On Celebrity they have an interactive tv that allows you to check your shipboard account anytime from your cabin. If I'm on longer than 7 days I will "payoff" my account with Traveler's Checks halfway through the cruise. The charge at the end isn't quite so shocking that way... and I have less charges to check at the end. My teenage sons did the same thing with their cards on our last cruise. They made some purchases and put them on their (my) card. They wanted to use their spending money (each of them bought watches for $150 a pop) so they went to the purser's desk and "paid it off" with cash.
You can do the same thing if you want to limit your spending. Just pay off the card every other day or so. It's very easy to run up quite a tab using that darn ship's card!
To keep drinking in check, there are various ways to keep track. I keep all stirrers from my drinks and put in pocket. That way, I know if I have had too many. Another way is to wear rings on all of your fingers on your left hand. As you have a drink, move one ring to right hand. When no more rings are on your left hand, you have had enough to drink.
also you can check your shipboard account at the purser's desk during their normal business hours, we usually get a print-out half-way through the cruise just to see where we stand, save receipts and compare them to the print-out.
I like to purchase my wife some future gifts that I keep the cost of, private. You can do this by putting a sign and sail card in your name only, even though another exists for the room charges. In this case, it's in my wife's name for the everyday sign and sail charges. You could do this as well for drinks. It's no different than single cruiser's sharing a room but keeping expense's seperate..
Thanks Marc for the tips but I love shots of tequila and corona's so I'm not sure they give you the sipsters. The ring idea sounds like it might work but then I'm not into that fashion trend.
Since my girlfriend and I are leaving the husbands behind, I don't want my husband to think we had too much fun drinking and dancing. Lol....