Norwegian Cruise Line has updated its list of banned items on cruises for the second time in four months, adding walkie-talkies to the list of prohibited items.
Many cruise passengers will see this as a blow – walkie-talkies are often used to help larger families keep in touch when they separate for different activities or meals on the ship, so banning them may cause families and groups some problems.
NCL hasn’t given any clarification as to why walkie-talkies have been banned. Cheap walkie-talkies don’t tend to work well anyway, due to the metal structure of the ship, and it could be that higher quality options are interfering with the radios or frequencies used by the crew for general discussions or even emergencies.
It could also be to improve guest experience – some people dislike walkie-talkies and find them to be disruptive. There’s also the potential for unruly behaviour, using them to play loud games or to shock people with loud noises.
Guests are also speculating whether the cruise line is making the move to force more people to pay for either a WiFi connection or the “Phone and Messenger” service on the cruise line, which costs $9.95 per person.
It comes just a few months after the last time the cruise line updated their list of banned items, adding fans to the list.
At the time, the ban stated that “all types of fans including handheld, battery operated, electric etc.” were banned. A month later, the wording was updated to change it from a blanket ban, so it now reads “All types of fans with the exception of small electrical and battery-operated fans.”
So it remains to be seen whether NCL decides to update their policy on walkie-talkies in the near future for some allowances or if the blanket ban will continue and guests will never be allowed to use them onboard again.