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CaptainPanda

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Hi, gang,

Not really RC specific, but I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations on how much spending money I should take with me on my upcoming cruise? I've done cruises before, but I was a kid at the time, and didn't really need to worry about that sort of thing. Now that I'm doing all the leg work, I'm looking for your best advice - is there a good rule of thumb, or is everything kind of subjective?

5-Night Explorer of the Seas - Miami (Embarkation), Nassau, Sea Day, Labadee, Sea Day, Miami (Disembarkation)

I'm planning on buying a drink package and shore excursions before I board, so I don't think need to worry about those sort of things.

Thank you! 

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What I do is break down each day of my travel and look at what will cost me. If I have a tour or excursion booked, I allow 10-20% for tips. I also plan tips for any maid service, luggage porters, cabin steward, wait staff throughout the trip. Most port stops take credit card and most ships have an ATM at a cost. My next 5-day cruise I have planned for $100.

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The major things you need cash for are...

  • Tips for porters on embarkation & disembarkation
  • While in port
  • Casino
  • Tips for servers (although you can use SeaPass for this as well)

@ransrider noted, credit cards are accepted for a lot of excurions, but always good to have cash for tips, street vendors, taxis, etc.

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47 minutes ago, CaptainPanda said:

Hi, gang,

Not really RC specific, but I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations on how much spending money I should take with me on my upcoming cruise? I've done cruises before, but I was a kid at the time, and didn't really need to worry about that sort of thing. Now that I'm doing all the leg work, I'm looking for your best advice - is there a good rule of thumb, or is everything kind of subjective?

5-Night Explorer of the Seas - Miami (Embarkation), Nassau, Sea Day, Labadee, Sea Day, Miami (Disembarkation)

I'm planning on buying a drink package and shore excursions before I board, so I don't think need to worry about those sort of things.

Thank you! 

In addition to what has been said, there is always the "emergency factor" to consider.   What would happen if you lost your wallet?  So with this in mind, I usually keep gas money in my car to assure I can return home, and I try to return with $80-$100 in my wallet (or shared with my wife). Thus,  I would add your "emergency factor" --whatever it might be -- to your "cruise spend" amount.  I do find that the more I cruise, the less I spend on the ship or in port.  One eventually gets to the "been there, done that" stage, and Cruise Planner facilitates so much online booking that you pretty much have your cruise paid for when you go.  Bon voyage!

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Depending on the cruise length I normally bring $3-400 in cash with about $50 of that being in smaller bills. I definitely don't spend that amount and I use that as basically my cash supply until the next cruise. I like to stop by a physical bank branch to get the smaller bills so it's not a bunch of trying to break big bills by buying small items beforehand. This way I can also get a paper envelope from them as well to keep most of the cash in which is kept in the safe. 

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Going off what everyone else said, definitely get small bills. I always visit my bank beforehand and instead of using the ATM (unless it is a new, smart ATM), I go to a teller and withdraw lots of small bills. It comes in handy in case you need a taxi or to barter with locals (Nassau).

Also, you won't need any cash for Labadee unless you plan on visiting the Straw Market.

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On 9/26/2019 at 1:13 PM, ChessE4 said:

In addition to what has been said, there is always the "emergency factor" to consider.   What would happen if you lost your wallet?  So with this in mind, I usually keep gas money in my car to assure I can return home, and I try to return with $80-$100 in my wallet (or shared with my wife). Thus,  I would add your "emergency factor" --whatever it might be -- to your "cruise spend" amount.  I do find that the more I cruise, the less I spend on the ship or in port.  One eventually gets to the "been there, done that" stage, and Cruise Planner facilitates so much online booking that you pretty much have your cruise paid for when you go.  Bon voyage!

One example of an 'emergency' we had last year...our cruise excursion was booked and paid for, but the cruise ship was late to port and we missed it. The 3rd party company refunded our money...to our debit card which would take a few days to post from the bank and we had no cash left to do something else. We ended up heading to the boat to enjoy the empty pool instead. 

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I agree with the others above about the emergency factor. Whatever cash we bring I always split it up between myself and my wife. We also carry credit cards from different banks, just in case. Finally we never travel with our debit cards. If somebody were to get hold of them, you'll be out the money until your bank can investigate. It happened to us.

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For a 7 day or longer cruise, we take $200 each, because we spend a couple days in the port city before sailing. Once you are on the ship, everything but gambling and extra tips go on the sea pass and we don't gamble. We might spend some in ports. We have gotten past the Everybody back home gets a gift, stage. 

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I bring a certain amount of 1s, 5s, 10s and 20s.  We tipped 5 at breakfast, 10 at lunch and 20 at dinner service.  Kept some cash for emergency, shopping at port and then tipped our room attendant on the last morning.  Also carried some for shore excursions to tip ect...  I also used the 1s for tipping at the bar.  Works well for us. 

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I normally do $5 per bag for the porters.  Usually I round up to a 20 just to be kind to them working so hard with my luggage.  Also for luggage karma.

I then keep some 5's for room service tips.  Usually about 20-40 for that.  I also keep a 20 to give on the last day to give to my favourite bartender, sometimes I add more from my seapass, but I like to give them cash because I know that money is going into their pocket.  

Then I bring 200 in larger bills.  That's for taxis, port souvenirs, port bartender tips, etc.  Also able to use at the casino.  I never keep the full 200 on me though.  More often than not I keep 100 with hub, and 100 with me.  That way if one wallet is lost, the other wallet can cover.  

Then I bring a $50 that I put in a chinese lucky bag (its kind of my thing) with a small gift for my cabin steward.  This year its a Snoopy charm necklace, a thank you letter, the cash, and a Maryland pin.  That way if my cabin steward is a male, all I need to do is remove the snoopy necklace, and find something in Bermuda as a suitable man gift.  

So my grand total of cash to bring onboard is about $300.  Then I also put $200 in my onboard spending account as cash rather than all of the holds on my debit card.  Maybe more if I plan on visiting the spa or buying an excursion while onboard, normally I take care of that before though

 

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I don't find cash needs to be much. I usually pre pay gratuities but have slipped an extra 20 to a a waiter or room attendant that went above and beyond. I typically like to have a local beer or two in ports, occasionally a lunch if local cuisine warrents. Taxi money can come in handy at times in port. If you are driving pre and post cruise then cash for snacks, drinks etc. If flying, tips for sky caps etc.

I'd say $100 in small bills and another $100 in 20's and another 100 " just in case". Credit cards for gas, hotels, pre and post meals etc. That should cover you for most Caribbean trips for a week or less.

 

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I try and keep money a bit separate, a mini envelope system if you will. I take out about $500 or so for gambling. I take $200-$300 for just general needs:  cash while traveling, cash for ports, etc. I also take $100 in small bills ($50 in 1's and $50 in 5's for tipping). If I run out of tipping money, I'll dip into gambling funds or general needs funds (since I usually return home with most of it) and ask casino cashier to break a bill, they are more than happy to help and faster than customer service.

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On 9/26/2019 at 11:21 AM, CaptainPanda said:

Hi, gang,

Not really RC specific, but I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations on how much spending money I should take with me on my upcoming cruise? I've done cruises before, but I was a kid at the time, and didn't really need to worry about that sort of thing. Now that I'm doing all the leg work, I'm looking for your best advice - is there a good rule of thumb, or is everything kind of subjective?

5-Night Explorer of the Seas - Miami (Embarkation), Nassau, Sea Day, Labadee, Sea Day, Miami (Disembarkation)

I'm planning on buying a drink package and shore excursions before I board, so I don't think need to worry about those sort of things.

Thank you! 

@CaptainPanda, I think these are all great suggestions about the breakdown of cash. Only you can determine how much you want or need to bring.

Happy Cruising!

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26 minutes ago, mworkman said:

Just be like Joe @JLMoran

 

make it rain money GIF

21 minutes ago, FManke said:

Make it rain, Joe! 😃

Man, don't I wish I could be like that! 😂

Need I remind everyone I'm still using an iPhone 6s bought four years ago, much as I'm drooling over the 11 Pro Max? Can't afford to upgrade, not even to a refurbished 8; all the money is going into my cruise budget! 🤑😜

 

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Just now, JLMoran said:

Man, don't I wish I could be like that! 😂

Need I remind everyone I'm still using an iPhone 6s bought four years ago, much as I'm drooling over the 11 Pro Max? Can't afford to upgrade, not even to a refurbished 8; all the money is going into my cruise budget! 🤑😜

 

At least you have your priorities straight, Joe! 🤣

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22 hours ago, JLMoran said:

Man, don't I wish I could be like that! 😂

Need I remind everyone I'm still using an iPhone 6s bought four years ago, much as I'm drooling over the 11 Pro Max? Can't afford to upgrade, not even to a refurbished 8; all the money is going into my cruise budget! 🤑😜

 

I told my wife last night ... no matter what, we cannot stop putting X into the cruise savings account for next years cruises LOL!

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