While I plan to use my credit card for the on-board bill (drinks, etc), how about using Traveler's Checks on the islands for shopping, like at the Bahamas? Any problems with this? Or is it cash only? Surely cash only for street vendors and such, but shops?
Traveler's Checks are ok in the shops (be sure to confirm that they will give you change in U.S. currency... most do, but some do not)... but so is your credit card. I'd be very careful about making any kind of substantive purchase in a store that did not accept credit cards. Of course, as you say, you'll need some cash with you too.
On p 107 of the Cruise Vacation Planner under the heading "What about cash, checks and foreign currency?" It says US dollars and traveler's
checks are accepted in most foreign ports.
We were first-timers last Jan. and the only trqveler's check I used was a $20 in the casino. We are not big shoppers, but what shopping we did was by credit card except the cash in the market on Labadee. (felt like i needed a suit of armor.)
Traveler's Checks are getting so outdated that they are becoming obsolete. They are expensive versus a credit card and don't offer a lot of protection. Clark Howard recommends using an ATM card when ever you need cash since they are available almost everywhere and using your credit card to purchase anything else.
ATMs cost money if they are not specifically for our bank, whereas Travelers Checks have no fee when we get them from AAA.. I don't like to carry a lot of cash because that will not be replaced if stolen. In Spain years ago, my husband's pocket was picked. The Traveler's Checks were replaced with no problem, but the $80 in Spanish cash was not. Credit cards can be cancelled and replaced with little or no liability for unauthorized charges by the thief.
As I said above we used credit card or SeaPass for everything except the casino. It makes more sense to use credit cards as much as possible. Also it's easier to keep track of expenses.
I deffiantely recommend carrying travelers checks to get your cash safely on board. I'd bring a credit card for large purchases on land such as jewelry - the only time we bought it was in St Martin at a store that did not discount for cash. This is your only insurance on jewelry being real is to use your credit card. Of course make sure it says 14k on the actually jewelry and not just the clasp - this was seen a lot in St Thomas. I cash my travelers checks on board at the pursers desk and bring a few on the island as a just in case. All you need to cash them on board is a drivers license. Happy travels, Debbie
We have not used traveler's checks for 10 years. Always use the credit card when possible( airline miles). You can always get cash by using your credit card at the cashier cage in the casino (presumably to use in the casino) to use the next day in port. That way you don't need to carry alot on board with you.