-240V. According to several websites, the same is true for the iPhone.


Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2007

July 07, 2012

 After viewing Janice's post, we took out our trust magnifying glass, and by gosh, she's right!  The USB converter which comes with the iPhone does indeed indicate that it is a dual voltage mode, and can be used.  That said, then it appears that one would only need the plug adapter in order to use it when the voltage is between 110-240.

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