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Advice on using European electrical outlets on Eurodam


dmg1956
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This question is specifically for all you technical types. My wife (She Who Must Be Obeyed) and I are doing an Alaskan cruise in 2018 on Eurodam. We have a Neptune Suite and I believe the electrical outlets (in all cabins probably) are far and few between and some or one at least that is poorly placed. I also understand that there is at least one European style outlet. My wife believes that we cannot use our converter/adapter in the European outlet in order to charge or use a device that already operates on the American system. Is she right? Or can we use the European outlet. In other words, can we use the outlet even though the current to the outlet is already American type current? Obviously I'm completely in the woods since I can't even identify what American current is called. Any help will be greatly appreciated and thanks.

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You can use the European outlet with an adaptor that accepts American style plugs. But you still need to make sure that whatever you plug in has a built-in voltage converter. The chargers for most phones, tablets and laptops do have the converter built in to their power supply. Some things like curling irons and electric toothbrushes might not have the converter. I'm sure more experienced techies can add more to this or correct me. Enjoy your cruise. I have heard that the Neptune suites have more outlets and in better positions now. Maybe someone else can chime in on this as well.

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I will try a response. Key difference is voltage. North American is 110, european is 220. Most electronic devices that we use such as phones and camera chargers are autosensing so they will automatically adapt to the input voltage. Consequently they really only need a plug adaptor. However if you have a converter that should be fine. There is also a difference in frequency 50 hz here and 60 hz in Europe. Mostly this doesn't matter.

Cautions - check what you are going to plug in to confirm it is dual voltage if you are not using a converter. If using a converter for a heavy current device (eg something that heats) make sure it is within the capacity of the convertor (amps). Most of these are banned on cruise ships anyway due to the fire risk.

 

Sent from my LG-H812 using Forums mobile app

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You can use the European outlet with an adaptor that accepts American style plugs. But you still need to make sure that whatever you plug in has a built-in voltage converter. The chargers for most phones, tablets and laptops do have the converter built in to their power supply. Some things like curling irons and electric toothbrushes might not have the converter. I'm sure more experienced techies can add more to this or correct me. Enjoy your cruise. I have heard that the Neptune suites have more outlets and in better positions now. Maybe someone else can chime in on this as well.

Great response and very informative. Thanks so much.

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As the previous poster noted, it is the voltage, not the current, that is different. Look at all the devices you wish to use on the ship. On the power "brick" on the cord (if there is one), or somewhere on the device, there should be some fine print (magnifying glass helps here, especially on Apple charging cubes). If the fine print says "Input 100-240vac", then you can plug this into the European outlet with simply a plug adapter (one that changes the shape and size of the "prongs" on the plug. If it does not say this, or says "120vac only", then it must be plugged into the US outlet. As noted, most electronics these days (laptops, phones, cameras, tablets, kindles, etc) will have the "100-240vac" "dual voltage" indication, since the power brick or cube converts whatever power is incoming to 5 vdc. Some hair dryers and like high wattage appliances are also "dual voltage" these days.

 

Another option for using the 240v European outlet is to purchase a voltage converter, but be careful to buy one that matches the power needed. For an 1800 watt hair dryer, you would need an 1800 watt, or higher, voltage converter. These tend to be expensive (especially compared to a simple plug adapter), so its not my first recommendation.

 

If you have lots of electronics to charge, get a simple multi-USB charging hub (2-8 USB ports), without any power outlets, and with a two prong plug, and you can plug this into either the US or European outlet.

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I will try a response. Key difference is voltage. North American is 110, european is 220. Most electronic devices that we use such as phones and camera chargers are autosensing so they will automatically adapt to the input voltage. Consequently they really only need a plug adaptor. However if you have a converter that should be fine. There is also a difference in frequency 50 hz here and 60 hz in Europe. Mostly this doesn't matter.

Cautions - check what you are going to plug in to confirm it is dual voltage if you are not using a converter. If using a converter for a heavy current device (eg something that heats) make sure it is within the capacity of the convertor (amps). Most of these are banned on cruise ships anyway due to the fire risk.

 

Sent from my LG-H812 using Forums mobile app

This information is wonderful. Thank you so much.

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Just spent 16 days on Eurodam in a Neptune Suite. I don't know all your needs, but there were a number of US plugs. One US and one European by each side of the bed, if you are using CPAP, for example, plus two USB connections.

 

4 US plugs (plus one European plug) at one end of the couch with some shelf space. This is where had our chargers for our electronics, with no problems.

 

One US, and one European in the dressing room area, and one US, for shavers and similar, in the bathroom.

 

IIRC, there was one US and one European on the long counter under the window.

 

This was plenty of plugs for us. We didn't bring our European adapters. Didn't think we would need them, and we didn't.

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Just about every electronic device made in the last 20 years will work on any voltage from 100 to 240. To use all of the outlets, available, lust bring a European round prong to US blade adapter, costing maybe $5 in Best Buy or online. Don;t bring a hair dryer, each cabin has one that works on 220 volts. And you are not allowed to use immersion heaters, hot plates, etc anyway so don;t bring them. I plug my CPAP machine, (with a long extension cord) into the 220 volt outlet at the desk, with a plug adapter, and I plug my phone and laptop chargers into the 115 volt outlets. But, it really doesn't make any difference, with the proper plug adapters (not converters) you can use all 4 plugs at the desk.

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When the televisions and DVD players were removed from the desk on the Nieuw Amsterdam (sister ship to the Eurodam), two US outlets under the desktop became available. Look below the tray with rails. A flashlight might be needed to see them.

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We stayed in a Signature Suite on Noordam, and it had a european and american outlet by the desk and another set by the vanity.

 

I think there is one shaver outlet in the bathroom, but it's hard to reach, so we didn't use it.

 

We bought a Kindle International charger set, and a Ipad international charger set.

 

I also have a olympus European plug that works w/ my camera charger.

 

This worked well for us, because I had the electric toothbrush plugged in all the time, and we alternated between the Kindle (one international and one american) and the iPad went into the European outlet.

 

No surge suppressors allowed, due to fire hazard.

 

You can convert from 220 down to 110, but not 110 to 220. We also have a adapter plug converter set, but didn't need that except for our New Zealand Hotel.

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We stayed in a Signature Suite on Noordam, and it had a european and american outlet by the desk and another set by the vanity.

 

I think there is one shaver outlet in the bathroom, but it's hard to reach, so we didn't use it.

 

You can convert from 220 down to 110, but not 110 to 220. We also have a adapter plug converter set, but didn't need that except for our New Zealand Hotel.

 

I used the shaver outlet on the bathroom light fixture one time and failed to see the writing (very difficult to see being light gold) and small switch which indicated the voltage setting. RESULT - burned out my shaver!

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What is false in the statement about surge protectors being disallowed due to being a fire hazard? This is a well documented danger and comes from a USCG Safety Notice.
I believed what you said in a past post ( https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=42105914&highlight=battery+effect#post42105914)

 

The reason surge protectors are not allowed is that ship's power systems are different than shore power systems that the surge protectors are designed for. On land, one of the "legs" of the power system (one of the flat pins that carry current) is grounded to the ground pin (round one needed to protect you from electric shock) at your circuit breaker panel. Ships keep these two wires separate, so that stray current does not flow through the "ground" which is the ship's hull. These stray currents will create a mild battery effect in sea water, causing corrosion to the hull. Therefore, there are monitoring and alarm circuits onboard that measure the amount of current flowing in the hull, and surge protectors can set off these alarms.

Edited by catl331
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In a past post of yours, you said that the reason they were not allowed was that the stray currents caused a mild "battery effect" with ocean water, which caused hull corrosion.

 

No, that is why a ship has a "floating ground", where the ground and neutral are separate, unlike on shore. Due to this separation, if a ground fault (bad insulation on a motor, light fixture filled with water, etc) happens somewhere on the ship, a monitoring circuit alerts the engineers to the fault, and they can correct it. If a ship was wired like your house, you could have a ground on the neutral leg, and never know it, and this would cause corrosion. The problem with surge protectors is that this small current to ground that can exist on a ship, can cause the semi-conductors to experience "reverse voltage", where the ground voltage is higher than either of the power legs, and these semi-conductors are not designed to experience reverse voltage. This reverse voltage can cause the semi-conductors to fail in "thermal runaway" which is overheating of the semi-conductor, even at low currents (that would not affect wiring or trip a breaker), and this thermal runaway can cause the surge protector, which is plastic, to catch fire.

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  • 1 year later...
On ‎12‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 8:09 AM, knittinggirl said:

My surge suppressor stays in my suitcase. But I need it on the pre and post hotel.

More cruise lines are now seizing surge protectors (found in either carry-on or checked luggage) so that they cannot possibly be used aboard their ships.  In theory, they will be returned before you leave the vessel.

 

I would also not agree with the comment that just about all electric/electronic devices sold in North America are "duel voltage."  There are still plenty of lower cost hair dryers, flat irons, etc. that are only rated for 110-120 volts.   One should ALWAYS check the voltage of each device before plugging it in a European style 220-240 Volt receptacle (with use of an adaptor).  The voltage information will always be on the device (sometimes on the plug and other times on the actual device).  If it says something like "110 - 240 VAC" then you can use it with an adaptor in the European receptacles.   If it is not rated for 220-240 and you attach it to a European receptacle...something very nasty is going to happen :(.

 

Hank

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19 hours ago, Hlitner said:

More cruise lines are now seizing surge protectors (found in either carry-on or checked luggage) so that they cannot possibly be used aboard their ships.  In theory, they will be returned before you leave the vessel.

 

I would also not agree with the comment that just about all electric/electronic devices sold in North America are "duel voltage."  There are still plenty of lower cost hair dryers, flat irons, etc. that are only rated for 110-120 volts.   One should ALWAYS check the voltage of each device before plugging it in a European style 220-240 Volt receptacle (with use of an adaptor).  The voltage information will always be on the device (sometimes on the plug and other times on the actual device).  If it says something like "110 - 240 VAC" then you can use it with an adaptor in the European receptacles.   If it is not rated for 220-240 and you attach it to a European receptacle...something very nasty is going to happen :(.

 

Hank

I was referring to strictly electronic devices, which state they will work on any voltage from 100 volts to 240 volts.   Even CPAP machines that include humidifiers work on 100 to 240 volts.  Naturally items like irons, single voltage hair dryers, and other heating devices will only work on its specified voltage.  But items like that are not allowed on cruise ships, except hair dryers, which cruise lines always provide specifically to prevent people plugging an 1800 watt hairdryer into the 120 volt outlet in the bathroom or at the desk, and blowing the breaker.   The cruise line provided hair dryers all are 240 volt models with the European style plug.

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Check each device!  This is one of those instances where trusting the internet is probably OK, unless it isn't... then you might literally be toast.  For the "cost" of 20 seconds just check the device (or the manual) and don't just wing it.

For example, one of my name brand digital cameras (either Panasonic or Sony, can't remember which) came with a charger that does NOT say 110-220 V input, just 110 V.  Had I just assumed that it was OK I would have been out a camera battery and charger and might have also done additional damage beyond that too.

 

Added in edit:

My iphone charger, NiMH battery charger, and macbook charger were all rated 110-220V and worked fine using just an adapter (no V converter)

Edited by jb008
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