Cruising around the world means your money can get complicated, but we’ve put together a short guide that will point you in the right direction when it comes to cruise currencies.
Given that the cruise ship you choose will be visiting a number of different places, it’s advised that taking a small amount of local currency for the port drop off is a good idea. You could always withdraw local currency from ATMs when you arrive, and some cruise ships offer a Bureau de Change and ATMs onboard. Most ships offer a currency conversion programme on major credit cards or, alternatively, your card issuer will convert currency for you. It’s also recommended you bring a couple of credit cards and travellers’ cheques.
What you can rest easy about is the fact that meals, amenities and most onboard activities and entertainment are already included in the price of your cruise, as are your drinks if you purchased one of the drink packages.
Majority of cruise lines use a cashless system onboard which is activated by providing credit card details and then used for all onboard transactions. This means you’re setting up a running tab while on the ship. You’ll receive an itemised statement of charges and pay the balance off at the end of the holiday.
So what currencies do the popular cruise lines work with?
Princess Cruises – All charges onboard the ships are charged to your room and the balance is settled at the end of your holiday. Onboard prices are in US dollars, with the exception of some Australian-based cruises where the onboard currency is in Australian dollars.
Cunard – Transactions onboard the cruise ships are in US dollars, all of which are charged to your onboard account, which will be settled at the end of your holiday. Charges can be converted into UK sterling and doing so will incur a 3% conversion charge. Most major credit cards are also accepted onboard.
P&O Cruises – P&O use the British Pound (GBP £) on board. All purchases will be charged to your onboard account, which will then be settled at the end of the cruise.
Royal Caribbean International – Royal Caribbean operate a ‘cashless’ system onboard their ships through the use of SeaPass card. ATMs are available onboard, dispensing US dollars.
Celebrity Cruises – The cashless Seapass system is also in use. Prices are in US dollars and US currency is accepted onboard. Sterling or personal cheques are not accepted but those paying for their Seapass account in a currency other than US dollars will be charged in the same local currency the card was issued in.
Norwegian Cruise Line – Cash machines are available onboard all ships except for the Pride of America. Prices are in US dollars. Sterling and personal cheques are not accepted. Major credit cards and charge cards are however accepted.
Carnival Cruises – Purchases onboard the ships are charged to your “Sign & Sail” and are charged in US dollars. ATMs dispensing Euros and US dollars are also available onboard. Euros are the preferred currency in most ports of call.
Ambassador – Ambassador use the British Pound (GBP £) on board. All purchases will be charged to your onboard account, which will then be settled at the end of the cruise.
Fred Olsen – Onboard transactions are charged to your cruise account and the balance is settled at the end of the holiday. Most major credit cards are also accepted as well as Visa debit cards.
MSC Cruises – Currency onboard MSC vessels depend on where the cruise ship is sailing. For cruises in the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Northern Europe, Antilles and southbound transatlantic cruises that depart from Europe, all onboard charges are in Euros. For cruises in the Caribbean, South America, South Africa and transatlantic cruises going to Europe, all onboard charges are in US dollars.
Holland America Line – Onboard, transactions are in US dollars only. Your onboard account will be used for most transactions aboard the ship.