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CateV04

Recent experiences with amateur radio on Carnival?

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Hi y'all,

Wondering if any hams it there have brought radios onto a Carnival cruise recently. DH and I are both hams and emergency responders, but Carnival's Prohibited Items list has me scratching my head as it has amateur radios both prohibited and excluded. We'd be bringing a pair of Wouxon KG-UV6D handsets along. Thoughts? KD0-SJB over.

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As a retired mariner I can quickly think of 3 reasons why amateur radios are not permitted.

 

Interference with ship communications, including ship/ship, ship/shore and internal ship coms, if your radio has VHF/UHF capability within the marine band (VHF) and ship specific UHF frequency.

 

Operator Certification - have no knowledge of amateur radio certification, but in the marine band you require basic radio training and certification, in accordance with the ship's flag state. Any US certification you hold, is most likely not valid on the ship and any transmissions in a foreign country could be illegal.

 

Radio Station Certification - Aboard ships, all radios must also have a valid radio station licence issued by, or on behalf of the Flag State.

 

Transmissions by un-certified operators and/or from an un-licenced station are contraventions of the radio regulations pursuant to the Flag State's Shipping Act and may result in prosecution. If caught using them on board a vessel, at the least, I suspect you would be removed from the ship at the next port.

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The issue is that they're both prohibited and restricted. I've heard of folks both using them and not being allowed to use them in the past, hence the question. US ham radio operators are well-educated in technical aspects of radio operation, pass certification tests for their license and fall under treaties that allow international transmission, so I highly doubt that it's a matter of legality. 

 

I specifically asked for what other hams' opinions or experiences have been recently, not wild speculation from someone who says plainly that they suspect some things and don't know anything about amateur radio certification in other areas. Anyone else have any experiences to share that are actually knowlegeble and helpful? Thanks!

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On 12/12/2018 at 1:08 AM, CateV04 said:

The issue is that they're both prohibited and restricted. I've heard of folks both using them and not being allowed to use them in the past, hence the question. US ham radio operators are well-educated in technical aspects of radio operation, pass certification tests for their license and fall under treaties that allow international transmission, so I highly doubt that it's a matter of legality. 

 

I specifically asked for what other hams' opinions or experiences have been recently, not wild speculation from someone who says plainly that they suspect some things and don't know anything about amateur radio certification in other areas. Anyone else have any experiences to share that are actually knowlegeble and helpful? Thanks!

Before you get all uppity over Heidi's response, realize that he is a retired passenger ship Captain, the person whom you would have to clear the usage of your ham radio with for use onboard, and he is giving you the reasons why they would likely not be allowed.

 

I see what you are saying, in Carnival's prohibited items list, and the "supplemental" prohibited items list, giving an exemption.  From what I've seen before regarding ham radios, you would be allowed to bring them on, but you would have to declare them at boarding, and the Captain would have to give permission to use them.  As these are 5 watt transceivers, they definitely fall within the ship's International Radio Telephony Certificate, so it would be up to the Captain to allow or disallow.  While you may not think it is a legal matter, it is.  The ship's certificate requires the deck officers to have an international radio operators certificate, and even the FCC requires that marine radio stations (and your 5 watt ham radio is a "marine radio station" when operating at sea) have Marine Radio Operator's licenses for US flag ships/boats.  Since you don't have a marine license, you would be operating under the Captain's license.

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As "recently" as October 2016, AMSAT held their annual meeting on a Carnival cruise out of Galveston with satellite ops on-board (5W HTs/FT817, hand-held Elk/Arrow antennas).  The AMSAT office or folks who were at the 2016 Symposium at Sea could possibly advise how they handled licensing and approval to operate at sea.  

 

My reading of the info on ARRL's site is you need: 

1) operating permit/license from the ship's country of registry (Panama or Bahamas mostly). 

2) official copy of your license (for US hams, d/l & print from the FCC ULS site). 

3) Some written advance-approval from CCL could be helpful,

4) a copy of the exceptions to the prohibited items list to get you through embarkation. 

5) The Captain's permission, and

6) comply with whatever requirements are set onboard. 

7) To operate within territorial waters or ashore at any foreign ports, the appropriate license/CEPT/IARU documentation for that country if it isn't the country of ship's registration. 

😎 The OP can presume "radio may be part of our vacation" approval from their spouse!

 

Worth the effort and risk of confiscation?  YMMV and I have not so far.  While I'd ***love*** to activate wet grids on a few satellites, or operate from a beach while my non-ham wife and her gf shops, most of our cruising has been on lines that blanket prohibit ham radios.  Risk of permanent loss has so far outweighed a few hours of fun at US-jurisdiction or other ports where I could get a license or permit in advance.  73 de ks1g

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On 12/26/2018 at 2:22 PM, do_not_spindle said:

As "recently" as October 2016, AMSAT held their annual meeting on a Carnival cruise out of Galveston with satellite ops on-board (5W HTs/FT817, hand-held Elk/Arrow antennas).  The AMSAT office or folks who were at the 2016 Symposium at Sea could possibly advise how they handled licensing and approval to operate at sea.  

 

My reading of the info on ARRL's site is you need: 

1) operating permit/license from the ship's country of registry (Panama or Bahamas mostly). 

2) official copy of your license (for US hams, d/l & print from the FCC ULS site). 

3) Some written advance-approval from CCL could be helpful,

4) a copy of the exceptions to the prohibited items list to get you through embarkation. 

5) The Captain's permission, and

6) comply with whatever requirements are set onboard. 

7) To operate within territorial waters or ashore at any foreign ports, the appropriate license/CEPT/IARU documentation for that country if it isn't the country of ship's registration. 

😎 The OP can presume "radio may be part of our vacation" approval from their spouse!

 

Worth the effort and risk of confiscation?  YMMV and I have not so far.  While I'd ***love*** to activate wet grids on a few satellites, or operate from a beach while my non-ham wife and her gf shops, most of our cruising has been on lines that blanket prohibit ham radios.  Risk of permanent loss has so far outweighed a few hours of fun at US-jurisdiction or other ports where I could get a license or permit in advance.  73 de ks1g

2

Thank you, this was EXACTLY what I was looking for. DH ended up looking up the information on transfering licenses to Mexico and was excluded for a range of reasons (including exclusions for Mexican islands and that the agency that needed to receive the transfer hadn't existed in months to years), so we went without. Thank you for the information, it was extremely helpful!

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