I've been cruising with HAL since 2008 and they have always asked for a credit card either when filling out cruise docs online and then at embarkation. I also remember this same procedure on Carnival, RCCL and NCL since at least 2002. I've never considered it a problem. I cannot imagine going on a cruise and not spending anything on extras. Seems like a spartan way to enjoy a vacation. To each his own, I suppose.