How much money do you bring?
Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!
Cruising for the first time? Our members will have you cruising like a pro in no time! Don't forget to read our 8000 reviews written by first timers just like you!
First time cruiser leaving in 13 days for the Bahamas...Woo Hoo! We have included the pre-paid tips in our cruise already, but how much cash do you reccomend bringing for tips (waiters, stewards, etc). Are envolopes provided to pass out tips each day? Not sure how this all works. How much do you carry at port during excurstions for suveniers and food? I hear Nassau or most of it is cashless so we'll have our credit card. Lastly, how much is a good amount for 2 adults using the S & S card? We plan on not going too crazy with drinks and pictures. We'd rather save our money to use at port. Just trying to get an estimate going before we sail... Thanks in advance!If you pre-paid tips the waiters and cabin stewards are already taken care of, some people give them extra some people don't thats upto you. Envelopes can usually be found in the booklet on the desk in your cabin or you can get them at the reception desk. For gifts and food in port I carry roughly $100 in each port and rarely use it all. S&S card I'd estimate $800-$1000 more if you both like wine and dine at any of the specialty restaurants onboard that are extra $$$. Check with your cruiseline for the minimum balance for cash deposit for S&S if you plan on going that route, most just put it on CC if not then adjust accordingly.
Holland America 17 Cruises 159 days
Disney 3 Cruises 17 days
Princess 4 Cruises 22 days
Royal Caribbean 3 Cruises 21 days
Celebrity 1 Cruise 7 days
Carnival 4 Cruises 26 days
Regency 1 Cruise 5 days
The Big Red Boat 1 Cruise 3 days
Our steward got 20 bucks 4 different time throughout the week, but he went above and beyond. As first time cruisers we had a lot of questions. We had a bar set up and had brought a soft, bag style cooler that he kept full of ice for us. He also picked up for us a few nights when we hurried out to entertainment or dinner and left changes of clothes all over. He'd come in to turn down the bed and straighten up. As important as tipping is to treat the steward with courtesy, kindness and respect. They get fed a lot of crap by enough people and do appreciate being treated nicely, even though it's their job to cater to you to some degree. We found that our steward was particularly nice and after noticing we were good people who cared about his situation ( away from his family 9 months of the year to feed them and give them a better life), he tended to make sure we were treated extra nice as well.
We probably could have tipped him 40 or 50 bucks, and the restaurants we probably tipped more than we should have. Bars I always tip a fiver if we will be there a bit, then 1 each time we get drinks.
Almost every service on the islands wants a tip. We had conch salad at Señor Frogs, made in front of us at a rolling portable setup, the guy opens the conch, takes out the meat and makes the salad right there. Tip him and he'll clean the conch shell for you and you have a 35 dollar souvenir to take home. Declare it though, I heard from a couple of people that because it's a shell I might have an issue. I declared the 2 we got, and had no problem.
We tipped 20 bucks for an all day speedboat/snorkel/swim/lunch/sightseeing excursion that cost 99/head and easily was worth double.
We also tipped most other services/bars/restaurants that we attended in the ports, taxis, guides, etc.
It is up to you though, and some people don't tip above what the DSC is. Others don't tip till the end of the week. I would recommend with the steward to tip something up front and again at the end of the week based on service. If you have extra special service, like we did, then you might want to tip more... I also should mention that I forgot to lock my safe one day on an excursion and came back to all of my money and valuables still sitting in the safe untouched. They aren't responsible for that kind of theft, and I"m certain if the steward had wanted to, he could have made 2 months salary in 5 minutes in cash in my room (we know what they pay them). So our guy deserved his tip.
My intent was to be helpful, but as I read what I've written it probably only made things more confusing for you lol.
Going back for more NCL Epic 3/30/13-4/6/13 Eastern Caribbean
4 Day Short Vacation Cruise NCL Sky 7/23/12 - 7/27/12 Bahamas
NCL SKY 8/16/13-8/19/13 Second Time on the Sky for a quickie cruise between my annual 7 day cruise.
NCL Getaway 4/12/14-4/19/14 Our First Getaway and NCL Cruise.
Back on the Epic again third times the charm 11/23/14 -11/20/14 Western Caribbean
2/10/18 Summit (Smooth Jazz Cruise)
10/29/17 Vista (Halloween)
10/29/16 Conquest (Halloween)
2/21/16 Eurodam (Smooth Jazz Cruise)
9/19/15 Victory (5 days with friends)
1/8/15 Eurodam (Smooth Jazz Cruise)
11/8/14 Breeze (Feelin' the Breeze Part 2)
1/12/14 Eurodam (Smooth Jazz Cruise)
10/10/13 Victory B2B (Victory is Mine)[/font]
1/13/13 Westerdam (Smooth Jazz Cruise)
11/24/12 Breeze (Feelin' the Breeze)
1/15/12 Westerdam (Smooth Jazz Cruise)
12/4/11 Miracle (x-mas on the beach)
1/16/11 Noordam (Smooth Jazz Cruise)
11/08 Westerdam (Dave Koz & Friends)
2008 Caribbean Princess
2002 Costa Cruise Line
Grand Princess - Alaska - 8/17 -- Crown Princess - California Coastal - 4/16 -- Star Princess - Coastal Vancouver - 11/15 -- Ocean Princess - Western Mediterranean - 10/10 -- Ruby Princess - Eastern Caribbean - 3/10 -- Island Princess - Coastal 5/09 -- Sapphire Princess - New Zealand/Australia 3/08 -- Sapphire Princess - Coastal 5/07 -- Tahitian Princess - Tahiti/Hawaii 7/06 -- Island Princess - Coastal/Alaska 5/06 -- Golden Princess - Southern Caribbean 9/04 -- Sun Princess - Coastal - 4/04 -- Sun Princess - Panama Canal - 4/01 -- Carnival - Caribbean - 11/00 -- Royal Caribbean - Caribbean 7/99 -- Grand Princess - Caribbean - 11/98 -- Pacific Princess - Mediterranean - 11/97 -- Sun Princess - Western Caribbean - 12/95 -- Regal Princess - Western Caribbean - 11/94 -- Dawn Princess - Mexico 5/93 -- Dawn Princess - Mexico 4/93 -- Fair Princess - Mexico - 12/92 -- Regal Princess - Alaska - 5/92 -- Regal Princess - Eastern Caribbean - 8/91 -- Fairsky - Western Caribbean - 4/87 -- Fairwind - Eastern Caribbean - 4/84
First time cruiser leaving in 13 days for the Bahamas...Woo Hoo! We have included the pre-paid tips in our cruise already, but how much cash do you reccomend bringing for tips (waiters, stewards, etc). Are envolopes provided to pass out tips each day? Not sure how this all works. How much do you carry at port during excurstions for suveniers and food? I hear Nassau or most of it is cashless so we'll have our credit card. Lastly, how much is a good amount for 2 adults using the S & S card? We plan on not going too crazy with drinks and pictures. We'd rather save our money to use at port. Just trying to get an estimate going before we sail... Thanks in advance!Couple of things.
Every time you buy a drink, a 15% tip is added right on the receipt, so, you do not have to worry about tipping every time you get a drink. If you find a favorite bar and bartender, a cash tip up front usually result in great service and great drinks, sometimes some on the house.
Take lots of small bills for tipping porters and various others that you feel should get tipped. Also, on the islands, if you buy a $2 trinket and give them a twenty, you might get $18 change in foreign currency.
Be sure to take lots of smaller bills for the ports, though. $20s at the largest. (for the Caribbean at least).
We do tip in cash at the end, so that's part of the cash we bring. If you've already paid the tips, then no more is necessary, unless you order room service, and $1-5 is the norm.for room service tipping.
When bringing cash, bring large bills...easier to carry, and get them broken down on the ship, so you'll have smaller bills to take ashore. Don't travel with wads of ones and fives....too bulky!
First time cruiser leaving in 13 days for the Bahamas...Woo Hoo! We have included the pre-paid tips in our cruise already, but how much cash do you reccomend bringing for tips (waiters, stewards, etc). Are envolopes provided to pass out tips each day? Not sure how this all works. How much do you carry at port during excurstions for suveniers and food? I hear Nassau or most of it is cashless so we'll have our credit card. Lastly, how much is a good amount for 2 adults using the S & S card? We plan on not going too crazy with drinks and pictures. We'd rather save our money to use at port. Just trying to get an estimate going before we sail... Thanks in advance!I did a lot of research and wound up taking $200 in cash, mostly in small bills, specifically for tipping room service or unexpected cabs. We carried our own bags, so we didn't have porters to tip, and we never ordered room service. The service from our room service was great, and that is included in part of the regular gratuities. We didn't require anything out of the norm, so I didn't tip any extra. I used the same logic with dining room. I actually exchanged money for small bills at our hotel in NOLA, and was told I would not need it. That wound up being right.
I did forget to authorize my debit card for international travel, and that wound up being a big deal. I'm not a "cash" personal IRL, so I only estimated cash for necessities. I cannot imagine traveling with thousands of dollars. I was stressed out enough and put the $200 in the safe. Brought it back home and felt like I had money for weeks.
Have fun on your cruise!
We don't usually bring a lot of cash on any vacation. We rarely take more than $200 each total in small bills. We take about $20 - $40 cash with us if we want a drink or two & to tip people. We rarely buy the silly souveniers. If we are going to make a big purchase it goes on the credit card.This sounds about like what we do. I take about $50 in ones and about $200 in tens and twenties for the entire cruise. We rarely sepnd it all. We use a credit card for excursions, etc.
6/01 Carnival Paradise
6/03 RCI Sovereign of the Seas
7/06 RCI Adventure of the Seas
12/08 Holland America Westerdam
6/10 Carnival Glory
6/12 Carnival Ecstasy
6/15 Carnival Victory
7/16 Carnival Magic
1/17 Carnival Conquest
Carnival: 27 voyages 184 days
Celebrity: 3 voyages 24 days
Holland: 26 voyages 494 days
Norwegian: 2 voyages 16 days
Princess: 16 voyages 154 days
Royal Carib: 5 voyages 35 days
Vantage:River 2 voyages 39 days
GRAND TOTAL: 81 Cruises 946 days
NOT YET SAILED
Amsterdam World Cruise 1/17-111 days
Rotterdam Voyage Vikings 8/17 - 38 days
Maasdam Boston to San Diego 9/17 18 days
Veendam Atlantic Crossing 10/17 - 49 days
Amsterdam World Cruise 1/18 - 113 days
Rotterdam crossing. 6/18 - 32 days
Prinsendam 8/18 - 96 daysAmsterdam 1/19
Personally, I never shy from cliche ...
"Bring half as many clothes and twice as much money."