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Old 10-25-2009, 06:01 AM
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As a first time cruiser (coming up in December on Fantasy), I'm officially scared of the posts about Sign and Sail. But I guess I have no choice. I wanted to ask you seasoned cruisers about it:
1) I should use a credit card?
2) I should review my bill and keep track of the slips just for any charges I didn't make?
3) We have 4 people in our group, and are going for 5 days, so I should expect Carnival to charge me $200 in gratuities at the end?
4) Can I get a sign and sail in advance of the cruise?
5) We are not big gamblers or drinkers. We have two small kids. Estimates as to how much I should put on the card?
Thanks in advance for your input!!!
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Old 10-25-2009, 06:20 AM
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Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
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You charge as you go and only at the end of the cruise does your card get charged the total. You can review your bill everyday. Your sign and sail is also your cabin Key so you get it only when you are checking it. I have never had a problem at all, and you don't need to put anything on the card ahead of time. If you want when you are on board you can put cash down, We won some money at the Casino and I put that on my account. Not to worry at all. You will pay for sodas for the kids and yourself so a soda card may save you some money if you all drink a lot of sodas. Your in for a wonderful time and welcome aboard
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Old 10-25-2009, 06:48 AM
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I might just add one more thing, if you decide to pay some in advance and you don't use it all, the last night (early morning of checking out) you will receive a check back for any unspent money, or a credit on your credit card. I usually review my bill the day before the cruise is over to see if anything doesn't look right and if I have a balance left. It's a lot easier to ask questions if you have them before the rush at the end of the cruise if you have any.

Have a great trip!
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Old 10-25-2009, 06:56 AM
 
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I will tell u what we do. We put up cash so we can better monitor our spending. They are going to charge you 10 dollars a day per person..right off of the bat, for tips that are well worth the money...
as for buying the soda cards for the kids, skip the soda card and bring your own sodas on board. that is perfectly acceptable. but there is lemonade and fruit juice anytime the children wants it. you would not believe the people that line up at the pursers desks the night before disembarking complaining about their bill, and be assured it is their bill it just adds up very fast. I would never use a credit card.
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:32 AM
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Location: North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
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Quote:
As a first time cruiser (coming up in December on Fantasy), I'm officially scared of the posts about Sign and Sail. But I guess I have no choice. I wanted to ask you seasoned cruisers about it:
1) I should use a credit card?
2) I should review my bill and keep track of the slips just for any charges I didn't make?
3) We have 4 people in our group, and are going for 5 days, so I should expect Carnival to charge me $200 in gratuities at the end?
4) Can I get a sign and sail in advance of the cruise?
5) We are not big gamblers or drinkers. We have two small kids. Estimates as to how much I should put on the card?
Thanks in advance for your input!!!
Hi, and Welcome to Cruise-Chat!

1.) You can use a credit card and I recommend doing so for any disputed charges.

2.) Yes. I have caught errors on occasion.

3.) If all 4 people are on your account the gratuities will be charged to the account the first day.

4.) No. You can set it up in advance while filling out the Fun Pass info.

5.) That is anyone's guess. It's going to depend on what you purchase obviously. Shore Excursions, Gift Shop, or anything else they are selling will be cashless and go on the account. Typically discounting all alcohol purchases and Shore Excursions I would have only the Gratuities and a few Gift Shop purchases on the account. For a 5 day cruise the amount to secure the Sail & Sign account is $200 per person.

Look Here for additional details.

Welcome aboard,

Dwayne
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:23 AM
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For our Sail and Sign Card:

We always use a credit card. In all these years, we have never had a problem with that.

Yes, over the years, there has been a charge or two hit our Sail and Sign card that was not ours. We simply went to Guest Services and when it was not our name or our signature...they removed it. (since waiters are not scanning the card...just writing down (or punching in) a number....errors happen.

Yes, your tips for 4 people for 5 days will be $200.00.

We have cruised with our two boys for over 10 years in the same cabin (the Fantasy 8 times ) and have always had a great time.
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:04 AM
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Location: DFW, Texas
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I will repeat what the others have told you. Don't worry about the sail and sign card. Back it with a CREDIT card (not a debit card) and you will be fine. Yes, you can back your card with cash if you want but then you are carrying cash around.. not worth the risk in my book. If you have 2 credit cards, bring a second to use off ship and leave the sign and sail one on board. If your credit card is lost or stolen in port, your can cancel it and not have to deal with changing your on board account setup.

Yes, we check our balance as we go. Its easy to do, you can do it from the TV in your cabin (or ask the pursers desk to print out your account.) My wife collects all the receipts and then checks them against the account. If you find something that does not belong or got double charged, take your receipt to the pursers desk and they will fix it for you. It does happen, but not as often as the posts you are reading make it seem. Remember, people only tend to post a negative experience. Compare the number of bad S&S posts you see with the 10s of thousands of passengers that sail on Carnival in a given week... that will put it in perspective.

If you are traveling with kids, you should consider not giving their cards purchasing privileges. That way they can't charge tokens in the arcade or be buying sodas unknowingly. If you want to give them credits to play with you can go the arcade and "load" credits on their card using yours in the machine there. And if you want to get them soda cards you charge that on your card anyway. So they really don't need charging privileges...

Have a great cruise and don't stress about this, there really isn't anything to stress about. (oh and the checking the bill before the last night is good advice. The line is very long the last night, so check it early morning on the day before disembarkation day or even the night before that)
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 10-26-2009, 08:29 AM
 
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Location: birmingham, al
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Let me reiterate a point made by Lifeisgd. Do NOT wait until the last day to go over your account record. There will invariably be a long line of people who have waited until the last minute to dispute a charge. Review your account as often as you wish but make sure that you make it a priority before the last day of the cruise or you are going to waste a lot of your precious time standing in line. To echo what the others have said, we always use a CREDIT card to back up our account and have yet to have a problem that was not easily resolved. Soda cards are great and my wife uses a Carnival or RCCL souvenir cup everyday to take her ice water to her office. Some people get a little queasy on their first cruise so it's nice to know that you can get ginger ale on the fountain fun card.
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Old 10-26-2009, 06:42 PM
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Location: North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
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Quote:
If you find something that does not belong or got double charged, take your receipt to the pursers desk and they will fix it for you. It does happen, but not as often as the posts you are reading make it seem. Remember, people only tend to post a negative experience. Compare the number of bad S&S posts you see with the 10s of thousands of passengers that sail on Carnival in a given week... that will put it in perspective.
Thank goodness that has not happened here. It has only happened to me a few times, and I think LHP said it only happened to her once or twice. And she has "way" more cruises under her belt than me. The point is to check the account for any errors. As DrL noted it is easier to address this before the last day should it occur.

Dwayne
 
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