Are Walkie Talkies Allowed on Cruise Ships? Best Options for Staying Connected

Walkie Talkies on Cruise Ships: It can be wonderful to go on a cruise with your family or a big group of friends, but it can be difficult to stay in contact with them or even locate them on board. Given the high cost of cruise ship Wi-Fi and the possible enormous expense of using your cell phone while on board, you may be considering other possibilities, such as two-way radios or walkie-talkies, as they are more commonly known. Now let’s get to the main query: are walkie-talkies compatible with cruise ships?

In a nutshell, walkie-talkies are functional on cruise ships. But be aware that one significant cruise carrier no longer permits their use on board. Let’s examine in-depth the reasons why you ought to think about bringing walkie talkies on your upcoming cruise, but more on that later.

Are Cruise Ships Allowed to Use Walkie-Talkies?

Many cruise lines generally allow passengers to bring and use walkie-talkies on board. Major cruise lines do not mention walkie-talkies among its prohibited items, including Carnival, Disney Cruise Line, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. Nevertheless, NCL forbids them.

It’s crucial to review the exact policies of the cruise line you’re using because of this.

Not the kind that transmits beyond the cruise liner, but FRS walkie-talkies only.

Certain cruise lines may impose limitations on power and frequency to prevent passengers’ devices from interfering with ship operations, while others may be more forgiving.

Nevertheless, even in situations where walkie-talkies are allowed, travelers should remain aware of their surroundings. Utilizing them late at night or in peaceful places may disturb other visitors.

Additionally, cruise ships are increasingly providing onboard wifi, applications, and services that let guests chat one another via smartphones—even though walkie-talkies might still be useful.

Also, when docked at a port, you should refrain from utilizing walkie-talkies. It might be forbidden to inadvertently listen in on a local security or safety frequency in that nation.

Is It Necessary to Pack Walkie-Talkies on a Cruise?

MS Sea Diamond
(Credit: History wiki)

Walkie-talkies could be your best option if you and your group are planning to engage in different activities separately and are reluctant to spend money on onboard Wi-Fi.

Even if contemporary messaging programs like WhatsApp and Messenger provide smooth communication, they rely on Wi-Fi, which can be expensive while on a cruise.

Travelers may frequently discover that the cost of a whole travel package is high.

Yes, certain cruise lines allow users to access their applications, which may have chat capabilities. There is a catch, though. They may not always be free and occasionally ineffective, needing several log-ins to check for messages.

Some travelers adopt the amusing but less useful tactic of placing post-it notes in their accommodations. Although attractive, this approach necessitates frequent trips to the cabin, which may not be optimal.

Walkie-talkies excel in situations like this. They allow you to communicate in real time without requiring the Internet or going back to your room.

But, and this is a big “but,” use them with caution at all times. Nobody likes to have their peace and quiet shattered by loud walkie-talkie conversation. Turn down the volume to make sure you’re not that person.

Even better, get an earpiece-equipped walkietalkie so you may communicate without broadcasting your conversation to everyone nearby.

Can You Use Walkie-Talkies Inside Cruise Ship Cabins?

The strength and range of the walkie-talkies determine how useful they are inside cruise ship cabins. Stronger walkie-talkies have a higher chance of penetrating the ship’s thick metal floors and walls than weaker models.

Even the greatest gadgets, though, can experience glitches. The numerous layers and compartments built into cruise ships can occasionally interfere with radio transmissions.

The size and design of the cruise ship should also be taken into account. Signal transmission may be more difficult on larger, multi-deck ships, particularly when attempting to communicate between opposite ends of the ship.

On the other hand, the cabin’s location is also important. For example, you may discover that the walkietalkie works slightly better if your cabin is outside and has a balcony because there are fewer obstructions between you and the open sea or the rest of the ship.

Although they can provide some communication within cruise ship cabins, walkie-talkies are not infallible.

As soon as you’re on board, always test your gadget to see how well it works, and if not, think about using a different communication technique.

Will The Entire Ship Be Covered by the Walkie-Talkies’ Range?

(Credit: iStock)

Most devices list their maximum range under perfect circumstances, such as an unobstructed line of sight.

On a cruise ship, however, there may be many factors that limit this range. The construction of the ship, multiple compartments, and thick metal walls can all interfere with signals, reducing their effective range.

The ship’s dimensions and design also have an impact. The majority of common walkie-talkies could work well on smaller ships. But covering the entire ship is more difficult as they get bigger and more intricately designed.

It involves not only measuring distance, but also maneuvering via the ship’s width, height, and other internal obstacles.

Furthermore, outside variables such as the state of the weather and other electronic equipment on board can affect how well the walkie-talkie works.

To put it simply, a walkie-talkie may be ideal when you’re on the top deck and have a clear view, but as you go more into the ship or near the far end, it may become less useful.

Additionally, if you’re on different decks and far apart on a cruise, there’s a greater likelihood that your FRS radios won’t function because you can only use them.

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Do Employees on Cruise Ships Use Two-Way Radios?

Without a doubt, walkie-talkies, also known as two-way radios, are the primary means of communication for cruise ship crew members.

It is essential to any journey running smoothly.

While walkie-talkies are permitted for personal use by passengers, it’s important to remember that not all gadgets are acceptable. Some are considered inappropriate for cruising because they don’t adhere to certain safety regulations.

The top walkie-talkies from Family Radio Service (FRS)

FRS walkie-talkies don’t interfere with emergency services because they operate on a lower frequency wavelength. They are also less expensive than GMRS walkie-talkies due to their lower power. That does not exclude the existence of more costly alternatives that can function farther apart.

The walkie-talkies that can transmit through solid objects indoors are the ideal for cruise trips. These walkie-talkies are classified as UHF, or Ultra High Frequency.

These are great for asking people what they’re up to or when supper is when you’re out and about in the halls and corridors (i.e., more open spaces rather than within your cabin), even though they won’t always function on a cruise ship.

Topsung M880 FRS Walkie-Talkie

Topsung M880 FRS Walkie-Talkie

With the Topsung M880 GRS Walkie-Talkies, communication is possible on 22 distinct channels. Additionally, they feature a power-saving feature that can come in handy if you spend most of your day traveling. Furthermore, a pair of them costs just $45, or about $11.25, on Amazon.

We utilized them all over the ship, according to a September 1, 2022, Ludachrisnc review on Amazon. Carnival Sunshine. They are employed everywhere but the casino, which is to be anticipated.

The range’s dependence on the terrain is its main drawback. Although there have been complaints about problems utilizing them on cruise ships, there is always a chance of interference because of the quantity of metal on a cruise ship.

Retevis RT22 Walkie-Talkies

Retevis RT22 Walkie-Talkies

At roughly $60, the Retevis RT22 Walkie-Talkies are marginally more costly than the Topsung M880 FRS four-pack. Although they have fewer channels available, a lot of testimonials highlight how helpful they were on cruise ships.

However, just like with the Topsung walkie-talkies, chances are they won’t function if you’re inside your cabin. If you buy them and find it difficult to get through to your children or other passengers on the ship, consider going to the closest elevator bank, like Melissa W recommended on Amazon:

“They performed fairly well. However, occasionally the signal failed to reach when in the room. However, I found it much easier to locate my kids near the elevators when I went looking for them at night. It was worth it, lol.”

MOICO Walkie-Talkies

MOICO Walkie-Talkies

The MOICO Walkie-Talkies’ shorter range than other sets makes them unsuitable for people looking to buy high-end walkie-talkies.

These are ideal for families that want their kids to be in constant sight, such as when they’re enjoying a kid-free beverage at the splash pad area on the other end of the lido deck.

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If a person goes to a different deck, they probably won’t work, according to GLTHW from Amazon: “Didn’t work on our cruise. This is what our kids were given. With just one deck up, we lost contact with our children.”

Still, for $40, they represent a good value for parents of small children who won’t stray too far.

NOAA Two-Way Radios Walkie-Talkies

NOAA Two-Way Radios Walkie-Talkies

The NOAA 2 Way Radios Walkie-Talkies come with an earpiece, which is helpful so you can keep your conversations more private and not disturb those around you when trying to reach a family member, even though it is more expensive than some of the other options on this list. Although it’s not as good as AirPods or other high-end earphones, the earpiece is still a useful function.

Additionally, you won’t have to worry about people fighting over who gets to keep the device because each one has a different color.

However, take note that there have been some unfavorable reviews regarding charging because there is just one charging cable included and each device takes some time to fully charge.

Pxton Rechargeable Wireless Headphones

Pxton Rechargeable Wireless Headphones

Another affordable choice are the pxton Rechargeable Walkie-Talkies, which retail for $29 just. The wrap-around earpieces, which prevent them from falling out of your ear as easily, are what set these apart. Furthermore, every walkie-talkie has a base of its own, which simplifies charging.

Naturally, you should bear in mind that your cabin’s outlets will be few—some having just one or two regular American plugs—unless you’re traveling on a more recent cruise ship!

All things considered, these walkie-talkies’ quality isn’t as low as it could be for a lower price. They also have a respectable range.

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