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pridders 04-29-2008 03:34 AM

Hi All,

I am new to this forum and even newer to cruising. My first experience will be this Friday and I am sailing from Southampton (England) to Cork (Ireland)Getting excited now as the ship looks fantastic. I wanted some advise if you can help? Should I take sterling or dollars on board for the Casino? Also are tips at my discretion or are they added to all bills? Will it be best to have my sea pass account billed in sterling or dollars? sorry for all the questions but if there is a better way of doing things it will be good to know. Ohh any other tips or hints will be gratefully received from a cruising virgin!

penny3333 04-29-2008 06:17 AM

Hi pridders, welcome to Cruise-Chat. Congratulations on your upcoming cruise. I do hope you will enjoy it as much as the rest of us do and you will become an addict as we all are All of the cruises I've been on have been originating in the US, so the currency has always been USD on board. I am assuming that will be the same on your cruise. If not, they can exchange the currency for you in the casino. All the machines are set up for USD. Tips are added to your on board account. You can remove them by visiting the purser's desk. We leave the automatic tips on our account and then tip extra to those we wish. We get envelopes from the purser's desk to place extra tip money in. We tip when they serve us a drink or for room service at the time they bring the drinks or what we ordered for room service. They add 15% gratuity to you bar bills, but we always tip an extra dollar. On your shipboard account, I assume it will be billed in USD. When I've purchased something on various islands, they bill me in their currency, but it is charged to the account in USD.

I hope you've checked around on the board, there are a lot of tips and information from a wealth of veteran cruisers. My biggest suggestion is to pack half of what you think you'll need and then take half of that out of the suitcase before you leave. Bring enough film or memory cards for your camera. Bring extra batteries. You can have as many items from the menu as you wish. If you're still hungry you can always ask for more. If you want more than one entree, order as many as you like. If you have a balcony, try to make at least one sunrise/sunset on your balcony. If not, try to make it up on deck for at least one. It is a magnificent experience. You also need to be up on deck or on your balcony for at least one sail away, too.

Soda pop and alcohol are not included for free beverages. If you drink a lot of soda, you may want to purchase a soda card. Personally, I don't think they're worth it, but others that drink a lot of soda do.

Relax, kick back, and have a wonderful time. Best wishes and once again, welcome aboard!

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