This may sound like a negative story but it teaches some basic lessons for the first time cruiser. I read about it in the March issue of Conde Naste travel magazine, and I am writing this email based on my memory of the article.
The young man was taking a cruise to Spain. He purchased American Express travelers checques in the amount of $150. He wanted to avoid using his credit card in Spain because of high charges, this is according to the story. Subsequently his back pack was stolen.
Okay this is lesson one. Keep your money and personal identification on your person at all times. That may mean neck wallets, or money belts to keep your important documents like your passport, personal identification, cash and credit cards. In the Carribean there are rare occasions when you leave the ship that you have to have your passport with you. Most of the time you will have to have personal id and a ship card.
The man had his passport replaced quickly. He contacted American Express via phone to get his travelers checques replaced, and this is where he really ran into trouble. No problem with the replacement but he had to go to a bank at the next port and pick up the money. And this is the essence of his story he went to the bank and was told they didn't have any information about the situation. He contacts American Express, no problem he is told money will be available bank at next port. He goes to another port and another bank and a similar problem, and then another bank. Finally the problem was resolved and American Express paid him the $150 plus $500 for his troubles. The man made the comment that while other fellow cruisers were out enjoying the sites he was trying to find banks.
This is probably one of the best lessons to be learned from this story. Make friends with other cruisemates they will probably help you out in bad straits
and they will give you advice on how to resolve your questions
By all means take cash,travelers checks and credit card with you on cruise and make sure you read Donna's thread about how much money you should take on a cruise.
I had a situation when I was traveling on the Solstice when I shared a breakfast table with a WW2 veteran from New England. He told me that he was to meet his friend at the end of the cruise to share a ride home. The problem was that his friend's number was in his phone and the battery was dead and he didn't bring his charger. By luck, chance or fate, my phone charger fit his phone and the problem was resolved.
Talking about chargers remember to bring them on the cruise plus a plug outlet strip. Paul Motter, administrator, could give you advice about the outlet strip - check out his photo gallery of his outlet strip pictures.