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Old January 15th, 2011, 09:37 PM
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Default Questions about Sign & Sail account

Trying to decide whether we should (or could) give cash and/or AMEX travelers checks to use on Carnival's sign & sail account. We'd prefer to be able to use our debit cards freely when we dock at ports and not have to worry about the holds put on our debit card bank accounts (based on the Carnival website warnings).

This is our first cruise. If it's not too personal would folks mind sharing their experiences based on whether they use debit cards or AMEX travelers cheques? We do not have nor want any credit cards so we're trying to find ways to avoid doing that. Thanks in advance.
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Old January 15th, 2011, 11:38 PM
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Yes:

You can put a minimum of somewhere around $200 in your account and add more as you need it. Remember your tips will be $168 for two people. $12 x 7 x 2

They will take cash and travelers checks.

Take care,
Mike
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Old January 16th, 2011, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
Yes:

You can put a minimum of somewhere around $200 in your account and add more as you need it. Remember your tips will be $168 for two people. $12 x 7 x 2

They will take cash and travelers checks.

Take care,
Mike
Thanks Mike, but TA said the tips would be $120 for both of us, we're leaving on a Sat. & returning on a Friday so maybe that's why (not a full 7 days)?
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Old January 16th, 2011, 07:55 AM
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He is counting your cruise as 5 days, 120.00, but to me !44.00 it seems for Sat-Fri...but his advice would be the norm it seems.
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Old January 16th, 2011, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by newlywed View Post
Thanks Mike, but TA said the tips would be $120 for both of us, we're leaving on a Sat. & returning on a Friday so maybe that's why (not a full 7 days)?
If your cruise is five days this correct. Just remember $12/pp/pd.

I prefer to just register my credit card at the beginning of the cruise and not worry about having to do cash. Just pay off the card when the bill comes in.

Take care,
Mike
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Old January 16th, 2011, 10:45 PM
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Hello! I can understand your concern...I thought of this when my husband and I first started cruising. What I do, is I buy/activate a Visa gift card. I get mine at my bank, but if it has a visa logo on it you can spend it anywhere that takes visa credit cards. I load it up with however much I think we will need and I can spend freely until it is gone. That way no one in a "foreign" port has my debit/cc number and I can also put a cap on what I spend It works very well for us!!

Enjoy your cruise!
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Old January 16th, 2011, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by sam&kerifrady View Post
Hello! I can understand your concern...I thought of this when my husband and I first started cruising. What I do, is I buy/activate a Visa gift card. I get mine at my bank, but if it has a visa logo on it you can spend it anywhere that takes visa credit cards. I load it up with however much I think we will need and I can spend freely until it is gone. That way no one in a "foreign" port has my debit/cc number and I can also put a cap on what I spend It works very well for us!!

Enjoy your cruise!
Thanks but maybe I read the Carnival website wrong, thought it said it didn't accept gift cards for payment on sign/sail accounts. Maybe i misunderstood?
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Old January 16th, 2011, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam&kerifrady View Post
Hello! I can understand your concern...I thought of this when my husband and I first started cruising. What I do, is I buy/activate a Visa gift card. I get mine at my bank, but if it has a visa logo on it you can spend it anywhere that takes visa credit cards. I load it up with however much I think we will need and I can spend freely until it is gone. That way no one in a "foreign" port has my debit/cc number and I can also put a cap on what I spend It works very well for us!!

Enjoy your cruise!
That is a GREAT tip! Hadn't even thought of that one myself. Very thoughtful and creative.
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Old January 16th, 2011, 11:02 PM
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Well newlywed, I use the gift cards in the ports for whatever we may need/want, that way I will not need to use my debit card and it isn't an issue for them to put a hold on it for our onboard expenses
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Old January 21st, 2011, 11:53 AM
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Has anyone ever used the Visa gift cards for their S&S ? I'd like to know too..as this is how I wanted to pay our S&S requirements/deposits..
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Old January 21st, 2011, 01:48 PM
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Just to clarify, I was on Freedom last weeks and tips are $10 pp/pd not $12. So your SIX day cruise will be $120 for 2 people.

WRT credit cards, debit cards, etc there are manyh ways you can do this.

For us, after 4 cruises in the Caribbean, we have never had a credit card problem, scam, double charge, nothing. We always call our CC company and tell them the dates were are on vacation and the ports we are visiting as the only problem we HAVE actually had is Mastercard (on our first cruise) is that they put a hold on our card because charges were poping up all over the place from different countries, etc and this was not our typical usage.

I can see some people not wanting credit cards, they can be dangerous for yourself if you're on a budget so I understand, however, we prefer them for ease of use, AND we are accumulating reward miles for future vacations. We NEVER have a balance so the interest rates will never hurt us. Anyway...

Travellers checks are good as well, we often take cash less than $100 and as that dwindles, we get Carnival's customer service desk on the ship to cash some as sometimes cash is a little easier, especially if you see something you want from a street vendor for example.

Krunch
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Old January 21st, 2011, 02:43 PM
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Are there ATM machines on the cruise ships? Just curious (and hopeful)
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Old January 21st, 2011, 02:58 PM
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Yes they have ATM's but I hear they are very expensive, around $5. I have done it both ways, use my card card and debit card. If you use your debit card Carnival will put a hold on your account but it's only for a few days. The last time I used my debit card when I got home I just had my bank call Carnival and have them release the hold. It took only about five minutes. What I have also done and will probably do as well this time is to use my debit card as a hold and then pay off in cash at the end of the trip. This way I won't be tempted to not pay off my credit card.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 08:35 PM
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I haven't cruised yet but in general I would recommend using a credit card instead of a debit card when traveling, for big purchases, or going to stores your are not familiar with. If your debit card is compromised your whole bank account can be wiped out but if there is fraud with your credit card company you can dispute it and you are not immediately out of the money.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beach_bum View Post
I haven't cruised yet but in general I would recommend using a credit card instead of a debit card when traveling, for big purchases, or going to stores your are not familiar with. If your debit card is compromised your whole bank account can be wiped out but if there is fraud with your credit card company you can dispute it and you are not immediately out of the money.
Exactly what I was going to say. Using a debt card is a big no-no.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 09:01 PM
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Yes, they do have ATM's onboard, but I have heard at time, they don't always work, so you can't completely count on them. As for debit cards, I would suggest using a regular credit card or cash. I do like the idea of gift cards if those are accepted. Using a debit card is not a good idea, especially if there is any problem, money is already gone, you have to way to protect any error put on it..
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Old January 26th, 2011, 09:14 PM
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I wouldn't use the DEBIT card at all ... except at the ATM machine ON THE SHIP. If you use it to secure your sail & sign card they put a hold on your account, for double the amount you requested. ( this is what I heard, don't know first hand ) I use either my credit card or a cash deposit that you can add to as the week goes on. In port I've used cash, and on one occasion, when I decided that I just had to have a Tanzanite ring, my credit card. That time they called the credit card company and I had to confirm that it was me & that I was making the purchase! I thought that was a good thing.
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Old January 28th, 2011, 10:41 PM
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Thanks to everyone! Has anyone used AMEX travelers checks in ports easily? we're considering giving our debit card on board the ship & using travelers checks everywhere else.
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