Q: How Much Cash Do I Need to Bring?

Answer:

That depends on a couple of things. The first place you might use cash is your on board account. This is set up during check-in. You can supply a credit card or use cash to establish your account. Your on board expenses will be charged against this account. If you run out of funds during the cruise, you’ll be asked to add more funds. If you have a balance remaining, you’ll receive a check at the end of the cruise.

The next place you would use cash is for tips. The primary tipping for your cabin steward and wait staff will be put on your on board account which you can adjust up or down as you wish. Some folks prefer to give the tips directly to these folks and bring cash for that. In addition, cash would be used to tip direct service providers such as bartenders, spa staff, maitre’d, and room service staff.

We usually carry a small amount of cash in ports for minor expenses and tips. For big purchases, we always use a credit card for the extra protection that provides. Also, remember expenses you may have at the end of the cruise as well that may need cash such as airport parking and tips. Hmm, that tipping thing crops up quite a bit, doesn’t it?

Another place that takes cash, if that’s your preference, is the casino. Actually, that is probably a good idea. That way you can set a limit on your gambling and not have a nasty surprise at cruise end.

How much cash you need is up to you, but at least now you know all the places you might need it and can budget accordingly. And cabins include a safe so you don’t have to worry about keeping cash in your cabin.

Filed Under: Ask the Cruise Dork

Q: How Do I Get the Best Price on a Booking?


Hi Barry & Kimala,

We just finished our first cruise and really enjoyed it. I received a lot of helpful information from your site. While on the cruise of course they offer future bookings, which I wish we would have taken the offer. But my question is about the comment that was made. The gentleman told the group that it doesn’t matter if you book through the cruise line or a travel agent, all the prices are going to be the same. A travel agent cannot offer a lower price baiscally is what he was saying. Is this true? He told us to beware if the price is lower and to see what deck the cabin is on or what type of cabin, that’s why the price is lower. So does it really matter if I call, book on line, or use a travel agent? Does it all come out the same price? Thanks for your input, Cheri. (more…)

Filed Under: Ask the Cruise Dork

Q: Can I Bring My Own Wine for Dinner?

Answer:

Yes, but there are limits and a few gotcha’s. Although there are minor differences between the cruise lines and policies get tweaked periodically, in general you can bring one bottle (max 750 ml) of wine or champagne per adult age 21 or over.

And that brings us to the first gotcha. (more…)

Filed Under: Ask the Cruise Dork

Q: Who are Bill W. and Dorothy and Why Do They Have So Many Friends?

Answer:

On every ship I’ve ever sailed, there are always meeting announcements in the daily schedule for various groups, e.g. the Smith family reunion, bridge players, or continuing education courses. Over time, I noticed that there was a meeting announcement of “Friends of Bill W.” on every single sailing. Who is this “Bill W.”? How can he sail on every ship and have all these friends? (more…)

Filed Under: Ask the Cruise Dork

Q: Can I Get Bumped From a Cruise?

Answer:

Sadly, yes you can. Just like the airlines, cruise lines will oversell their cabins knowing that a certain percentage won’t make the sailing for one reason or another. They may also (more…)

Filed Under: Ask the Cruise Dork

Q: Will They Really Leave You At The Dock?

Answer:

In a word: YES

We did talk previously about whether the ship will leave if you take a private tour, but (more…)

Filed Under: Ask the Cruise Dork

Q: Do cruise ships have male escorts?

Answer:

Not exactly. Some upscale ships that do extended length cruises appeal to older passengers and women tend to outnumber the men by a significant amount. (more…)

Filed Under: Ask the Cruise Dork