Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
HAM Radio Cruiser

Golden Princess / Amateur Radio

Recommended Posts

I'm leaving this here so hopefully others will have some information that I couldn't find online prior to my cruise.

 

I wanted to take my amateur radio gear on the Golden Princess. I contacted Princess's HQ and was told that there were no corporate rules against it but that it was the decision of the captain and that I needed to request permission upon boarding.

 

I applied for a reciprocal permit from Bermuda, carried my U.S. amateur radio license and a letter to the captain with my equipment. My bag was detained prior to boarding the boat. The security officer was kind enough to take it on board and stow it there until things were clarified with the captain.

 

The next day I was told it was a "no". No other information was given. I will compliment the security officer, Paul. He was a gentleman and a professional with how he handled the situation and my equipment was safely returned to me after disembarking.

 

So for the record....Captain Nicolo Bommarco on the Golden Princess (Alaskan Inside Passage) would not allow amateur radio gear.

 

There is no need for you to leave a comment of "why would you even want to bring that on a cruise." If you say that, then this post isn't for you. It is really for amateur radio operators who enjoy the hobby and want to try operating from the ocean like I did.

 

All the best!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well he is in command onboard and I would respect his decision and I don't think I would want someone broadcasting from the ship which could interfere with onboard communications.

Does not sound like you are happy with that being that you praised the Security Officer and not the man in charge. :cool:

 

Oh yeah great first post. ;)

Edited by Colo Cruiser

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you did everything right and the captain just didn't want it to happen. I can understand it if you are somewhat unhappy but, then again, he is the captain.

 

I don't know that there is a way to make this more palatable for you but, in the end, it does come down to the captain's decision and he chose to deny your request.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sounds like you did everything right and the captain just didn't want it to happen. I can understand it if you are somewhat unhappy but, then again, he is the captain.

 

I don't know that there is a way to make this more palatable for you but, in the end, it does come down to the captain's decision and he chose to deny your request.

I agree.

 

The issue could even be Alaska. Where the ship sails, ship communication can be difficult to impossible so any interference (don't know enough about it to know if that's even possible) could be a concern if there were an emergency.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm leaving this here so hopefully others will have some information that I couldn't find online prior to my cruise.

 

I wanted to take my amateur radio gear on the Golden Princess. I contacted Princess's HQ and was told that there were no corporate rules against it but that it was the decision of the captain and that I needed to request permission upon boarding.

 

I applied for a reciprocal permit from Bermuda, carried my U.S. amateur radio license and a letter to the captain with my equipment. My bag was detained prior to boarding the boat. The security officer was kind enough to take it on board and stow it there until things were clarified with the captain.

 

The next day I was told it was a "no". No other information was given. I will compliment the security officer, Paul. He was a gentleman and a professional with how he handled the situation and my equipment was safely returned to me after disembarking.

 

So for the record....Captain Nicolo Bommarco on the Golden Princess (Alaskan Inside Passage) would not allow amateur radio gear.

 

There is no need for you to leave a comment of "why would you even want to bring that on a cruise." If you say that, then this post isn't for you. It is really for amateur radio operators who enjoy the hobby and want to try operating from the ocean like I did.

 

All the best!

 

Most cruise lines/ships will not allow amateur equipment aboard other than the usual HT which appears to them to be a "walkie talkie" (ugh). However this can be waived. A large group of hams went out of Galveston on the Carnival and obtained prior permission to bring their equipment aboard last spring. Every 3 or 4 years the QCWA hosts a cruise on HAL and they bring a fully functioning HF station aboard (thank you ICOM). The crew even helps them set up the antennas (dipoles) so it can be done but in large groups. Being a long time ham (40 yrs+) I understand.

 

Fully functioning ham gear does NOT interfere with the ship's communications most of which is done over microwave via satellite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm leaving this here so hopefully others will have some information that I couldn't find online prior to my cruise.

 

I wanted to take my amateur radio gear on the Golden Princess. I contacted Princess's HQ and was told that there were no corporate rules against it but that it was the decision of the captain and that I needed to request permission upon boarding.

 

I applied for a reciprocal permit from Bermuda, carried my U.S. amateur radio license and a letter to the captain with my equipment. My bag was detained prior to boarding the boat. The security officer was kind enough to take it on board and stow it there until things were clarified with the captain.

 

The next day I was told it was a "no". No other information was given. I will compliment the security officer, Paul. He was a gentleman and a professional with how he handled the situation and my equipment was safely returned to me after disembarking.

 

So for the record....Captain Nicolo Bommarco on the Golden Princess (Alaskan Inside Passage) would not allow amateur radio gear.

 

There is no need for you to leave a comment of "why would you even want to bring that on a cruise." If you say that, then this post isn't for you. It is really for amateur radio operators who enjoy the hobby and want to try operating from the ocean like I did.

 

All the best!

 

I too have fantasized about bringing my ham gear aboard to operate maritime mobile while onboard. I used to handle phone patch traffic for servicemen at sea during the Vietnam war and with the guys stationed at the south pole so they could speak to their families stateside. (That was before cel phones and Skype.) The best I do new is bring along a two meter HT and work the various repeaters in Hawaii. So sorry it didn't work out for you.

 

'73 Marty WA6UVD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm leaving this here so hopefully others will have some information that I couldn't find online prior to my cruise.

 

I wanted to take my amateur radio gear on the Golden Princess. I contacted Princess's HQ and was told that there were no corporate rules against it but that it was the decision of the captain and that I needed to request permission upon boarding.

 

I applied for a reciprocal permit from Bermuda, carried my U.S. amateur radio license and a letter to the captain with my equipment. My bag was detained prior to boarding the boat. The security officer was kind enough to take it on board and stow it there until things were clarified with the captain.

 

The next day I was told it was a "no". No other information was given. I will compliment the security officer, Paul. He was a gentleman and a professional with how he handled the situation and my equipment was safely returned to me after disembarking.

 

So for the record....Captain Nicolo Bommarco on the Golden Princess (Alaskan Inside Passage) would not allow amateur radio gear.

 

There is no need for you to leave a comment of "why would you even want to bring that on a cruise." If you say that, then this post isn't for you. It is really for amateur radio operators who enjoy the hobby and want to try operating from the ocean like I did.

 

All the best!

 

Were you trying to take a HF transceiver or a VHF/UHF HT?

 

If you were taking a HT it is too bad the security officer wouldn't let you check it out in Bermuda where you had a reciprocal license.

 

So here is a good question. If you can't work hams from a ship with a piece of ham equipment could you work them through EchoLink? ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm surprised by the number of comments on my post. Some of the replies inferred that I didn't respect the captain's decision or that I was disappointed with his decision. My post never criticized or expressed any complaint about the captain. The purpose of the post was purely informational so that other HAM operators would have more information than I had. My compliments to the security office and not to the captain weren't a dismissal of the captain; I simply had no interaction with him. I did with the security officer and I thought he did a good job and should be acknowledged.

 

Some cruise lines explicitly state they prohibit amateur radio gear, Princess does not. If you don't believe me, search their website then make a call to their headquarters. They simply leave it up to the captain. That's fine, but it makes it difficult to plan. By sharing this information, others who are taking the Golden Princess under Captain Nicolo Bommarco will know his position. (For the record, I've found at least one ham who was given permission to use his HF radio on the Golden Princess a few years ago which is why I was willing to lug my gear around just for the chance. Therefore, it isn't sufficient to say that you can or can't on the Golden Princess or on any Princess ship. The information is letting you know that under Cpt. Bommarco on the Golden Princess you can't. This is not critical of him or his decision, it's informational.)

 

For the non-amateur radio operators, the licenses granted to amateur radio operators require us to receive permission from the captain to operate. Collectively, amateur radio operator do their best to follow operating practices such as requesting permission from the captain because we are grateful for the airwaves we have for our hobby. We are aware that there is the possibility of interference and we wouldn't want to operate if we there was actual interference. Some were concerned that it might interfere with the ship's communication system, that's a possibility but quite honestly that's probably shielded, using different frequencies, and far enough a way that it isn't the biggest risk. I'd be more concerned that someone's TV in their state room might get some interference. However, the risk of that actually happening is quite low given the power I'd be transmitting on, the fact the ship is made of metal, and the fact I'd be operating from a battery.

 

Two last comments. The reciprocal license from Bermuda was not so I could operate in Bermuda, it is required because the ship is a Bermuda flagged ship and when in International waters, the rules of Bermuda apply to amateur radio operations. Lastly, someone asked about using Echolink. I think that misses the point of what I was hoping to do in a variety of ways. Echolink would require either cell coverage or Internet service, both of which are limited and costly while at sea. Moreover, it is kind of like going telling someone going to Alaska whose hobby is fishing that there is a great fish market to buy fish at. The person who fishes for a hobby wants to get on a fishing boat and catch the fish himself/herself - that's where the joy is for him/her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simple reality: if you want to do X, do your research and find an ____ operation that will allow X. Otherwise, accept the captain's decision and MOVE ON.

 

There are people who don't like that ships will prioritize disembarkation for passengers with "their" excursions/transfers/whatever. If they don't like that, choose a vacation operation that puts them first.

 

I took a floatplane excursion to see bears last week in Alaska. I had three cameras and four lenses, including a monopod. I knew that "carryon baggage is limited", and therefore I was ready and willing to bend over backwards to keep the pilot happy. I happily put my big lens/monopod/camera in the baggage area for the flights, and when he suggested that I put more of my gear in the bag area, I showed him how it was "attached" and asked if he'd approve of me keeping it with me. I was "spring-loaded" to put it in the bag area if he wanted, but he said I was fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are missing the point. It is hard to do research when the information isn't given to you until you get there. I did as much research as I could. I'm just trying to help the next guy who wants to know like I did.

 

Like others, you've made it sound like I didn't accept the captain's decision. I made an effort to not say anything negative about the captain or his decision which is rather easy because I did accept the captain's decision and didn't complain to him or the security officer or anyone else. Posting information about his decision is not an act of judgement or even a complaint, it is simply trying to share information that isn't publicly available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Simple reality: if you want to do X, do your research and find an ____ operation that will allow X. Otherwise, accept the captain's decision and MOVE ON.

 

There are people who don't like that ships will prioritize disembarkation for passengers with "their" excursions/transfers/whatever. If they don't like that, choose a vacation operation that puts them first.

 

I took a floatplane excursion to see bears last week in Alaska. I had three cameras and four lenses, including a monopod. I knew that "carryon baggage is limited", and therefore I was ready and willing to bend over backwards to keep the pilot happy. I happily put my big lens/monopod/camera in the baggage area for the flights, and when he suggested that I put more of my gear in the bag area, I showed him how it was "attached" and asked if he'd approve of me keeping it with me. I was "spring-loaded" to put it in the bag area if he wanted, but he said I was fine.

 

This post gets an eye roll smiley.

 

OP, thank you for the information. My dad was an avid HAM and this thread made me think of him (and the map on the wall with all the pins pushed here and there into it). It's great that a cruise line would host HAMs and their equipment. Even putting up an antenna!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You are missing the point. It is hard to do research when the information isn't given to you until you get there. I did as much research as I could. I'm just trying to help the next guy who wants to know like I did.

 

No, you're missing the point: instead of a ship with thousands of passengers for your next amateur radio cruise, pick a ship with TWO passengers, or 10, or 75, or maybe 200 passengers, where you can ask the captain ahead of time. Stop assuming that big-ship cruising is your only option, or accept that the lower price point compared to more private cruising brings with it a tradeoff of less freedom to do what you want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the heads up HAM Radio Cruiser.

 

If I ever get the urge to take my own gear aboard, your experience will remind me to attempt to educate the Captain well ahead of my arrival.

 

The master of the ship is a busy person and I'm pretty sure his response was the only one he had time to provide. If he was a HAM himself or if he'd been educated on the topic ahead of time, the answer would likely have been more favorable.

 

BTW, if you ever get to London and take a tour of the HMS Belfast, be sure to bring a copy of your ticket with you. There's an amateur station on board and they'll let you operate if you show your ticket.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So because the Capt refused permission he is not a HAM and uniformed. Do you even think he might be well informed and that is why he denied permission. He may have had bad experiences with HAM operators, as many others have, and decided he did not want Amatuer Radios on his ship. By saying that he is uninformed is insulting him and his many years of experience at sea.

Edited by Potstech

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...Two last comments. The reciprocal license from Bermuda was not so I could operate in Bermuda, it is required because the ship is a Bermuda flagged ship and when in International waters, the rules of Bermuda apply to amateur radio operations. Lastly, someone asked about using Echolink. I think that misses the point of what I was hoping to do in a variety of ways. Echolink would require either cell coverage or Internet service, both of which are limited and costly while at sea. Moreover, it is kind of like going telling someone going to Alaska whose hobby is fishing that there is a great fish market to buy fish at. The person who fishes for a hobby wants to get on a fishing boat and catch the fish himself/herself - that's where the joy is for him/her.

 

I fully understood the purpose of your original post and appreciate your sharing your experience.

 

I only raised the question about EchoLink as a thought exercise. My cell phone provider provides complimentary data at most ports so there would be no cost for EchoLink use.

 

My postings are not intended to be critical of you in any way and I hope you will read them keeping that in mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FYI...DH (N4HQN) is a Ham. We requested permission from Princess to bring some equipment onboard with us. Permission was received and we too had to have permission from the Captain. The radio officer coordinated this for us. This was on the Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess. DH also had a "lovely" antenna (wires looped everywhere) on our aft balcony. We have also taken equipment on RCCL cruises.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My DH was a HAM and loved communicating with his friends when he was a young boy and teenager. When we would take our road trips he would use his CB to communicate with truckers on the open road. His curiosity never waned as he grew up. He was introduced to the Communications Officer while we were onboard HALS Oosterdam and he spent some time asking him lots of questions.

 

I used to get a kick out of watching the twinkle in his eyes when he spoke of his love for his hobby as a young man.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FYI...DH (N4HQN) is a Ham. We requested permission from Princess to bring some equipment onboard with us. Permission was received and we too had to have permission from the Captain. The radio officer coordinated this for us. This was on the Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess. DH also had a "lovely" antenna (wires looped everywhere) on our aft balcony. We have also taken equipment on RCCL cruises.

 

Princess does not have a radio officer.

Can you tell me who you think that might be??

Could it have been the First/Second Officer

Last time I heard of one of those it was on the first QM. :eek:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I fully understood the purpose of your original post and appreciate your sharing your experience.

 

I only raised the question about EchoLink as a thought exercise. My cell phone provider provides complimentary data at most ports so there would be no cost for EchoLink use.

 

My postings are not intended to be critical of you in any way and I hope you will read them keeping that in mind.

 

Thanks for posting back. No big issue about your suggestion. I didn't feel like you were being critical, but simply trying to explain why operating via echolink wasn't the same to me as being able to operate via HF. I take it you are a ham. 73

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So because the Capt refused permission he is not a HAM and uniformed. Do you even think he might be well informed and that is why he denied permission. He may have had bad experiences with HAM operators, as many others have, and decided he did not want Amatuer Radios on his ship. By saying that he is uninformed is insulting him and his many years of experience at sea.

 

Potstech: I didn't say the Captain was uninformed. Nowhere in my post (which you quoted) did I say "uninformed". I'm sure ship masters have received plenty of experience and training in the use of all sorts of radio equipment as they came up through the ranks. Saying that if he (or she) were a HAM themselves merely points out that they would then have first-hand experience regarding the type of request and its implications.

 

Busy people with responsibility for the lives and safety of thousands of people as well as billions of dollars of property need these requests far in advance. The simplest and safest course of action for someone in that position is to deny a last minute request.

 

If one wants permission, it is better to request it well in advance along with background, i.e. educational (that's a word I did use), information to show the activity is safe and will not interfere with the cruise or the passengers. An equipment list, description of antennae as well as requested operating modes and hours would be appropriate. In this manner the Captain can take more time to ponder things and then make his or her decision.

 

It may be true that some have had bad experiences with Amateur Radio operators and if you are one of those, I am truly sorry. The great majority of this hobby's participants go to great lengths to avoid interfering with people and their lives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Princess does not have a radio officer.

Can you tell me who you think that might be??

Could it have been the First/Second Officer

Last time I heard of one of those it was on the first QM. :eek:

 

There may not be an official radio officer but I would bet you dollars to donuts that there is an officer (under the Captain) who has the overall responsibility for maintaining radio communications. He or she may not be a Bridge Officer and may be an Engineering Officer or an Electro-Technical Officer. I know Princess has these as they show their special insignia on the TV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Princess does not have a radio officer.

Can you tell me who you think that might be??

Could it have been the First/Second Officer

Last time I heard of one of those it was on the first QM. :eek:

 

This was back in 2006,2007, and 2008. To be honest I am not sure how we contacted the "radio" officer. We had a letter from Princess telling us the officer to contact who was responsible for communications. Since it was never an issue after three cruise we just take it with us when he wants it. But we are not talking about a big transceiver but handheld equipment. We will be on the Quebec to FLL cruise in Oct and since it is a coastal cruise he is talking of taking a 2 meter rig. His thinking now is if I give up a couple of cruises he can have a new 990. I am patient about wires around the house and antennas if the yard but not sure about giving up any cruises.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for posting back. No big issue about your suggestion. I didn't feel like you were being critical, but simply trying to explain why operating via echolink wasn't the same to me as being able to operate via HF. I take it you are a ham. 73

Look at the bottom of my signature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There may not be an official radio officer but I would bet you dollars to donuts that there is an officer (under the Captain) who has the overall responsibility for maintaining radio communications. He or she may not be a Bridge Officer and may be an Engineering Officer or an Electro-Technical Officer. I know Princess has these as they show their special insignia on the TV.

 

This was back in 2006,2007, and 2008. To be honest I am not sure how we contacted the "radio" officer. We had a letter from Princess telling us the officer to contact who was responsible for communications. Since it was never an issue after three cruise we just take it with us when he wants it. But we are not talking about a big transceiver but handheld equipment. We will be on the Quebec to FLL cruise in Oct and since it is a coastal cruise he is talking of taking a 2 meter rig. His thinking now is if I give up a couple of cruises he can have a new 990. I am patient about wires around the house and antennas if the yard but not sure about giving up any cruises.

 

Thats why I said first/second officer, I know they have someone that has electo-technical duties.....

 

 

When I hear radio officer I think of this......

 

th?&id=HN.608028135103596144&w=300&h=300&c=0&pid=1.9&rs=0&p=0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There may not be an official radio officer but I would bet you dollars to donuts that there is an officer (under the Captain) who has the overall responsibility for maintaining radio communications. He or she may not be a Bridge Officer and may be an Engineering Officer or an Electro-Technical Officer. I know Princess has these as they show their special insignia on the TV.

 

I had a conversation with the Electro-Technical Officer on Ruby Princess in March. I was trying to monitor the ship's communications but couldn't because the coms were encrypted. I tried to find out what encryption method they were using.

 

The Italian officer was very nice but his English was a barrier to having a good dialog. I believe he was more of an electrician even though he is also responsible for the ship's communications.

 

I later found out they are using MotoTRBO which I couldn't decrpyt with the equipment I had on board.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...