My husband and I have booked a 7 night trip on the Victory, for Feb 12, 2006 to Feb 19, 2006. We are the type that also likes to do a lot of activities. How much money should we bring between tips, on board expenses like drinks, as well as excursions? Thanks for your help!!! We have no idea what to do.
That is a very good question. I am trying to figure out the answer for my trip-12 days to Hawaii with 2 kids--but the best tip I found on one of these boards was a guy who was asked what was the one thing he wished he had packed for his vacation that he didn't bring---his answer was: the other deck of credit cards!!! I thought that was soooo funny, but soooo true. No matter, we all will have fun, cause Carnival has good food and great entertainment! Sharon
Bring a credit card. That is by far the easiest way to establish your shipboard account, to which almost everything you purchase onboard - drinks, gift shop purchases, shore excursions, etc. - will be posted. You will get an account statement the night before your cruise is over - check it over carefully to make sure the charges are accurate, and if they are not, go to the purser's office to get it adjusted.
You will need cash for the onboard casino, if indulging, for room service tips onboard, and for driver/guide tips and purchases onshore in the ports of call. If you take cabs to and from the ship before and after the cruise, you will need cash for that too.
Make sure you have smaller bills (1s and 5s) for tips for baggage handlers (both airport and cruise port), room service tips onboard ship, and guides in port. Travelers checks are handy, as you can cash them at the purser's office. (Make sure they are no larger than $100 denomination.)
I have found that what I bring, usually $300 in cash & travelers checks combined, is more than enough, even counting hotels & meals before the cruise and airport parking.
The best thing I did last cruise was to take 100.00 in 1's. I used them for tipping, buying small things on the way (so I didn't have to fumble around with change for a 20), and especially for buying trinkets in port. The merchants are far more likely to offer you a great deal if you are holding three 1's than if you are holding a 20, comprende?
Shore excursions should run you 75 bucks a day, per person. That is an average- you could take a taxi somewhere for 10 (and bring your own snorkel) or you could swim with the dolphins for 150. 75 should do you well.
Drinks are what you would expect- about 6 bucks each. Tally up what you would normally drink on a vacation day and multiply it by the square root of 289. Which is 17??? KIDDING. Just be verrry generous with that allowance.
Bingo is actually a fun thing for an adult to do. Believe me, you may find yourself playing bingo. Cards are usually about 10 bucks. I am assuming you are not getting any spa treatments- if you are, consult the cruise lit they have sent you (or ask them).
For a 7 day cruise I would tip my waiter 50 bucks, my cabin steward 25-50, and maybe another special crew member 20 bucks. That is for two people and is in addition to the mandatory gratuity. I have heard people who give each of the above 50 bucks on the first day, as a downpayment, and then more at the end. I think that is too mysterious for me. I did give the room steward 20 bucks on the first day, though, as he did a few things for me and I'm sure he was looking at a mother with four sons and thinking of alternate employment options. I tipped more than the above amount, mainly because as I said I was with four kids.
Parking and things like that are a huuuge variable, so if you let everyone know the port (I'm sure everyone on here knows but me) we can help more.