Which one would be best....

I am going on a cruise and am looking to buy a set of 2-way radios. My fiance is a boat captain so he is all about VHF. From what I am reading, UHF is the best for our situation.

I am not looking to get a cheap pair. I’d rather spend a decent amount of money (within reason) on a set that does the job rather than waste my money on junk. I have heard a million suggestions on a cruise forum I frequent…but of course there is also the “buts” along with those suggestions.

This forum looks like it is full of pros with the gadgets so I am taking a shot here…here are my requirements.

  • It needs to have a vibrating feature
  • It needs to possibly work 3 decks from each other (crossing fingers one of them can do this)
  • It needs to possibly work from one end of the ship to the other, 855 ft (again crossing fingers one of them can do this)
  • It needs to possibly work with one user on the ship and the other user 5 miles away on the beach…with a clear shot of course (crossing fingers for a third time)

Am I describing the “mother” of 2-ways that doesn’t exist? Or is there in fact one that will give me close to what I am looking for?

Correct, you need UHF. It has a better bounce characteristic around metal than VHF. Forget FRS, the quality is poor and the range is the same. Do not believe the exaggerated mileage claims. Radios talk a long way across water with no obstructions. The GMRS frequencies require a license, which is good for 10 years. I would do that, get some decent 4 watt radios and you will be ahead of the game with the best chance of success. You can get a radio like the Motorola BPR40 for a reasonable price (example, not sales pitch) from http://www.amerizonwireless.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=3971. They are tough little radios and will live through a drop. As a retired radio dealer, I sold lots of them to schools, construction companies, etc. Good radio for the price.

I recommend the Black Box Radios. I have been selling/renting them for well over a year now and I have used them on the Royal Caribbean “Liberty of the Seas” ship. The largest in the fleet. I have been able to go many decks below without a problem. Please feel free to contact me directly and I can forward you the data sheets on them along with photos etc.

Cruise ships make up the majority of my business and I have never had a complaint about them yet.

Look forward to hearing from you.

I own a set of Kenwood TK3131’s FRS/GMRS and have been quite happy with them. I understand that they are no longer available but you can buy a TK3130 and have it programmed to a TK3131. I get excellent service from these radios in the mountains and at the lake.

P.S. I also get great service out of the battery on this model