Do you have an upcoming holiday or vacation on a cruise ship? Are you planning this sea cruise with a group, families or travel buddies? You are probably thinking of how to stay connected with your family or friends while on the cruise. You just may be looking for the cheapest and most effective way to go about this.
Before you hastily decide on what means of communication to decide, you should go through this review of the best walkie talkies for a cruise to see how walkies talkies can be the solution to your communication problem and the factors to consider to choose the best kind of radios for both kids and adults on the trip.
Table of Contents
- 0.1 Consideration for Choosing Walkie Talkies for Cruise
- 1 15 Best Walkie Talkies for Cruise
- 1.1 1. Arcshell Rechargeable Two-Way Radios
- 1.2 2. Nestling 888S Radios
- 1.3 3. Standard Horizon HX210 two way radio
- 1.4 4. Midland GXT1000VP4 Two-Way Radios
- 1.5 5. Midland LXT600VP3
- 1.6 6. FLOUREON Radios, 4 Pack
- 1.7 7. Motorola T100 Walkabout Radio
- 1.8 8. Greaval Rechargeable Radios
- 1.9 9. Retevis H-777 Two-Way Radios
- 1.10 10. Retevis RT22
- 1.11 11. Ansoko Radios
- 1.12 12. Standard Horizon Hx870 Radio
- 1.13 13. Topsung M880 Two-Way Radios
- 1.14 14. BaoFeng BF-888S Two Way Radio For Cruise Ship
- 1.15 15. Motorola MR350R 35-Range Two-way Radio
- 2 Overall Best Buy
- 3 Best Budget Buy
- 4 FAQs
- 4.1 What is the Best Way to Communicate on a Cruise Ship?
- 4.2 Are Walkie Talkies Allowed on Cruises?
- 4.3 What Kind of Walkie Talkies Work on Cruise Ships?
- 4.4 How Well Do Walkie Talkies Work on Cruise Ships?
- 4.5 Will Radios Cover an Entire Ship?
- 4.6 Can Other People on the Ship Listen to My Conversation?
Consideration for Choosing Walkie Talkies for Cruise
There are basic factors to consider before choosing a communication device for a cruise. These factors will guide your decision-making process and help you invest wisely in the right portable radio. They help you decide what features to prioritize while checking through the vast options of walkie talkies operable on a cruise ship.
Frequencies and Radio Type
There are various frequencies for radios, and they determine the type of radio you have in use. These frequencies are a great determinant of the quality of sound and the coverage of your radio.
Four major frequencies operable on a liner are UHF, FRS, and GMRS. Your choice should be influenced by the kind of communication you need and the location you will be using. UHF radios can penetrate obstructions and reach longer ranges.
It is important to many radio users that they keep their conversations private while on board. Achieving this might be challenging if you do not have the right kind of walkie. Some radios make it easy for an intruder to spy or listen in on your conversation, either knowingly or accidentally.
To avoid being exposed, you may want to get a portable radio with multiple channels and privacy codes. While privacy codes might not exactly prevent others from joining your channel, they help you filter out others’ conversation. Incompatible DCS can also prevent other users from joining or connecting to your channel.
A radio with multiple channels enables you to switch from one channel to another, just if you have intruders listening to your conversations. This feature is very necessary when you are in a public or crowded space like an ocean liner.
15 Best Walkie Talkies for Cruise
Below are 15 selected radios that are best suited for a cruise:
1. Arcshell Rechargeable Two-Way Radios
The ARCSHELL radios are ones to consider if you would like to stay in touch with your travel buddies on an ocean liner. The two-way radios provide a 5 miles range of communication in places with no obstructions. They will still allow an extended range on ships. The radio has 16 channels you can communicate with and 50 CTCSS/105 CDCSS tones that will prevent interference. The device’s small and lightweight design makes it the best walkie to carry around when you are on the ship.
- The radio features an emergency alarm that will alert others when you need help or are in danger.
- The radio is water-resistant and solidly built.
- The best clips are not strong.
2. Nestling 888S Radios
The Nestling 3 pack walkie-talkies for kids are radios your kids need on the cruise. People need to keep in touch with their children, especially on the liner, and this radio will ensure that it happens.
The walkie-talkie features 22 channels, and these channels are easy to find. The radio also comes with the VOX feature, so your group can make use of the radio hands-free. The radio supports long-range communication, up to 3 miles. The radios make use of rechargeable batteries, and the low-battery alert informs people when the device is running low.
- The radio provides a long range of communication.
- The radio is small and lightweight, easy for kids to wear and carry.
- The radio is shock- resistant and will survive a fall.
- The belt clips also make the device easy to carry about.
- The radio does not feature NOAA weather alerts.
3. Standard Horizon HX210 two way radio
Standard Horizon HX210 2 way radios are small and strong, with features you need for communication on the cruise liner. The radios can float on water, so in case your radio falls off the cruise, you can still find it. The emergency strobe light automatically comes on when this happens, so you can easily locate it in the water. The long-range of the radios make it easy for group members to communicate anywhere on the ship. The battery life is long, so you get enough power for your activities. With a high-frequency range and long coverage range, you can enjoy smooth communication while you enjoy your trip.
- It has weather channel options that let you know of severe weather conditions, making it the best walkie for your ship adventure.
- The screen of the radio freezes up often.
4. Midland GXT1000VP4 Two-Way Radios
MIDLAND GXT1000 (2 pack) two-way radios are long-range communication radios, providing up to 36-mile range in open areas. With 22 channels and 142 privacy codes, friends and family can communicate on cruise liners. The radios feature NOAA weather scan that provides you with weather updates. The radio uses a rechargeable battery that offers 12 hours of operation. The weather radio also has the VOX hands-free operation, so you do not lose communication with your group even while you are doing other things.
- The radio is water-resistant and can survive splashes and light rain.
- The batteries are not durable and may not last long.
5. Midland LXT600VP3
The MIDLAND LXT600VP3 is a two-way radio that features 36 channels and 221 privacy codes to block out interference. The radios also feature NOAA weather alerts that help with weather updates. Friends or family can make use of this walkie-talkie for communication on cruise liners. The radio also has dual power options: it uses AAA batteries or rechargeable batteries. Some items included in the product include a rechargeable battery pack, belt clip, desktop charger and AC adapter.
- The radio supports long-range communication, giving you the best communication experience.
- Charging options are limited as it does not have USB charging.
6. FLOUREON Radios, 4 Pack
The FLOUREON walkie-talkie is an ideal radio for an outing, including outings on a cruise. The 4 pack FRS/GMRS radios have 22 channels and privacy codes, so you have more than enough channel combinations to keep in touch with family and friends.
The device comes with features that make it the best walkie for cruise liners. The auto squelch feature eliminates background noise, and the LCD backlit display helps you see everything on your radio. With the LED flashlight, you have both a flash and emergency light. The radio gives emergency alerts so you can reach out to people when you are in trouble.
- Long communication helps you stay in touch with friends and family.
- The radio is safe to use by both adults and kids.
- The radio is not water-resistant, so you have to make sure it comes in contact with none.
7. Motorola T100 Walkabout Radio
Motorola T100 (2 pack) radios are lightweight, easy to use and carry, a perfect radio to use on cruise ships. The radio features 22 channels, making it possible for you to hold conversations with your group. Also, the radio is compatible with other FRS/GMRS radios. This way, communication can be done with many people on cruise ships. With the low battery alert, you get to know when your battery is running low. It also features keypad lock and call tones.
- The radio range is 16 miles, long enough to have smooth communication even on water.
- The radio has clear sound quality.
- The radio does not have the VOX feature, so hands-free operation is impossible.
8. Greaval Rechargeable Radios
Greaval (4 pack) walkie talkies have the frequency range: UHF 400-470 MHz. With a 1500mAH rechargeable Li-Ion battery, you enjoy over 12 hours of communication time. The two-way radio has 16 channels and 50 CTCSS/105 DCS privacy codes, helping friends and family have communications outdoors and indoors, and it works well on a cruise liner. With the radio, you get a communication range of about 3 miles, with little or no obstruction. It also features the emergency alarm, volume level button.
- The device is user friendly and can be used by anyone.
- The radio boasts of good sound quality.
- Battery life is poor and will not last long.
9. Retevis H-777 Two-Way Radios
RETEVIS H-777 is a great device for travel buddies to stay in touch, especially outside. This implies that the radios will be perfect for cruise ships. The radios have the range you need to have smooth communication with your group members. The two-way radios use 1000mAh batteries and support USB charging, so you can charge the device wherever you are. The radios have 16 channels and come with other features such as power-saving function, TOT function, scanning function, emergency alarm function and LED flashlight. The talkies have been set to the same frequency so that they can work well with each other.
- The radios have great reception, and you will clearly hear others when you’re communicating.
- The battery life is inadequate and may not last as long as you would like it to.
10. Retevis RT22
RETEVIS RT22 10 pack 2-way radios are radios that come with features that are suitable for communication on a cruise liner. The 1000mAH rechargeable battery provides a battery life of about 12 hours. The squelch function helps eliminate background noise, and with the hands free operation, you can have conversations anytime. The radio has 16 channels, and it has the same privacy codes RT21 radios have so that both models can work together. The range on this radio is about 2 miles, and you can have conversations with that range anywhere on the cruise.
- Conversations on the RT22 are clear and loud.
- The products are portable and can easily fit into pockets.
- The earpieces are flimsy and not durable.
11. Ansoko Radios
Ansoko is a 2 pack of long-range radios that are easy to use; travel buddies will find the radios ideal for trips, including trips on cruise ships. Each radio provides an extended range that can be affected by different conditions and terrain. The batteries of these walkie talkies charge for 5 hours and provide 12 hours of operation. With the belt clip, your device can stay ached to you for as long as you like.
Other features of the radio include VOX function, LED flashlight, voice prompt and emergency alarm.
- The two-way radios are ideal for areas where there is no cell phone reception.
- The range of the device is short.
12. Standard Horizon Hx870 Radio
The Standard Horizon HX870 radio is one of the best radios for cruise ships. The radios float when dropped in water, and they have a strobe light that is water activated. The radios also have a noise-canceling function while receiving and transmitting audio. The NOAA weather alerts help you with weather emergencies while you’re on the ship. The two-way radio has 10 preset channels with a high power of 6 watts. You can activate the power saving function by reducing the power output.
- The VHF radio is a floating device that comes with GPS.
- Without obstructions, the range of the radio is about 10 miles.
- The NOAA weather alert feature keeps you updated on weather emergencies.
- The radio is a little difficult to set up.
13. Topsung M880 Two-Way Radios
Topsung M880 2 packs radios are user-friendly and will provide you and your travel buddies the best communication experience, even on cruise ships. On the open sea, you can get a range of 3 miles on the radio. The radio can be used to communicate with other FRS/GMRS radios. It has 22 channels and 121 privacy codes, which provide you with 2662 channel combinations for communication. The device also features the key lock, VOX function and power-saving function. It also comes with a belt clip.
- The auto squelch system will help reduce background noise so that you can enjoy smooth communication.
- The range is poor.
14. BaoFeng BF-888S Two Way Radio For Cruise Ship
With the Baofeng BF-888S 2 pack radio, you can stay in contact with many people when you’re on a cruise ship. The radios use 1500mAH Li-Ion rechargeable batteries instead of AA batteries, and the low battery alarm feature helps you know when your device is running low. The 3 miles range of communication you can get on this radio ensures that you stay connected to your family on the cruise ship. The NOAA weather alerts will inform you of incoming severe weather. The VOX function also helps you have hands free communication.
- The range of the device is good with clear reception.
- Compared to other radios, the battery life of the radio is poor.
15. Motorola MR350R 35-Range Two-way Radio
Of all FRS radios, the Motorola MR350R two-way radio is the ultimate communication tool on cruise ships. It has a 35-mile range of communication and comes with features that make it ideal for your trip across the water. The radio has 22 channels and 121 privacy codes, giving you a total of 2662 channel combinations. It features NOAA weather channels and alerts and VOX hands free function.
The radio is an FRS/GMRS (Family Radio Service/General Mobile Radio Service) radio.
- The radio is easy to use and is an ideal communication device for friends and family.
- It provides an extended range of transmission and communication.
- The radios are not durable.
Overall Best Buy
Though highly-priced compared to other radios listed in the review, the Standard Horizon Hx870 makes the cruise’s best radio. Out of the list of the best radios for cruise provided in this review, this radio stands out in quality and features. It has a wide range of coverage and can appreciably penetrate obstructions.
This radio gives you the option of multiple frequencies and channels, which is important for cruise radios to ensure privacy to an appreciable extent.
Best Budget Buy
In choosing and trying to purchase a portable radio out of the list of the best two-way radios for cruise ships, it is important to consider one’s budget and limitations, if there are any.
The Nestling 888S Walkie Talkies are one of the cheapest you can get for children if you plan on going on a cruise ship with your kids. Despite being for kids at such an amazing price, this radio does have both essential and advanced features.
Retevis H-777 Two-Way Radios are another set of budget-friendly radios. These radios are suitable for adults and are not limited by the price tag. You will enjoy quality communication on a cruise ship with this radio in hand. It is one of the best walkie talkies available in the market today.
What is the Best Way to Communicate on a Cruise Ship?
There are various ways to communicate on a cruise ship, so involved parties need to agree on what communication method to employ while traveling. The cost of communication will be one of the major considerations in choosing a particular way to communicate over another.
Most cruise ships provide internet connectivity for your device for communication. This provision might, however, come at a cost. You may also decide to rely on your network provider for cellular means of communicating while traveling; there are different packages available. Cell service may, however, be unreliable while on the sea.
Using walkie talkies is another option you may choose while on the sea. This option might be the cheapest option for you, though choosing the right cruise radio might be quite difficult.
The best way to communicate is mostly dependent on individual preferences and budgets.
Are Walkie Talkies Allowed on Cruises?
Cruise ships allow the use of walkie talkies while on-board. Certain vessels have specifications for the type of two-way radios that can be used. To use a walkie talkie on a Royal Caribbean vessel, it has to have a 10-mile coverage range and power output of about 5 watts, among other specifications. An external mounting antenna might not be necessary on a cruise ship.
The types of portable radios allowed on a cruise ship include; FRS radios, GMRS radios, eXRS, and UHF radios.
Due to differences in the rules and regulations of various cruise lines, you should ask before boarding what applies or not regarding using a walkie talkie.
What Kind of Walkie Talkies Work on Cruise Ships?
There are four major types of walkie talkies usable on a cruise ship: FRS, GMRS, eXRS, and UHF radios.
FRS radios have up to 14 different channels. These radios use FM waves in place of AM waves. It is most suitable for families and probably friends because it is basically for short-distance communication. These radios are cheap, and you do not require a license to operate them.
The General Mobile Radio Service radios are much more advanced radios compared to the Family Radio Service radios. These radios usually have power outputs up to 60watts and are suitable for long-range communication. They cost more than the FRS radios, and you have to get a license (a license lasts up to 5 years) to operate them.
The Extreme Radio Service radios (eXRS radios) are quite new in the portable hand-held radios market. They are more advanced than FRS radios and some GMRS radios in range and connection strength.
Ultra-High Frequency radios are used on cruise ships in place of Very High-Frequency radios because they can penetrate obstructions better to afford you high-quality communication while on board.
How Well Do Walkie Talkies Work on Cruise Ships?
The functionality of your walkie talkie while on a cruise ship is dependent on a variety of factors. These factors include; the type of walkie talkie in use, its specification and features, the accessories you use with your walkie talkie, weather condition, and the presence or absence of obstructions. The power output of a walkie talkie also goes a long way in determining how well your walkie talkie will work on a cruise ship.
Brand frequency ranges should not be your only guide in choosing a walkie for a cruise. To get your radio’s best experience and performance, you should consider your radio’s full specification, and reviews like this can help you through that.
Will Radios Cover an Entire Ship?
While using walkie talkies are advisable for a cruise, it does not make them perfect or without shortcomings. Depending on the type of walkie talkie you have with you, it might not be impossible that you will not reach all parts of the cruise ship while onboard.
Yes, you will conveniently communicate with your travel buddies on board. Still, you have to be within the communication range your device can accommodate. A cruise ship’s structure makes obstruction very likely and a great challenge for using a walkie talkie on a ship.
To have the best user experience and cover a considerable fraction of the ship, you should invest in powerful talkies that can penetrate obstruction, have a wide range and power output. The battery life of two-way radios may also have a great influence on their performance.
Can Other People on the Ship Listen to My Conversation?
While everyone values their privacy and maybe looking for privacy features while choosing a walkie talkie for a cruise, it is good to note that other passengers can listen to your conversations on a walkie talkie if they tune into your channel. However, this bridge of privacy is unlikely as most people will be about their business and can only accidentally bump into your channel. You can always change channels if this happens to maintain your privacy.
Since compatibility is a factor for communication on a walkie talkie, you may not have this issue, especially if you use DCS codes. On the other hand, privacy codes might not necessarily prevent other users from listening to your conversation. They only help to reduce background interruptions from other users.
You may also get a radio that uses multiple channels. This allows you to switch channels in the unlikely event that someone tunes into your frequency.