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How much cash to bring?


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Just wondering how much cash you all typically bring on a cruise?  Do you rely on using only cash you bring or do you use ATM on the ship or in port?

What are you bringing cash for? I would not advise getting cash at the ship ATM as the fee is really high. I bring some cash, a few hundred. If I purchase things in port I use my credit card. If you do use a credit card make sure it doesn't have a foreign transaction fee. Otherwise you'll get charged extra for using it outside of the US. A lot travel rewards (hotels, airlines) credit cards don't have foreign transaction fees. 

 

I don't bring a lot of cash because if it is stolen, then you're left with nothing. I also don't utilize the in room safe. I keep everything on me, like I do in my normal everyday life. If you make credit card purchases and are left with bad merchandise or a problem you can always fall back on your credit card company to remove the charge. Also if your card gets stolen, your card company will protect you and send you another card. I bring 2 credit cards. My wife also has a few others.

 

Using a credit card for all purchases also makes it easier to see exactly how much you've spent and where you spent it at. And it's one less thing to have to organize and keep track of.

 

I also link my SeaPass account to a credit card. Not that putting cash down is bad, but I just don't do that. I don't restrict myself on spending money while on vacation because I don't vacation very often. Honestly, I've already spent thousands on the cruise and airfare, what's a few hundred more?

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What are you bringing cash for? I would not advise getting cash at the ship ATM as the fee is really high. I bring some cash, a few hundred. If I purchase things in port I use my credit card. If you do use a credit card make sure it doesn't have a foreign transaction fee. Otherwise you'll get charged extra for using it outside of the US. A lot travel rewards (hotels, airlines) credit cards don't have foreign transaction fees. 

 

I don't bring a lot of cash because if it is stolen, then you're left with nothing. I also don't utilize the in room safe. I keep everything on me, like I do in my normal everyday life. If you make credit card purchases and are left with bad merchandise or a problem you can always fall back on your credit card company to remove the charge. Also if your card gets stolen, your card company will protect you and send you another card. I bring 2 credit cards. My wife also has a few others.

 

Using a credit card for all purchases also makes it easier to see exactly how much you've spent and where you spent it at. And it's one less thing to have to organize and keep track of.

 

I use this same basic plan for cash!

 

I also link my SeaPass account to a credit card. Not that putting cash down is bad, but I just don't do that. I don't restrict myself on spending money while on vacation because I don't vacation very often. Honestly, I've already spent thousands on the cruise and airfare, what's a few hundred more?

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I also don't utilize the in room safe. 

Really? I always use my safe for storing jewelry, passports and my wallet (since I don't really need it during the cruise).

 

I find cash to be a necessity for off-ship activities.  Tips, taxi fare, restaurants and other destinations usually do not take credit cards.

 

Granted, if you do only RC excursions than your need for cash may be significantly less. 

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Really? I always use my safe for storing jewelry, passports and my wallet (since I don't really need it during the cruise).

 

I find cash to be a necessity for off-ship activities.  Tips, taxi fare, restaurants and other destinations usually do not take credit cards.

 

Granted, if you do only RC excursions than your need for cash may be significantly less. 

I don't want my post to sound anti-cash. That is not my intention. I just want people to be careful. I've read a lot of posts on Cruise Critic about things being stolen from stateroom safes. Personally I don't bring really expensive jewelry on cruises. I keep my wallet on me, I feel naked without it. My SeaPass goes in it while I'm on a cruise.

 

I do agree that you do need some cash for things like you mentioned tips, taxi fares, and other things. I make sure I have enough cash for those items. But I don't bring (for example) a $1,000.00 onboard the ship to spend while on the cruise. I think that is dangerous.

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I think they frown upon being naked. Just kidding. Don't forget about bringing cash on Labadee for the market as well as getting chairs set up in the early morning. I didn't think about that last time. Embarrassing. Also, might check websites for cost of goods in the ports to get an idea how much cash you might need.

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I think they frown upon being naked. Just kidding. Don't forget about bringing cash on Labadee for the market as well as getting chairs set up in the early morning. I didn't think about that last time. Embarrassing. Also, might check websites for cost of goods in the ports to get an idea how much cash you might need.

That is right. If you're going to Labadee, expect to pretty much tip for everything.

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I don't want my post to sound anti-cash. That is not my intention. I just want people to be careful. I've read a lot of posts on Cruise Critic about things being stolen from stateroom safes. Personally I don't bring really expensive jewelry on cruises. I keep my wallet on me, I feel naked without it. My SeaPass goes in it while I'm on a cruise.

 

I do agree that you do need some cash for things like you mentioned tips, taxi fares, and other things. I make sure I have enough cash for those items. But I don't bring (for example) a $1,000.00 onboard the ship to spend while on the cruise. I think that is dangerous.

I don't think you're wrong by any means, just a matter of what makes you feel safe/good.  If anything, I find it interesting to hear other people's opinions.

 

I use my safe and I do bring cash with me and I'll store most of it in the safe.  I understand the risks but I trust the staff more than my ability to not lose things.

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  • 8 months later...

I've been doing some thinking as we pass the 45 (42 now, huzzah!) day mark. In relation to cash can y'all give any good guideline or a good guess on how many 1's and 5's should be enough for good measure? On that note do they break larger bills on board in USD thus eliminating that worry? I know it may sound a little on the sweating the details side, but I'd like to avoid getting caught in port with not enough low denominations.

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I've been doing some thinking as we pass the 45 (42 now, huzzah!) day mark. In relation to cash can y'all give any good guideline or a good guess on how many 1's and 5's should be enough for good measure? On that note do they break larger bills on board in USD thus eliminating that worry? I know it may sound a little on the sweating the details side, but I'd like to avoid getting caught in port with not enough low denominations.

Guest Services will happily break bills.

 

I always bring a lot of 1s for tips but otherwise combo of 10s and 20s is always safe.  Maybe even a few hundred dollar bills for when you are eating in port somewhere and indulge a little.

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totally agree- I bring small bills like $5 and $10 for going on to shore etc

and I do use the ATM to get money and put down against my bill while still on the

ship as well - I've never had issues with the onboard safes and store my passports in

there -

 

Agree - I dont' bring expensive jewelry at all onboard a ship.

 

Usually $200 cash is the most I bring for Caribbean - Europe different amount

 

Michelle

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Guest Services will happily break bills.

 

I always bring a lot of 1s for tips but otherwise combo of 10s and 20s is always safe. Maybe even a few hundred dollar bills for when you are eating in port somewhere and indulge a little.

Thanks, that helps alot just knowing they can break bills. At least that way I can bring plenty but not so much that my wallet wont fold shut :P .

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That is right. If you're going to Labadee, expect to pretty much tip for everything.

 

I found ridiculous the fact that you have to tip for almost everything on Labadee..... If this is their private place, why do I have to tip? Plus the chairs were set up almost on top of each other's, barley any room on this place.

Beautiful place but packed!

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I found ridiculous the fact that you have to tip for almost everything on Labadee..... If this is their private place, why do I have to tip? Plus the chairs were set up almost on top of each other's, barley any room on this place.

Beautiful place but packed!

 

I agree with you. However, the private destination employs Haitians and they survive on tips and probably a very low minimum wage. It is similar to the crew on the ship. Personally I wish they would include tips in the cruise fare and do away with all this tipping nonsense. It is confusing and an old and outdated concept. 

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I felt so bad being at Labadee.... I felt awful.... I could see the little houses on the mountains and little kids running around, and here we were on THEIR island but not really able to embrace their culture.

I was able to walk around Bermuda, St. Marteen, Puerto Rico and the people I talked to were super nice everywhere. Not the case there :(

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I found ridiculous the fact that you have to tip for almost everything on Labadee..... If this is their private place, why do I have to tip? Plus the chairs were set up almost on top of each other's, barley any room on this place.

Beautiful place but packed!

If someone is taking the time to drag chairs and umbrellas for me in the heat, the least I can do is toss him a few dollars.  Just my thought

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If someone is taking the time to drag chairs and umbrellas for me in the heat, the least I can do is toss him a few dollars.  Just my thought

Ok, so you are taking this the wrong way....of course the person deserve a tip for dragging the chair for me and everyone that is there.

You totally miss the point.

And yes, we ALL tip the guy, all 8 of us!M don't worry about it.

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Ok, so you are taking this the wrong way....of course the person deserve a tip for dragging the chair for me and everyone that is there.

You totally miss the point.

And yes, we ALL tip the guy, all 8 of us!M don't worry about it.

Sorry for the confusion, didn't mean to insinuate you didn't tip them. 

 

I don't mind having people there to help.....for a tip.  By the point I get to the beach, I've likely lugged a bag full of beach things for the family and/or my daughter so I'm okay with someone else setting up my stuff  :D

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Tipping for everything, like bringing you a chair, is the culture of this type of vacation. It does get annoying and to some people it is offensive. Some countries don't see tipping as a usual thing to do, even at restaurants. Maybe it is our greedy American society that has made tipping a mandatory thing?

 

On Labadee, I usually stick to myself and will walk the island, have lunch back on the ship, and if I do utilize a chair it is probably one that someone has already sat in. Not because I don't want to tip anyone, but mostly because I don't bring cash with me off the ship and don't want to get into a snafu with someone while on my vacation.  :)

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I felt so bad being at Labadee.... I felt awful.... I could see the little houses on the mountains and little kids running around, and here we were on THEIR island but not really able to embrace their culture.

 

Next time you are there, try the "Haitian Cultural Tour". They take you off-property to a lovely bay and beach, and then you have the option of taking a small walking tour into the mountains for some exhibits on the local culture and agricultural products.  

 

I thought it was worth it alone just to go to the beach, it was so laid back and peaceful compared to Labadee.

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