Yes, two-way radios DO work on cruise ships. However, because the same channels tend to be somewhat overused, passengers can expect a fair amount of chatter and signal interference when using their radios.
I guess two-way radios / walkie talkies would be the best option. But how important is it to be in constant communication with the rest of your family? A ship, although large, is not huge. If you know the general area where people will be, you can walk around and find them. Preset meeting times and locations would work too. People were able to get along quite well without being able to communicate directly with each other at every moment of the day.
So aside from the option of setting preset meeting times, a two-way radio isn’t a terrible idea, especially if you have kids. Many people reading this will simply wonder why they cannot use their mobile phones. That is a very good question, after all …
If you’re going to cruise this summer (or anytime, really), you should be aware that your mobile phone is going to cause some problems.
Many cruise passengers are unaware and / or totally ill-prepared for this fact and the cruise companies themselves are, at least in part, to blame for the lack of information in this area.
So will your mobile phone work at sea?
The answer is usually always “You can subscribe to our cruise line cell phone network.” What they won’t tell you are the fees you will pay. You certainly won’t be able to find them online, and to get a proper answer, you’ll have to call the cruise line for a full breakdown of what they charge for access to their cellular networks. As a company that sets its own international calling rates for the Talk Abroad SIM card, we can see the cruise ship networks on our list and it doesn’t look right. If you subscribe to their network, you will pay between $ 4 and $ 8 per minute, depending on your location and who you are calling. Do not forget also that you will be charged for receiving incoming calls.
As we will see soon, carrying a mobile phone on a cruise can be a logistical nightmare. Yet at the same time, many of us feel naked without a phone?
More problems come in the form of scheduled shutdowns (although they can also represent opportunities for a higher and cheaper level of connectivity).
If the ship is close to shore and has multiple stops at ports of call, you can usually get a terrestrial signal from the nearest land-based cell phone tower, up to a mile offshore. It is highly unlikely that you will be connected with 3G speed signals, as my previous blog made evident, you will need to have a low wave 3G frequency like 800 or 900 Mhz, frequencies that are not usually associated with phones made for North American consumers. So what can be done? You can rent a working international cell phone in the port and a short way to the sea. If you really must stay connected on your ship, contact your cruise travel agency and inquire about onboard cell phone rates and subscription fees.
Therefore, using mobile phones on a cruise is difficult and extremely expensive, but arranging a meeting time is also likely to cause more than a few headaches. Two-way radios have their problems, but may actually be the best way to keep in touch, depending, of course, on how important this is to you.