Can someone please explain to me in detail what exactly the sign and sail account is. Do we put money onto it or does it add up and then we pay? How much money do you recommend putting on it? Can we use cash on the ship, or do we have to have a sail and sign account? Also it says that gratuities are included...does that mean each time we use the card it takes out gratuities or does it take out an exact amount each day? Can we change the amount of gratuities it takes out? I'm really confused as to how exactly this card works. Any clarification would be greatly appreciated.
Sail and Sign card is your room key (on most ships) and your "credit card" for ALL purchases onboard. You pay for EVERYTHING with your sail and sign card.
When you check in, you give a credit card ( or you can visit the pursers desk in the lobby of the ship and set up the account with cash.) The credit card - or cash account- automatically get charged with tips, drinks, purchases etc.....The ONLY cash you will need on board is money for tipping for room service, piano player in the piano bar likes cash tips. For everything else you use your sail and sign card.
In your cabin, you can check the balance on your sail and sign account right on your TV.
Everyone must have a S&S card either guaranteed with a credit card or cash. Your S&S card is your onboard credit card....when you arrive at check-in you will be asked if you're going to use a credit card for your onboard charges, the credit card you present to them will be swiped and everything you charge on your S&S card will automatically be charged to the credit card you presented UNLESS you prefer using cash. There is a pre-determined amount of money per person (depending upon length of cruise) that you must present to the Purser as soon as you get onboard. These monies will be deposited in your S&S account and everything you purchase will be debited from the balance. You will not be allowed to purchase anything onboard until you have deposited your cash with the Purser. If you use all your cash in the first few days, you will be asked to return to the Purser to deposit additional funds before they will allow you to purchase anything else. The can use cash onboard to purchase Bingo cards, and in the casino. Everything else on board is charged to your S&S card, beverages, souvenirs, shore excursions, etc. If you have used a credit card and want to settle your account in cash, you must present yourself to the Purser at the end of the cruise to make those arrangements. A bill will be left in your stateroom the last night of the cruise. On that bill will be an automatic per person tip for stateroom steward, head waiter, assistant waiter....on a 7 night cruise, the charge is $70 per person and it is distributed to all above personnel. The only person that is not included is the maitre'd, they will leave you envelopes that you can use to add additional tips for anyone that has provided you great service. If you want to adjust the automatic tips, you can do so at the Purser's desk. Also, when you order beverages (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) from any bar, restaurant, or entertainment venue, the tip is automatically added to the total so you don't have to tip them again.
Can you use your Visa debit card for your S & S card if you don't use credit cards or will you have to put money up front to your ship card? Also, are gratuities added to the s & s card if you order soft drinks?
Joy, yes you can use your Visa debit card for your S&S card but check with your bank for your daily withdrawal limit. We didn't think about doing that and after we purchased our excursions, drinks and a few photos the first day or two, we received a note from the Purser's desk to say we couldn't use our debit card because we had a low daily limit. And yes, a 15% tip is added to every drink order; beer, wine, coctail and sodas.
Teresa and Larry
#36-Carnival Splendor 9/16/12
7 night Mexican Riviera
#37-Allure of the Seas 11/11/12
7 night Eastern Caribbean
Agree with all the posts. We use a credit card when we check in so we don't have to worry about depleted cash or debit card amount during the cruise. It acts as your room key and credit card while on board, and is important you don't lose it while in ports of call. They will take your picture at embarkation and link it with your card and everytime you get on or off the ship it is swiped and matched with your picture so they know who is on the ship and who is off. (if you do lose it while on the ship just go to the pursers desk). The only thing we bring extra cash for is the casino, we usually pay cash for Bingo cards, plus souvenirs,taxi rides, and drinks/eating at any restaurants or bars in ports of call, and for extra tip money for porters at the pier coming and going, and extra for the MatreD or any ship employee that gave us exceptional service. The gratuities are automatically included and charged to your account, but sometimes we like to give a little something extra to great cruise members. And tips are automatically added on all drinks you purchase. We use our S&S card for souvenirs on the ship, the automatic gratuities, cruise photos, shore excursions,alcoholic beverages, and a couple Fountain Fun cards. We usually end up charging about $800 for our family of 3 on a 7 day cruise, but what we do is save our loose change the whole year before cruising and that persistance pays off!- we have about $500 in change right now and are going to cash it in and apply it to our virgin Visa before we sail May 1 so we will have a credit of $500 on it and when we get back we will only have about a $300 bill we will have to pay. Happy cruising!! Cheryl