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-   -   What do you take for cash backup on a cruise (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/all-things-cruising/383834-what-do-you-take-cash-backup-cruise.html)

robh July 21st, 2011 12:00 AM

What do you take for cash backup on a cruise
 
Times have changed when traveling to foreign countries and ports as to what is accepted for currency.
-Do you take cash only ?
-What about travelers cheques which seemed to have dropped to a very low usage
-Do you take cash and a debit card
-What about a credit card, assume most people take at least one
I've decided to take a second credit card as backup in case the card registered on my seacard gets compromised, especially as we will be on a different continent.
On the subject of credit cards , do you advise them you will be travelling with the dates before leaving home.

My best backup of course in my case , is my wife as we have different banks and cards.
My daughter and young people tell me they travel with a small bit of cash and Visa only.

Manuel July 21st, 2011 02:01 AM

I allways carry two credit cards and two debit cards. I used to call my banks before travelling, but I no longer do that.
We travel often enough and our banks are aware of that.

TM

anniegb July 21st, 2011 03:41 AM

I carry the same as Manuel plus small amount of local currency for immediate use.

I always let my cc issuers of my travel plans - not necessary for debit cards.

Annie

Manuel July 21st, 2011 06:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anniegb (Post 1382545)
I carry the same as Manuel plus small amount of local currency for immediate use.

Annie

Annie you are quite right. It's good to carry local currency for small purchases.
Since we go to Italy and Portugal very often, I allways have some Euros at home.

TM

green_rd July 21st, 2011 07:23 AM

I carry a credit card that does not charge currency conversion fees and use this ashore. It is a difference card than I use for the ship. Also carry some amount of cash depending on the length of the trip and ports being visited - only take a small amount on shore, the rest stays in my cabin safe.

Trip July 21st, 2011 08:13 AM

We try to cover all our bases...one cc used for the ship,another as security...

On my last cruise on the Magic...my gf was trying to change her euros,and someone in line purchased them from her..I bet this happens frequently, as many passengers are staying on...

anniegb July 21st, 2011 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trip (Post 1382571)
We try to cover all our bases...one cc used for the ship,another as security...

On my last cruise on the Magic...my gf was trying to change her euros,and someone in line purchased them from her..I bet this happens frequently, as many passengers are staying on...

Trip - absolutely people buy surplus currency from each other - avoids bank commission.

Reason for carrying 2 cc - same as yourself one to use and one for security.

Annie

MercedMike July 21st, 2011 11:06 AM

Credit card
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by anniegb (Post 1382580)
Trip - absolutely people buy surplus currency from each other - avoids bank commission.

Reason for carrying 2 cc - same as yourself one to use and one for security.

Annie

We were glad we had a second credit card on our Med cruise. We had reported a simple instance of a double charge, and specifically said it was just an error and NOT fraud, and specifically been told it was not necessary to cancel the card.

Then in the middle of the Mediterranean the cruise line told us our card had been cancelled!

The ship was so kind as to allow my wife to make a phone call to the CC company. It would have been expensive otherwise as she spent about 45 minutes with them trying to get it straight. Finally they agreed to deliver a new card to us two days later in Istanbul! Then they wanted us to go pick it up instead of sending it to the ship.

Fortunately we did carry a backup card.

As far as the original question --

I carry about $100 in ones and fives for tips to baggage handlers and so on.

DW carries $200 in tens and twenties for casual shopping.

If we have an independent tour that wants cash payment, I put the amount plus a tentative tip in a separate envelope which stays in the safe in our cabin.

Otherwise it is credit card all the way! We normally stick strictly to the tourist areas and everybody takes them. We rarely change to local currency unless we are going before or after and need cab fare and such.

TravlGrl July 21st, 2011 11:14 AM

We take a small amount of cash for tipping in each port, or in each city if we're traveling by land. We take 2 debit cards and 1 credit card and ALWAYS call the bank in advance.

One time, I completely forgot to call the bank, and our credit card was declined in Cozumel. I asked the clerk to hold my purchase, went outside, called the International number on the back of my card, and resolved it over the phone. Then, went back inside (with the bank rep still on the phone) and was able to complete the transaction.

We leave the country 4-5 times per year, and make an effort to call the bank in advance now.

Mike M July 21st, 2011 12:45 PM

We always have two different Visa cards. One is a Capital One and the other a Chase.

The reason for this is that even if you each have a card they are still on the same account and if there is a problem both cards are canceled.

If you have two American Express cards then it is better in the event there is a problem with one of the cards. Each card has its own account number. The problem is that, like the commercial says, "They don't take American Express." Visa is far more widely accepted than Amex.

So: What we have with us are:
Debit/ATM card
2 Visa Cards
1 Amex
$100 in smaller bills
Whatever interim cash we think we need.
If we need foreign currency we use our ATM card

I haven't used travelers checks in twenty years. They are basically worthless unless you are going to go to a bank or the customer service desk and cash them. Many retailers will not take travelers checks anymore.

I also can't understand why people will go to their bank and get thousands of dollars worth of Euros or other currency. Most banks charge a fee for this and why are they walking around with this much currency in their pockets. Just hit the ATM at the airport and get the amount of local currency you will need for smaller purchases and use your credit card for anything else.

Take care,
Mike

RTALLEN July 21st, 2011 01:24 PM

Mike, while I agree that carrying an extra credit card does simplify things, I'm not sure that travelers checks are worthless. You can cash them at the Purser's desk. Or is that what you meant by "customer service desk"? While there may be some retailers that won't take travelers checks, there are some retailers that only take specific credit cards. Like you, we use VISA, since it seems to be the most widely accepted.

robh July 21st, 2011 03:29 PM

Keep it coming
 
Thanks everyboy, lots of good advice and experience presented here, keep it coming.

I posted a similar thread on one of my UK boards and one of the comments was one person carrying a false / canceled credit card in case someone tried to rob them. :eek:

Another thing I discovered is their Debit Cards do not seem to have (at least in Canada) daily limits or weekly limits.
A lot of them use then to pay for their entire cruise at a Travel Agent so it seems to be direct access to ones chequing account without a limit and some to be a blend of debit/visa. Slightly off the topic but information as to usage of cards

johnthed0g July 21st, 2011 04:12 PM

I never use a debit card on holiday, especially on the ship account as they can charge things as a reserved amount which could give you problems on your current account. I have three cards that should be capable of sorting anything out. Cash, we mainly travel with P&O UK, they will allow a cash advance on your onboard account so on our last cruise, a 28 night Caribbean/US we took no actual cash at all!

anniegb July 21st, 2011 06:30 PM

On my upcoming land trip to Cornwall, England I will use debit cards extensively as I find it hard to find local currency before I set off.

I don't use debit cards on a vessel.

Annie

Marc July 21st, 2011 07:54 PM

I have two amex, one visa, and a debit card. Always wait to get overseas to hit ATM at airport. We do have bags of left over currency that we will take with us (along with transit cards (Oyster, etc)). Last thing you want anymore are travelers cheques; hard to cash.

My last cruise was a little strange. We were in Australia for a week. The ship bought back my Aussie dollars for a lot more than I paid for them. If I had realised that at the start, I would have hit ATM in every port and sold back every day. :)

seadog2 July 23rd, 2011 09:47 PM

I never use my debit card but I do use my credit card (1) and cash.

fun2cruiz July 24th, 2011 11:17 AM

Wife and I each take 1 DIFFERENT c.card, but only use 1 of them and the 2nd as a backup if needed. Those c.cards and a little cash is all we have found necessary when traveling abroad. Debit cards can cause mayhem on your account, thus we never use them when traveling !

Marc July 24th, 2011 12:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fun2cruiz (Post 1383103)
Wife and I each take 1 DIFFERENT c.card, but only use 1 of them and the 2nd as a backup if needed. Those c.cards and a little cash is all we have found necessary when traveling abroad. Debit cards can cause mayhem on your account, thus we never use them when traveling !

I agree you don't need to use a debit card for purchases but you need to use as ATM card at ATM machines. Many places still only take cash.

Donna July 24th, 2011 01:45 PM

In the past I've used travelers checks while cruising, never had anyone turn them down, but now I just take enough cash and there is always a credit card for extras...My next cruise, on Allure of the Seas require that you pay for the tips when you make final payment, so there is that much $ I don't have to take and pay, it will be paid already, kind of nice.

MercedMike July 25th, 2011 11:42 AM

Only take cash?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Marc (Post 1383116)
I agree you don't need to use a debit card for purchases but you need to use as ATM card at ATM machines. Many places still only take cash.

Well, I am trying to think where we have been that they would only take cash.

Street vendors in St. Petersburg
Some stalls at tourist attractions in Egypt.
Certain independent guides who specified it in advance.
The street vendors at flea market in Athens.
The small stalls in Djema el Fna market in Morocco.
Cab drivers.

Basically, only the small vendors selling cheap souvenirs. Otherwise our experience has been that all the major tourist attractions and major sellers near them are very happy to have plastic.

Of course if you are going off on your own outside of the major tourist areas, that can be a different story.

MercedMike July 25th, 2011 11:43 AM

Only take cash?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Marc (Post 1383116)
I agree you don't need to use a debit card for purchases but you need to use as ATM card at ATM machines. Many places still only take cash.

Well, I am trying to think where we have been that they would only take cash.

Street vendors in St. Petersburg
Some stalls at tourist attractions in Egypt.
Certain independent guides who specified it in advance.
The street vendors at flea market in Athens.
The small stalls in Djema el Fna market in Morocco.
Cab drivers.
Some small restaurants in Cambodia.

Basically, only the small vendors selling cheap souvenirs. Otherwise our experience has been that all the major tourist attractions and major sellers near them are very happy to have plastic.

Of course if you are going off on your own outside of the major tourist areas, that can be a different story.

robh July 25th, 2011 02:23 PM

Debit Cards (North America)
 
Our Canadain Globe and Mail today in the business section just ran an article about Holiday things to do and I thought advising your Credit Card company of your trip and dates covered you.
They advise you to also contact your bank about your Debit Card being used outside its normal venue.
Otherwise you might discover it has been blocked.

Our friends across the Atlantic seem to have a different Debit Card that has larger ability to paid for items then our daily and weekly limits.
Reading some of the boards make you wonder if the banks can really handle us phoning and logging the information.

Mike M July 25th, 2011 04:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MercedMike (Post 1383287)
Well, I am trying to think where we have been that they would only take cash.

Street vendors in St. Petersburg
Some stalls at tourist attractions in Egypt.
Certain independent guides who specified it in advance.
The street vendors at flea market in Athens.
The small stalls in Djema el Fna market in Morocco.
Cab drivers.
Some small restaurants in Cambodia.

Basically, only the small vendors selling cheap souvenirs. Otherwise our experience has been that all the major tourist attractions and major sellers near them are very happy to have plastic.

Of course if you are going off on your own outside of the major tourist areas, that can be a different story.

In other words: The REALLY interesting places. :D

Take care,
Mike

johnthed0g July 25th, 2011 04:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robh (Post 1383327)
Our friends across the Atlantic seem to have a different Debit Card that has larger ability to paid for items then our daily and weekly limits.
Reading some of the boards make you wonder if the banks can really handle us phoning and logging the information.

Our debit cards are instead of cheques/Checks, we are phasing them out here, cheques that is. As far as I know you can use them for as much as your account will stand....but so can anyone, including the cruise line for reserved amounts & it's YOUR money.

robh July 25th, 2011 05:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnthed0g (Post 1383344)
Our debit cards are instead of cheques/Checks, we are phasing them out here, cheques that is. As far as I know you can use them for as much as your account will stand....but so can anyone, including the cruise line for reserved amounts & it's YOUR money.

Thanks John
Ours in Canada have a daily limit and a weekly limit which is not basd on your account balance so if I want to pay for a cruise I'm unable.
Their has been talk of getting rid of cheques bit not everybody has a debit card nor do we want to give someone access. Cheques are still preferred for payment to a charity, church, local person , small store and whn emy local grocery store access goes down, need a cheque or cash.

In terms of the cruise line , will always use my CC for onboard account payment.

johnthed0g July 25th, 2011 05:59 PM

In my opinion a Credit Card is the only way to pay for stuff on holiday...even if you have all of the cash, put it on the card then pay later, safer & should you want to spread the bill you can...OK a bit of interest but.....
On our last cruise we were away for a month, left in early Dec. got back early Jan. never paid a penny until March.

Lakers Fan July 25th, 2011 08:22 PM

On our cruise last week:

2 credit cards
$500 in cash

Haimia July 27th, 2011 10:12 AM

We always take some cash, US and local currency (if possible). Also, we take two credit cards each - one of the same card (main) that we can both use and then each of us takes another (but different) card. So, if one of us loses our wallet, we can cancel the two cards in that wallet and still have one viable card to use for the remainder of the trip.

DH nearly lost his wallet in Cancun due to pickpockets. But he felt it and chased the culprit who dropped it and ran. We got very, very lucky!

AF1 July 31st, 2011 01:27 PM

two years ago a atm machine in rome ate my debit card. I called the bank back in the USA and then used my wifes debit card for the rest of the trip. Our debit cards use two different numbers. I had to cancel mine. I did have my tour guide go into the bank where the atm machine was; he explained what happened and they said they could not get the card out. They did not have a key, they said that an outside company filled the machine with cash and they would be the ones who would have to get the card out. I told them they were wrong; because why would a bank have a third party load the cash, and recover lost cards. Anyway, like I mentioned, we just used my wife's card for the remainder of the trip to get cash from atm's. So in answer to your question: what do I do for backup. I would have to say; I carry my wife along.


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