My husband and I are wondering if it is better to pay with cash/travelers checks for everything or to pay with a credit card. We are going on a seven day aboard the Carnival Destiny, and I don't think it is very safe to bring a large sum of money ($1,000). But, my husband does not want to come home to a large credit card bill, even if we pay it off without interest. Do the island merchants take US currency (Aruba, Barbados, Martinique, St. Thomas)? or is it better to pay with a credit card? If we do decide to put everything on a credit card, about how much cash should we bring for the seven days? any suggestions would be helpful! Thanks
U.S. cash is accepted in those places but I would recommend taking credit cards for the protection they provide. What's the difference in a huge credit card bill if you pay it off? It's like getting a 30 day interest free loan and you don't have to carry a lot of cash.
No cash, other than the casino, is used on the ship. On the ship everything is charged to your shipboard account. If you want to gamble though bring enough cash for that. Also bring some for incidental tipping. The porters who carry your luggage, room service attendants, any service personnel who does something a little extra, etc.
How much to budget is terrible tough to answer without knowing your financial strategies. We go with the attitude we are on vacation and we're not going to pinch pennies. We do whatever we choose but don't spend a lot on jewelry, electronics, and such and average about $150 per day for the two of us in bar bills, shore excursions, and extra stuff.
I agree with the others. You really need very little cash on board since almost everything goes on the onboard charge card that you secure with a credit card or cash deposit. You need some cash for the casino, tip as you go services (above the tips for the main folks at the end or pre-paid depending on the ship), and taxi's etc. Take the cash you were going to carry with you, put it in the bank and then like the others said pay the bill in full when it comes. You get the security of not carrying a lot of cash and you avoid the huge interest rates if you pay it off as soon as you get it.
Defintely use your credit card and leave some of the cash at home. While onboard, you'll be using your sign/sail card which in turn will get on you credit card anyway. Just watch all your purchases, they do add up quickly.
We put everything on our credit card and then pay it off once we get home so we get the airline points on our credit card, we now have one free flight earned.
If you do want to pay for things in cash I would suggest bringing mostly travelers checks and then cashing them with the purser as you need the cash so you don't have a large amount of cash on you at any one time.
We generally use cash to buy small souviners at the ports but for anything larger we use our credit card because you get the most accurate exchange rate with your credit card versus the easy round-up rate they do with cash. With larger purchases this can make a difference.
The Destiny has FunVision so you will be able to check your sign and sail balance on the television anytime you want. You will also be able to order any Carnival shore excursions through the television which is very nice, I like knowing right away if I got my first choice.
My husband and I used a credit card for our sail and sign account, which was very convenient, except for the fact there were some charges that were not made by us, and we are still trying to get a refund. For the land adventures, and shopping, we took all one dollar bills. This was very nice since we did not have to worry about change, and it was easy to tip outside people such as luggage handlers. For all our shopping we took 200.00 in ones, and managed to bring back about 75.00. Of course, we are not extravagant spenders either. It just depends on what you want to spend. Travelers checks are easy, and the purser's desk cashes them at no cost. That may be an option for you, so you can wait until the last minute to handle cash money.