Money on a Cruise? Why I Nonetheless Convey It and How A lot


Am I loopy for taking money on a cruise ship?  Do folks even use the inexperienced stuff anymore?

Effectively, listed here are just a few the reason why I nonetheless pack just a few {dollars} earlier than my voyage, and why you may wish to contemplate it too on your cruises.

stack of 20 dollar bills in front of a norwegian cruise line cruise ship
Photograph Credit score: Cruise Fever

A typical query from first-time cruisers is “How a lot money ought to I convey on my cruise?”  However for some, taking money on a cruise isn’t even a thought.

I imply, come on, it’s 2023.  Nobody even carries money on land so why convey it with you to sea, proper?

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Strictly talking, you possibly can go cashless in your cruise and have an exquisite time.  However I’ve regretted not having money on me for just a few causes I listed under.


A cruise ship is a cashless society

One of many fantastic issues about occurring a cruise is just a little factor known as an onboard account.  All the additional specialty eating venues, spa remedies, and excursions get charged to your account.

And you’ll put these prices out of your thoughts till after the cruise is over.

Virtually something you possibly can think about that prices further is paid for with that onboard account.  Issues like drinks, gadgets within the present retailers, and even haircuts are all charged to your room.

No money wanted there.

Even most gratuities are payed with that onboard account.

So, it’s true you don’t want money to pay for issues across the ship.  You simply whip out your card and transfer on together with your trip.

Then why convey money?


A couple of makes use of for money on a cruise

Right here is why I nonetheless embody money on my packing checklist earlier than a cruise trip.  The primary few are about tipping, however don’t ignore the remainder of the checklist.  A number of this will get missed or forgotten by new cruisers.


Tipping the porters

The very starting of your cruise begins by carrying your baggage to the terminal.  Porters can be ready that will help you together with your baggage, and I all the time advocate letting them take your giant luggage for you, whilst you maintain your carry-on.

Not solely will this make it simpler so that you can navigate the ship earlier than your cabin is prepared, nevertheless it additionally retains elevators from getting too cramped with these behemoth luggage.

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I often advocate tipping the porters $2 to $3 per bag however you possibly can tip as a lot as you want to.   Simply ensure you do.  That is the place having some small payments readily available might be helpful as effectively.

Money is the one foreign money a porter will take and can be glad for it.


Tipping for room service

Whereas some cruise traces nonetheless supply free room service — not many do today — you continue to ought to tip the particular person bringing you that scrumptious breakfast.

(By the way, breakfast is my favourite factor to have delivered to the cabin as a result of mornings are arduous sufficient.  Additionally, there’s nothing like consuming breakfast from the balcony of a cruise ship and watching the solar rise over the ocean.)

So how a lot do you have to tip?  Once more, that is considerably subjective, however right here’s a very good rule of thumb I wish to observe.  If it’s a small order $2 is ok.  If it’s a big order someplace round $4 or $5 needs to be sufficient.

Both means, handing over money to your room service attendant is all the time appreciated.


Tipping room steward or waitstaff

$15-$20 per particular person per day is often what’s added to your invoice for gratuities on a cruise.  This will get divided up amongst room stewards and eating workers.

Whereas many of the main cruise traces already embody gratuities in your last invoice, you possibly can all the time go the additional mile for distinctive service.

Take note this isn’t required, however in the event you have been actually pleased with a sure crew member it’s a good suggestion to allow them to know with a very good old school money tip.

That is very true in the event you visited the primary eating room each night time of the cruise and had a set eating time.

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I usually like to depart a money tip within the cabin as effectively, together with a notice of appreciation.

Associated: Greatest tipping errors made by cruisers


To keep away from charges and fraud in port

A lot of the ports to which cruise ships journey are very secure.  However any excessive tourism space can face points with bank card theft and different petty crimes.

I like to hold and use money for these smaller gadgets I’m shopping for when in port.  Areas just like the Caribbean and Bahamas virtually all the time settle for U.S. {dollars}, so this makes it simple for small transactions as effectively.

Some bank cards now have perks with no international transaction charges.  For those who don’t have one among these playing cards it will likely be higher to make use of money when off the ship in port as effectively.

1% – 3% in international transaction charges won’t sound like so much, however in the event you do a whole lot of buying in port it may possibly add up quick.


Shopping for native souvenirs

Together with the final level, money can are available very helpful when buying at these straw markets or native downtown markets in international nations.  Not solely is it nice for bargaining nevertheless it additionally is perhaps the one type of foreign money the vendor will take.  Most distributors at these markets is not going to have bank card machines.


Utilizing native taxis

A number of taxis will choose, or solely take, money as effectively.  Among the greater taxi providers that you could guide on the cruise port will settle for bank cards, however that may include a small threat.  I’ve a pal who booked one among these and had some bank card points afterward.

Both means, it’s good to have the ability to each pay and tip your driver in money when you have it.


Utilizing different types of public transportation

I take pleasure in taking varied forms of public transportation when in port, whether or not it’s bus or mild rail.  It’s an inexpensive method to expertise a metropolis and meet with locals to essentially have interaction within the tradition.

In lots of instances, particularly if you’re touring by bus, you’ll have to pay the driving force in money, so it’s all the time good to maintain a few of these small payments helpful.


Consuming at native eating places

One among my favourite issues about cruising is making an attempt the native meals.  Positive, the meals on the ship is paid for, however I’ve been to some superb eating places in port.  And one factor I all the time did was pay in money.

A few of these native cafes and eating places didn’t even have bank card processors, so having some money readily available is a good thought if you wish to strive some native delicacies.


Associated: 10 methods rookies waste cash on a cruise


Reserving native excursions

Once more, when you get off the ship it may be helpful to have money readily available.

There are lots of fantastic excursions and excursions that won’t be out there on the ship.  And in the event you guide a neighborhood tour information or attraction off the ship you will have some money to pay for it.

What about excursions booked via the ship, because you already payed for them together with your onboard account?

For those who booked a tour of some variety it’s really useful you do tip the tour information or driver just a few {dollars}.  It is perhaps wherever from $2 to $10 and it’s not obligatory, nevertheless it’s a great way of thanking the native employees for his or her experience.


Taking a restroom break in Europe

It comes as a shock to many first-time guests to Europe that most of the restrooms should not free to make use of.

Have some native foreign money to pay for a restroom break simply in case.   You’ll solely want just a few cash or small payments typically.

Most restrooms in Europe that cost to be used of the services can be round €0.50 to €1, however this may be increased in bigger cities.


Making donations to the on line casino

If you wish to present the cruise line just a little appreciation by playing within the on line casino, money is usually a good factor to have as effectively.  Sure, you possibly can have it charged to your onboard account typically, however no less than with money you’ve a finite quantity you’re working with.


Associated: When are the most cost effective weeks to take a cruise?


So the place do you have to get money in the event you didn’t convey any?

Most cruise ships do have ATM machines in varied locations across the ship.  Normally there’s one proper close to the visitor providers desk.

Whether or not you employ the ATM on the cruise ship or the one in port there can be charges related to it.  In case you are frightened about safety you need to use the cruise ship ATM as a substitute.

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On one event in Cozumel, Mexico I used my ATM card and my account was hacked shortly after, so watch out with ATM machines in excessive tourism areas.

Notice: For those who use an ATM in a international port you’ll often get the native foreign money.

I nonetheless discover utilizing a neighborhood ATM is cheaper than utilizing a foreign money change workplace if you need native foreign money, as their charges might be ridiculously excessive.


How a lot money do you have to convey on a cruise?

This largely depends upon you, however let’s take a look at a primary breakdown of potential money makes use of and see what we provide you with.

  • Porters – $6 for 3 luggage
  • Room Service – $10 for just a few deliveries
  • Additional suggestions for employees – $20, however depends upon you
  • Souvenirs – $30 – $50
  • Taxis – $50
  • Eating places – $40
  • Excursions – $100
  • Playing – The sky is the restrict

That is very subjective and depends upon what you’ll really do in your cruise.

On common it’s best to convey wherever from $150 to $250.  However you may simply convey $50 and be completely superb as effectively.

One factor I do advocate is bringing small payments so that you don’t have the awkward second of asking for change for a $20 when tipping the porter $2.

Cash on a Cruise? Why I Still Bring It and How Much


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