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For the Jewel a couple of weeks ago, we went through about $500 cash, but that including paying about $200 cash on private excursions.  The rest was spent on tips for tour guides, gifts, incidentals (e.g., a 6 pack of Coke Zero for my wife), and the like.  I'm not a fan of using credit cards in port because I've read too many accounts of credits cards getting compromised.  Remember to take only as much as you need off the ship and to leave the rest in the safe onboard in case something bad happens.  I also leave an emergency credit card onboard in the safe for the same reason so that I always have a backup. 

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  • 1 year later...

I agree with Matt and what he said in general. But I tend to travel with more cash than most people do, the Asian Market is different than other markets. But as was already said you can travel with no cash, royal has a ATM Machine on ever ship. I would bring a couple of ways to access finds from it. And yes they have a fee $6.50 per use but no limit set on withdrawals, so just the machine limit and your bank limit. If you take larger amounts the fee means nothing. 

 

I use cash for tours because I book my own tours, pay cash at the end, if they want prepay I use a credit card. Being old school and like to tip key people who go above and beyond in cash in hand. So I would recommend some for that and some for exchanging into local currency.  

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Hi, I would like to ask the question about expenses. What are peoples views on using credit cards v cash.

What is the preferred used?

For a 12 night cruise how much would you suggest. 

It really depends how much cash you should bring.

 

For anything you spend on a Royal Caribbean cruise, you can simply charge it to the credit card tied to your SeaPass account.  That is usually what I do and then I bring cash with me to use on shore excursions as well as for tipping porters on embarkation/disembarkation.

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If you plan to do any gambling (and who doesn't ????   :rolleyes: )  they only accept cash in the casino unlike Carnival where you can get gambling money on your shipboard account at the slot machines.

 

You CAN get cash "advances" against your Seapass account in the casino but there is a 5% "convenience" fee for the privilege unless you are a Club Royale member.

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If you plan to do any gambling (and who doesn't ????   :rolleyes: )  they only accept cash in the casino unlike Carnival where you can get gambling money on your shipboard account at the slot machines.

 

You CAN get cash "advances" against your Seapass account in the casino but there is a 5% "convenience" fee for the privilege unless you are a Club Royale member.

 

At cheaper option for cash is the ATM Machine on the ship. Located near Guest Services on all the ships I have been on with Royal. If you have a higher limit ATM withdrawal is much better.

 

$2000 Cash advance against your sea pass 5% or $100.00

 

$2000 ATM withdrawal $6.50 Service Fee  

 

Also all ATM Machines are considered to be US based (Miami)  so no foreign transaction fees, cross boarder fees, etc. So if your bank allows free ATM withdrawals on US ATM the total fee is $6.50 vs. $100.00 or a $93.50 savings. 

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Also all ATM Machines are considered to be US based (Miami)  so no foreign transaction fees, cross boarder fees, etc. So if your bank allows free ATM withdrawals on US ATM the total fee is $6.50 vs. $100.00 or a $93.50 savings. 

Good tip!

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One suggestion I have is to take lots of small bills if you intend to be out spending money in the countries. Especially if you're going deeper into some of the less affluent countries like Belize and Mexico. Have on hand lots of one and five dollar bills.

 

I have more than once seen people confused because they could not make a purchase because the people did not have change for a twenty dollar bill. They don't seem to realize this is 1) a foreign country whose monetary unit is not the US dollar and 2) the people are not going to have even a moderate amount of US change on hand. You may get the local currency back in change as well.

 

I've seen this happen on a ship sponsored tour when someone tried to tip with a 100 dollar bill. They got the change but had to collect enough tips from other passengers first.

 

Speaking of $100 bills, I wouldn't recommend them either given an account I read of someone who had trouble in Grand Cayman I believe, being accused of holding counterfeits. (according to the poster they were legit, just the older style without the new fangled anti-counterfeiting features)

 

Largest bill I take is a twenty. I'll typically take $100 in ones, $100 in fives, $200 in tens, $100 in twenties.

 

As for how much to bring. Hm. Two to three dollars per bag both going and coming for the porters. Five dollars per person per shore excursion. Twenty to sixty for slots. (we are very conservative gamblers)  More if I'm going to be in a shop intensive port like Cozumel or Falmouth. I have to figure in ten dollars per port for tshirts for my son. Anything I have left at the end of the cruise goes on the onboard account.

 

I've never had a problem with credit card abuse but YMMV.  Worst problem I had was the opposite - the restaurant couldn't get through to their cc service to validate our card. We scrambled to come up with the cash and barely covered the bill ($2 short) which made for one unhappy waiter.

 

Just thought of a second worst problem. The restaurant didn't take Discover so I used our return taxi fare to pay the tab. Was contemplating walking back to the ship (from Chankanaab) when some nice people offered to let us share their cab.

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"Speaking of $100 bills, I wouldn't recommend them either given an account I read of someone who had trouble in Grand Cayman I believe, being accused of holding counterfeits. (according to the poster they were legit, just the older style without the new fangled anti-counterfeiting features)"

 

If  Asia you should leave your USD 1996 Hundred Dollar Bills at home or exchange on the ship. Most money changers and businesses here will not take them. Right around 2000 the Asian market was flooded with millions of fake high quality 1996 bills.  The news reports here claimed North Korea printed  and put a large number into the economy. And overnight people stopped taking them. Royal will on the ships, so if you get $100 bills from guest services check them and much better to request only the new style.

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