Do Walkie Talkies Work on Cruise Ships? Here’s What You Need to Know

do walkie talkies work on cruise ships

Are you looking for a way to stay in contact with your family or travel companion on your cruise? Walkie-talkies can be a convenient way to communicate with your family or friends while onboard a cruise ship. However, their effectiveness can be limited due to the ship’s large size and steel construction.

Therefore, the question arises: do walkie-talkies work on cruise ships? According to several sources, the answer is yes, but with some limitations.

Before rushing out to buy a set of walkie-talkies for your next cruise, it is vital to consider the limitations and do your research to find the best option for your needs.

This article will provide a comprehensive overview of the topic, including the factors that can affect the effectiveness of walkie-talkies on cruise ships, the types of walkie-talkies that work best, and tips for using them effectively.

Walkie Talkies and Cruise Ships: An Overview

Walkie-talkies are a popular communication option for people traveling on cruise ships. They are portable, easy to use, and can help travelers stay in touch with their friends and family members while on board.

However, it’s important to note that not all walkie-talkies are created equal. Some models may not work well on cruise ships due to interference from the ship’s metal structure or other electronic devices on board (which are usually prohibited). Therefore, choosing the right type of walkie-talkie for use on a cruise ship is essential.

Cruise ships are essentially floating cities and communication can be challenging due to the sheer size of the ship and the number of passengers on board. Walkie-talkies can help overcome this challenge by allowing travelers to communicate with each other in real time.

Some cruise lines have even begun to offer their own walkie-talkie rental services for passengers.

These devices are specifically designed to work on the ship and can be a convenient option for those who don’t want to bring their own.

How do walkie talkies work on cruise ships?

Walkie talkies are handheld, portable radios that use radio waves to communicate with each other. They are also known as two-way radios. Walkie talkies work by transmitting and receiving radio signals over a specific frequency range.

The radio waves travel through the air and are picked up by the receiver of the other walkie-talkie. This allows two people to communicate with each other without the need for a phone or internet connection.

Features and Specifications

Walkie-talkies come with various features and specifications that can vary depending on the model. Some shared features include a range of up to several miles, multiple channels, and hands-free operation.

Walkie talkies can also come with different power levels, affecting the range and battery life. Some models may also have additional features such as weather alerts, built-in flashlights, lcd screen, and emergency channels – which can be very useful at sea during rough seas!

Types: FRS, GMRS, UHF

Different types of walkie-talkies are available, each with its own frequency range and specifications. The most common types are FRS, GMRS, and UHF. FRS radios operate on the

Family Radio Service frequency range and are designed for short-range communication. They are typically less expensive and do not require a license to operate.

UHF radios operate on the Ultra High-Frequency range and are designed for longer-range communication. They are more expensive and require a license to operate.

GMRS radios operate on both the FRS and GMRS frequency ranges and offer a more extended range than FRS radios. They also require a license to operate on the GMRS frequency range.

Best Walkie Talkies For Cruise Ships

According to my search results, the best walkie-talkies for cruise ships are the

Cruise Ship Walkie Talkies
#1 Retevis RT22

I recently got my hands on the Retevis RT 22 walkie-talkie, and I gotta say, it’s pretty nifty! I loved how it’s small and lightweight, making it super easy to carry around during our cruise trip. And the sound quality is seriously impressive! Even in the middle of the noise, it felt like my friend was just talking right into my ear.

The battery life was solid too. We used it for hours, and it didn’t run out on us. The hands-free feature was a game-changer when we needed our hands free for other tasks.

And the best part is, it’s a portable FRS two-way radio, so you don’t need a license to use it. Imagine having a bunch of your friends or family on the same cruise with their RT22s, staying connected and having a blast together. It’s like having your private communication network on the ship!

#2 Topsung Long Range Walkie TalkiesĀ 

These Topsung are great walkie talkies with a longer range. They are equipped with advanced features like Smart control functions, 22 channels, and NOAA weather scanning. They come pre-configured for easy setup and have a rechargeable 4500mAh battery with turbo charging.

Perfect for team communication during a cruise adventure or onshore excursion. A convenient and practical addition to your toolkit.

Other highly rated cruise Walkie-Talkies:

  • Cobra MR HH350W FLT
  • Topsung M880 FRS
  • Retevis H-777
  • Arcshell Rechargeable
  • Midland GXT1000VP4
  • Motorola Talkabout T465
  • Cobra CXT195

The Retevis RT 22 is the most recommended model due to its good build quality, range, ease of use, and lightweight design. It comes in a pack of 2 or 6, making it ideal for large groups to stay in touch wherever on the cruise ship. These are relatively inexpensive for the peace of mind you get in return (Any where from $35-$99)

Usage of Walkie Talkies on Cruise Ships

When it comes to staying in touch with your group while on a cruise ship, walkie-talkies can be a convenient option. However, using them on board has certain benefits, limitations, and challenges.

Benefits

Walkie-talkies can be a cost-effective way to communicate with your group while on a cruise ship. They allow you to stay in touch without having to rely on the ship’s communication systems or pay for expensive Wi-Fi packages.

In addition, walkie-talkies can be especially useful for families with children or groups with varying interests. They allow members to split up and explore different areas of the ship while still being able to communicate with each other.

Limitations

One of the main limitations of using walkie-talkies on a cruise ship is the potential for interference and static. The large steel structure of the ship can obstruct the signal strength, especially when used indoors.

This can make it difficult to communicate effectively, especially if you are on different levels or in different areas of the ship.

Another limitation is the potential for privacy concerns. While most walkie-talkies come with privacy codes, there is still a risk that other passengers or even crew members could listen in on your conversations. This is especially true if you are using an open channel.

Challenges

Using walkie-talkies on a cruise ship can also present some challenges. Some cruise lines have restrictions on the use of walkie-talkies, and they may not be allowed to be used in certain areas of the ship. It’s important to check with your cruise line before bringing them on board.

In addition, walkie-talkies can be challenging to use on open decks or in areas with a lot of obstacles. The signal strength can be weakened by other obstructions, such as walls or large objects, which can make it difficult to communicate effectively.

Range and Signal Strength on Cruise Ships

Factors Affecting Range

The range of walkie-talkies on a cruise ship can be affected by various factors. One of the most significant factors is the presence of obstructions such as walls, doors, and even other passengers.

The steel and concrete construction of the ship can also interfere with the signal and limit the range of the walkie-talkie. The power output of the device and the frequency it operates on can also affect the range.

Another factor that can impact the range is the antenna used. Some walkie-talkies come with a built-in antenna, while others allow for the use of an external antenna. External antennas can improve the range of the device by providing a stronger signal.

However, it’s important to note that the use of external antennas may be restricted on some cruise ships.

Improving Signal Strength

To improve the signal strength of walkie-talkies on a cruise ship, a few things can be done. First, it’s essential to choose a walkie-talkie that operates on a frequency that is appropriate for the ship’s environment.

Ultra-high frequencies (UHF) are better suited for indoor environments, while very high frequencies (VHF) are better suited for outdoor environments.

Another way to improve signal strength is to choose a walkie-talkie with a long-range. Some devices claim to have a range of up to 20 miles, but it’s important to note that this is under ideal conditions and may not be achievable on a cruise ship.

Walkie-talkies with a range of 2-3 miles are more realistic for use on a cruise ship.

Finally, it’s important to position the walkie-talkie’s antenna properly. The antenna should be extended fully and held upright for the best signal strength. Additionally, it’s important to avoid obstructions as much as possible to improve the range of the device.

Specific Cruise Lines and Their Policies

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean allows passengers to bring walkie-talkies on board. However, the devices must be used in accordance with the ship’s rules and regulations. The cruise line recommends using FRS (Family Radio Service) walkie-talkies with a maximum power output of 2 watts.

Passengers should also tune their devices to channel 15 to avoid interfering with the ship’s communication systems.

NCL

*Note: As of July 2023- NCL updated its policy on banned items and now prohibits walkie-talkies.

NCL also permits walkie-talkies on board, but they must comply with the cruise line’s guidelines. The devices should be FRS or GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) walkie-talkies with a maximum output power of 2 watts.

Passengers should tune their devices to channel 8 to avoid interference with the ship’s communication systems.

Carnival

Carnival allows passengers to bring walkie-talkies on board, but they must be used responsibly. The cruise line recommends using FRS or GMRS walkie-talkies with a maximum output power of 2 watts.

Passengers should tune their devices to channel 3 to avoid interfering with the ship’s communication systems.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line permits passengers to bring walkie-talkies on board. However, the devices must comply with the cruise line’s guidelines. The recommended walkie-talkies are FRS or GMRS devices with a maximum output power of 2 watts.

Passengers should tune their devices to channel 10 to avoid interfering with the ship’s communication systems.

Princess

Princess allows passengers to bring walkie-talkies on board, but they must be used responsibly. The cruise line recommends using FRS or GMRS walkie-talkies with a maximum output power of 2 watts.

Passengers should tune their devices to channel 15 to avoid interfering with the ship’s communication systems.

It is important to note that while these guidelines are generally followed by the cruise lines, they are subject to change. It is recommended that passengers check with their respective cruise line before bringing walkie-talkies on board.

Legal Considerations and Regulations

When it comes to using walkie-talkies on a cruise ship, there are certain legal considerations and regulations that must be taken into account.

These regulations vary depending on the country you are in, as well as the type of walkie-talkie you are using. In this section, we will cover the legal considerations and regulations for using walkie-talkies on a cruise ship in the US, Europe, and the UK.

In the US

In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates the use of two-way radios, including walkie-talkies.

The FCC has designated certain frequencies for use by the general public, known as the Family Radio Service (FRS) and the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS). Walkie-talkies that operate on these frequencies do not require a license to use.

However, if you plan on using a walkie-talkie that operates on a different frequency, such as the Private Mobile Radio 446 (PMR446) used in Europe, you may need a license to operate it legally in the US. It is important to check the regulations before using a walkie-talkie on a cruise ship in the US.

In Europe

In Europe, walkie-talkies are regulated by the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT).

The CEPT has designated certain frequencies for use by the general public, including the PMR446 frequency. Walkie-talkies that operate on these frequencies do not require a license to use.

However, it is important to note that the regulations regarding the use of walkie-talkies on a cruise ship may vary depending on the country you are in.

Some countries may have stricter regulations than others, so it is important to check the regulations before using a walkie-talkie on a cruise ship in Europe.

In the UK

In the UK, walkie-talkies are regulated by the Office of Communications (Ofcom). The Ofcom has designated certain frequencies for use by the general public, including the PMR446 frequency. Walkie-talkies that operate on these frequencies do not require a license to use.

It is essential to note that the regulations regarding using walkie-talkies on a cruise ship may vary depending on the cruise line you are traveling with.

Some cruise lines may have stricter regulations than others, so checking with your cruise line before using a walkie-talkie on a cruise ship in the UK is essential.

Alternatives to Walkie Talkies on Cruise Ships

Using a Cell Phone

One alternative to using walkie talkies on a cruise ship is to use a phone. Most cruise ships have cellular service available, but it can be expensive.

To avoid high fees, passengers can use airplane mode on their phones and connect to the ship’s Wi-Fi network.

Once connected, they can use messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or iMessage to stay in touch with their group.

It is important to note that the ship’s Wi-Fi network may not be reliable or fast enough for voice calls. Additionally, some cruise lines may block certain apps or services on their network, so passengers should check with their cruise line before relying on this method.

Leveraging Wi-Fi

Another alternative is to use the ship’s Wi-Fi network to make voice calls. Many cruise lines offer Wi-Fi calling as an option, which allows passengers to make phone calls over the ship’s network instead of using cellular service. This can be a cost-effective option, especially for international travelers.

However, it is important to note that the ship’s Wi-Fi network may not be strong enough for voice calls, especially during peak usage times. Additionally, some cruise lines may charge extra for Wi-Fi calling or limit the number of minutes available.

Practical Tips for Using Walkie Talkies on Cruise Ships

Choosing the Right Model

When it comes to choosing the right walkie talkie for use on a cruise ship, there are a few things to consider.

  1. First, consider the size of the device. A smaller, more compact model can be easier to carry around and won’t take up too much space in your luggage.
  2. Second, consider the power output. A higher power output can help ensure that your signal reaches other group members, especially if you’re communicating from different parts of the ship.
  3. Third, consider the cost. While some models can be expensive, plenty of affordable options are available.

Battery Life and Power Output

Battery life is an important consideration when using walkie talkies on a cruise ship. Look for models with rechargeable batteries that can last for several hours at a time.

You’ll also want to consider the power output of the device. A higher power output can help ensure that your signal reaches other group members, especially if you’re communicating from different parts of the ship.

Onshore Excursions

If you plan to use your walkie talkies onshore during excursions, make sure to check the local laws and regulations regarding two-way radios.

Some countries may restrict the use of certain frequencies, and you don’t want to run afoul of the law. Additionally, make sure to bring extra batteries or a charging cable with you, as you may not have access to an outlet while onshore.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are walkie talkies allowed on cruise ships?

A: Most cruise lines allow passengers to bring walkie talkies on board, but it is important to check with the specific cruise line before packing them.

Some cruise lines may have restrictions on the type of walkie talkies that can be used on board, or may require them to be registered with the ship’s security team.

Q: How well do walkie talkies work on a cruise?

A: The effectiveness of walkie talkies on a cruise ship can be limited by the ship’s structure, so it is important to choose a model with a long range and good signal strength.

Walkie talkies can be a practical solution for staying in touch with friends and family on a cruise ship, but there are limitations to these devices.

Q: Can you use walkie talkies on Royal Caribbean ships?

A: Yes, passengers are allowed to use walkie talkies on Royal Caribbean ships, but it is important to check with the specific cruise line for any restrictions or requirements.

Q: What is the range of Retevis RT22 Walkie Talkies on a cruise ship?

A: The range of Retevis RT22 Walkie Talkies on a cruise ship can vary depending on the ship’s structure and other factors, but they have a range of up to 4 kilometers in open areas.

It is important to keep in mind that the range may be shorter on a cruise ship due to its metal structure.

Q: Is it possible to text each other on a cruise ship?

A: Yes, it is possible to text each other on a cruise ship using the ship’s Wi-Fi or cellular network.

However, this may incur additional charges, and the connection quality may vary depending on the ship’s location and other factors. It is important to check with the specific cruise line for more information on texting options.

Q: Can you use walkie-talkies on Carnival Cruise?

Carnival Cruise Line allows guests to bring walkie-talkies onboard for personal use. However, there are certain guidelines and restrictions to follow:

  1. Frequency: Walkie-talkies used on the ship should operate on Family Radio Service (FRS) frequencies. These are generally lower power and won’t interfere with the ship’s communication systems.
  2. Channels: Guests are encouraged to use specific channels to avoid interference with other guests using walkie-talkies.
  3. Interference: Walkie-talkies should not interfere with the ship’s communication systems or other guests’ electronic devices.
  4. Courtesy: Use the walkie-talkies with courtesy, keeping the volume at an appropriate level and avoiding any disruptive behavior.

Please note that policies can change, so checking with Carnival Cruise Line directly or reviewing the most recent guidelines on their website or in the pre-cruise documentation before bringing walkie-talkies onboard is essential.

Final Thoughts

It is possible for travel companions to use walkie-talkies on a cruise ship, but there are limitations to their effectiveness. The ship’s walls are made of steel, metal, and concrete, which can interfere with the signal and make it challenging to communicate with others.

Passengers who want to use walkie-talkies should consider purchasing models with a higher wattage for maximum range and reception. They should also avoid using external mounting antennas, which are prohibited by most cruise lines.

It is important to note that walkie-talkies are not the best way or only option for staying in touch on a cruise ship. Passengers can also use the ship’s intercom system, cell phones, or messaging apps that work over Wi-Fi.

Ultimately, the decision to use walkie-talkies on a cruise ship depends on the individual’s needs and preferences. While they can be a practical solution for staying in touch with friends and family, passengers should be aware of their limitations and consider other options as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *