How much money should the first time cruiser take?
This is a compilation of emails in response to the question put forth by Henry43:
"How much money do people normally take for a 2 week cruise ?"
I thought it was great information which would be helpful to the first time cruiser.
Donna started with the comment: "
"I always start with a clean credit card, and depending on if you need cash for tips, figure $100 per day should cover it."
Henry 43 responded: "Are you saying that if I go on a 12 day cruise I should carry $1200 in cash?"
Donna said: "I don't spend nearly that much, with tips pre-paid, some cash that you may not need to bring. Are you big shoppers on the islands? You will need cash for cabs, tips along the way, shopping, gambling. Everyone is different..."
As Donna mentioned, "it really depends on your activities and spending habits. Most of my spending is onboard (drinks/excursions/specialty restaurants) so thats all on a credit card."
Trip added: " $100.00 a day is the general figure, most accepted...It's up to you, how to break it up between your spending cash,and credit card purchases. Anything purchased in ports, including food, can be put on the cc..cash would be needed for transportation, and tips in port."
Hockey nut wrote: "For cash, I usually take $75 for each day of the cruise + $100 for my 2 travel days. That is used for tips on board (in addition to auto tips), taxis, and anyone else that would get a tip (porters, shuttle drivers, etc...)
I rarely buy anything ashore now and if I do, use a credit card and always end up having extra cash when I get home."
Mike M commented: The $100/day is a general recommendation but one that fits most people. It prepares people for the expenses they may incur.
Some people will spend far less than that and some will spend far more. But yes; If you take $1200 on a 12 day cruise you should be in good shape.
The other thing to remember is that your ship's onboard charges will be charged to your credit card. If you don't plan to spend much on shore or gamble then your per day, cash expenses, will be less.
I am always amazed at how much I spend, in cash, with taxis, tips, restaurants, etc. before I ever set foot on the ship.
I think that these responses from experienced cruisemates are great and they should help the first time cruiser.
My response to the question followed Donna's first comment:" I think a clean credit card with a great credit level is a must but even more important is that you check the expiration date on your credit card. This is obvious right and so is taking an extra set of passport pictures which every good traveler knows will save them a lot of time and money if their passport is lost. The cash question is interesting if you figure $100 a day that amounts to about $700. Now I know everyone knows they should have some legal tender - how much I reommend is about half of the amount in cash and the balance should be in travelers checks. Travelers checks would be my main financial instrument because what I don't spend I can exchange for cash when cruise is over. Also ships are generally pretty good about cashing travelers checks. I don't know if they give cash advances on credit cards without putting on some kind of service charge. Maybe someone knows."
Hope this is helpful.
Whatever ...you end up spending about 100 with us ££ with you $$ recent bill from QE $800 + change for 5 days for two, we also spent about 40 Euros ashore on bits.
Traveler's checks are becoming almost extinct. Very few places want to accept them anymore because they are easily counterfitted with today's available technology.
Though the ships are one of the few places you can still cash them.
Cash or card off the ship & pay by Credit card on the ship, no other practical way to me.
I saw the above comment by Kuki concerning travelers checques.
I then saw a recent ad for a major Travelers Checques company.
and started to wonder about what was reality:
Accepted at thousands of locations worldwide
Refunded usually within 24 hours if lost or stolen*
24/7 customer support
Offered in a variety of currencies and denominations
Travellersí cheques are still a safe and easy way of taking money abroad. Other payment methods such as credit cards and prepaid cards are more easy to use, almost as cheap in terms of commission charges and are accepted worldwide. However, with credit/debit cards commissions and transaction charges can be very expensive due to interest rates.
As a neophyte cruiser, I think the advice to use travelers checques is excellent. First, I don't want to carry a bunch of cash - a thousand dollars for a two week cruise would be a pretty big bundle to carry around. Secondly, the ship's casino will give me cash for my travelers checques without charging a service charge. Third credit cards can be stolen and used before I know that the theft has taken place. Fourth, credit card numbers can be stolen and used before I know about it has happened.
So my conclusion is let those jerks who think my travelers checques are forgeries not take them. If they can't tell a forgery from a real checque they shouldn't be in business. I figure, If I really want something I still have cash and the ship is my bank for cashing my travelers checques. What's the going rate for cash advances on credit cards compared to zero for travelers checques and all the ship wants for identification is my sea pass. Finally, if I must have a blue diamond from St. Thomas then I can still use my credit card and pay for the interest and transaction charge.
Right now, I am figuring out how many travelers checques I should buy for my next cruise. Of course these travelers checques will be in addition to the pocket cash and credit card I will carry. I feel that travlers checques are a lot easier to carry than taking a thousand plus dollars in cash and safer and cheaper than credit cards with their high interest rates and transaction charges, etc., etc., etc..
Logic Rule I follow when someone makes a general declaration of what is true. First of all I question the statment because I find the fallacy of oversimplification involves the use of generalizations that are so broad that they oversimplify the truth.
PS: Here is an article to help detect fake travelers checques. It tells about the safeguards that are built into the checques. These safeguards are probalby better than US currency which is being counterfeit.
How to Detect Fake Traveler's Checks
by Margaret Telsch-Williams, Demand Media
Taking fake travelers cheques in your business as payment for a good or service can not only make you lose money, but also time and product. Before you accept a travelers cheque as payment, you should become familiar with them and know how to detect fake travelers cheques to avoid trouble in the future. Once you know how to spot the counterfeit, train anyone else that will be handling payments to keep their eye out for key security features found on authentic travelers cheques.
Accept the cheque while watching the customer sign only the bottom, left signature line. The top, right signature area must be previously signed at time of purchase from the issuing bank. Look over the signatures to make sure they are identical and match the signature on the person's ID.
Inspect the surface behind the signatures for signs of smudged or missing micro printing or brown discolorations, all of which are created when someone attempts to remove existing signatures from an authentic travelers cheque for the purpose of passing it off as new.
Hold the cheque to a light or bright window to reveal a watermark image on the face of the cheque. Remove the cheque from the light and make sure the watermark does not appear printed on the back of the cheque, which could signal a fake, or that you can see the image without holding the cheque to a light. No watermark is also a clue that you have a fake.
Look for a holographic thread running through the width of the cheque while you are holding it to the light. A thread will be in every real cheque and appear silver or metallic, with a shine to it. Fake threads may be dull or appear printed on the cheque and easily seen even when not held to light.
Feel the surface of the check for engraved, or upraised, printing which should create texture rather than be smooth. Often the border, denomination or the central image on the face of the check will be engraved. Real cheques should also feel similar to paper currency, without feeling overly smooth or thicker than paper money.
Note the amount of the cheque and do not accept cheques which are grossly larger than the amount needed for payment. For example, a $100 cheque being used to buy $5 of goods creates a loss of $95 to you when you give cash back if the cheque is fake.
Compare the serial numbers of the cheques if the customer is handing you more than one cheque of the same denomination. Travelers cheques sold in packs feature a number sequence, so a cheque ending in -002 can be expected to be paired with another check close in range, such as -001 or -003. Very random serial numbers of same denomination cheques for payment can signal fakes.
I would be more concerned about counterfeit US currency than Travelers checques
Quite frankly, it looks like the travelers checques are better protected than US currency. The traveler checque people sure have built in a lot of protective devices, plus you have to countersign each one. Sounds like those business people who don't accept them are losing out or taking the a risk with accepting credit cards or even cash. I like the idea of having the ship being my traveling bank and the best part of the deal is you don't have to pay them for advances.
Go ahead. Take travelers checks. Then try and use them at vendors. Experience outweighs advertising.
I do agree that if you need to take a large amount of negotiable currency then travelers checks work if you cash them on the ship or a "real" bank. Just don't try using them as cash when you buy your souveniers onshore. You will be disappointed.
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