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Old 02-13-2010, 10:35 AM
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This is my first time going on a cruise and don't know how much money I should take along? I know that anything you purchase onboard gets charged to your SeaPass but how much money should I need otherwise? Like for things I purchase on land? I do plan on doing a couple excursions, but have often heard to wait to buy them on land as they are cheaper than buying them through Royal Caribbean? Does anyone recommend any excursions while onboard the Monarch of the Seas?

Thanks!
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:15 PM
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Location: Wonder Lake, Illinois
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This one is a little rough-it's going to depend on so many things. MY recommendation is to buy excursions through the RCL website PRIOR to going on the cruise. IF you buy through the cruise line, the ship will not leave you in port should your tour be late returning. You can save some money buying them at the port, but the chance isn't worth the risk to me. On our first cruise, it was my wife and I. Neither of us are big drinkers (which can be a big part of the bill), and we spent about $850.00 on a 7 day cruise between the on board purchases and the few things we bought on shore. You can keep track of your on-board expenses in your cabin on the room's TV. We used a credit card with somewhat more than $1000.00 available on it to cover the sea pass card expenses. I would NOT recommend using a credit card on shore-too chancy to me- I've found that you can get cash on the ship in the casino,if you need more for the shore purchases. Use the cabin TV to keep track, and you should be ok.
Unless you have kids who drink a lot of pop, DO NOT BUY the soda stamp for the sea pass card. WAY over priced, and not worth the money in MY opinion. Have a great time, be a little careful for your first time on a ship when it comes to buying things on board, and I can pretty much promise you, you'll be hooked. HAVE FUN!!
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:40 AM
 
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More than you think. The biggest hits come from spending 7 days with a casino,24 hour bar service and massages & bingo. I even if I enjoyed bingo would not play on a ship.Rarely does anyone win till the last day when they draw numbers till a winner is found.The massages are a selling tool for more products.Keep these at a minimum and at all costs avoid auctions and you will do just fine.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:55 AM
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This depends a lot on what you want to do while on the ship and on shore. You can google the places where your ship will be docking to see what kind of activities are available on shore. Whether or not you book your excursions through the cruise line is up to you. On one cruise we wanted to parasail, the cost was $85 through the cruise line. I called the para sailing company that the cruise line uses and found out that they were right next to the dock. I booked an early morning para sailing appointment directly through the company for $35 per person. Because we did it early in the morning (about 10:00) there was no danger of us missing the 5:00 departure. But when we went to Cozumel, we wanted to go on an ATV ride which included snorkeling and a stop at a beach and lasted most of the day, we did book through the cruise line because we wanted to be sure to get back to the boat on time.

To keep our costs down, I only take cash on shore with us, I am less likely to over spend than if I am using my credit card. A lot of the cruise stops have jewelry shops that passengers shop at, if you plan to buy jewelry you need more money than the person who will buy a couple souvenir t-shirts.

We usually eat our noon meal on shore rather than going back to the ship, so you have to have money to eat. I found that the chain restaurants are more expensive to eat at than the locally owned restaurants.

We check out books from the library before our cruises to see what is available in the different ports. Ex: We went to the Nassau Zoo because of my daughter's interest in animals, it cost $12 per person so I had an idea as to how much money I needed to take with us that day. There was also the cost of taxis, etc.

I talked to one passenger who takes $100 on shore with her (two people in their party) and limit themselves to whatever they can do for that amount, it makes the cruise more affordable for them. Their favorite activity is to reserve a taxi when they get on shore and have the taxi driver show them around the area. They get to see local residences, etc and probably have a better idea of what the lifestyle is like for the people locally than most passengers get to experience.

We do get the soda package for our two children so we are not wondering every day, how much have they spent so far on soda and because the mug is their one and only souvenir from the ship. But like the other person said it is expensive for what you get. My children would have to drink three sodas a day to get our money's worth out of the deal, but at least we know they are not running up a "bar tab."

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:56 PM
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You may also want to keep in mind sometimes you need to allow $ when you are in port for getting a beach chair, floating mat, snorkel equipment, etc., if you are at a beach and not on an excursion. Even if it is a Royal Caribbean island, the locals will set the chairs out for you but would like to have a tip for their help. It's just good to be prepared with some one-dollar bills
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:38 PM
 
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Dear nspringer09,

Very difficult question to answer. How much money to bring onboard. I cruised three weeks ago and we spent a big $100 on board that is it. We went to relax that was it. I was settling my bill when I overheard the gentleman next to me arguing with the concierge over his $5000 bill. She said that he had spent $3500 at the casino and $1500 at the bar. Yikes. I guess he just got caught up in all the action. Ship shore excursions are pricy as someone else said but wise to book to make sure you do not miss the boat on your return. Sadly, I have seen that happen from my balcony cabin. Not nice.
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:00 AM
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We took 7 of us on a 7 night cruise and spent next to nothing. We did what was available on the ship for free, ate for free, and when we got off the ship, we just shopped and walked around or walked to the beach if it was in walking distance. We did play bingo and had a few other expences but it is possible to not spend a lot of money and still have an awesome time. On other cruises we have done excursions and went all out. It all depends on your budget and how much extra you want to do. Either way, you will have a great cruise.
 
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