We have decided to go with traveller's cheques and cash only for cruising. We have had a lot of hassle with credit cards and have had false charges show up after we got home - then you have to sort that out.
Also if we use a credit card there is a fee for exchange on top of the exchange so it adds up. We have a US account and take our traveller's cheques out of that and return the unused portion.
I understand that we will have to give them a cash deposit up front but that is ok. We hope that this will do away with spending a couple of hours at the front desk trying to straighten out mistakes. We have seen people shouting at the staff because of mistakes - one woman even said that she was going to cancel her credit card because they put her charges through on her credit card after she said she would pay in cash.
Yes, it is very important to keep every receipt and a running account of what you have spent. They do make mistakes - last cruise we let $20 go because they couldn't seem to explain what it was for and we got tired of standing at the counter after 2 hours.
Fewer and fewer places are taking traverlers checks, because it is so easy to forge them with color printers. While on our last cruise I saw several stores that had "No travelers checks" signs. Use your ATM card. On the ship you charge everything to rour room and pay at the end. You don't need cash on the ship other then for some special tips. There are ATM's at every port. I have not sailed on HAL, We will in October. How do they handle cash in their casino? ATM cards are like credit cards except the money comes out in a day or two. I would skip the travelers checks. You don't see many ads for them anymore do you! That's because nobody wants to take them.
Steve & Donalee
HAL Zaandam 10/07
for a ten-day cruise i usually take about 600.00 in cash, 100.00 in ones and a mastercard. the ones are for tips, the other cash is for casino and small purchases on land. i always have cash left over. HAL is very good when it comes to accounting for onboard purchases which i charge to my card. hope this helps. hombre
It depends on where you are sailing but in my opinion a credit card, ATM and some cash are the best way to go for Caribbean and European cruises.
For ship charges, set up your account using your credit card and have all shipboard charges go against the credit card. The number of instances of false charges or other issues are actually quite low and you will receive a final bill before you leave the ship. Review that bill BEFORE you leave the ship. You can also ask for a current bill of your charges at anytime during your cruise. If there are any charges that you do not agree with have them dealt with before you leave the ship. You also have the ability to dispute ANY charges with your credit card company if you feel they are not accurate or they are invalid.
With the ATM card you can use it to receive money on shore in the native currency, in a small amount, to use while you are on shore. This works well in Europe. In the Caribbean and Mexico almost all ports welcome U.S. dollars for purchases. The other advantage of using an ATM is that you will receive the current exchange rate. Depending on your bank and the ATM you use there will probably be a charge for using the ATM card. I personally use my credit card for any major purchase while on shore.
If you are traveling in Asia or some South America destinations you may want to consider taking travelers checks. They can cash the checks onboard at the Purser's desk. They can also exchange dollars to the native currency but they do it at a pre-determined exchange rate and add a charge that is not usually in the passengers best interest.
The thing you want to remember is to take only the least amount of cash on shore with you each day that you think you will need. If you do need more use your ATM to obtain more currency, travelers check or credit card card for a purchase. You do not want to carry around a large amount of money.
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