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Currency for Baltic Cruise

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I know you can pay by card...but what do people recommend in taking a little currency...is it really needed and if so how much....the Baltic Cruise calla at so many different ports that are not Euro?

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I took a small amount of all of the currencies. Our excellent guide from the non-ships tour in St Petersberg took great care in pointing out which restaurants took cards if people did not have Roubles but I felt happier using cash though and had no problems getting Roubles from the post office, they got them in in a couple of days for me. As far as the other ports Stockholm we went to the ABBA museum which only accepts cards so we ended up using the coins (given by a family member from their trip) to get a couple of ice creams and took the notes home. In Denmark I used card for some purchases and used the currency for lunch in Tivoli. Probably with hindsight I would have only taken Roubles plus any coins I could get (for loos). Interestingly we had some american dollars left from a previous holiday which we had no issues using in the main tourist attractions and larger shops in Russia.

If you do go to the Peterhof or Catherine Palace be careful as my daughter was bitten by a tick at one or other of these (through skinny jeans, trainers and socks) and ended up in hospital with Lymes disease on our return to the UK. Lets face it if anyone was going to be bitten and get something it would be her! Take plenty of repellent and spray liberally.

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We did this trip a couple of years ago and the only time I wanted cash was in Germany, our last port of call.  I withdrew  50 euros from an ATM and still have some of it for our next Euro trip.

 

Everywhere else I used card.

 

 

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4 hours ago, catperson02 said:

If you do go to the Peterhof or Catherine Palace be careful as my daughter was bitten by a tick at one or other of these (through skinny jeans, trainers and socks) and ended up in hospital with Lymes disease on our return to the UK. Lets face it if anyone was going to be bitten and get something it would be her! Take plenty of repellent and spray liberally.

Goodness - that's something I'd never have expected, but worth taking very seriously.  Lyme disease isn't nice, and it's a good job she had treatment so quickly.

 

Presumably she picked up the tick on grass or woodland?

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We've been to St P five times and never had Roubles.   The street hawkers selling souvenirs and markets will trade in Euros.  Amazingly in the Hermitage close by the official shop (everything marked in Roubles) were hawkers selling the glossy, well produced guide books on the Hermitage quoting prices in £, $ and €.  We had both sterling and euros with us and paused long enough to work out which was better value given the exchange rate between £ and €.  If you go on excursions they often take you to official souvenir shops.  Agsin we didn't need Roubles.  

I think everywhere else we used Euros.  

Edited by kruzseeka

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We were anxious about this on our first Baltic Cruise, given the number of non-Euro countries. We needn’t have worried. Euros were accepted in every country. In fact most things were dual priced in local currency and euros. I would recommend a Revolut Card, which you pre-load with U.K. £ and then it allows you to use it, as a debit card, in any country, allowing you to pay in local currency (which is usually cheaper than the Euro price) and exchange rates are brilliant. So, on our subsequent Baltic Cruises we have taken some Euros and a Revolut Card and that’s it. No problem. 

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Some UK credit cards - eg Halifax Clarity - do not have foreign transaction fees, nor cash withdrawal fees.

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On 2/15/2019 at 7:40 AM, Wiltonian said:

Some UK credit cards - eg Halifax Clarity - do not have foreign transaction fees, nor cash withdrawal fees.

 

And give near perfect exchange rates - much better than on the High Street.  But cash transactions from an ATM does attract interest from the date of withdrawal so it's a good idea to pay it off as soon as you get home.

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Sorry call me old fashioned but I still like have some local money in my pocket and I dont trust a lot of countries when it comes to using debit/credit cards seen and heard so many horror stories.

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1 hour ago, majortom10 said:

Sorry call me old fashioned but I still like have some local money in my pocket and I dont trust a lot of countries when it comes to using debit/credit cards seen and heard so many horror stories.

With well over 30 years of Holidays using a credit card I have never had one "horror" issue, unless you call one Spanish restaurant refusing to do the charge in Euros and only in Sterling at their exchange rate, needless to say we paid cash in Euros after rounding the bill down to the nearest 10 euros and not adding a tip.

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13 hours ago, terrierjohn said:

With well over 30 years of Holidays using a credit card I have never had one "horror" issue, unless you call one Spanish restaurant refusing to do the charge in Euros and only in Sterling at their exchange rate, needless to say we paid cash in Euros after rounding the bill down to the nearest 10 euros and not adding a tip.

You are the lucky one a workmate had his credit card details hacked and somebody was trying to buy a Dell computer in Poland and saw many dodgy transactions in Tenerife.

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16 minutes ago, majortom10 said:

You are the lucky one a workmate had his credit card details hacked and somebody was trying to buy a Dell computer in Poland and saw many dodgy transactions in Tenerife.

Never had the slightest problem using credit cards overseas - with the right card it's by far the cheapest and simplest option.

 

The only occasions on which there's been any fraudulent activity have been entirely within the UK, where it's every bit as likely as it is abroad (given the usual sensible precautions) - and one of those involved a corrupt member of a bank's call centre team.

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I have had two attempted fraudulent transactions made on my credit card at different times within the last year and both were as a result of online purchases within the UK. Apparently (according to the fraud team) this is the most common source, when criminals hack in to companies online payment databases or websites. In both cases, the fraudulent transactions were detected by my bank and stopped. It was irritating having to have new cards each time, but I was never at any risk of personal loss.

 

Within the past week, I contacted my credit card company as I had purchased two BMI flights and the company had gone into administration. Full amount credited back to my account within 48 hours. Had I paid by any other means, I suspect that I would be still chasing it, claiming through insurance (less any excess and resulting in a premium hike next year) or have lost the money altogether.

 

The safety net measures and protections of using a credit card are, from my perspective, very good.

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I am not against people using credit/debit cards abroad but I still like to have local currency in my wallet and perhaps will never change. I still dont even purchase coffee or smaller items in the UK and always use cash.

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1 hour ago, majortom10 said:

I am not against people using credit/debit cards abroad but I still like to have local currency in my wallet and perhaps will never change. I still dont even purchase coffee or smaller items in the UK and always use cash.

That's perfectly acceptable to use whatever you prefer, however to indicate that there is a higher potential for fraud when using it abroad was what I objected to.

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I had used a credit card to pay for 3 flights to Greece with XL Airways, then they went bust. I was refunded within 48 hours. People who had paid by other means took months to get their refund. As we had paid separately for the accommodation we needed to rebook flights and it was great to have the refund almost immediately. So it's useful to know that credit cards and euros rule in the Baltic, as I am doing this cruise on Aurora in May and was wondering last night when looking at the shore excursions about the varying currencies!

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I am not saying the extra benefits and security you get by booking flights etc. which we all know is beneficial and wise to do what my own personal concerns are on this thread is those that do not take local currency and use their credit/debit cards for everything on port days they purchase i.e. coffee and souvenirs costing a few pounds. The thread was started by asking about currency needed in ports on Baltic cruise  and except for Denmark and Sweden which we have always taken local currency the rest are Euros except for St P where they were happy to take in fact preferred US Dollars or Euros.

Edited by majortom10

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18 minutes ago, majortom10 said:

I am not saying the extra benefits and security you get by booking flights etc. which we all know is beneficial and wise to do what my own personal concerns are on this thread is those that do not take local currency and use their credit/debit cards for everything on port days they purchase i.e. coffee and souvenirs costing a few pounds. The thread was started by asking about currency needed in ports on Baltic cruise  and except for Denmark and Sweden which we have always taken local currency the rest are Euros except for St P where they were happy to take in fact preferred US Dollars or Euros.

 

Understood, and I would agree it makes sense to have some cash for very small transactions, but the Euro is widely accepted in all Baltic ports, regardless of whether it is the national currency or not, so there is no need these days to mess around with lots of different currencies. 

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