Do Walkie Talkies work on Cruise Ships?

A walkie talkie is a viable option to maintain communication with friends and family when you want to avoid purchasing Wi-Fi packages on a cruise ship. Talking through the device with the other person is possible no matter how far you are from each other. You can enjoy sunbathing while talking to the other person on the upper deck without interruption.

It can be convenient until you learn the limitations of using it. Before heading out on a trip with a walkie talkie, know if it works on a cruise ship. You might end up using it or not.


Short Answer

Walkie talkies work on a cruise ship. Even cruise staff is using it as a primary mode of communication. It is convenient and handy, but few things to consider are the obstructions that can hinder the handsets’ two-way communication. As long as you know how to correctly use it, it can function at full potential.

The crew of a cruise ship often uses walkie talkies. So your devices should also work there. ( © newroadboy –


Long Answer

Using a walkie talkie is possible on a cruise ship. You can use it on top of the deck or outside the cabin as long it has few to no obstructions between the other person and me. You can communicate even if both of you are at the opposite ends of the ship.

There might be slight interference in signal depending on various factors, such as electric obstructions and weather conditions. But if you know how, when, and where to use it, you can make the walkie talkie work on a ship.

Also, consider buying a walkie talkie suitable for a ship to maximize the benefits and features it offers.


Inside the Cabin

If the walkie talkie has advertised that it works in a maximum of 35-meter range, then don’t entirely trust it. The device has only been tested on optimal conditions with a clear sightline and less to no obstructions. If you’re using the device inside the cabin, and the other person you want to communicate with is outside the hallway, then the communication can be clear.

However, it can be a problem if you’re inside the cabin talking to your friend, who is on the deck above. The communication cannot reach between you because of various obstructions, such as walls, ceilings, or metal posts.

In other words, expect interference in communication when inside the cabin, especially on a cruise ship. Cabins can interrupt or even block the signal entirely because of the steel decks, walls, ceilings, and other obstructions. You need to avoid using the device inside the cabin to prevent signal issues.

Unless you want to use a walkie talkie inside the cabin, consider using an Ultra High Frequency (UHF) walkie talkie so that the signal goes through the walls and ceilings. But don’t rely heavily on this because the device range can also be affected by many factors.


In the Ship, outside the Cabins

As stated above, if you communicate with your friend through a walkie talkie while inside the cabin, then it would not reach. However, when both of you are outside the cabin, communication is not a problem.

Even if you traveled to the opposite ends of the ship, let’s say, 1,000 feet apart, the device still works perfectly. So if you want to swim in the pool located at the end of the ship, and your friend wants to sunbathe at the other end, there’s no doubt you can still keep in touch with each other through the devices.

For instance, you’re standing at the top of the deck, and the other person is two decks below  (provided he’s still outside the cabin), communication is still possible. But if the other person is at the bottom of the ship, you might encounter a little bit of static. It is because the decks can be a minor obstruction to the signal.

Nonetheless, a walkie talkie still works if both of you are outside the cabin, as long as it is within the device’s range capacity.


On the Top Deck

Look no further since the top deck is one of the best spots to use a walkie talkie. If both of you are on the top deck, you can still communicate without interruptions, no matter how far you are from each other. The top deck has less to no obstructions and has a visible sight line, which allows the handsets to work correctly.


Are Walkie Talkies Allowed on a Cruise Ship?

The laws regarding the use of walkie talkie at sea can be quite complicated, but using the Family Radio Service (FRS) radios is alright. GMRS, on the other hand, can be quite an issue when using it, especially outside the U.S. Only licensed walkie talkies can use GMRS channels for official reasons.

Also, the case is different when using a walkie talkie at the port. You should research the rules and regulations of operating a walkie talkie to prevent tapping into a foreign country’s public frequency, even if it is an FRS channel.

A word of caution when using the FRS channel in another country, you might accidentally use commercial and public safety communications. Better be safe than sorry, and stay informed all the time.


Will the Walkie Talkies’ Range Cover an Entire Ship?

Obstructions play a large role in interfering with communication, and a cruise ship has lots of it.

In most cases, the device’s range can extend with a clear line of sight with minimal to no obstructions. However, obstructions are inevitable when using a walkie talkie on a ship. Obstructions like doors, walls, electrical systems, passengers, and swimming pools are a few. With that in mind, you can still use your walkie talkie, but static sounds and weak signals may occur.

Despite the limitations, you can utilize a UHF walkie talkie to extend its range and increase the power output. Or you can buy a high-end walkie talkie similar to what the cruise ship staff members are using. The walkie talkie they’re using has a strong antenna signal and can break through barriers at most.


Conclusion – Do Walkie Talkies work on Cruise Ship?

Walkie talkies can be used everywhere, and the cruise ship is not an exception. A few things to note, signal interference can occur because of various obstructions visible on a cruise ship. It is not entirely possible to communicate inside the cabin while the other person is outside.

If you want an almost flawless communication with your friend, you can position outside the cabin and on the top of the deck, where obstructions are fewer.

A walkie talkie cannot cover an entire ship totally, so use it in the right places and conditions. If you consider using a walkie talkie on a cruise ship, buying a UHF radio or a high-end walkie talkie are a few suggestions. A UHF radio can penetrate obstructions, while a high-end walkie talkie performs better than its counterparts. Both options can extend the device’s range to enjoy seamless communication.

Also, use an FRS radio for safety and personal use, especially when the device is unlicensed. Lastly, limit using it at the port to avoid tapping into one of the foreign channels. Getting involved in legalities when using a walkie talkie is the last thing you want to happen.

Well then, good luck using the walkie talkie on a cruise ship!



Founder of & Tech enthusiast. Interested in gaming, computers, and walkie-talkies.

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