Am I right to believe that if we use credit card for sign and sail card ,that we don't have to go to pursers desk before we leave.We can just leave ship and it is automatically charged to our credit card.
Is this a good idea,what if they over charge you and don't realize it until your home and get the bill.
I'm a first timer and not sure which way is the best to get a sail and sign card!
Cindy, You get receipts everytime you use your sign & sail card. Also, you can look on your television in your room to see what your balance is. The morning you leave, in your mailbox outside your room, will be your print out of charges. Your gratuities will automatically be charged to your sail & sign. We changed ours around on the last morning. We only ate in the dining room 3 times and didn't feel that $77.00 should go to the dining room. So keep that in mind you can change the gratuities, or even have them removed.
Generally you get a sign and sail statement mid-voyage too, just so you can check your balance and look for any errors. Some ships have the funvision (checking the balance on your tv) and others do not. You can request a statement from the purser's desk at any time.
You are correct, with a credit card securing the account you don't have to do anything that last day. One lump charge will hit your credit card when the cruise is over. With a cash deposit you may have to settle the account in person, if you owe them money. If you put down more then you spent a check will accompany that final statement.
With the credit card you have a little added recourse if there is an error on the bill that you can't get fixed. You can dispute the charge with your credit card company, with cash there is not that option. Not that errors are frequent but it is another layer of protection just in case.
Personally I hate the S/S cards but since the ships operate as a cashless society there is no getting around them. If you guarantee your S/S card with a credit card you don't have to settle the account at the end of the trip (it is sad enough to end the cruise, much less have to settle the account too!) and it will appear on your credit card statement. You can check your balance on the T.V. in your room as you accrue charges. You also have the benefit of collecting interest on your money until the balance is paid on the credit card.
You are correct in that if you use a credit card to back up your S&S all you have to do is depart the ship. You will receive a bill before you depart and it will be slipped under your door in the wee hours of the morning of your departure. You can check all the items them on that finailized bill to make sure the charges are correct. You can also check your bill anytime during the cruise and they usually send you one, again slipped under your door, in the second half of your voyage around day 5.
Cruiser, while you may have only eaten in the dining room 3 times, I am sure you ate in the other areas quite often. Remember that those that service these areas during the day are also the ones that are in the dining room at night, they pull double duty. Your stiffing them the tips hurt them. The minimum suggested tips are really very small if you were to consider what they would probably be tipped in a restuarant on land and I'll bet that you have no qualms about the suggested 15% there.
Keep in mind it depends on what ship you are on. We just returned from the Sensation and we were NOT able to view our bill on the tv nor were we allowed to leave our tips on our bill. Cash was expected by our servers and stewart on the last night of the cruise. We went with the assumption of leaving the tips on our S/S card and since we could not, we had to get cash from the ships ATM--which is very expensive in fees!
I had a question, If I put my S & S on a credit card, but then realize I went over my credit limit can I go to the pursers desk and reduce the bill by paying cash? ( Like if I am $50 over just going over and paying down $50 in Cash) or is that difficult to have done or cause issues?
Take advantage of one of those ubiquitous offers that show up in the mail about three times a week and open a new credit card. NEVER use a card with a balance unless you intend to pay it off completely at the next billing cycle.
If you're not going to be able to pay off your cruise immediately, the above is also a good idea because of the low interest rates usually offered at introduction.
As others have said, save your receipts from the bar, shore excursions, shopping on the ship, whatever. Get a coin cup from the casino and just chunk them in it so you know where to find them.
As to going over your credit limit, you won't have to guess ... the ship will KNOW. That's why it's a good idea to take an "empty" card so you don't have to worry about it.