Help and advice for our first cruise

Hello myself and my fiancé have just booked our FIRST ever cruise, with Tui Marella, sailing the mediterranean, docking from Palma, going to Livorno, Savona, Monaco, Toulon, Barecelona, were going for 8 days then spending an additional 4 days in Palma after the cruise. We currently have no excursions planned can anyone reccomend any activites to do there? Were a mid 20's couple. We have the all inclusive package booked but are debating upgrading (alcohol wise I think we would get our moneys worth) also does anybody know the currency on board ship or is on a pre paid card etc and finally does anybody know how much money ROUGHLY we would need for the duration of our trip.

Many thanks in advance!

Tags: Marella Cruises

6 Answers

Alrighty, as someone in her 30's I can answer SOME of your questions for you, as I just booked my 21st cruise today!

1.) Currency onboard: There's usually no cash accepted on the ships. It will all be attached to your room key/Sail And Sign card for the duration of the trip. These charges will then be credited to your credit card account you have on file, and that's how you pay for the services and souvenirs onboard. Guard this card WITH YOUR LIFE: it will get you in your room and all your other information (muster station, room, charges, drink packages, etc.) will be tied to this card. You will even need it to get on and off the ship at all the ports: they will take your picture on Embarkation Day and that will be used as your ID (along with a government issued ID) to get on and off the ship. If you lose it or it's damaged in any way, you need to contact Guest Services right away.

2.) For the currency at the ports, I use cash. This can be exchanged for the currency you will use in each country (seeing as this is a trip to the Mediterranean, this will most likely be the Euro). The currency exchange can most likely be done at the airport, but you may want to check that out in advance. How much you choose to spend is up to you. If they don't do the exchange at the airport, many banks at the ports will be able to do this.

Also, if there is a loyalty club for your cruise line, you may want to consider joining before you go, Many times you can get free perks, discounts, and upgrades for your trip. I've gotten things like free drink packages, room upgrades, discounts on specialty drinks, onboard credits, and discounts at the shops. They're usually free to join (I just joined the one for MSC since that's my next cruise and it will be my first time cruising with them).

As stated in previous note, no cash is required on ship. Your on-board card will be tied to a credit card prior to sailing. Some ship casinos do deal in cash. So if you plan to use the casino, and you gamble, you'll need cash. Else you can pull from your on-board credit (usually with a fee).

If you pay for excursions pre-cruise, or on the ship, it will be paid using your credit account. If you go on an excursion, you may want "walk around" cash for small items such as drinks, food, or souvenirs. In most shops, credit cards are accepted, so you can get by on plastic only. If you don't want to use cards, set a budget for so much per day in port for "X" Euros pp/day (as it looks like you're in the Euro zone) . Using your budget, convert currency to Euros at the airport prior to heading to the sea port.

We've been on many cruises and not shelled out any cash except tips for moving our bags on/off transportation. The answer to your question really depends on how you like to shop.

Here's a tip. I have never and will never link my bank debit card to pay for onboard charges, let alone anything ashore. Disputing some mystery charge with a debit card can be a hassle. I use a credit card only. Its only happened once cruise related, but it has happened often enough elsewhere to know the difference.

Another few tips, regarding cash and cards:

- Ensure you call your credit card carrier, and advise them what dates you will be traveling, and to where, so they dont flag transactions as fraudulent, and lock your card

- When traveling with cash, always keep it on your person. Most cruiselines provide a stateroom safe. Secure your cash in the safe.

Totally agree. Less hassle.


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