Cruise lines operate a ‘cash free’ system through an onboard spending account and ‘Seapass card’ which is issued to you at Guest Services upon check in. This card is used during your time onboard to buy items or services such as shore excursions, speciality dining, drinks or spa treatments and is settled at the end of your holiday. This should be settled by credit card, however, you will have the option of paying in your own currency i.e. sterling or using the cruise ship currency i.e. dollars, dependent upon the cruise line you travel with.
Your cruise itinerary should dictate to you which currency to take. For example if you are travelling to the Mediterranean you will be able to use euros in most ports, the Caribbean would be US Dollars or for Asia the currency will more than likely be different in each country you visit.
When deciding how much currency to take you should take into consideration any pre booked or planned shore excursions and check what’s included in these. Some of these may include things like lunch and a drink which would mean that you could reduce the amount of spending money for these days. If you don’t have any excursions planned and would prefer to see the sights on your own then it will depend on where you are going and what you would like to do, so research the areas well in advance and try and set your budget accordingly.
If you are visiting multiple countries Guest Services onboard the ship will also be able to change your currency, so no need to panic if you forget as they are more than happy to assist. The rate for this may not be as favourable as you would receive back in the UK, but it can be a more convenient option for varied itineraries.
Some cruise ships do also have ATM’s on board for you to withdraw cash, however these will carry fees of up to £5.00 per transaction. It is also worth noting that the ATMs on shore will usually only issue cash in local currency. If you do plan to withdraw money abroad we would also recommend that you advise your bank or card issuer of this in order to ensure that you don’t have any issues in resort.
Our Cruise Experts are here to advise you on all aspects of your cruise holiday, ensuring you have the best time and choose the right cruise for your needs. Call us today on 0800 197 8050 to arrange your perfect cruise!