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FRS/GMRS On Cruise Ships

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JASII

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My family and I are on a Caribbean​ cruise right now. I have a scanner with me and GMRS/FRS is virtually non-existent now. I recall, in the past, seeing and hearing them a lot. Now for $5.00 for the entire cruise, you can text others on the ship.
 

ecps92

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Interesting. Altho, I have noticed it did vary on my past cruises if we heard FRS/GMRS, all depended on the Tech Savy Youth/Parents on board or the need to have the Constant Burp/Ber-App of the FRS

Yes, some of the ships have internal lans (Disney was one) others you can also use your own phone for the cost of the Internet charges, which do seem to be dropping

Any luck with your Ships Frequencies ?
My family and I are on a Caribbean​ cruise right now. I have a scanner with me and GMRS/FRS is virtually non-existent now. I recall, in the past, seeing and hearing them a lot. Now for $5.00 for the entire cruise, you can text others on the ship.
 

KD8DVR

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On Carnival, there is a package also, that is similar. Still a lot of FRS/GMRS traffic onboard. I had to scan for a bit to find a clear frequency for us to use.
 

N9NRA

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Just was reading this, and i`m kinda curious, has anyone had any problems using it (FRS or GMRS) onboard a cruise ship? Kinda curious to know if the crew or staff have ever made a fuss over ya using a GMRS or FRS radio onboard (personally i can`t see any problem using FRS, as it`s low power and as such not likely to "get into" anything else onboard, same for GMRS). I know if i wanna use my scanner or ham radio on the bus & train i gotta use a headset, mainly so ya don`t disturb other riders, and it`s a smidge more close quarters than on a cruiseliner :). If they do allow ya to use it honestly it`s a really good way to stay in touch while onboard ship, and it`s free too. N9NRA.
 

KD8DVR

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Just was reading this, and i`m kinda curious, has anyone had any problems using it (FRS or GMRS) onboard a cruise ship? Kinda curious to know if the crew or staff have ever made a fuss over ya using a GMRS or FRS radio onboard (personally i can`t see any problem using FRS, as it`s low power and as such not likely to "get into" anything else onboard, same for GMRS). I know if i wanna use my scanner or ham radio on the bus & train i gotta use a headset, mainly so ya don`t disturb other riders, and it`s a smidge more close quarters than on a cruiseliner :). If they do allow ya to use it honestly it`s a really good way to stay in touch while onboard ship, and it`s free too. N9NRA.
Everyone uses them.. they even sell them on board.
 

ecps92

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YMMV and it can vary by Line and/or Ship

I recall most ships sold them in the Shops on-board.
Others freak, as the Frequencies are similar and can/do cause interference.

Also, depending on the Beep, Brap, Buprs on every key-up, they may ask to tone it down or turn them off...

Just was reading this, and i`m kinda curious, has anyone had any problems using it (FRS or GMRS) onboard a cruise ship? Kinda curious to know if the crew or staff have ever made a fuss over ya using a GMRS or FRS radio onboard (personally i can`t see any problem using FRS, as it`s low power and as such not likely to "get into" anything else onboard, same for GMRS). I know if i wanna use my scanner or ham radio on the bus & train i gotta use a headset, mainly so ya don`t disturb other riders, and it`s a smidge more close quarters than on a cruiseliner :). If they do allow ya to use it honestly it`s a really good way to stay in touch while onboard ship, and it`s free too. N9NRA.
 

n1das

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Just was reading this, and i`m kinda curious, has anyone had any problems using it (FRS or GMRS) onboard a cruise ship? Kinda curious to know if the crew or staff have ever made a fuss over ya using a GMRS or FRS radio onboard (personally i can`t see any problem using FRS, as it`s low power and as such not likely to "get into" anything else onboard, same for GMRS). I know if i wanna use my scanner or ham radio on the bus & train i gotta use a headset, mainly so ya don`t disturb other riders, and it`s a smidge more close quarters than on a cruiseliner :). If they do allow ya to use it honestly it`s a really good way to stay in touch while onboard ship, and it`s free too. N9NRA.
Aside from people issues already mentioned by others, you will be lucky if you can communicate from one end of the ship to the other if the other person is on a different deck. It gets tough when deep inside the ship on different decks since you are inside a compartmentalized metal enclosure with only a few holes for RF to travel between compartments. That's been my experience when using 4W UHF Part 90/95 commercial radios on GMRS on a cruise a couple of years ago. I didn't bother trying it with bubble packs. One thing I found helped to get better RF penetration of the ship was to go to the nearest elevator lobby because it's open to all decks accessible by passengers. I suspect the ship has antennas for the crew's internal comms located in the elevator shafts for the same reason.

If my wife and I go on another cruise someday, we will be using Motorola DTR digital FHSS radios on 900MHz. From reports I've read in other threads, people who have used them on cruise ships found they worked excellent and outperformed 4W UHF Part 90/95 commercial radios on GMRS and provided reliable communication everywhere throughout the ship. The DTRs are all digital too. RF penetration should be better at 900MHz because the ship is much more open at 900MHz compared to 462/467MHz. I wouldn't bother trying anything on VHF MURS. The multiple reflections at 900MHz and FHSS can actually work to your advantage inside the ship (a metal box w/metal compartments) because individual hot spots and dead spots in any given location are constantly hopping around due to the FHSS. The end result is you are likely to be in a good spot or at least a good enough spot for digital to be decoded more often than not. Motorola 900MHz DTR digital FHSS radios are the way to go on a cruise ship. The new Motorola DLR series will also work well there too and are compatible with the DTRs.

Good luck.
 
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ecps92

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IMHO the reason Digital Radios appear to work better, is that either the radio heard/decoded the signal or did not, unlike analog where a weak signal will try and pass audio.

Aside from people issues already mentioned by others, you will be lucky if you can communicate from one end of the ship to the other if the other person is on a different deck. It gets tough when deep inside the ship on different decks since you are inside a compartmentalized metal enclosure with only a few holes for RF to travel between compartments. That's been my experience when using 4W UHF Part 90/95 commercial radios on GMRS on a cruise a couple of years ago. I didn't bother trying it with bubble packs. One thing I found helped to get better RF penetration of the ship was to go to the nearest elevator lobby because it's open to all decks accessible by passengers. I suspect the ship has antennas for the crew's internal comms located in the elevator shafts for the same reason.

If my wife and I go on another cruise someday, we will be using Motorola DTR digital FHSS radios on 900MHz. From reports I've read in other threads, people who have used them on cruise ships found they worked excellent and outperformed 4W UHF Part 90/95 commercial radios on GMRS and provided reliable communication everywhere throughout the ship. The DTRs are all digital too. RF penetration should be better at 900MHz because the ship is much more open at 900MHz compared to 462/467MHz. I wouldn't bother trying anything on VHF MURS. The multiple reflections at 900MHz and FHSS can actually work to your advantage inside the ship (a metal box w/metal compartments) because individual hot spots and dead spots in any given location are constantly hopping around due to the FHSS. The end result is you are likely to be in a good spot or at least a good enough spot for digital to be decoded more often than not. Motorola 900MHz DTR digital FHSS radios are the way to go on a cruise ship. The new Motorola DLR series will also work well there too and are compatible with the DTRs.

Good luck.
 

n1das

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IMHO the reason Digital Radios appear to work better, is that either the radio heard/decoded the signal or did not, unlike analog where a weak signal will try and pass audio.
It would be interesting to try 900MHz amateur using a pair of Motorola MTX9000 or MTX9250 analog handhelds to compare to UHF analog on GMRS or 440/70cm amateur. (Both users are licensed hams of course.)

Use 4W UHF Part 90/95 handhelds on GMRS. 440/70cm simplex could be used instead of GMRS.
Use 3W Motorola MTX9000 or MTX9250 handhelds on 900MHz. These radios use the same 900MHz antennas that the DTR550 and DTR650 use.

This should be a good apples to apples test since digital modulation and FHSS are taken out of the equation. I expect 900MHz may work a little better when deep inside the ship because the ship is more open at 900MHz compared to UHF (440/70cm ham or GMRS/FRS). The shorter wavelength signals at 900MHz will better reflect in and out of all the nooks and crannies of the ship where longer wavelength signals on UHF won't. You're operating from inside a metal box with many metal compartments and you'll be dealing with reflections and multipath effects. If you manage to find an area where 900MHz isn't usable at all then UHF probably won't work either.
 
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N9NRA

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Everyone uses them.. they even sell them on board.
Nice :). Now having a scanner with ya might be really fun, you could spend hours just listening to the FRS chatter along with the other comms ya might stumble across, that would be kinda cool. I bet the FRS channels would be just CLOGGED with traffic on the avarage cruse ship :). N9NRA.
 

JASII

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...Any luck with your Ships Frequencies ?
Yes, I only heard three. They were:

457.525 CC3

457.550 CC5

457.575 CC7

It was plain DMR, not Capacity Plus or Connect Plus. I did not get any Talkgroup numbers or figure out TS1 or TS2 usage. Of the three, 457.575 seemed to have the most usage when I listened. I wonder if this is well planned so that other Carnival ships, using the same frequencies, have different Color Codes, in case they are in the same port at the same time?

But, back to FRS/GMRS, very little usage, as I posted earlier, particularly compared to cruises I was on in the past. The same with European PMR channels. Actually, a little bit of FRS/GMRS and NO European PMR. I saw very few FRS/GMRS, too. I still remember that beep from other cruises, though. I do not miss that in the least.

Of course, had I brought my DTR550s, somebody would have said that about the DTR noise!
 

ecps92

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Which Carnival Ship ??

Only Two other Ships have been reported with DMR and only two had the CC and TG info

Imagination 457.5250 uses 6
Imagination 457.5500 uses 7
Imagination 457.5750 uses 8
Inspiration 457.5750 uses 2
Inspiration 457.6000 uses 11
Imagination 457.6250 uses 8

It would be rather tough with the many ships in the Carnival Fleet to not reuse the CC
and with all the other ships now going DMR, the chances of intrusion is just as likely as with CTCSS.

Yes, I only heard three. They were:

457.525 CC3

457.550 CC5

457.575 CC7

It was plain DMR, not Capacity Plus or Connect Plus. I did not get any Talkgroup numbers or figure out TS1 or TS2 usage. Of the three, 457.575 seemed to have the most usage when I listened. I wonder if this is well planned so that other Carnival ships, using the same frequencies, have different Color Codes, in case they are in the same port at the same time?

But, back to FRS/GMRS, very little usage, as I posted earlier, particularly compared to cruises I was on in the past. The same with European PMR channels. Actually, a little bit of FRS/GMRS and NO European PMR. I saw very few FRS/GMRS, too. I still remember that beep from other cruises, though. I do not miss that in the least.

Of course, had I brought my DTR550s, somebody would have said that about the DTR noise!
 

kevino

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Yes, the Carnival App will allow you to text others onboard for $5/person. I just came back from an 8-night cruise on the Carnival Vista. I did hear a limited amount of FRS traffic, but more interesting was what sounded like some kid babbling/singing for a few short seconds on 162.400 (a National Weather Service frequency)! Is anyone aware of a BaoFang, etc. radio that has this freq as a preset?

Interesting. Altho, I have noticed it did vary on my past cruises if we heard FRS/GMRS, all depended on the Tech Savy Youth/Parents on board or the need to have the Constant Burp/Ber-App of the FRS

Yes, some of the ships have internal lans (Disney was one) others you can also use your own phone for the cost of the Internet charges, which do seem to be dropping

Any luck with your Ships Frequencies ?
 

kevino

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Yes, I only heard three. They were:

457.525 CC3

457.550 CC5

457.575 CC7

It was plain DMR, not Capacity Plus or Connect Plus. I did not get any Talkgroup numbers or figure out TS1 or TS2 usage. Of the three, 457.575 seemed to have the most usage when I listened. I wonder if this is well planned so that other Carnival ships, using the same frequencies, have different Color Codes, in case they are in the same port at the same time?

But, back to FRS/GMRS, very little usage, as I posted earlier, particularly compared to cruises I was on in the past. The same with European PMR channels. Actually, a little bit of FRS/GMRS and NO European PMR. I saw very few FRS/GMRS, too. I still remember that beep from other cruises, though. I do not miss that in the least.

Of course, had I brought my DTR550s, somebody would have said that about the DTR noise!
Just got back from eight nights on the Vista and found a few other freqs active there in addition to the ones above. Here's the rundown:

457.525 CC3 - TG 726 SL1, TG 730 SL 2
457.550 CC5 - TG 727 SL1, TG 731 SL 2
457.575 CC7 - TG 728 "Channel 3 - Deck" SL1, TG 732 SL2
457.5375 CC9 - TG 729 "Channel 4 - Medical" SL1, TG 733 SL2
467.9125 CC1? simplex - "Channel 9", used in dining room (and elsewhere?)
463.550 (D331) - Casino/Arcade
467.500(74.4) - Carnival Terminal D ops (Miami), disembarking (and embarking?) ops

Kevin
 

bill4long

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Is anyone aware of a BaoFang, etc. radio that has this freq as a preset?
None that I've seen. But it's a simple matter to program it in. Maybe somebody thought that freq would not be used out at sea (and probably isn't) and figured it would be an effective private freq.
 

bill4long

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It would be rather tough with the many ships in the Carnival Fleet to not reuse the CC and with all the other ships now going DMR, the chances of intrusion is just as likely as with CTCSS.
But they don't just have CC, they can use different TGs as well.
 

mformby

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Moto DTR550 worked very good

I had used Moto CP200 4 watt UHF on one cruise and they worked pretty good. On the next cruise I took the MOTO DTR550 and they worked much better. Amazing how 1 watt 900Mhz can outperform 4 watts UHF. The smaller (shorter) wave length just has a better bounce effect plus the digital radios have zero background noise which helps. I see no reason the new DLR radios won't perform as good. I have not compared the specs on the receivers but both transmitters are one watt. Plus they cost a lot less unless you need all of the features of the DTR radios.

Aside from people issues already mentioned by others, you will be lucky if you can communicate from one end of the ship to the other if the other person is on a different deck. It gets tough when deep inside the ship on different decks since you are inside a compartmentalized metal enclosure with only a few holes for RF to travel between compartments. That's been my experience when using 4W UHF Part 90/95 commercial radios on GMRS on a cruise a couple of years ago. I didn't bother trying it with bubble packs. One thing I found helped to get better RF penetration of the ship was to go to the nearest elevator lobby because it's open to all decks accessible by passengers. I suspect the ship has antennas for the crew's internal comms located in the elevator shafts for the same reason.

If my wife and I go on another cruise someday, we will be using Motorola DTR digital FHSS radios on 900MHz. From reports I've read in other threads, people who have used them on cruise ships found they worked excellent and outperformed 4W UHF Part 90/95 commercial radios on GMRS and provided reliable communication everywhere throughout the ship. The DTRs are all digital too. RF penetration should be better at 900MHz because the ship is much more open at 900MHz compared to 462/467MHz. I wouldn't bother trying anything on VHF MURS. The multiple reflections at 900MHz and FHSS can actually work to your advantage inside the ship (a metal box w/metal compartments) because individual hot spots and dead spots in any given location are constantly hopping around due to the FHSS. The end result is you are likely to be in a good spot or at least a good enough spot for digital to be decoded more often than not. Motorola 900MHz DTR digital FHSS radios are the way to go on a cruise ship. The new Motorola DLR series will also work well there too and are compatible with the DTRs.

Good luck.
 
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