... Really it seems like it's just a device that makes the shields do something different than usual.
It's unclear if the cloaking device was connected in any way to the Romulans shields. Years back though, I did propose that what a cloak was was basically a "inside out" shield, instead of keeping certain energy's out, it keep them inside the shield "bubble."
That why it was a innovation when the klingon figure how to fire torpedoes without dropping the cloak.
Also why in Generation when the BoP started to cloak, it's regular shields went down.
A nuclear aircraft carrier tracks the weather ahead, but not because her propulsion depends on it.
Knowing which direction the wind is coming from does assist in the launching of aircraft.