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Old March 5th, 2012, 11:53 PM
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Default First cruise... kinda blindsided by embarkment hold

We will be heading out on our first ever cruise on Thursday. In trying to get everything lined up, we came across the credit card hold policy and now we are worried we wont even be allowed on the boat. The cruise has been 100% paid for since last summer and our debit card registered online since last month (if that matters any). We dont carry credit cards and after a family emergency last week, we have just enough money in the bank to cover the 1000 mile drive to Florida. We board on Thursday and then payday (direct deposit) is the very next day. We thought we could board Thursday and not spend anything that day then we could go and add the funds Friday morning when it was available. However, after all of the reading I have done, it looks like this won't work. Will Carnival let us board and put 'no charges allowed' on our account for Thirsday? What other options are there?
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Old March 6th, 2012, 04:56 AM
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To be sure, try to put $50 or $100 into the account upon arrival. Make it a cash account. Change to debit card a day or so after. The hold on the debit card seems to be based on spending habits.
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Old March 6th, 2012, 10:49 AM
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Well, that's kind of the problem, but also what we are working on and hoping will work. After the family emergency, we were left with about $200. We've managed to scrape up another $100 from some other accounts. That will cover fuel/food just for the drive there.

What worried us was that we wouldn't have any money for the first day (and subsequently was worried that they wouldn't even let us board as a result). Anyway, my wife has a business transaction today that should give us an extra $200-300 and we've decided to pawn our iPods, which should give us another $100-200. That should easily give us enough cash to put down for the first day and then switch to the debit card the next day when the money hits the bank.

That should close our case, but I'm still curious what would happen if you were to show up to the boat absolutely empty handed (but with the all-inclusive cruise itself 100% paid for, of course): no cash, no credit, nothing but your luggage (stupid, I know, but play along with me). Would they let you board and simply disable any charging abilities or would they turn you away?
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Old March 6th, 2012, 11:20 AM
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On my celebrity cruise last week I did a b2b cruise and they didn't have my CC info on the second leg. I just got a letter saying I would limited to $200 on my account unless I put in a deposit or registered my CC.
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Old March 6th, 2012, 11:33 AM
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I am so sorry to hear about the struggle you have to go through just to get onboard. Sorry that I don't have any answers but I don't see how Carnival can stop you from going on a cruise you have already paid for.

They will want to charge the gratuities to your onboard account at the end of the cruise. That will come to about $10 per person per day. I guess you will just have to explain about the direct deposit when you check in.

I am not for anybody "stiffing" their onboard crewmembers, but if it means the difference between you having the cruise you paid for and not being able to go, then I would certainly make an exception for you. It sounds like you really deserve a vacation with all the troubles you have encountered.

Please let us know how it turns out.
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Old March 6th, 2012, 12:09 PM
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Thanks Paul. This cruise is our honeymoon cruise, so it is very much deserved!

Ultimately, the money wasn't a problem... as long as we could get by the first 12 hours or so. The direct deposit will be well over $5k so there will be plenty for their gratuities at the end.

In any rate, I think I jumped the gun on the worrying (I have a bad habit about that). The $300 has since jumped to $750. That will give us about a $200/person deposit. Hopefully that will work to at least get us on the boat.
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