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Peachypooh

Please settle a disagreement about guest services function

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I am sort of a "be prepared" type of person and my traveling companion on my next

cruise thinks that cruise ships will anticipate what guests need and stock accordingly.

I am specifically referring to converting currency from US dollars to local currency

on NCL ships.

I always go to the bank ahead of time and exchange for aprox. $100 US worth of

small bills in the local currency even if dollars are widely accepted for each port

to be visited. To me it seems unlikely that guest services can stock enough

currency to service 2000-4000 passengers. But despite my warnings I think my

traveling companion is going to bet on this. They are not even bringing an ATM card to 

use because they are convinced guest services will help them out.

Perhaps I am wrong? If so please inform me. Thank you.

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Where are you cruising to? If it’s the Caribbean where your $ will be welcomed I ‘d still take a debit card so I could use an ATM to get local currency if needed. I certainly would never exchange at an airport or on board ship as the exchange rate would be poor and an additional charge would be added.

If you are cruising in Europe US$ are not widely accepted. 

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Good Luck - Guest Services has daily limits on how much cash a guest can transact with.

Cashing (AMEXCO) Travelers checks and Money Orders there are daily limits and usually

applied to credit on the On Board account - NO cash over certain amounts.

Better rethink bringing that ATM card although there are service fee charges -

the money dispensed on ships is in US Dollars (think Casino ATMs) 

In the Western hemisphere the good-ole Uncle Sam $Dollar$ is universally accepted.

Canadian dollars work to some extent.

Now as for monopoly money - round-to-its Easter Island stone money better find a bigger

better canoe to handle the beaver pelts.

In Europe the Euro would be an alternate form of legal tender.

I don't know so much about Asia Australia and New Zealand - reader comments ???

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On the Spirit we got a low rate for Euroes plus a $10 service charge.  Dead presidents and Ben Franklin and Alexander Hamilton are generally accepted almost everywhere.

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2 minutes ago, don't-use-real-name said:

 

I don't know so much about Asia Australia and New Zealand - reader comments ???

Usually best to use local currency in Hong Kong and Singapore, used US$ in Vietnam and Thailand.  Best place for exchange in the Philippines are local department stores.

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56 minutes ago, PTC DAWG said:

You are correct, the ship is not a currency exchange. 

That very much depends on where you are going to. Not every cruise is to the Caribbean.

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22 minutes ago, KeithJenner said:

That very much depends on where you are going to. Not every cruise is to the Caribbean.

So you are saying that outside the Caribbean the ship "IS" a currency exchange?  

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1 minute ago, PTC DAWG said:

So you are saying that outside the Caribbean the ship "IS" a currency exchange?  

No, I quoted the wrong post, sorry. I meant to quote Birdie & Sue

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18 minutes ago, KeithJenner said:

No, I quoted the wrong post, sorry. I meant to quote Birdie & Sue

Fair enough...I sort of figured that...

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When we had the whole New Zealand leg of our Australia/New Zealand cruise cancelled, NCL did offer to buy back our NZ $$.  Now, I'm not sure if this was because of the cancellation, or if there is always enough foreign currency on board to supply a large % of the guests.  

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2 hours ago, Birdie And Sue said:

We just use $US.  No one will turn you down.

I agree, no one will turn you down; however, you'll likely pay (speaking specifically CAD)  close to at par.  Many US citizens have no idea what that means for them.  I'm not about to enlighten them.  😉

 

Go ahead, don't exchange your money to CAD, make my day! 

I live in a tourist area and know that many make this mistake. I'll do you a favour and say, if you don't exchange your money to CAD, use a CC instead of cash. 

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3 hours ago, Peachypooh said:

I am sort of a "be prepared" type of person and my traveling companion on my next

cruise thinks that cruise ships will anticipate what guests need and stock accordingly.

I am specifically referring to converting currency from US dollars to local currency

on NCL ships.

I always go to the bank ahead of time and exchange for aprox. $100 US worth of

small bills in the local currency even if dollars are widely accepted for each port

to be visited. To me it seems unlikely that guest services can stock enough

currency to service 2000-4000 passengers. But despite my warnings I think my

traveling companion is going to bet on this. They are not even bringing an ATM card to 

use because they are convinced guest services will help them out.

Perhaps I am wrong? If so please inform me. Thank you.

 

Your companion is wrong. The place to get local currency is at an ATM, not at home before you sail, and if you are in the Caribbean $USD work just fine.

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3 hours ago, LD Silver said:

Never had my dead presidents turned away.

 

Ever cruised in Europe?

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36 minutes ago, zqvol said:

 

Your companion is wrong. The place to get local currency is at an ATM, not at home before you sail, and if you are in the Caribbean $USD work just fine.

I agree with the Caribbean...our dollars have always worked fine. We were in Budapest during the historic flooding many years ago and the ATM's either weren't working or were out of cash hence I always bring a little currency with me as my bank gives me a very good exchange rate. I don't want to be stuck short again.

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Options to pay for things in order of best to worst:

  1. Use a no foreign transaction fee credit card
  2. Use an ATM with no fees (understand your bank may charge fees in addition to the ATM)
  3. Credit card with foreign transaction fees (could be a tie with #2)
  4. Local bank (only exception being you need cash the second you set foot in the foreign country before any other option is available or if you need large sums of money and the fees are not percentage based)
  5. Foreign Bank
  6. Hotel
  7. Selecting charge in $USD when paying with a credit/debit card in an attempt to avoid the foreign transaction fee
  8. Shady no name kiosk in an alley
  9. Random person on the street
  10. Airport (ie Travelex)

Options 1 through 3 will give you the market exchange rate, the best you can possibly get. Options 4 and possibly 5 will give you a rate worse than the market rate but not horrible however usually adds a fee. Options 6 through 9 will give you an unfavorable rate, but sometimes you can gamble with that random stranger that they don't know the value of their money compared to the USD... Option 10 will just rake you over the coals, then charge you a fee for the pleasure.

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25 minutes ago, geomancer said:

Options to pay for things in order of best to worst:

  1. Use a no foreign transaction fee credit card
  2. Use an ATM with no fees (understand your bank may charge fees in addition to the ATM)
  3. Credit card with foreign transaction fees (could be a tie with #2)
  4. Local bank (only exception being you need cash the second you set foot in the foreign country before any other option is available or if you need large sums of money and the fees are not percentage based)
  5. Foreign Bank
  6. Hotel
  7. Selecting charge in $USD when paying with a credit/debit card in an attempt to avoid the foreign transaction fee
  8. Shady no name kiosk in an alley
  9. Random person on the street
  10. Airport (ie Travelex)

Options 1 through 3 will give you the market exchange rate, the best you can possibly get. Options 4 and possibly 5 will give you a rate worse than the market rate but not horrible however usually adds a fee. Options 6 through 9 will give you an unfavorable rate, but sometimes you can gamble with that random stranger that they don't know the value of their money compared to the USD... Option 10 will just rake you over the coals, then charge you a fee for the pleasure.

Using credit cards overseas (anywhere) is always your best bet.  They normally have very favorable exchange rates and you can get you bills in local currency, which is normally less expensive if you pay in US Dollars.  Remember, the person receiving the greenbacks will need to take them to a bank to exchange them and local banks are not always the best on exchange rates.

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On our recent TA aboard the Getaway in April you could get Euros charged to your onboard account at Reception in the Atrium.  Don't know about actually exchanging US greenbacks in hand for Euros...

 

I DID find it interesting in that I couldn't get British pounds even though the cruise terminated in Southampton & we were originally scheduled to make another port call in the UK (this was the 12 day TA cruise NCL reduced to 10 days, btw).

 

I'm lucky in that my local Wells Fargo has Euros & British pounds on hand so I'll stop by there & get $50-100 USD converted to wherever I'm going.  As other posters have stated it's nice to just have some local cash in your wallet, just in case.  99% of time, however, your credit card(s) work just as well & the exchange rate is usually pretty good.  Just make sure that you inform whatever bank issues your card when you'll be traveling & where; we made that mistake years ago when we gave our daughter a card to use "in emergencies" when she went to Europe for a semester.  Live and learn!

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15 hours ago, zqvol said:

 

Ever cruised in Europe?

I have (on MSC).  To Spain, Italy, France and Malta.  U.S. Dollars were gladly accepted on board.

 

Trying to act as a bank for 4,000+ passengers is probably near to impossible while most of the time they’re at sea with no access to ANY hard currency.

 

They can act as an exchange on a very limited basis.  But, it’s best to do your banking requirements at your local bank before you board.

 

Or even better, use credit cards, as has been mentioned previously.

Edited by graphicguy

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