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cherylroy December 12th, 2007 07:13 PM

Sail and Sign card debit card question
I always use my credit card for the sail and sign card. We are leaving soon on a cruise and my friend has a debit card directly from her checking account. She said somewhere she read they put a 'hold' of some kind on your account if using a debit card? How does using a debit card work with the sail and sign card?? Thanks!

Amber F December 12th, 2007 08:16 PM

The problem with using a debit card for the sign and sail card are the holds. Carnival will put a hold on the card for the dollar amount of each purchase on the ship. In a perfect world, these holds would fall off once Carnival pushes through the actual charges, but unfortunately, thsi isn't a perfect world.

Because each hold is for a small amount (depends on the passenger of course) they don't fall off when the final charges are assessed because the final charges are in a lump sum. For instance, let's say you have:


in charges, and the final bill is $70, Carnvial pushes through a one-time charge of $70. The banks and credit card companies use automatic processing and because the amounts don't match exactly, the holds to not fall off automatically, which leaves your account on hold for twice what you spent on board.

The holds will eventually fall off, but not for 10-15 days, the legal amount of time a merchant has to send in the official paperwork proving the charge is valid.

I would recommend that if this person does not have a regular credit card, that they use cash to open their Sail and Sign card and not have to deal with the holds on the same funds.

Hope that helps!


Bob M December 12th, 2007 09:29 PM

On the other hand if you have plenty of Bucks in your checking account then you have nothing to worry about...
BUT if you are running on the slim side then a Cash Deposit may work out better for you...

We never run more than $50 on our Sign & Sail card so it's no big deal for us...

cherylroy December 13th, 2007 12:14 AM I know why I use my AMEX.

Joe323 December 13th, 2007 01:36 PM

There is another reason to use a credit rather then a debit card. Lets say that your S & S bill is $50 and when you get home they charged your credit card $100 by error. If you cant settle it with carnival directly you can dispute the charge though your credit card. Amex is very good in this respect. for example last month I had a dispute with the Howard Johnson hotel I stayed with in Seattle. Amex withheld the disputed amout from the hotel without charging me while I settled it. You can't do that with a debit card.

rinker250 December 13th, 2007 02:20 PM

Yes, I have found that my CC takes my side before it takes the merchant's when it come to dispute of charges.

Bob, that 50 bucks is after the 10.00 pp/pd tip, right?

Bob M December 13th, 2007 05:03 PM

Tips are always extra...
We don't gamble or drink much & never go on the overpriced excursions...
Last 3 cruises were under 50 bucks...:)

rinker250 December 13th, 2007 05:36 PM


Originally Posted by Bob M
Tips are always extra...
We don't gamble or drink much & never go on the overpriced excursions...
Last 3 cruises were under 50 bucks...:) of 10.00 pp/pd are always added to your account. In that sense they are not extra because the charge is automatic.
I'm only saying so this so a person unfamiliar with the practice will not be surprised.
I commend you for only charging another 50.00 after that.

flowers December 13th, 2007 06:02 PM

I use a debit card and the only thing I ever saw that looked like a hold was a wierd small amount, like $5.78, that I was told was they put thru a small charge to make sure the card is good and then it dissapears.

Iv never seen any of these holds people say otherwise and have used a debit card up until the last time when I got the Royal Caribbean Visa card now.

Manuel December 13th, 2007 06:39 PM

WOW 50 dollars is just enough for first dinner's wine.


cherylroy December 13th, 2007 07:03 PM

Thanks everyone. I think she is just going to go with CASH. Do you know how CASH deposits work? Is it a long extra process??? Is there a certain limit you have to put down?
BTW------ we don't drink or gamble either - however we DO enjoy the cruise and if we want to go on an excursion -- we go and pray they are worth the price we paid for them. And......... tip generously :-) They deserve it. Now........back to the cash. Does anyone know how that process works? Thanks

dina December 13th, 2007 07:10 PM

When you check in you go to the pursers desk. Tell them you want to put down a cash deposit. Simple and no surpise bill when you get home.

rinker250 December 13th, 2007 07:11 PM

I have not done cash but I can tell you this:
In addition to our tips, HAL will reserve 60.00 pp/pd for a total of 840.00 (2 folks x 60.00 x 7 days).
When that total approaches 800.00 they will hit my card for an additional 60.00 pp/pd based on days remaining in the cruise.
This amount is also in addition to amounts I have already reserved such as the specialty restaraunt and excursions.
Our bar set-up was paid for the day it was reserved.

I would IMAGINE the same will hold true for get a call to your room if you approach the limit.

I hope this helps a little.

cherylroy December 13th, 2007 08:14 PM

So Dina -- it doesn't delay you from boarding the ship? Is there a certain amount you have to put down? When do you get the $$ back if you get some back? and visa versa

CA Cruiser December 13th, 2007 08:27 PM

We used cash once but never again. We ordered a glass of wine on our 5th night and our sail and sign cards were rejected. One of our tablemates covered our tab but we were very embarrassed. When we went to the Purser's desk we were told it was because we were down to the last $100. I asked why weren't we notified or told this would occur when we first boarded. No answer of course. We asked for our money back and just gave them a credit card. Now that is all we use paying it off once we get the bill. So much easier.

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