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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    21

    Several countries - several currencies. What tips re prepaid, credit and cash?

    I am doing two back to back cruises,
    1) in the Norwegian Fjords and Northern Cape (Norwegian Krone), then back to England, onto

    2)La Caruna (Spain - Euros) for 1 day, then to Kephalonia (Euro - at least at present),
    3) Dubrovnic and Split (Croatian Cune),
    4) Venice, Corfu and Oporto (Euros)... and
    5) of course the Queen Victoria currency is in US dollars.

    I see that Monarch, Kalixa and a few others are offering Worldwide/Global prepaid cash cards where you can load in GB £ but withdraw without further charge worldwide local currency - and also use in restaurants and to purchase where Mastercard is accepted ... etc.

    Has anyone used one for several currencies and if so what do you think? Is it better than using one's English every day debit or credit card?

    I've used a Monarch Euro Cash card before (good) and a Thomas Cook one (not a good experience when things go wrong - would not recommend).

    I know it is a bad idea to use a debit card on board ship and that Cunard no longer accept prepaid cards - so it will have to be a credit card or cash - dollars. What would more experienced sailors use?

    I've heard that exchange rates on board can be pretty poor... particularly as the £ is now stronger against the dollar and Euro. My only experience of cruising with Cunard was a wake up call about how easy it is to run up extra charges by having too much of a good time ... particularly in the spa - and buying drinks for lots of people!

    Looking forward to meeting my fellow Ships' cats and more senior officers on the Queen Vic 22nd May - 22 June... Not long now. Cheers. Fionna


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    8,019
    My comments would be:

    1. Get a Halifax Clarity Credit card it will give you superb exchange rates:
    A) Use it on the ship for your shipboard account.
    B) Use it ashore for most purchases
    C) Make sure that you tick the slot on the ships card registration that says you want your bank to do any currency transaction, don't let the ship do it.
    D) If you run short of cash use it in an ATM, it will cost more but it will still be a minimal cost, use it minimally though.
    2. The Euro is good value at the moment, buy some. whatever you can reasonably afford but keep to smaller denomination notes.
    3. I think that you can use Euros in most places in Norway but you will get change in N Krone. ( hence small denomination Euro notes.
    4. Don't even think about US Dollars, you're not going there and you won't need them. If you have some odd ones keep them for the odd small tip on the ship.

    5. Have a great cruise but think as you are thinking....ahead. .....Neil


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    21
    Thank you so uh for the incredibly helpful reply. I didn't realise that Norway took Euros ...and I assume they apply a rough exchange rate.

    I take it that the Clarity Credit card IS a credit card not a cash passport... So I shan't have the problem that I had when I went to NY on the QM ....It took a full week to clear the double counting of everything aboard ship on the way over leaving me little to spend in NY...but of course it was all cleared in time to spend on the way back. I assume that is why they won't take cash passports anymore.

    Does the QV have an ATM and do they charge for withdrawing dollars with a dollar card? I still have quite a few dollars on that card!

    Fionna


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    10,681
    Images
    9
    Although your ship account is in Dollars you will not actually need to handle any, the ship is cash less. The rest of the time ATMs are available all over the world no problem. Have a great cruise...

    Photography derived from the Greek photos- for "light" and -graphos for "drawing​

    Thomson Majesty Hellenic Classics May1st 2015



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    4,393
    Images
    13
    Quote QUOTE: View Post
    Although your ship account is in Dollars you will not actually need to handle any, the ship is cash less. The rest of the time ATMs are available all over the world no problem. Have a great cruise...
    Travel with two different Bank Credit Cards and Debit Cards
    That way if one gets stopped you have the other also phone your providers and tell them you are going away and the length. That way your card will not get refused

    Rob
    Next Cruise:> My Blog robbarcruises.wordpress.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3,084
    Quote QUOTE: View Post
    Travel with two different Bank Credit Cards and Debit Cards
    That way if one gets stopped you have the other also phone your providers and tell them you are going away and the length. That way your card will not get refused
    As well as doing that, 2 credit cards each, 2 debit cards each, both from different banks, the other always left on board in the safe,we only ever take ashore one of each debit OR credit card as well as a recently expired debit/credit card which we keep in a different place to the active cards.

    Hopefully any muggers will take the most obvious, expired one first.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,858
    I second the Halifax Clarity card. Definitely the best card for all overseas spending, regardless of currency.

    When we were in the states we used the card for everything and took only a very small amount of dollars ($200 for 2 weeks, and we came back with some!)

    My partner and I were travelling together and had a second card with his name, so even if one of us lost a card, the other still had theirs.

    Have a great time!

    Duncan S

    10/12 - Queen Mary 2 (Autumn Getaway)
    05/13 - Celebrity Eclipse (Norwegian Fjords)
    06/13 - Celebrity Infinity (Iceland & Fjords)
    05/14 - Celebrity Eclipse (Mediterranean)
    11/14 - Splendour of the Seas (Greek Isles)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    4,393
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    Quote QUOTE: View Post
    I second the Halifax Clarity card. Definitely the best card for all overseas spending, regardless of currency.

    When we were in the states we used the card for everything and took only a very small amount of dollars ($200 for 2 weeks, and we came back with some!)

    My partner and I were travelling together and had a second card with his name, so even if one of us lost a card, the other still had theirs.

    Have a great time!
    The key with the second card with a different name is to ensure it is from a different bank or an account not remotely linked to you.

    Many folks have been caught with the second card issued to a family member as it links back to the prime owner

    Just saw your tag line, where are you going on the QM2

    Rob
    Next Cruise:> My Blog robbarcruises.wordpress.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,858
    Quote QUOTE: View Post
    The key with the second card with a different name is to ensure it is from a different bank or an account not remotely linked to you.

    Many folks have been caught with the second card issued to a family member as it links back to the prime owner

    Just saw your tag line, where are you going on the QM2
    I see the point on the second different card due to he possibility of theft etc. I have my RBS debit and credit card as well, although using them abroad would attract eye-watering charges!

    Alex and I are off on the Autumn Getaway on the 9th October. Visits Rotterdam, Brussells and Le Havre. We can't wait, and he celebrates his 25th Birthday while on board.

    Duncan S

    10/12 - Queen Mary 2 (Autumn Getaway)
    05/13 - Celebrity Eclipse (Norwegian Fjords)
    06/13 - Celebrity Infinity (Iceland & Fjords)
    05/14 - Celebrity Eclipse (Mediterranean)
    11/14 - Splendour of the Seas (Greek Isles)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    4,393
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    Quote QUOTE: View Post
    I see the point on the second different card due to he possibility of theft etc. I have my RBS debit and credit card as well, although using them abroad would attract eye-watering charges!

    Alex and I are off on the Autumn Getaway on the 9th October. Visits Rotterdam, Brussells and Le Havre. We can't wait, and he celebrates his 25th Birthday while on board.
    Our system I guess is different as our Debit card does incur asmall overseas charge but not based on value so we just take our a large amount.
    Our CC though has no charge except for the currency exchange amd usage rate.

    Sounds like a wonderful cruise , great ports and it is your first cruise on a quality ship.
    If you let your TA or the line know about Alex's BD , your door will be covered with ballons and normally a cake will be served at your table with singing.

    Rob
    Next Cruise:> My Blog robbarcruises.wordpress.com

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