In the United States

For the purposes of our proposed application, we will be discussing unlicensed radio usage in the VHF, UHF and 900 MHz bands. These are authorized in the United States by Title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 95 and Part 15 respectively. 

Licensed options include Amateur Radio and the higher-powered General Mobile Radio Service. However, a ham radio license requires preparation to pass an operator’s examination (although Morse code is no longer a requirement), and only licensed individuals could use it. GMRS requires no examination, but the licensing fee is $70.00. I prefer unlicensed communications because anyone can participate, and the radios can be used for recreational or business activities aside from the cruise ship.

Within the United States, Territories or Possessions, as well as marine operation in international waters, the following classes and channels can be used:

Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) 5 channels

Channel No.FrequencyPower (ERP in Watts)
1151.8202 W
2151.8802 W
3151.9402 W
4154.5702 W
5154.6002 W

Family Radio Service (FRS) 22 channels

Channel No.FrequencyPower (ERP in Watts)
1462.56252 W
2462.58752 W
3462.61252 W
4462.63752 W
5462.66252 W
6462.68752 W
7462.71252 W
8467.56250.5 W
9467.58750.5 W
10467.61250.5 W
11467.63750.5 W
12467.66250.5 W
13467.68750.5 W
14467.71250.5 W
15462.55002 W
16462.57502 W
17462.60002 W
18462.62502 W
19462.65002 W
20462.67502 W
21462.70002 W
22462.72502 W

Extreme Radio Service (eXRS)

eXRS902-9281 W

Operating Authority:

47 CFR 95.307 (b) With permission of the captain, while the vessel is within the United States or its territories, United States territorial waters, or upon international waters.

Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) 47 CFR 95.2701-2779

Family Radio Service (FRS) 47 CFR 95.503

Extreme Radio Service (900 MHz) 47 CFR 15.247

On a cruise ship, the captain of the vessel has the ultimate authority whether you may or may not use walkie-talkies onboard. The question will almost always revolve around safety and interference to essential communications. Ships utilize VHF-FM marine channels to communicate ship-to-ship, ship-to-shore, or port operations, and the crew uses four descrete channels in the UHF band for operations, usually with an onboard repeater to etend coverage.

This website is intended to provide you with detailed information of the technical characteristics of the radio communication equipment you will be using, to assure the crew that you will not be operating on or near their assigned frequencies, and thus can peacefully coexist.