I am a first time cruiser and I have read this question on many boards, asked in many different ways...but I am yet to find many responses. Maybe if I come straight out and ask people may share...How much money did you spend (or take) on your cruise?
We didn't spend nearly as much on our first cruise as what we tend to spend now. Perhaps that is why it's a difficult question to answer. If you are planning on buying photos on board ship (excellent gifts if you have family living in other states)...those can get pretty expensive but will be charged to your sail and sign card. Are you planning on gambling in the cassino? You have to add money into your budget for that...and drinks. Are you planning on doing lots of shopping while in port? (You didn't say how long your cruise was going to be.) There are lots of factors that need to be considered when determining how much you take. I always take cash for tips (porters & extra for wait staff - etc), taxis, a little extra for shops not on the "list of stores" the cruiseline provides and for food on our trips to and from port. We take travelers checks for the casino and for back up - in case we find we need more cash. (we do usually come home with unused travelers checks) We use our credit card for our sail and sign card
and while shopping in recommended stores. I realize I'm not giving you a designated amount...but perhaps I've given you an idea of some of the things to consider when trying to determine how much to take. (It's never the same amount for us...as taxis from the airport to the pier are different from city to city....etc.)
there are a number of things that would play into how much money to take.
Everything you do on the cruise will be charged on your sail and sign card. drinks, tips shore excursions, shopping on the ship, everything. the only thing you have cash for is the gambling and maybe bingo. if you go to a private island, i am not sure if carnival has them??, but if you do go to a private island everything on that island is also charged on your sail and sign.
you will need money at your ports- if you shop or eat off the ship. the ship will be there for you - if you are hungry at anytime. it just may take you a little longer to get there if you tender or what ever. you may also want to try the island cusine. sometimes people tip on their shore excursions to their driver and or tour guide depending on how good they do. they do expect it!!! :o) in the caribbean there are a lot of people with their hands out waiting for a tip. tourism is the way they make a living
you can pay off your sail and sign card after the cruise. or they will just charge it to your credit card.
ask yourself this:
How much will you drink of cokes and alcohol?
How much will you gamble:
Are you going to do shore excursions or just get off the ship and walk around?
Are you going to shop?
Are you going to buy pictures - they take a million of you?
etc etc etc
you will need money to tip if you use the salon!!!!!! they do take cash for tips there. the massages hair dos manicures etc will be charged on your sail and sign card.
Any ways you may be nothing like my husband and I! We do shop and do drink. Not one after another night after night!!!!!! We do shore excursions in every port. I do get a massage. we do tip all the people on the cruise and the people off the cruise too
we took 700 last cruise a couple of years ago. we are taking our 4 year old this year and will take 1000.00 that is all we will spend on our sign and sail and spending money in the ports too!!!! you can definately get by spending less than that!!!! or you can very easliy spend a lot more. i don't count my pennies on my vacation, but i am aware their isn't and unlimited amount of pennies either!!!!!! sorry this is so long, but you have to take in account all the outside factors like what is included on your cruise
Thanks, finally an answer! I figured about $800-$1000 (for both my husband and myself), however, I recently spoke with someone who said about $2000. This was for a 7 day cruise, as well. I realize there are a lot of variables involved, but I am interested in finding a ballpark figure...Thanks again
We take $500 cash and the rest to the credit card (7 day cruise, me, my husband and 1 child). If you get in a pinch for cash, the pursers desk will cash a personal check. As long as you have a credit card, I wouldn't worry too much about the cash thing - you can always get it through an ATM (with a $15 service charge) but it's better than having tons of cash just waiting to be spent :-)
This is something that only you can figure out. A lot of it depends on how you want to pay. You will get a "Sail and Sign" card. With the exception of the casino, everything you buy on board (gifts, spa services, soft drinks, alcohol, internet, excursions, etc.) will be put on that. You can either pay if off, prior to debarking or just let it ride on your credit card. In the ports, you may want to eat at restaurants, pay your own taxi driver for a personal excursion (which is often less than the one's offered on the ships, but variable, depending on what you want to do), souveniers, who knows? The great thing about now is that we have so many ways of accessing money, if we need it. You have a credit card, which really is a great way to go because, supposedly, you are guaranteed the best exchange rate and ATM cards. I took $500 on my last seven day cruise and after putting what I had left of the $500 on my "Sail and Sign" card, still owed $200. (Unfortunately, the Spa did me in). Otherwise, I would have been fine.
I went on my first cruise in November of 03, me and my better half and although I took $1500 to spend on the cruise I didn't spend nearly that much. There are some things that you have to take into consideration, soda and alcohol <~ they all cost, I drink mostly juices so for me it was good, no charge for them or lemonade.
You have to also take into consideration if you're going to be doing a bunch of shore tours? Depending on what you plan on doing they can also cost a lot.
You have to really, which I think is probably the hardest thing to do, and that is to not buy stuff that you could buy back in the states for less money. Like while shopping in the ports and stuff, you run across cheap T-Shirts and Coffee mug type items that are cheaply made and overpriced. The same stuff that you could probably find in Target or KMart on special. But because you bought it while in the country it may seem like a genuine article???
I'm not frugal by any means, but I tend to not let the wool get pulled over my eyes. Grand total on vacation spending was about $500 between the two of us. Over the 4 nights, that averaged a little over a $100 dollars a day, which wasn't bad, and that included tips.
The variable here is how much you plan to spend in ports for shopping that you don't put on your credit card. Assuming you plan to use your sail and sign card for any excursions you book on ship as well as for your ship purchases, the only large item is what you spend. Restuarants and most excursions that you do on your own will not be expensive, $2,000 sounds a little high, and it should not all be in cash. Ship will let you cash travelers checks if you end up needing them. With an American Express card, they will also cash one $250 check for you.
We went on our 1st cruise and took about 2000.00 my self n husband put 700.00 on sail n sign and ended up they gave us 35.00 back . but we also took our own acohol on and a case of water n soda. so didnt spend much on that. we camehome w ith about 500.00 so we spent 2000.00
It depends what you want to do? We were on a 8 day cruise We spend a little over a thousand dollars on excursion Sorkling, Swimming with the stingrays, Dunns Falls, The Mayan ruins and sourvenirs, also eating on the land and trying different foods and drinking on the ship you have to pay for your alchohol beverages.It also cost to use the spa's on the ship which my husband enjoyed his massage very much.(165.00) a hour but got a special one dollar a minute so he has a 45 dollar massage. It cost to play bingo which we spent $20 dollars at night They sell gold and silver chains by the inch for a dollar up to 4 dollars bought my daughter a coulple of ankle braclets Not to mention our flight to miami and back. home and that's encluding taxi's fares and one night stay in Miami Raddison hotel the day before we left for our cruise .And that was for me and my husband.Hope that help a bit also beware of your spendings at the cassinos on the ship. I knew a man who lost 2 thousand dollar and also his wife in one night. Oh the ship photgrapher takes great pictures of you everywhere that's where alot of of money went as well and you can pick out any theme you want and you dont have to buy them but they all turned out good.
It all depends on what you want to do.. We did not take any excurions but we did drink lots and brought a lot of pictures as well. We spent around 800 dollars for 2 for one week. That was on our sign and sail card. We spent about 300 on the islands in taxis, food and gifts.
I really needed to think in terms of cost per day (it's just how my mind works...). We figured on, and actually spent, a little over $100 per day for 2 of. This included:
- one soda card
- tips for both of us ($10 per person/per day)
- tips for room service and porters at the pier
- drinks for me!
- souvernirs both on and off ship (we bought Carnival t-shirts, one hat, about $40 in ship photos and waaaay too much at the straw markets....)
- $10 per day to park the car at the port
- $35 per person for the one shore excursion we took
My dh is going in September, so I'm going to splurge and budget $200 per day for the 3 of us...
Does this help?
Carnival Elation March 11
Carnival Imagination Sept 07
Carniival Sensation Dec 06
RCI Sovereign of the Seas Sept 06
Carnival Miracle Sept 05
Carnival Glory Sept 04
Carnival Fantasy Jan 04
Being a guy, I'm not that much of a shopper. Although my mom told me to bring a decent amount of money for this past cruise we went on last July. So I brought about $150, and only spent $35 of it on getting my upper ear pierced. For this cruise that my friend and I are going on, I plan on purchasing gifts for my parents, so I'll probably bring about $4-500 dollars with me. I doubt I'll spend every single penny.
We take about $200 in cash (mostly small bills for tipping). About $300 in travelers checks and two credit cards. We usually have some left. We also scuba dive and we go direct with the dive shops when we get there so we need cash for taxis and the diving. Most take credit card now but not a long time ago. Most stuff goes on the card and the money we have left pays for that. Depends on if you do tours on your own - not booked in advance - taxis, tips and if you shop for souveniers. Have a good time - take more than you think but take it in travelers checks - just to be on the safe side. They are very easy to cash on board at the pursers desk as you need them. Debbie
I've noticed that a lot of people take about an extra 200 for tipping. i thought tips were on the SandS card (except for a few extra tips here and there). That would mean about $400 altogether for tipping...not what I was expecting!
When people are talking about tips - they are counting the cost in the daily cost. You are correct, the tips will be on the Sail n Sign card and you can just charge them to your credit card at the end of the trip. Any extra tips would be a buck or two for a cab driver, porter at the airport, etc. No other big tips besides those on your sail n sign (which you can have removed and pay in cash if you prefer).
My husband and I took our Honeymoon on the Elation on Feb 1st. for seven days. Our Sail and Sign total was $900 but we purchased 5 pieces at the art auctions. Our half way bill given to us on Wednesday of our Sun thru Sat cruise was only $350. That is what we spent on the ship and for both of our excursions. We did one in Belize.
In Cozumel we bought jewelry on our credit card. That was our biggest expense and it was completely spur of the moment. You would be surprised what you might decide you need when you get there. Our friends at dinner spent $3000 on a rug for their house and they're the ones that introduced us to the art auctions....
So, honestly, I would expect anywhere between $350 to $700 to be plenty if you guys don't drink that much alcohol or gamble much. But, I would suggest taking a credit card with you just in case you see something you can't do without.