On board Account: Cash or Credit?

Do you prefer to link your on board account to your credit card or put down cash? Last time we did credit card but that was 10yrs ago & this time we are going just slightly longer so the hold would be $200.00. I really don't want that large of a hold on my credit card for various reasons (we get home less than a week before Cmas & might need it; we don't have a high limit on our card). If I give them cash is there still a hold? Can I add more if I need it? We aren't big spenders but will basically want some money for souvenirs & any treats our kids may want.


Thanks in advance experienced cruisers for your advice!

18 Answers

We've always used a credit card because we don't like to have much cash on hand. Perhaps it's our bank, but there has never been a hold on the card . We always notify the bank and CC company before we cruise, and I check the account we are in the ports and have free wi fi. If you use cash, you can check your balance anytime to see how much is left on it, and yes, you can add more to it by just stopping at Guest Services.

I read on Carnival that there would be a $200.00 hold, although I don't recall this happening our last time. If I thought for sure there wouldn't be a hold then I'd use my CC too. I don't want to carry that much cash either esp since we fly in the day before & would either have to bring it with us or keep it in our hotel room. Thanks!

I believe that if you use a debit card (as opposed to a credit card) there will be a hold put on the card.

Like BonMike, I have never noticed a hold placed on the credit card.

That is correct that there is a $200 hold on Carnival. We always use our CC and just keep an eye on the tab daily. My wife being an accountant is a stickler about that :)

Carnival will let you use cash, but prefer a $200 deposit and will stop an purchases above that. You might consider getting Carnival gift cards at your local grocery store.

I am in Canada, I wish this was an option but it isn't that I am aware of. I've never seen them here.

I am in Canada as well and you can go online to Carnival and purchase them :)

True, we can't buy the gift cards, nor can we get the Carnival MasterCard up here in The Great White North.

Take off eh! :)

Right! Totally forgot. So if we do that instead of cash or credit, do we use those to link to our sign & sail card or just use those on board?


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