You should have documents for everyone that is on the cruise so each person should have a form to fill out for the sail and sign card. If they do not have cash after you board sometime within 24 hours they will have to go to the pursers desk and set up the charge part of the card. With cash or travelers checks they usually ask a minimum of $100 per person for a 7 day cruise, If I remember correctly. That is only a small amount over what the automatic tips will be. You can put as much down as you want and when you start reaching your limit they will send you a note saying to deposit more money or the account will be closed out and they will not be able to charge more.
We only had one given to us in advance, and it was no problem - when you are checking in, just tell them how many you need and they'll set you up. In terms of no credit card, I believe that they will ask for at least $300 up front or your credit card number.
What about money?
Sail & Sign
"Sail & Sign" is Carnival's cashless onboard credit program which allows guests to charge their purchases directly to their personal account for convenience throughout the cruise. Registration will take place during the embarkation process or onboard at the Purser's Office.
The following deposits are required per guest:
2 - 4 Day Cruises - $100 deposit per guest
5 - 8 Day Cruises - $200 deposit per guest
9+ Day Cruises - $350 deposit per guest
U.S. currency and traveler's checks are accepted as a form of deposit to open a Sail & Sign account at the start of the cruise. As the guest approaches the deposit limit, the Information Desk will notify the guest that additional money must be deposited.
Any remaining available cash balance will be refunded via check, printed and delivered to the guest's cabin on the morning of debarkation.
The completed Sail & Sign application form (included with your cruise documents) must be presented along with a VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express. Guests may also use a Check/Debit Card, as long as it is a registered VISA or MasterCard.
- Regular ATM debit cards are not acceptable.
- Parents' credit cards are not acceptable, even with the parents' written permission.
With each approval, a credit hold will be placed on the credit card. All charges will be automatically billed to the guest's credit card at the end of the voyage. For Check/Debit Cards, the funds will be withdrawn from the guest's account. On the final morning of the cruise, a detailed statement will be delivered to the guest's cabin. The total amount will be charged to the credit card presented during registration. In addition, the Purser's Office can provide the guest with a balance update at any time throughout the cruise.
Guests may cash one personal check up to $250.00 in U.S. funds, from a U.S. bank, accompanied by an American Express card. A check from a Canadian bank will be cashed at the current exchange rate onboard, not to exceed $250.00 U.S. Travelerís checks may be cashed at the Purserís Office. Canadian travelerís checks will be cashed at the current exchange rate.
Guests can get a cash advance on their credit card either at the Purser's Office or in the Casino. Carnival uses Comdata Corporation for cash advance services. Comchek will accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover Card. In order to obtain a cash advance the guest's credit card must be activated through the Sail and Sign system. The maximum cash advance permitted will depend on the credit limit authorized by the specific credit card company, and there will be a nominal fee based on the amount of the advance.
There are ATMs located on the Promenade Deck of all Carnival ships. The ATMs are controlled by Bank Atlantic of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and there is a $5.50 fee per transaction. Guests are able to withdraw funds and make balance inquiries on their checking and savings accounts while the ship is in port or at sea.
You can have the kids cards set up so they can't actually use it for purchases since they are way too young for that, but they will need their own sign/sail card to get off and back on the ship.