There is a lot of excitement that comes with going on a cruise, especially when it is one that you have been planning for a long time. The memories that you and your friends (or family) would create, the many places you would visit; and not to forget the beautiful pictures that would accompany this vacation.
However, as much as you pack the nice clothes, you should also remember to pack a tool for communication that will ensure that you and your group members stay in touch always, as well as ensuring you’re in touch with those on land or emergency services, like the Coast Guard.
A mobile phone is not a good option because cell reception at sea may be poor. This will affect call service and produce muffled audio signals. Apart from poor cell reception, the metal walls of a ship can also impede cell service.
There is also the part where the use of cell phones may be more expensive when you travel through international waters. To avoid these hassles, you need a walkie talkie. Ideal walkie-talkies for cruises should have dependable coverage with excellent audio quality and hands-free features.
In this post, you’ll find excellent reviews of 5 of the best walkie talkies for cruise you can find anywhere. Even with this information, you need to know which to go for and why.
Top 5 Two-Way Radios for Cruise: By Best Feature
Buyer’s Guide: Critical Factors to be considered before you Select the Walkie Talkie for Cruise
Some of the factors that influence the type of walkie talkie you should buy for cruise include;
A cruise is done on water, probably an ocean, a sea or even a lake. It is only logical that the walkie talkie you look out for has some level of resistance to water.
This is very important, because asides from dropping into water (like the pool on the cruise ship), splashes of water can get on to your radio and cause some damage if it is not waterproof.
A walkie talkie that will not be affected by weather is a treasure, especially when on a cruise. When buying a walkie talkie for your cruise vacation, be sure to get a product that is resistant to water and sand. You never can tell when/where you will need to use your walkie talkie on that cruise.
The walls of a ship are made of metal, and this can cause interference with the audio signals of a walkie talkie. This audio signal can get slower with an increase in distance, also known as range of coverage.
Also, the seas and oceans are really vast and you never can tell how far off you may go. The best walkie talkie for cruises should operate over a minimum range of 25 miles.
4. Audio quality/Clarity
Obstructions do not only affect the range of a walkie talkie; but more importantly, its audio quality. It is quite hard to decipher what is being said over a walkie talkie when there is poor signal.
Many walkie talkies use dual frequency bands e.g. Family Radio Service or General Mobile Radio Service, UHF or VHF, as some frequencies are stronger than others.
Another factor that determines audio quality is the number of channels a walkie talkie has. The more the number of channels, the higher the audio quality/clarity.
This clarity is extremely necessary when you embark on a cruise. If you find yourself drifting away, you need to be able to give out accurate locations.
Let’s face it; a walkie talkie that is lightweight would be more preferred than a heavy walkie talkie. Also, a walkie talkie that fits into your hand quite easily would be a better choice than one that is wide and not handy.
In addition to these options, a walkie talkie with backlight on the screen and buttons make for a more functional walkie talkie which is most ideal for a cruise.
6. Battery life
The best walkie talkie for a cruise is one that has a battery life that lasts for a minimum of 10 hours uninterrupted.
You do not want to imagine the rigors of having your walkie talkie go dead on you when you need it the most. Or do you?
7. Weather Alerts
If you have an excursion on or off-cruise, you will want the best experience possible. Rainfall can hamper this experience (by the way, we would advise that you should reconsider going on a cruise in rainy season) for a number of reasons.
This is why you need a walkie talkie that displays weather alerts from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA) so that you can stay on top of the situation at any and every time.
We can assure you that you will definitely find a walkie talkie that is very affordable. But just like shopping entails, it is very possible that you find a walkie talkie with the features you have at a slightly higher price than your budget.
It is important to keep in mind that the more features (as well as the number of units in a package) a walkie talkie has, the higher the tendency for it to be more expensive.
Now that you have been adequately informed, let us show you our top 5 picks for best walkie talkies for cruise.
Top 5 Best Walkie Talkies for Cruise
1. Midland GXT1000VP4 GMRS Two-Way Radio
Value for Money
Where the range of other walkie talkies would be restricted on a ship, the Midland GXT1000VP4 consistently produces good audio quality in most areas of the cruise ship.
This walkie talkie has a range of 36 miles and provides access to 50 channels each with 142 privacy codes. This allows you make private calls, as there will be a number of passengers on the cruise with walkie talkies as well.
This walkie talkie also has a number of features, some of which are displayed on the backlit LCD screen. These features include NOAA weather alerts, easy Voice Exchange transmission (eVOX for hands-free usage), and SOS/location signals.
This product is also waterproof, so you have nothing to worry about. It uses a rechargeable NiMH battery, but the battery life can be extended with AA batteries too.
Specifications of Midland GXT1000VP4 GMRS Two-Way Radio
- 36-mile range
- 50 channels
- 142 privacy codes
- Access to NOAA Weather alerts (and weather scan feature)
- Call alert and vibrate feature
- JIS4 Waterproof feature
- Dual power Battery life of up to 16 hours.
Pros and Cons of Midland GXT1000VP4 GMRS Two-Way Radio
- Long range.
- Can be used to receive calls.
- Many channels for confidential communication.
- Affordable price.
- Clear audio quality.
- NOAA weather alerts for safety.
- The headset does not always produce the same audio quality of the device.
2. Topsung M880 FRS Long Range Walkie Talkie
Best Audio Quality
While on a cruise, you are exposed to open spaces and high levels of noise from the other passengers. This is why you need the Topsung M880 FRS walkie talkie.
This two-way radio has a smart audio system with noise-cancelling features that ensure that you have the highest audio quality whenever and wherever you are.
You have access to 22 channels with auto monitor and scan function, which helps secure your conversations. There is a Voice Exchange function that enables you use this product hands-free.
There are a number of accessories that are included in the package that ensure that you enjoy using this walkie talkie.
Specifications of Topsung M880 FRS Long Range Walkie Talkie
- Range of 16 miles.
- 22 channels with 121 privacy codes
- Automated monitor, channel scan and battery alert features.
- VOX transmission.
- FCC Certification
- Extended Battery life of up to 15 hours.
- Keypad Lock.
Pros and Cons of Topsung M880 FRS Long Range Walkie Talkie
- Excellent Audio quality.
- Lightweight design with keypad lock.
- Made from durable materials.
- Low battery alert on LCD screen.
- User-friendly accessories.
- Good battery life.
- No access to NOAA weather alerts.
3. Backcountry Access BC Link 2.0 Walkie Talkie
Best for Long Range
The Backcountry Access BC Link 2.0 has quite a long range of communication, with easy-to-use settings and an ergonomic design. This walkie talkie has a range of 40 miles, with access to 22 channels.
You do not have to worry about interference from other users on the cruise as this walkie talkie has a central Push-To-Talk (PTT) button that has an external microphone.
This ensures that your communication is streamlined to those who you want to connect with. The walkie talkie is also water resistant so you don’t have to worry about splashes on the sea, and it has a battery that lasts as long as 13 hours.
Specifications of Backcountry Access BC Link 2.0 Walkie Talkie
- 40-mile range.
- 22 channels
- Smart Mic Unit.
- Power Lock button.
- MicroUSB charging
- Battery life of 13 hours.
- Glove friendly buttons.
Pros and Cons of Backcountry Access BC Link 2.0 Walkie Talkie
- Convenient to use.
- Strong battery life.
- Water resistant materials.
- MicroUSB charging on-the-go.
- Adequate accessories for hands-free usage.
- High audio quality.
- Some users find this product bulky.
4. Kenwood ProTalk Digital NX-P500 Walkie Talkie
Best Battery Life
This is one product you can use when going on a tour of the Pacific or the Atlantic ocean because you are assured that the battery is very strong. The Kenwood ProTalk Digital NX-P500 is waterproof, with a beautiful ergonomic design.
It is built to military standards, ensuring that you have access to the status of your walkie talkie at all times with its LED status alert.
Kenwood ProTalk has a range of 30 miles and has an alternative Push-To-Talk (PTT) button for protecting your conversations. If you need a truly water resistant product, this one is certified.
The loudspeaker of this product also ensures enhanced audio quality. This walkie talkie has a large 2000mAh battery that works up to 16 hours uninterrupted.
Specifications of Kenwood ProTalk Digital NX-P500 Walkie Talkie
- Range of 30 miles.
- 6 channels
- IP67 Waterproof standard.
- 750 mW Speaker.
- Access to NOAA weather alerts
- 16-hour battery life.
- LED Status indicator.
Pros and Cons of Kenwood ProTalk Digital NX-P500 Walkie Talkie
- Button lock prevents overtime transmission.
- Lightweight and portable design.
- Waterproof materials enhance the durability of this product.
- Strong battery life.
- Compatible with other devices.
- The battery of this product recharges within 3 hours.
- The number of channels are few.
5. Cobra MR HH350 Walkie Talkie
Best for All Weather
Not only is the Cobra MR HH350 walkie talkie waterproof, it is also highly durable. Built to IPX7 (JIS7) waterproof standard, this walkie talkie continues to function even after being immersed in water that is 1m deep for up to 30 minutes.
You have access to 16 channels as well as NOAA weather channels for maximum safety. There is a Burp Feature that pushes water out of the speakers in case of contact with water.
You can use this walkie talkie over a maximum range of 16 miles, with access to SOS signals in case of an emergency.
Specifications of Cobra MR HH350 Walkie Talkie
- 16-mile range.
- 10 channels.
- JIS7/IPX7 Waterproof specification.
- Access to NOAA weather channels.
- Tri-Watch function
- Burp Feature.
- Battery life of 17 hours.
Pros and Cons of Cobra MR HH350 Walkie Talkie
- Tri-Watch function allows you monitor up to 3 channels at once.
- Voice Exchange transmission for hands-free mode.
- Burp feature ensures enhance audio quality.
- Large LCD backlit screen and buttons.
- SeaTow Central command feature makes communication over water easy.
- iRadar app makes device compatible with other Cobra devices.
- It is quite pricey.
Comparison table: Top 5 Walkie Talkies for Cruise
|Range||Weather Alerts||Channels||Battery Life||Waterproof|
|Midland GXT1000VP4 GMRS Two-Way Radio||36 miles||Yes||50||16 hours||Yes|
|Topsung M880 FRS Long Range Walkie Talkie||16 miles||No||22||15 hours||No|
|Backcountry Access BC Link 2.0 Walkie Talkie||40 miles||No||22||13 hours||Yes|
|Kenwood ProTalk Digital NX-P500 Walkie Talkie||30 miles||Yes||6||17 hours||Yes|
|Cobra MR HH350 Walkie Talkie||16 miles||Yes||10||15 hours||Yes|
Based on our opinion, the Midland GXT1000VP4 Walkie Talkie is our favorite choice based on price, durability, number of features and functionality. You can look at other reviews of these products, so that you know more details from other users. However, all the aforementioned products are highly recommended for cruises.
Remember that you might find the walkie talkie of your choice at a slightly higher price; but do not hesitate to buy it based on your decision and the reviews you have seen. Lastly, enjoy that cruise and make enough memories to last a lifetime.