I don't know the reason for taking a lap top, if this is about a security issue we have never had a problem with anything beng taken from our room. The safes are not large enough to accommodate one but I am sure if you kept it in a suit case under the bed it would be secured. We left the room with our safe opened by accident that had my wallet, money, jewelry and etc and it was not bothered. Should you take one? I really don't know. It is not something that is required.
Hi Suzanne, Raoul is correct, Tom often has a complete office set-up within minutes of arriving in his cabin. I usually bring my laptop, since I spend much of my in-cabin time working on mega-reviews for this site (Actually, CruiseReviews.com). I leave my computer on the desk at all times and it has never been a concern. Many ships now have in-cabin internet access so it would be quite inconvenient to continually disconnect and reconnect the cables to my laptop. I am sure I am not alone as in-cabin internet access (as well as shipwide wi-fi) is becoming the norm.
Suzanne, welcome to Cruise-Chat.com. I have been on lots of cruises with a ton of technology with me and never have had any problems at all. I usually travel with a notebook computer, printer, speakers, headsets, and on and on. I always leave my notebook connected when I can, so it is on, open and obvious. I never worry about it.
I would take it. I think the best Internet deal out there right now on the mass-market lines is on Royal Caribbean's Voyager and Radiance class ships. They offer a flat rate for unlimited in-cabin useage and it is a hard wire connection (not wi-fi) so you can use SKYPE to call your friends and neighbors. Most wi-fi access plans block voice over IP to save on band width useage.
If you are a heavy net user, this could be a major consideration.
Have a great cruise and let me know if you have any questions.