noname111
Contributor Level: Captain

Currency - How do you manage?

Cruises sail to multiple destinations, many of which have different currencies.  Do you obtain some local currency for each of your destinations and what do you use it for?

Tags: Foreign currency

12 Answers

DVCruise
Contributor Level: Captain

I only made that mistake once and it cost me $$$$, I often get small currency from places just to collect ...BUT for the most part, the good ol US $ works everywhere I have been.

 

That said, I carry a prepaid debit Visa that I keep minimal money on that I use for dinky purchases.

noname111
Contributor Level: Captain

We get foreign currencies through our bank. It seems the right thing to do because US currency is often meaningless on foreign soil PLUS, it is an inconvenience for the recipient if you tip in US currency as it places the onus on that person to do the converting. It may end up costing them money to convert, thus cuts into their tip even more.

There is a very convenient ordering process through BoA. We order online and  have it shipped to your home (or can send to a local bank branch). We do this about a week ahead of departure. When we return, we simply return to the bank and redeposit. This service applies to bill currency only, not coins. Coins end up as souvenirs for nieces and nephews.

We traveled to Northern Europe with stops in Ireland, England, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway (I think that covers it). The Euro applied to a some of those countries but other currencies were necessary and our time in each country affected how much we converted. We traveled with Euros, British Pounds, Swedish Krona, and Norwegian Krone. We requested small bills because mostly we use the local currency for tips and small purchases (e.g., tour operators, cafes, chocolate in Belgium). It may start off being a little confusing but its really not a bother. We kept each currency bundled separately and checked the exchange rate on port days. 

 

As an aside, if you have a smart phone, you should consider downloading a conversion app. Most convert a wide variety of things (e.g., distance, currency, weight). Just be sure to update the app daily when traveling because currency conversion rates change.

WeCruiseToo
Moderator
Contributor Level: Captain

Most port stops on a Caribbean cruise will gladly accept US currency and crew members on the mainstream cruise lines will accept tips in US money no matter where in the world the ship is sailing.

We use a credit card with no international or exchange fees as much as we can, but we always have some local currency for every country we travel to in Europe or anywhere outside of the Caribbean.  We get the foreign currency from our local bank or an online service we’ve had good experiences with.  We’re pretty good at estimating how much we need and just keep whatever’s left – we’ll be visiting those countries again someday!

Johngold
Moderator
Contributor Level: Captain

For us the only instance where this was going to be a issue at all is when we sailed from Florida to Vancouver via the Panama Canal. We were very fortunate in the regard that our travel agent had just been there and done that and mentioned that the American Dollar bill will work virtually any where on that cruise. Now when my son Jason went to Cuba from Canada, he had to buy the "tourist Cuban money"  as the resort did not take U.S.

Overall, you can get by with us dollars.

I want to hear from those who have gone to the Asian acountries and what they do there.

BAK1061
Contributor Level: Captain

Have yet to go anywhere that doesn't accept the almighty USD.  Except Canada one time.

OldGreyWolf
Contributor Level: Cruise Director

Ha .. really? That is a surprise. I have never heard of the US $ not being taken anywhere in Canada. We even take the US coins here. The only catch is the exchange. Not all stores or restaurants give a fair exchange for the US $. Some are a bit heavy handed in that respect. And the coinage is always changed at par.

OldGreyWolf
Contributor Level: Cruise Director

We usually just go with the US $ and our CC. These work in most places unless you venture off of the beaten track and then sometimes there may be an issue.

Have only used US $$. 

JusMe
Moderator
Contributor Level: Captain

If it is only a cruise port stop I use credit card,  when I spend a few weeks in a country pre  pr post cruise then I get some of the currency.   I still have left over Euro's and GBP's.    I just hang on to them until I go back or to trade in if I run low on "Mad money"

meghad23
Contributor Level: Captain

I have never really needed any foreign currency. Most places I"ve been (Caribbean)  take the US dollar, and I use my credit card at times too.... Once I go to Europe (in a long time) I'll invest in the euro or currency. 

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