This is my families first cruise. There are four of us. We have two teenage girls. We are trying to budget before leaving. We leave on Sunday 11/9 from the Port of Tampa. We are very excited and want to experience as much as possible but without going broke. I am sure it will be a lot on the actual cruise ship itself and I want to be able to let my girls do onshore excursions.
Actually, anything on the ship except for gambling, you will nee NO cash as everything is charged on your sail and sign card. I think you can even put the Bingo cards on your sail and sign card. If you have room service, you should tip them a couple of dollars also, otherwise, all other tips and all purchases are on your sail and sign card, unless you want to give some extra cash to your waiter or room steward.
Therefore, the only cash you need is for when you are in port for whatever purchases you want to make. Also, if you book an excursion onboard, that charge is also put on your sail and sign card. If you book an excursion directly with the tour operator, you will need cash!
One last thing, the video games for the kids do take cash!
You can pay cash at the very end instead of going on your credit card.
By the way, congradulations on your first cruise, you'll love it. One warning, with 2 teenage daughters, keep an eye out on them, there are lots of men on board with alchohol! !
Ditto the above.
Above all Have Fun !!
Just remember, you do not have to buy every photo they take. Put limits on the kids S&S cards. Check all accounts on the ships TV or at the pursers desk daily so that you are aware of your budget situation on a daily basis and catch any errors or no nos the kids made.
You can eat in the dining room every day (dress code). You can get more than one entree. Room service is free but tip the delivery person. There are laundry rooms on the ship if you should need them.
We have been on 3 cruises with our 3 teenage daughters. Make sure they stay together and that you have a specific meeting time. They will also make some great friends on the trip. My girls were 14, 16 and 17 the first time we went. It was wonderful. You don't need much money and they will NOT be able to get alcohol with their room cards. However, if you go to a excursion that serves alcohol, they might get some. My girls brought it to me.
Be sure to take a power strip for all the electronics that girls bring. and we brought an "over the door" shoe hanger. It was a space saver and very much used. The girls put everything in it.
The last cruise was with the two who graduated and a friend. My hubby didn't get to go. It was wonderful. One requirement, they must be at DINNER every night, then they could run around. REMEMBER it is a
floating CITY and there is lots of men and young men. WE did not have any problems. They have a TEEN club, WONDERFUL. Lots of activities for just the teens and No One older allowed. I really was impressed and I am the MOMMY.
Have a GREAT Voyage.
A lot of good advice has been given here. Please listen to them. Please make sure that you make the kids check in with you often. They will still be able to have lots of fun. Mine always do. We always take $50 in fives and $50 in ones. That usually takes care of the tips that we give to room service and the baggage people. We usually end up getting such great service from our room steward that we give them a little extra above what is put on our sail and sign card. Watch out for the shutter bugs. :evil: They are so good and take such good pictures that sometimes its hard to say no. Every chance you get take a picture and then have fun going down and looking at them. But don't buy them, you will go broke. We now only buy one picture per cruise and that is one first one when you first get on the ship. Take a digital camera and take lots of your own pictures. No matter what just make sure that you have fun.