Cruise vacations are a popular choice for families looking to avoid the high price of fuel for long-distance road trips. These types of vacations offer a complete package aboard a floating vacation paradise – ranging from family fun events for parents and kids, to individual activities so that each member of the family gets the most out the time spent on the boat.
To stay in contact during individual activities aboard a massive cruise vessel, many cruise-goers opt to purchase FRS radios (or similar devices) to communicate with each other. The unfortunate problem is that other families also buy their own communication devices; the result is an overcrowded channel lineup with very little quality of coverage. The frequencies used in FRS radios are not intended for good penetrating coverage aboard a floating metal vessel, thus frustrating parents and kids to the point of no use. If the cruise ship has a cell site aboard, the charges for use are normally very high per minute and not cost-effective.
Cruise ship personnel should consider offering an on-board IP communications system that passengers can use. Normally, all cruise ships have extensive Wi-Fi networks already installed. The cruise ship would then rent the hand held units on a daily, weekly basis as part of the cost of the cruise for the family. Each family would be assigned an ID for each unit, so many families would be able to make true IP communications part of their cruising experience. In addition, the radios are submersible, so a swim in the pool or jacuzzi would not mean that the radio is ruined, only wet.
The system is also designed so users have complete privacy. This product would not have to be limited to the cruise passengers on ship. There are probably departments throughout the ship that could use better coverage, or be working in areas where Wi-Fi is strong but the ship’s radio system may be weak.
Icom’s recently introduced the IP100H radio, which can be used aboard a cruise ship and work on the local Wi-Fi network once the IP1000C Controller is installed by the cruise line. The uses are only limited by the size and coverage of the Wi-Fi system. The IP radio is a real tool for communicating anywhere Wi-Fi is present on the ship – for passengers, personnel or both.
The end result would be a new revenue tool for the cruise lines, satisfied passengers who can safely keep track of family members while on board and a state of the art product designed specifically for IP usage so traditional radio frequencies would never interfere with local or current on board traditional radio systems. In addition, the satisfaction of each cruiser becomes memorable and can earn further trust in the specific cruise line, which will increase repeat business.
New IP communications devices from Icom: Catch the Wave!!