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Old 01-15-2007, 11:08 PM
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My husband and I have booked an Alaska Cruise on Princess Diamond in June. We are really looking forward to it. It starts in Vancouver and ends in Whittier. Could someone describe to me a shipboard account? I understand tips etc are taken from this. Is this simply our credit card #? I have not thought to budget this. How much would you say this onboard account for tips etc should consist of? Thanks.
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Old 01-16-2007, 01:42 AM
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Hello juliemast,
I've cruised with Princess many times so I think I can accurately describe a shipboard account for you.
Along with all your other pre-cruise information you will be asked how you intend to settle your shipboard account. Credit or debit card is by far the easiest, although they do accept cash and travelers checks. (no personal checks).
When you board you are given your cruise card; this is your ship I.D., cabin key, and charge card, all-in-one.
$10.00 per person per day is added to your account for gratuities for your dining room staff and cabin steward. You can adjust this up or down or cancel if you wish at the customer service desk; but most people find this an easy way to handle tips and a good starting point. You may give additional cash tips for excellent service anytime during the cruise, or most usually, at the end.
You also use your cruise card for all purchases and services;
drinks, alternative dining rooms, spa and beauty,shops, games (bingo, horse racing, etc.), shore excursions, even casino gambling and internet access.
Then, on the last night you receive an itemized statement.
If you have pre-registered your credit card and don't dispute any of the charges you need do nothing! The charges are posted to your credit card at the end of the cruise.
If you have questions about any charges or have arranged another payment method you must go to the customer service desk and settle your account; take my advice and AVOID THIS IF AT ALL POSSIBLE! It is a madhouse the last night and next morning.
You may also pre-reserve your shore excursions and spa services either on-line or by mail before you go. These are added to your shipboard account but are not posted until the end of the cruise.
You also have to swipe your cruise card through a scanner every time you leave and reboard the ship--so guard it well.
I've probably given you way more information than you really wanted, and you'll get it all again, and more, when you receive your Cruise Answer Book about 60 days before departure. But if you are well prepared you can avoid those nasty little surprises that we hear so much about here at cruise-chat.
It is hard to tell you how much to budget because everyone is different, but my wife and I have found that our shipboard account settles at about 50% of the cruise fare; and we don't gamble and drink very little; but we like to shop!
You will have a wonderful trip. The Diamond Princess is just a magnificent ship; and June is the perfect time to go to Alaska.
If there is anything else I can help you with, just ask!
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Old 01-16-2007, 04:19 PM
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The shipboard account has been explained to you very well, however I might add that you may want to go to the pursers desk once or twice during your cruise and get a printout of what you have charged in case there is a mistake made. It is easier to fix ahead of time instead of waiting until the last day and standing in line.

Also like you were told you can use your shipboard account in the Casino if you wish but you can also use cash if you find it is easier to budget and keep track of what you spend in the casino that way. My wife likes to gamble and she finds it easier to use cash so that she knows exactly what she brings to the Casino and how much she may spend in the casino.

It was mentioned that you cannot pay your account with a personal check, however if you need money they will allow you to cash a personal check but it is for a very low amount of cash. We have done this before to get money for walking around town.
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Old 01-16-2007, 04:26 PM
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Here's another way to use the shipboard account. If the ship has interactive TV, you can view up to the minute charges, along with where they happened on the ship. My wife has found me that way more than once!
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Old 01-16-2007, 04:38 PM
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This is not necessarily a GOOD thing!
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Old 01-17-2007, 02:05 PM
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You are right!
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