While you are on the ship, all your purchases will go against your sign/sail card and then charged to your credit card at the end of the cruise. If you want to book any excursions, or buy photos, they all go on your card. Its nice to have some cash for tips while on an excursion or tipping the porters when you arrive at the pier. While onboard, its basically a cashless system, just use your sign/sail card. Many ships have alternative dining, which is extra and usually require reservations.
Cruising is a great way to go on a fun affordable vacation, but everything is NOT included in the price of your cabin. Plan to spend at least $200 on the boat for random things, that's without drinks and sodas and extras. My husband and I went on a cruise last year and I think we spent about $400 without buying a lot of drinks mainly because we're not big drinkers. What we did spend money on were things like photos, things at the gift shops, tips, etc.
On a cruise you are on a ship not a boat. And yes you could be onboard without any cash. But again i wouldn't want to be. You can charge everything to your Sail and Sign card but I would never leave home with out at least $100.00 per person in cash at a very minimum.
Just my thoughts.
Don't take the ship boat comment wrong. But there some on these boards who get upset when you call a ship a boat.
We just got back from a 4 day on the Monarch and our total on board charges were less than $150 (for three of us). It was two bottles of wine, three photos and one bingo game. We tipped in cash, prepaid our shore excursions or did them ourselves and didn't buy anthing in the gift shop.
Celebrity Century 1/09
Carnival Destiny 10/07
Carnival Destiny 9/06
Monarch of the Seas 3/06
Carnival Inspiration 8/05
Carnival Miracle 4/05
Carnival Inspiration 4/04
Sovereign of the Seas 4/03
if you pre-pay for your tips, and excursions, don't gamble, don't go to the spa, salon or take some excercise classes, don't buy anything in any of the onboard shops, don't go to any of the speciality restaurants, don't buy any photos, don't use room service, then that pretty much covers your onboard expenses aside from alcohol and soda.
You will need money on shore for things like cab fare, souveniors, a bite to eat, beach rentals.
My first cruise,they told me the difference...you can put a boat on a ship,but you cant put a ship on a boat!
While that is generally true, it does not apply to submarines. They are boats and not ships. Try putting a Ohio Class boomer on any ship. Those subs are 560 ft. long! :o
SS Norway (12 times) '85 - '97; Radiance OS 06/01; Island Princess 11/04, Grand Princess 11/04/05, Golden Princess 7/21/06, Golden Princess 2/24/07, Explorer of the Seas 12/23/07, Island Princess 11/15/08