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Ham Radio on a Cruise

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by W7ZAA, Sep 30, 2010.

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  1. W7ZAA

    W7ZAA Ham Member QRZ Page

    My YL and I are going on a cruise and are planning on bringing our HTs with us to use for communication with one another while on the boat. (simplex)

    My issue is regarding international waters, and when the boat is in port. Obviously, when we are in Mexico, on Mexican soil, we will be subject to their laws. My questions are:

    1. When we are traveling in International Waters down to Mexico from California are we able to use the radios without worry?
    2. When the boat is in port and we are on the boat in port are we governed by Mexican law?

    I don't want to return from the cruise in hot water from using the HT to communicate while on the boat. I emailed the FCC and got an email back with an attachment explaining what FRS and GMRS is, when I specifically stated that we both had our Ham Radio Licenses and even provided our callsigns for them. :eek:

    Any information would be helpful. And yes, I checked Carnival's website as well as my traveling agreement and neither of them state anything about HAM/Amateur radio.
  2. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    If the ship is a U.S. registered vessel, then your license is valid there. If it flies the flag of some other country, then you need to comply with that country's rules. In either case, you need the permission of the ship's captain, which is routinely granted by some lines, and routinely denied by others.

    Yes, you would need a Mexican license to operate in Mexican territorial waters. The license is fairly easy to obtain, but as far as I know, it requires either you or someone on your behalf to personally visit the government office to obtain your license. There is also a fee for doing this (I forget exactly, but it was something like $50). For your purposes, I'm guessing it's not worth the trouble.

    In theory, you can get the license by mail, but when I got one, it was a lot easier to have someone go in person.
  3. N5KRC

    N5KRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Then you might want to contact the cruise line. You'll need the captain's consent to operate underway, regardless of who's laws you fall under at any given moment.
  4. W7ZAA

    W7ZAA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Why do I need to check with the captain if their contract which I agreed to lists prohibited items and the word "radio" "HAM" "amateur" etc. are not even located under that list?

    I'm bringing my cell phone and I'm not going to ask the captain for permission to use it if and when I need to. What am I missing?
  5. W7ZAA

    W7ZAA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here is the relevant portion of the contract:

    (a) Each fully paid adult Guest will be allowed a reasonable amount of luggage on board containing their personal belongings. Luggage means only trunks, valises, satchels, bags, hangers and bundles with their contents consisting of only such wearing apparel, toilet articles and similar personal effects as are necessary and appropriate for the purpose of the journey.
    (b) No tools of trade, household goods, presents and/or property of others, jewelry, money, cameras, documents, valuables of any description including but not limited to such articles as are described in Title 46 of the United States Code section 30503 shall be carried except under and subject to the terms of a special written contract or Bill of Lading entered into with Carnival prior to embarkation upon application of the Guest. The Guest warrants that no such articles are contained in any receptacle or container presented by him as baggage hereunder, and if any such articles are shipped in the Guest’s baggage in breach of this warranty, no liability for negligence, gross or ordinary, shall attach to Carnival for any loss or damage thereto.
    (c) Carnival shall not be liable for: (1) Guest’s failure to comply with the requirements set forth in Clauses 4(a) and 4(b); (2) any loss or damage before baggage comes into Carnival’s actual custody on board or after baggage leaves Carnival’s actual custody on board, including, but not limited to, loss or damage by airlines or other transportation services; (3) any loss or damage of baggage while not in the actual possession, custody and control of Carnival; (4) damage due to wear, tear or normal usage; (5) any loss or damage of perishable items, medicine, liquor, cash, securities or other financial instruments, or (6) any loss or damage while in the custody and control of stevedores.
    (d) It is stipulated and agreed that the aggregate value of Guest’s property, does not exceed $50 per guest or bag with a maximum value of $100 per stateroom regardless of the number of occupants or bags and any liability of Carnival for any cause whatsoever with respect to said property shall not exceed such sum, unless the Guest shall in writing, delivered to Carnival, prior to embarkation, declare the true value thereof and pay to Carnival prior to embarkation a sum equal to 5% of the excess of such value. If Carnival shall be held liable for the loss of or damage to Guest’s baggage or property it is agreed that such liability shall not exceed the lesser of: (1) the actual cash value, or (2) value declared in the manner above provided (up to U.S. $100 if no such declaration has been made). Declared value amounts to be proportionately reduced in any case where less than all of Guest’s baggage or property is lost, delayed or rendered unusable due to damage. In no event shall Carnival be liable to pay any compensation if the nature or value of the property has been misrepresented.
    (e) No Guest is permitted, to bring on board the vessel live animals (other than qualified service animals, with not less than 14 days advance notice given to Carnival). Guest will be solely responsible for any and all damage and/or loss caused by service animals.
    (f) Weapons, firearms, contraband, ammunition, explosives, incendiary devices, or other dangerous items are strictly prohibited aboard the vessel. Carnival reserves the right to confiscate, destroy and/or turn over to authorities these or any other items it deems in its sole discretion to be detrimental to the safety or comfort of any person or which are otherwise improperly in the possession of any Guest. Each Guest warrants that no such articles are contained in any receptacle or container carried or presented as baggage. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited except as provided for in clause 8(f). All Guests agree Carnival has, at all times with or without notice, the right to search Guest’s baggage and/or personal effects for any of the prohibited items, at any location, to ensure compliance with these restrictions. Any Guest who refuses any such search or screening, or any Guest traveling with such items, may be denied boarding or disembarked and no refund of the cruise fare will be issued. The Guest will be solely responsible for any and all damage and/or loss caused by his violation of this policy.
  6. KF5CGM

    KF5CGM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Typical American, because it doesn't say anything about a certain item, this doesn't mean that it is allowed.

    If you go to a friends house and use your radio there, do you think you have to ask him for permission?

    How about using it in a hospital? It say's cell phones are not allowed, do you think you can use your ham radio?
  7. W7ZAA

    W7ZAA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just found this on wikipedia:

    Amateur radio operators in international waters or airspace are subject to the reciprocal licensing requirements pertaining to the country under which the vessel is flagged. Permission by the vessels Captain, for on-board use of amateur radio equipment, is often a legal requirement

    I'm guessing you guys are getting the requirement for the captain's approval from this. I guess I'll try and contact them...
  8. W7ZAA

    W7ZAA Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is a contract. So this is absolutely what it means. If it isn't contractually prohibited, it is permissible.

    No, I don't. I also don't ask business owners for permission. If I'm in a loud and busy store, I'll use it without a care, no different than a cell phone, I just don't have the volume up loud enough to disturb others. If I'm in a quiet restaurant, obviously out of respect for others I won't disturb them. Other people's houses, vehicles, etc. is fair game.

    Hospitals say that cell phones and other transmitters are not allowed. Since a radio is a transmitter, then I would not use it inside. I still fail to see how this applies, since the cruise says nothing about cell phones, transmitters, radios, or anything of the sort, and FRS radios are more than frequently used by passengers. I just don't want to have to fight over freqs with motorola talkabout radios.
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    This has been pretty thoroughly researched by the ARRL legal staff and of course requires constantly renewed research, as regulations can change.

    However as of "today," as per this:

    ...we get this:

    "Several things will come into play here.

    First, in many cases, you will first need the permission of the cruise ship company itself to even have an Amateur Radio transmitter in your possession while on board (whether in use or not). So your first step is to make sure you have written authorization to have your radio with you.

    Next, besides the company itself you will need to have permission of the ship's captain in order to use the radio. Do not assume you can simply throw up a vertical outside of your stateroom and operate!

    Once you have authorization top operate ship board, you still have to worry about reciprocal operating privileges with the country where your ship is, including territorial waters.

    When an FCC licensed amateur is operating an amateur rig aboard a US-registered vessel in international waters, he or she must follow Part 97 of the FCC rules, particularly Section 97.11. US and Canadian licensees need no special permit or authorization other than their own FCC or DOC license as long as Section 97.11 is followed and they stay within the US and International waters.

    If the ship is of foreign registry, you must obtain a reciprocal operating authorization from the country of registry in addition to being in compliance with Section 97.11. When amateurs enter the territorial waters of a country, they fall under their communications jurisdiction. This means that they must obtain the required reciprocal operating authorization. There are three such authorizations: CEPT which applies to most European countries and certain overseas territories; IARP which applies to certain countries in the America's; Reciprocal Permit which is available from most countries, but application must be made to the country and a fee paid."
  10. W7ZAA

    W7ZAA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oh, and thanks for the compliment. I'm proud to be an American, even though you insinuate that being so is a negative character feature. :rolleyes:
    WA1VIN likes this.
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