Best Walkie Talkies for Cruise Ships in 2020: Top 7 Reviews

I don’t have to tell you that we all need a good walkie talkie while travelling on a cruise. This is because:

  • Your mobile phones are going to be too costly or
  • Their signals can be weak in the sea
  • You can easily get in contact with family/friends onboard using a walkie talkie

Now you might be thinking how can you select the best walkie talkie for cruise ship.

You need to look for water resistant walkie talkies that can provide reliable communication and clear sound quality.

However, if you are looking for quick answers, we have something for you.

Our team has tested a few of the best selling cruise ship walkie talkies to find the best ones. We have narrowed down to the top 7 options and you will find their detailed reviews in this article.

Best Walkie Talkie for Cruise Ship- Our Top Choices at a Glance

If you are eager to pick the best ones, the below comparison table will help you. We have given a quick overview of our top walkie talkies for cruise ships below:

  1. Retevis RT22- Best Cruise Ship Walkie Talkie with Excellent Range

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  • Super durable
  • Easy to carry and simple to operate
  • Long-range
  • Squelch function to minimize interruption

2. Arcshell AR-5- Most Advanced Walkie Talkie for Cruise

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  • Small and convenient size
  • Water-resistant
  • 1500 mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • High quality built-in speaker

3. Topsung M880- Most Affordable Choice

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  • Auto squelch system
  • Easy to operate and carry, even for kids
  • Long-range in different terrains
  • Auto power saving

4. Topsung 3-Pack- Rugged walkie talkie for cruise ship with stunning features

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  • NOAA weather scan
  • PTT button with 8 adjustable volumes
  • Long-range communication and clear sounde
  • VOX for hands-free operation

5. Arcshell AR-6- Good Quality Walkie Talkie for Cruises

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  • Solid-built and water-resistant
  • Range is up to 5 miles with no obstruction
  • PTT button and built-in mic
  • 50 CTCSS tones and 105 CDCSS tones

6. Retevis RT21- Most Durable Walkie Talkie for Cruise Ships

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  • 3000mAh battery that lasts 36 hours
  • Includes earpiece and built-in secure call
  • Crystal voice and long range
  • Durable belt-clip

7. Rivins RV-7- All in One Cruise Walkie talkie Pack

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  • Extensive frequency coverage
  • License-free in the US
  • UHF supports 5 miles
  • VOX for hands-free operation

Why get a Cruise walkie talkie?

Traveling on a cruise seems like the perfect vacation plan! It’ll provide you with an exciting opportunity to relax, explore new destinations, and spend quality time with your friends and family.

When traveling with kids or in groups, you wouldn’t want to get lost on a cruise with limited cell coverage. You need a reliable mode of communication, even on vacation! Here’s why a walkie talkie is the best choice:

  • You wouldn’t want anxiety-inducing distractions like emails from work and reminders you have been avoiding on vacation.
  • A walkie talkie allows you to communicate with travel buddies within a 1-5 mile radius without bothering you with annoying notifications.
  • If you plan to split up at the port for shore excursions, you wouldn’t have to worry limited or weak cellphone coverage.
  • It also serves as a super affordable alternative to expensive roaming plans and internet packages.
  • Having a walkie talkie gives kids the liberty to independently explore the cruise while staying in touch with guardians.

best Walkie Talkies for Cruise Ships- Reviews

Below are the detailed reviews:

1.      Retevis RT22 – The Best Choice

Retevis RT22

A powerhouse combo of best features and excellent range coverage

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Pros

  • Exceptional customer service
  • Battery life lasts about four days
  • Clear transmission
  • Works well in the dock and on excursions

Cons

  • Belt clip might break easily

The Retevis RT22 is a winner when it comes to absolutely everything in a single package for cruise walkie talkie!

This compact and slim radio is just what you need for when you’re onboard a ship. It fits in the palm pretty conveniently and is relatively easy to carry. Moreover, it offers decent coverage in all environments.

The RT22 also helps you in case of danger by alerting team members with its emergency alarm system.

The pack of six offers outstanding value. If you’re traveling in a large group, this package will have a unit for all. The most significant advantage with the Retevis units is the six-way multi-gang charger that simultaneously charges all devices.

Most importantly, it offers multiple charging protection, such as over-voltage, overcharge, and short circuit protection.

As a frequent adventurer, I’ve tried various high-end and cheap radios. None impressed as Retevis did! They cover indoor and outdoor areas, and the audio is also pretty loud and clear. With RT22, you won’t have to worry about wasting your money on regretful purchases.

It’s undoubtedly the best walkie talkie you can get for a cruise ship!

2.      Archsell AT-5 – Customer’s Choice

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One of the most advanced Walkie Talkies For Cruise Ship which is loved by thousands of happy customers

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Pros

  • Outstanding customer care
  • Performs better than expected
  • Perfect clarity and battery life
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • You might feel it’s bit of low quality

The Arschell 4-pack with all its bells and whistles gives you better-sounding audio with top-notch accessories – while being priced under $50! It’s the ultimate walkie talkie that also matches budget needs.

  • 16 pre-programmed channels
  • Each unit comes with a Li-ion battery and charging dock
  • Feature built-in microphone
  • VOX function
  • 50 CTCSS and 105 CDCSS tones

It’s also currently the second-best two-way radio in the market for cruise ship use. It’s small, convenient, and light-weighted. The performance was far better than expected, and these worked at even six decks apart!

The walkie talkies helped connect group members and reunite for excursions and other activities. If you ask us, the highlight of our purchase was the exceptional customer service of Archsell.

Although the quality isn’t up to par, it’s still a decent purchase for vacations. The units aren’t toy-like and should last a couple of years.

3.      Topsung M880 – The Best Budget Option

Topsung M880

A Winner For Short-Range Communication, Especially For Budget-Buyers

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Pros

  • Very sturdy and well-made
  • Set up was easy
  • Clear voice transmit sound
  • Worth the money

Cons

  • Not rechargeable

Topsung has been manufacturing top-quality Walker talkies, capable of operating indoors, outdoors, and even middle of the sea! With the M880, you get premium quality along with spectacular parameters.

The Topsung walkie talkies are easy to use even for kids. You can use them to keep talking to your travel partners while you’re out and about!

The range coverage is perfect, and the audio is crystal clear, although we don’t recommend it for extensive distances keeping obstructions in mind.

The battery life is perfect, and these last for days. However, you’ll need to switch to rechargeable batteries, especially for your cruise trips, where finding external batteries won’t be easy.

You might think of these to be cheaply built. But they are rugged and sturdy. Furthermore, the auto squelch on these radios enhances transmit sound quality, offering stable and reliable audio.

4.      Topsung 3-Pack – Most Rugged Choice

Topsung Cruise walkie talkie

Offers Bang For The Buck And Stands Firmly With Other Competitors.

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Pros

  • Decent range
  • Sturdy build – withstands any impact
  • Rechargeable
  • Clarity is spot on

Cons

  • Slightly confusing buttons

Topsung has strong branding, quality products, and aesthetically pleasing designs. This pack of three delivers across the board and gets thumbs up from us!

  • Longer standby of 48 hours
  • Easy voice and sound activation
  • NOAA weather alert
  • PTT button
  • 38 CTCSS and 83 DCS codes

If you’re planning your next cruise trip with little ones, you must look into this colorful option. Not only are these compact, but also easy to operate for all age groups. The longer run time means you can use it for hours at an end without worrying about charging outlets.

It’s also compatible with all radios regardless of brand by merely operating at the same channels using the same privacy codes.

Although these Topsung radios aren’t the most advanced, they’re still pretty decent considering the low price tag. We didn’t encounter any trouble using these. However, as with most devices, you will need to step out of the cabin to connect with your travel buddy.

5.      Arcshell AT-6 – Best for Group

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A pack of four amazing walkie talkies offering High-End Quality Wherever You Might Be!

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Pros

  • Excellent customer service
  • The battery lasts quite a bit
  • Sound is clear and loud
  • Excellent all round

Cons

  • Fragile earpiece

Affordable and reliable, the Arcshell radios are worth mentioning here! The brand sure possesses the expertise when it comes to two-way radios for outdoor usage.

These UHF radios are the perfect choice for cruise use as these radio waves travel well even in the face of metal obstructions. Moreover, the pack of 4 is priced reasonably and is an impressive option for those traveling in groups. The rechargeable units also feature charging docks, earpieces, and sturdy antenna whips.

Archsell’s customer service is no joke. They’re pretty hands-on and prompt in responding to queries and complaints. 

Our only recommendation to the brand is to work on their quality to make the products last longer. Archshell could become our top choice if the brand improves in areas where it’s lacking. Nevertheless, it still works well, and I wouldn’t mind purchasing more of these, because why not?

6.      Retevis RT21 – Most durable walkie Talkie for Cruises

Retevis RT21

Your search for the most durable cruise walkie talkie should end with this awesome product.

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Pros

  • Reliable and fun to use
  • The range is pretty decent
  • Extremely professional customer service
  • Easy to program and use

Cons

  • Weak front panel grille

There’s a lot to like about the Retevis RT21. You’re going to need this walkie talkie when booking your next cruise trip! Here’s a list of some of its appealing features:

  • 3000mAh battery capacity
  • Built-in secure call feature
  • Heavy-duty and durable
  • Strong penetration abilities
  • Feature-rich and easy-to-use
  • Water-resistant
  • High-quality antenna
  • Supports long-term use

The RT21 radios are fun to use, especially when coordinating with other travel buddies. The audio it delivers is stable, reliably, and static-free.

You can freely use these two-way radios near the ship’s railing or close to the pool without worrying about water splashes. Additionally, the durable built ensures a scratch-free surface and seems to handle impact well. But, we can’t speak the same about its front panel grille!

One surprising factor of the radio is its lower price, which is perfect for budget buyers. However, despite the economical price, the brand doesn’t compromise on quality. The belt-clip and battery cover held up well!

Conclusively, this Retevis package is a terrific deal, and we highly recommend it for small groups looking to stay connected on a cruise.

7.      Rivins RV-7 – The All Rounder

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An All-In-One Walkie Talkie Option You Can Take To A Cruise Ship

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Pros

  • Easy customization and programming
  • Excellent range even on a ship
  • These work particularly well on a cruise
  • Static-free sound within a reasonable distance

Cons

  • Low quality hands strap

Rivins RV-7 brings you everything you could want from a two-way radio. It operates at FRS, GMRS, and UHF bands.

If your goal is to find a low-cost yet effective communication solution when onboard a ship, there’s no better option than this! These units are powered by AAA batteries that seem to last long enough; however, we recommend rechargeable ones.

Unlike many other radios, we didn’t have issues with the battery cover or belt-clips. Yay! Another remarkable aspect of the Rivins radios is the color choice that indeed appeals to kids.

Walkie talkies are easily misplaced, especially when in crowded places. These are priced so low that losing one or two won’t cause heartbreak as they’re easily replaceable.

Although a few things are lacking here and there, I’m happy with my purchase! It seems like an excellent purchase for beginners looking for a one-time buy.

Tips to Buy a Good Walkie Talkie for Cruise Ships

Type of radio

  • Family Radio Service

FRS radios use FM waves and function on 1-14 channels. These are relatively cheap and do not require a license to use. Furthermore, it’s easy to operate for almost anyone in the family!

However, keep in mind, these have a maximum, permissible power output of 2-watts. Thus, FRS radios work best for short-range communication.

  • General Mobile Radio Service

Contrary to FRS radios, the GMRS walkie talkies are high-powered and handle about 60-watts of allowable power. The higher wattage results in extensive-distance coverage, useful for when operating on cruise ships. 

However, unlike FRS, GMRS requires you to obtain an FCC license, which costs $50-80.

  • Ultra-High Frequency

If you’re a HAM or CB user, you must be aware of the UHF band. These radios function at 400-512 MHz and penetrate the watertight doors of ships. If you want to communicate from within the cabin, UHF is the way to go! 

  • Extreme Radio Service

These advanced FRS devices are far more capable than standard GMRS radios when it comes to range coverage.

good walkie talkie for cruises

Range

The combination of specs like frequency, power handling, and antenna gain determines the distance your device will cover. Moreover, the range will also depend on factors like obstructions and weather conditions.

Make sure to look for specs that will enable long-range communication within cabins and docks.

Privacy codes

Several passengers will be using the same frequencies on the cruise ships to communicate with their friends and families. That means strangers may inadvertently listen to your communication without you even knowing.

To prevent this, you must choose a device with multiple channel options and privacy codes to limit noise.

Weatherproof

When around water, you must use a water-resistant or waterproof two-way radio! Mishaps and accidents are quite likely when you’re in crowded areas and are in the middle of the sea. Having a weatherproof walkie talkie means you can operate it under all kinds of weather conditions.

Even a heavy downpour would do no damage to your device! The Arschell walkie talkies and Retevis RT21 are water-resistant, which means they’ll stay safe from ocean splashes.

Design

The Retevis RT21 is among the most durably-built radios. Its strong shell and dust-proof construction let you have fun without worrying about harsh environmental conditions.

Additional features

One feature to look for in a walkie talkie for a cruise ship is the VOX function for hands-free operation. It will help if you look for a radio that includes earpiece to help you maintain privacy when around crowds. A charging dock comes in handy when you’re in a hurry, as all it requires is for you to plop the radio in, and it’s done!

Besides these, a keypad lock is a bonus feature, especially when you have kids operating these.

License requirement

You do not need to obtain the FCC license to operate walkie talkies unless you’re using the high-power GMRS channels. FRS channels work just about right when on a cruise and are undoubtedly the best choice.

They’re powerful enough to work onboard a metal ship, are economically priced, and offer reliable communication!

FAQs

Do walkie talkies work on a cruise Ships?

Yes, they do work as stated by Cruzely. Several users have had an excellent experience using UHF, FRS, and other radios onboard cruise ships. However, the quality of communication you have depends on several environmental factors and the device you’re using.

A ship vessel is a metal box, which means there will be obstructions impacting the penetration of signals. Most walkie talkies require the two users to be out of their cabins and away from obstacles.

Moreover, you may want to invest in powerful devices for better range coverage and clear reception. When purchasing a two-way radio for a cruise ship, make sure to look for the best specs.

Which walkie talkie works best on cruise ships?

Among the walkie talkies listed above, the Retevis RT22 seems to have the most lasting impact. Besides offering exceptional range coverage, the model is feature-rich. All of its functions come in handy when you’re onboard a cruise.

Additionally, the 6-pack seems to be a fantastic deal for large groups traveling together!

Are two-way radios allowed on cruise?

Passengers are allowed to carry two-way radios onboard for personal communications. However, all cruise lines have varying rules, so you may want to check what kind of walkie talkie is allowed on the particular vessel.

The four radio categories permissible for cruise ships include FRS, GMRS, UHF, and eXRS.

Can others listen to my conversation on the ship?

Yes. Other passengers using walkies talkies may tune into your channel unknowingly. In that situation, you may switch channels to limit interruption. An easy to prevent this from happening is to look for radios with extensive frequencies.

Another handy feature in most modern walkie talkies is privacy codes. It doesn’t secure your communication but instead limits the noise. However, keep in mind that having a privacy code doesn’t stop others from accidentally listening to you and your mate talking.

Conclusion

Quit worrying about that impending deadline while on vacation and switch to a walkie talkie when on a cruise. There are several appealing radio options when it comes to using them on cruise ships. It might be best if you put in careful thought and effort in choosing the right one.

Our list of top-rated walkie talkies is based on thorough research and will surely help you find the best one! Check out our recommendations that will not only keep you well-connected but also relaxed thanks to their non-distracting ways!

Our top-most favorite is the Retevis RT-22 that works exceptionally well in docks and shore excursions.

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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