You can use a debit card, but please note that they will put an immediate hold on X amount of funds and if you don't have that much money in your account you will be overdrawn and could be in financial trouble if you have no overdraft protection, or if you have bills which are automatically debited. People have returned from their cruises and found out that their mortgage wasn't paid, car payment, etc., because of the hold. I don't know what the hold amount is.
I can't stand the way they charge.last year I gave them my credit card and they put a pending charge on each day.Lets say my first day I charge $100.00.Next day $150.00 then $100.00,then $150.00.=$500.00.When cruise is over they charge $500.00 so I'm $500.00 lite untill the pending charges come off.
That happen to us last year on the Carnival Spirit. It was the only time it has happened. The only difference was that we had several port changes due to weather. Why that would trigger it I do not know. We even had a hold put on our account for excursions.....they had been prepaid! It took quiet awhile for the hold to come off. We were using a CC and it did not hurt anything, it is bugged me.
Whether you noticed it or not, their is a credit hold placed on everyone who sails card. It's not a charge. Most people will never know it's done, the only time it's noticible is if you hit your CC limit as a result of the holds and charges you make. The reason the cruiselines have this practice is to be sure you have the ability to pay for the gratuities and drinks when your bill comes and your cruise is over. To give an unlimited charge tab to every client onboard and expect them to pony up at the end without this policy would not be a godd business decision.
I used my Visa DEBIT card on our last cruise on the Mariner, and had no problems at all-as a matter of fact, my card, at the time we sailed, only had about $500 in it, but I received my pension check on the Saturday before we docked on the return. The charges didn't show up as a debit until the Tuesday after we left the ship.
I had no complaints or problems using a debit card.
We used our Debit as well but here are a few things to remember. I don't know if everyone's works this way, but our bank told us to start telling everyone to push credit instead of debit. I guess this will cost the business more but our bank told us it was for our protection. With the VISA logo on the card, even though it says Debit, if you push credit you will have the $50 maximum you are responsible for in case of fraud. If you push Debit, you are at risk up to the amount in your checking account. That is something to remember.
Also, on my card if I use Debit vs. Credit selection, there is a daily limit of something like $200 or $300. That is to prevent your checking from getting wiped out by a thief. However, with the credit selection, there is no daily limit. So, if you think your bill will be over your daily limit, make sure to have them run it as a credit.
One other point, call your financial institution before leaving and tell them the countries you are visiting so they will know there could be charges coming from there. I know our bank is very vigilante about this. The bank can lock the account if they see suspicious charges, which is a good thing unless it is you and it is legit!!
1992 MV Royal Majesty
1993 MV Royal Majesty
1996 Sun Princess
2007 Liberty of the Seas
2010 Navigator of the Seas
2010 Radiance of the Seas