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  #1 (permalink)  
Old August 19th, 2008, 10:29 PM
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Default Two-way radio/walkie talkie question...

Hi~

My husband & I are going on a cruise for my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary; (18 travelers/7 cabins total). I am trying to figure out a way to make communicating with everyone easier & more cost-effective than using our cell phones.

Has anyone used two-way radios/walkie talkies on-board while at sea? If so, is there a particular brand that you would recommend? We don't mind purchasing good quality radios; I've only seen two-channel ones for sale but from what I've read, I think some can handle up to 10 communicators (5 sets purchased, I'm assuming?).

Any information would be much appreciated!!!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old August 20th, 2008, 10:18 AM
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I would get the most powerfull radios you can find, and then find a clear channel. The channel is not the important part. It's having enough transmit power to get through all the steel bulkheads and decks. I would try and get a 5 watt model that advertises a 20+ mile range AND has a rechargable battery. If you transmit a lot in high power mode the batteries go rather quickly and you don't want to lug along a set of batteries for every day of the cruise.

Please turn OFF the annoying beep feature of your radio. Most can be set to vibrate when somene is trying to reach you and you can avoid the evil stares from the other passengers.
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Old August 20th, 2008, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: Two-way radio/walkie talkie question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Pita
Hi~

My husband & I are going on a cruise for my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary; (18 travelers/7 cabins total). I am trying to figure out a way to make communicating with everyone easier & more cost-effective than using our cell phones.

Has anyone used two-way radios/walkie talkies on-board while at sea? If so, is there a particular brand that you would recommend? We don't mind purchasing good quality radios; I've only seen two-channel ones for sale but from what I've read, I think some can handle up to 10 communicators (5 sets purchased, I'm assuming?).

Any information would be much appreciated!!!
To answer your radio question, GSM radios are the most powerful personal radios that you can use without a license. They are inexpensive and work reasonably well onboard a ship. Motorola Talkabouts are a common brand.

Having said that I would discourage you from using them for "everyone" in your group.

When you have a group of people it is better to have set meeting times or activities where everyone gets together. A daily newsletter that you drop off in everyone's cabin may be a good idea or have a pre-set agenda. You also have dinner where you all can plan the next days activities.

Radios are great for keeping track of kids but can be a bit of pain in the rear for adults and can also be a bit of a pain for your fellow cruisers, if not used with discretion.

Take care,
Mike
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old August 21st, 2008, 03:28 AM
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Default Re: Two-way radio/walkie talkie question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Pita
Hi~

My husband & I are going on a cruise for my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary; (18 travelers/7 cabins total). I am trying to figure out a way to make communicating with everyone easier & more cost-effective than using our cell phones.

Has anyone used two-way radios/walkie talkies on-board while at sea? If so, is there a particular brand that you would recommend? We don't mind purchasing good quality radios; I've only seen two-channel ones for sale but from what I've read, I think some can handle up to 10 communicators (5 sets purchased, I'm assuming?).

Any information would be much appreciated!!!
To answer your radio question, GSM radios are the most powerful personal radios that you can use without a license. They are inexpensive and work reasonably well onboard a ship. Motorola Talkabouts are a common brand.

Having said that I would discourage you from using them for "everyone" in your group.

When you have a group of people it is better to have set meeting times or activities where everyone gets together. A daily newsletter that you drop off in everyone's cabin may be a good idea or have a pre-set agenda. You also have dinner where you all can plan the next days activities.

Radios are great for keeping track of kids but can be a bit of pain in the rear for adults and can also be a bit of a pain for your fellow cruisers, if not used with discretion.

Take care,
Mike
Thanks for the info Mike M!!!

I totally understand what you are saying about the radios being a "bit of a pain for fellow cruisers"; I would definitely make sure they were on vibrate IF we ended up using them all at the same time (there are six kids in our group & my mother-in-law is disabled, we would only have six radios to divide amongst the group). By no means would we be obnoxious with them or disturb fellow cruisers with them.

You have no idea what my husband's family is like-everything is an argument (my brother-in-law said he'd rather be stapled to carpet than to travel with all of them!). In a perfect world, they would go along w/just setting meeting times or having a pre-set agenda but for some reason it doesn't work with them; someone in the group decides they want to do something else after we've decided and before you know it, everyone is screaming at each other. If you had to travel with them, you'd understand!!! I just want to enjoy my cruise
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Old August 21st, 2008, 01:17 PM
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Why not let them go ahead and do whatever, even if the group has agreed to meet up? I know that every family dynamic is different, but sometimes letting go is one way to stay out of the arguments...trust me, I so know this one from my own family!
Marty
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Old August 25th, 2008, 09:10 PM
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I always take my two ways. It doesn't matter if DW and I are traveling alone or if we are with a big group. I always turn the beep off and have them on vibrate but it still draws dirty looks from other passengers. I just ignore the looks. The problems is that kids play on the radios and that is what annoys others. We are dealing with adults and we don't play on them. Our talks are very short and to the point most times.

If you are dealing with a large group they may be handy, ours always are. We use the Motorola 25 mile 5 amp radios. We also use the Midland 18 mile 3 amp radios. Both are good, but there are dead spots on the ship no matter what type of radio you use.
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