Well, I am doing the doc dance! My cruise documents came today. As we were going over the documents, my fiance and I had a minor disagreement. She wants me to get $100 in traveler's checks so we can go shopping in the ports. I say they aren't necessary, and may be harder to use than cash. Do you all think I should get the checks? P.S. I am going in the Carnival Pride in June to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas.
I'm TomS, and I approved this message.
I love using traveller's checks when I cruise, but never expect them to be accepted by local merchants. Instead, I simply cash them at the pursers desk before leaving the ship. It works great and is very simple. I am always paranoid about using my credit cards in foreign countries just because of the horror stories I've heard. I've never had a problem.
We always take travellers checks and then cash them at the pursers desk. Record their numbers on at least 2 pieces of paper, and put the papers in different places. Keep a log of which ones you use. We just feel safer with them than with a lot of cash.
Reading about cashing the traveler's checks on the ship reminded me of something. We kept our extra cash in the safe and we ended up with quite a bit more than expected because my sister decided to pay off a debt to us in cash on the cruise (she and my mother and sibling, spouses were all traveling together.) That was another $500.
One day, one of us -- probably me -- left the safe open. There was still cash in it when we returned but we could never be sure that some of it hadn't been taken. We tried to account for all of our spending and we'd think we were done and then remember something else. At the last count, we were a couple of hundred dollars short. Since we couldn't be sure, though, we didn't report it. How do you report, "We MAY have been robbed?"
Had we bought traveler's checks, we could have cashed what we needed each day and the rest would have been secure, even if we did forget to lock the safe. Of course, we normally wouldn't travel with as much cash as we had that time.
Grand Princess 11/05
Dawn Princess 8/06
I haven't used travellers checks in around 15 years. Cash, credit cards, and ATM if necessary is all I have used. Don't know about Carnival but Regent allows you to get $400 cash advance per person per week on shipboard account. I always take advantage of this just to get the miles and usually bring home more cash than I left with.
Tom, all the ports you are going to accept USD and credit cards, shops, restaurants. The vendor on the streets will be the ones that won't take credit. Travelers checks are not widely accepted in Mexico.
We have visited those port many times and they like the USD, they wait for the exchange rate to be in their favor before switching over to pesos.
I carry my wallet in the front pocket and never have a large amount of money on my person. Wife always has a fanny pack and carried in front of her. Never had a problem in these ports.
__________________ Ready to Steer towards another cruise
we bring a small amount of traveler's checks just for the safety factor of not carrying around a lot of cash.
We cash what we think we will need for the day(cab fare, souveniors, a snack or light lunch etc) at the Purser's desk.
There is usually always a line at the ATM on the ship, and some charge a fee. If you go to the Purser's desk when its not busy you just breeze right thru.