Communications During Caribbean Cruise

I am new to the forums, so hopefully this is the correct place for this. My wife, two sons, and I will be going on a cruise in March. I am planning on taking several of my old Nextel along and using off-network Direct Talk for ship board communications. We did that two years ago, but I did not have solid coverage everywhere. I am considering either some Motorola DTR550s, some R765s, or even an i365IS. For those familiar with the various devices, how much additional range might I get? The Nextels I have are either 600 or 700 milliwatts. The DTRs and R765 are a full 1 watt and have a fixed antenna, rather than a retractable antenna.


I have not personally used the Motorola DTR series but I have heard good things about them especially when used in crowded areas (ex: the ship where everyone is trying to use two ways) but coverage/range always will vary with the size of the ship and materials used in it.

Something else to consider here would be to use a MURS radio (license free!), they offer up to a full 2 watts of output power and because they do not use the same frequencies of the bubble pack radios (the ones you see at the big box store) they typically are open and available for use without much interference.

Check them out

I’m not sure how much you will get from the MURS radios with all the steel on a cruise ship. MURS is VHF, which doesn’t penetrate metal as well as UHF.

Power isn’t your biggest concern here. It’s the choice of band and frequency for your environment. VHF works very well on open water, but not as well inside steel structures such as the interior if a cruise ship. This is one reason why you will find GMRS radios available for rental on cruise ships instead of VHF, besides the obvious dominance and easy availability of consumer radios on the market.

I would not, however, recommend renting radios from the cruise line. It is a huge rip-off. You will get soaked.

We covered the topic of using radios on a cruise ship in an episode of The Two Way Radio Show Podcast. It may help you.

TWRS-19 - Cruising With Radios

I do like MURS radios. I’m just not sure the service would be the best choice for your cruise. Here is an introduction to MURS.

TWRS-11 - All About MURS

so how to sort out the trouble if to communicate while on the ship especially under that surroundings

We discuss a solution in the podcast.

I know that sending a link to a resource instead of just posting a quick answer isn’t what one may be looking for, but it helps the community more, especially when it is a frequently asked question.

When such a question is answered, it soon gets buried in the discussion thread, lost to everyone except those who were fortunate to see it when it was posted.

This is a common question that involves a bit of explanation in order to apply it to your specific situation. We will do our best to provide the general information and guidance you need to help you make informed choices, but when it comes down to specific circumstances, only you know exactly what your situation is and only you can make the final decision for your needs.

This is where resources such as our blogs, articles, podcast and videos can help the forum community. The forums are great for discussing ongoing issues, providing technical support or addressing questions about specific items that require personally tailored answers. When it comes to more general questions or tutorials based on common information or knowledge, our blog, podcast, videos and other resources provide information that is fast and easy to reference and share online.

The podcast in particular can help answer this sort of question because it provides more detailed discussion and explains not only the what, but often the how and why to help you make the best choices as a consumer.