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pilgrim - Answered a Question by browne (23 Jun 08 16:07)

First of all I know nothing of the excusions to the Greek Islands but I can help you on the other things you ask. You will not need money on board other than tipping for room service etc. They accept $ You have your card which you give to the waiter/shop assistant whatever and they write down your room number etc and you will be billed at the end of your cruise. As for the tipping you automatically pay $10.50 (I think - it was $10 last time we sailed) per person per day. This tips everyone from your cabin steward down to the guys painting rails etc. You can take these auto tips off or reduce them (just go the the purser's desk) if you do this though and tip say your steward or waiter separately he will have to hand this into the "pool" to be shared among everyone else. Gratuity for drinks is 15% included in your bar bill. Enjoy your cruise!

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browne - replied to pilgrim (23 Jun 08 16:13)

Thank you so much for the advice.will go with pre-paying anything to make life easy just want to enjoy.

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morris - Answered a Question by browne (24 Jun 08 19:19)

You won't actually need cash on board and you will need euros for when you go ashore so just take euros with you and pay your onboard account by credit card. When you fill in the form to authorise the credit card payment there will be a box to tick to say that you want it charged in dollars so that the credit card company will change it to sterling and you will get a better exchange rate...if you have a Nationwide credit card...use it for any transactions abroad as they don't charge commission!! We have just done Greek islands, Turkey and the Black Sea and used Euros everywhere!!

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Bailey - Answered a Question by browne (30 Aug 08 13:29)

Hi Browne,Worthing. Please don't be afraid of cruising it is all so easy and the staff will be there to guide you should you wish. Looking at your itinery I guess you will be sailing on Grand Princess am I right? If so we will be disembarking off the ship just as you will be getting on it. You need to do a bit of homework beforehand as the organised excursions are many and expensive. However you can get some reasonable half day trips and sometimes that is all you need to get a "snapshot" view of a city/town/area you are visiting. Look on the internet and see which of the cities you are going to that actually have the open top Sightseeing Buses, just like they have in London. These are a great way to see a lot in a short space of time. They are cheap about 20,00 euros and you can stay on for the whole journey or you can hop off and then hop back on when you have seen that particular church,museum etc. The choice is yours and you can buy the tickets at any of the stops, licenced street sellers that you will see near the port. This type of sight=seeing is also great for anyone who doesn't want to walk too far. Also, remember you do not have to get off the ship at everyport. If you want to stay on board and have a relaxing day and enjoy many of the free activities on board then do so. Again the choice is yours. You will be bombarded, in a nice way, with information of what to do in the next port of call as every evening you get the ships news letter telling you what will be going on the next day. Tips, well everyone has there own opinion on this and I feel the ships policy of automatically taking $11.00 per person (IN OUR CASE)a little too high. We will therefore get this reduced or cancelled all together at the Pursers office and pay in cash at the end of the trip wo whom we wish. Where else would you pay upfront for a service you have not received? So, we usually take enough dollars in cash to cover these gratuities. You cannot use cash anywhere else on the ship. Everything you purchase on the ship be it drinks, sun lotion, extras in your room will be charged to your "on board" account. You can settle this by cash at the end, but it will be payable in dollars and you will have to leave a sum of $300 up front as a deposit. Otherwise you pay your "on board" account at the end of the trip by credit card and opt for paying in dollars and then your Credit Card company will exchange at their own rate of exchange rather than the ships, as that will inevitably be a rate not in your favour. You will need cash in euros in each port to pay for taxis, gifts etc. The currency for everything on board the ship will be defined in US Dollars, once off the ship it will be Euros. Just as a guideline we sailed last year for 2 weeks in the Med and our on board account, for the two of us,was just under £500 sterling and believe me we had wine at the table, drinks at the bar and we bought watches on board and some Swarovsky jewellery and we were on a "sailing 5 star hotel".I do not think that is extortionate. I live in Spain and would spend much more that that if I went out everynight along the Costa. Have a wonderful trip. from Bailey,Spain .

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