We are taking the South Carribean cruise this month.
Had a couple of last minure qns:
1. Do i ned separate currencies for each port? Or is USD good enough?
2. For cabs, can I pay in USD?
3. I plan to take cabs for city tours. In a extreme case of when I cannot make it to the ship on time, what do they generally do? Is there a number they provide that we can call the ship in such circumstances? I know I am being paranoid..
4. Anything else I need to take car i the last minute(other than the usual stuff that we usually do during vacation..)
I have gone on several Eastern Caribbean cruises, and US currency has in the past always worked for almost everything. In fact, I cannot remember it NOT being ok, and that goes for cabs also. On another point, as one of our Captains told the entire ship at muster, DO NOT BE LATE RETURNING TO THE SHIP, or you will become that nation's newest citizen. To MY knowledge, the ONLY time that the ship will wait for you is if you are on an excursion planned and run by the ship line; only then will the ship wait for you to return. Some of the other moderators heere will correct me if I'm wrong.
I always take at least $40 in one dollar bills for tips for porters, cab drivers, etc. One time I didn't have any ones. Luckily the person sitting behind us on the excursion bus happened to have the cabin next to ours and she loaned me a few dollars. Since then, I make sure I always have a supply of ones!
I agree that US dollars or a credit card will work in all ports. They get thousands of cruise ship passengers a year, and have to be able to handle dollars.
If you miss the ship when not on a ship sanctioned shore excursion, don't bother trying to call the ship. They won't wait for you in any case. They can't. It will be your responsibility to get yourselves to the ship's next port of call, at your expense, and re-board the ship there. There's no compensation for days you were not on the ship, in that case.
You are usually provided with a number for the Port Agent for the ship or cruiseline you are on. As Sandy said, the Port Agent can't make the ship wait for you; but he can inform the ship that you have in fact missed it and can help you make arrangements for getting to the next port. And in rare cases, if you have just missed the ship, they can arrange for a water taxi to take you to the ship--very expensive but I have seen it done.
Thanks a lot to all of you for your kind reply. I'll take USD. I'll also make sure I reach to the ship on time :-)
Now, am wondering how much to take.. I am planning to do trip offered by ships mostly. 1 or 2 days, I am thinking I'll take cabs to do island tour..
I guess for the trip offered by ship, I can pay by credit cards.. Is that right?
What else do I need cash for other than for cabs and things I do outside the ship?
Also, Is there a safe in the rooms that we can use?
I usually take a couple hundred dollars to use on shore when the wife goes shopping. Being a cop, I NEVER use a credit card in another country; too many variables run through my little pea brain. IF you need extra cash, you can obtain it in the casino (for a small fee) and have it put on your sea pass account. I'll take large bills ($50's or $100's) and then use the service desk or casino to break them down as needed. On the ship, you will not need cash except to place it in the Tip envelopes. I always pay the cruise line for any excursions ahead of time using a credit card; however, if I find something once onboard the ship, the costs can be added to your Sea Pass card. There are others on this site who use local merchants for excursions, which is fine since sometimes they are cheaper. I LIKE being a citizen of the USA and don't want to take the chance of missing the ship and becoming another country's member, so I book through the cruise line. I will admit the I have only cruised on RCCL, so I only am familiar with their policy of leaving you behind when the ship sails, not another cruise line's policy. If they are different, someone here will let you know. This is ment to be a FUN time on a cruise. Allow your "careful meter" to be a little more sensetive, and relax. Have a Great Cruise!!
We always use Credit cards at the ports. It more easy and you don't have to worry about how much cash to take. We have done this for the past 4 years and had no issues yet with someone trying to use our card. You must keep a close watch on your statement and report any unusal activties at once. We have had several unusal activities in the US, like Mytle Beach where someone tried buying something. So the point of this si that no manner what place you go, you can always run into issues with your credit card, but we find it safer. We hardly ever carry cash. Also the point about taking private tour, all of the posts are right on. Be back on time or else!!! The last cruise we were on we saw a police boat coming toward our ship after it left with 2 couples on it who missed the ship. They got very lucky.
I take $100 to $150 plus a credit card, this way I'm covered for cabs, drinks, eats or heaven forbid a way to get to the next port. Most stores take credit cards as well as car rental places, so you can save your cash for other things. US dollars have always worked for me. Sometimes they'll give you change in their own currency, which is basically worthless, so you can use their currency for tips on the island.