My son Timmy, W5TMR, wanted to be able to take his radio on a cruise, but at the time, all the lines were saying no due to the events of 9/11. After much discussion, many emails and other meetings with Carnival, I was finally granted permission to book our first MPMT Ham Cruise to sail in the fall of 2011. Though we had a small group, it was a lot of fun and we were able to make a great number of worldwide contacts. Everybody wanted me to arrange for another cruise which was held in 2013 with a much larger group including folks from all across the US as well as a few from Germany. The 2014 and 2015 cruises continued to be filled with many of our "ham cruise family" as well as new members and we have already begun booking for 2017. My husband, Lance, WD5X, is the technical coordinator and manages all the radio technical details for our cruises. He brings on two Kenwood TS-480 HX HF mobile transceivers and two screwdriver antennas to be installed and operated from the rear of the Lido deck on both port and starboard. Carnival engineers run the cables for us and we are generally able to begin operating after dinner on the first night of the cruise. We operate while at sea, closing when we go into ports until late the last night of the cruise. We have made thousands of worldwide contacts and often find ourselves involved in pile-ups. The hams in our group assist one another and you may find a variety of folks from the ship's crew as well as other passengers hanging around to experience ham radio first hand. We have made contacts for many of the crew members back to their own homes to assist during emergencies as well as simply passing traffic. It is a real joy when you make contact with your own family or club members and quite thrilling when someone makes their first DX contact onboard.
In the past few years, I have enjoyed booking and planning these ham cruises and anticipating another fun filled event with MPMT Ham Cruise 5. I am Debbie Rumfield, N5DSR and everybody now knows me as "The Ham Cruise Lady" and recognizes my pink cowgirl hat wherever I roam. This cruise is a family event which includes both Timmy and his twin brother Danny, WA5DTR who accompany us and assist with toting gear and setting up onboard and are often found helping others work the radio, as well as "Uncle Terry" Chau, KA5CFG who is always close by to lend a hand. I am a professional CLIA certified travel agent who books all types of travel, but I must admit, cruising is my passion and this group my favorite.
We will be cruising out of Galveston January 8, 2017 on the Carnival Breeze heading to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel for our fifth ham radio cruise. We began booking this in mid-August and have already booked almost half of our allotted staterooms in only two months. If this is something that would be of interest to you or your friends, please contact me by phone at 832-656-0731 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for information or assistance. There is always room for another ham searching to fulfill a dream of maritime mobile and for those who are not interested in the radios, there will be a variety of wonderful activities, food, entertainment, etc. provided by Carnival as well as three incredible ports of call providing many super fun events for the days in port. This ship is selling out quickly, so please do not hesitate as you might find it sold out if you wait.
Debbie Rumfield - The Ham Cruise Lady - N5DSR
Lance Rumfield - Technical Ham Cruise Coordinator - WD5X
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