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US Dollars interchangeable with Euro in the Canaries?

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Aug 23rd, 2013, 10:01 AM
  #1
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US Dollars interchangeable with Euro in the Canaries?

We'll be taking a Princess cruise in October of 2013 and making three stops for one-day each shore excursions in the Canaries. Are US dollars essentially interchangeable with euros in Las Palmas, Tenerife, and Arecife for taxis and cafes understanding that something is always lost in any such conversion?
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Aug 24th, 2013, 06:52 AM
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The Canaries are a part of Spain which is a part of the European Union. The Euro is the currency, not the dollar. Your ship should have a place to change dollars into Euros.
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Aug 24th, 2013, 10:21 PM
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Bedar, I'm sure your intentions are good but you have not answered my question. In many cities serving cruises it is common for cab drivers and other tourist-oriented businesses to accept US dollars. Fyi, I don't know about other cruise lines but mine, Princess, does not offer money-changing facilities.
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Aug 25th, 2013, 01:05 PM
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BigBlue, it is embarassing as a N. American to see questions like this. There is naive and there is truly ridiculous.

Let me ask you this. Is the Euro essentially interchangeable with the dollar in San Deigo, Miami, New York City? As these are port cities and no doubt get cruise ship visitors, I'm guessing they would be. Allowing of course for something always being lost in the conversion.

THAT is the equivalent of your question. Try giving a taxi driver in San Diego Mexican Pesos or Canadian Dollars or Euros and see how far you get.
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Aug 25th, 2013, 01:08 PM
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I should add, Bedar was trying to be far too nice in telling you gently that you need Euros. Some people need to be hit over the head with a brick to get it.
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Aug 26th, 2013, 07:16 AM
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Improviser, I suggest you withhold your scorn for a more viable target. We have traveled widely in Mexico and throughout the entire Caribbean and have yet to find any cruise port where dollars are not interchangeable with whatever the local currency happens to be. Prices are quoted regularly in dollars both by cab drivers, restaurants, and shops by willing merchants who wish to take advantage of travelers visiting areas for a day and who do not wish to find money changers. When you identify yourself as a N. American you tell me you are a Canadian who doesn't seem to get out much. The depth of your ill-informed attempt at ridicule astounds me.
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Aug 26th, 2013, 07:32 AM
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BigBlue - the prevalence of USD in cruise port cities in the Caribbean tells you absolutely nothing useful about their likely use in countries that are further from the US and possessed of a strong currency. Having said that, if USD are accepted in places using the euro, the Canaries are one of the more likely. I suggest you ask this question either on the Cruise board here, or on cruisecritic.com, where you are more likely to find people who have visited the Canaries.
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Aug 26th, 2013, 08:19 AM
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thursdaysd, the reason I asked the question here is exactly because of your point that whatever takes place in cruise ports in Caribbean tells me absolutely nothing about the Canary Islands. The first responder to this post sounded to me as though he/she was simply quoting to me from a guidebook and the suggestion that I could always get euros on board my ship was simply ill-informed. Good intentions are not offset by erroneous information. The fact that I knew that the euro is the currency in the Canaries should suggest that I had done my basic homework. The second responder sounded to me as though he/she has both never been to the Canaries nor been on a cruise though I could be wrong on both points.

Your point is well-taken about other places to post this query but my 25-years plus of active participation on this board, though clearly not in the Africa and Middle East forums, have generally told me that I can get good answers by going to the specific countries because I am more likely to get responses from people who actually live there. All I'm trying to do is get a sense as to how many euros I need to get.

To Improviser, I can tell you that we have traveled extensively both on land and by sea to a large number of countries on six continents throughout the world. And, during all those travels, when we were in situations similar to those involving cruise ports and airports, I have never yet had anyone refuse a tip in USD. I also have vivid memories of a cab driver in Gdynia, Poland, who quoted his fee for a day's tour in USD as well as another one in Cartagena, Colombia, who also quoted his fee in USD. Oh, and let me see, there was also Buenos Aires where all the cab drivers we used just to get around quoted fees in dollars when we asked if they accepted them. Your nastiness and sarcasm are wasted and gratuitous and your answers suggest that you don't actually know the answer to my perfectly valid question.
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Aug 26th, 2013, 01:12 PM
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Here's what I think is at work here: If you go to a place with a "weaker" or "lesser used" currency -- and all the places you mention qualify there -- businesses that cater to tourists will be prepared to accept a stronger currency in payment, especially from someone who is on a day trip such as a cruise passenger, and especially in the Western Hemisphere.

That's not the case in Spain. You might (emphasize *might*) find someone who will accept dollars as payment, but if they do, it will be at a rate highly unfavorable to you. But Spain has a strong, widely used currency. If it were me, I would plan on dealing exclusively in euros.
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Aug 27th, 2013, 07:35 AM
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Jeff, thanks for your insight. I take your points. We have extensive experience in Europe and would never have asked this question about any locations on the mainland. However, tourist destinations, especially islands which are cruise ports, tend to develop their own practices and I was simply trying to determine those practices extant in the Canaries.

In our three decades of off-shore travel we have learned how to manage currencies other than our own and what I've been trying to determine here is simply what our expectations should be.
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Aug 27th, 2013, 08:45 AM
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BigBlue is an appropriate name indeed. A big blue bag of hot air. You are so far up your own ass it isn't funny.

You're a neophyte when it comes to travel knowledge. You got one thing right. I've never been on a cruise and never will be on one. Here's a news flash Blue, the majority of travellers look down on those who 'cruise'. It's even lower than the 'package tourist' group. Cruise ship passengers are the joke of locals everywhere they go and taken advantage of unmercifully wherever they are found. Their ignorance and naivity are legend.

To tell me that taxi drivers etc. accept dollars from dumb American tourists in many places, just tells me you are a dumb American tourist. But I don't suppose you are capable of looking at it from that perspective.

Nor do I think you want to get into a 'mine is bigger than yours' contest with me Blue. To suggest you have 'travelled extensively' and yet would ask this question ASTOUNDS me. It's a neophyte travellers question. To tell us that you have regularly paid in $ when a local currency was not $ is beyond belief. It may be that as a 'cruiser' who only has 5 hours in a port, you don't want to take the time to exchange money and so don't mind being ripped-off by everyone you encounter. But it doesn't make you a smart or knowledgeable traveller, in fact it indicates the contrary.

I would NEVER pay for something in Mexico in Dollars. I'm not that stupid. As for paying in dollars in Poland, why not just hand over your wallet and let them take what they want.

You're beyond a joke Blue. You're what gives tourists a bad name and teaches locals that they are to be taken advantage of.

You even wrote it yourself although I doubt you realized what you had actually written. "Prices are quoted regularly in dollars both by cab drivers, restaurants, and shops by willing merchants who wish to take advantage of travelers visiting areas for a day and who do not wish to find money changers."

The operative words in YOUR sentence Blue are 'take advantage'.

So here's a tip from an actual traveller Blue, not a 'cruiser', PAY IN THE LOCAL CURRENCY. Paying in dollars is for people who have the word 'SUCKER' tattooed on their forehead.
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Aug 27th, 2013, 09:50 AM
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Improviser, I certainly hope you feel better for getting all that off your chest. You don't know me or anything about my travel habits, experiences, or behavior yet you cast harsh judgment and vituperation. Pathetic.
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Aug 27th, 2013, 01:20 PM
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Enjoy your trip.
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Aug 27th, 2013, 03:31 PM
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Blue, I have to admire your restraint in your response, after receiving the above diatribe. That guy has recently migrated to Fodors from the Thorntree forum, where he managed to post about 3,200 messages in two years, dispensing wisdom to backpackers.

In Australian slang, a “blue” means a fight. So one might say “There was a big blue outside the pub last night, a few punches thrown”. So I have had a quiet chuckle at this thread, and the intemperate language used by some.
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Aug 27th, 2013, 05:40 PM
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Hello Big Blue. I do not know you or your travel habits so the following might or might not apply to you, it's a general statement that is meant without judgement.

It is my observation that Americans who have only traveled in Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean are under the impression that the US $ is a universal currency. The reason for this belief is because within Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean the US $ is widely accepted. But outside of North America/the Caribbean this is not the case and you really need to use local currency.

There is an outside chance you will find someone who will accept our currency but not at a good exchange rate. I suggest that you get euros at an ATM machine as soon as you arrive in port. The ATM will give you a much better exchange rate than a bank or exchange facility. Be sure to call your bank in advance and let them know you will be using the card overseas. If you make a large purchase you should pay with your credit card, and once again notify the credit card company of upcoming overseas use.

Have a great trip.
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Aug 27th, 2013, 09:23 PM
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Peter, thanks very much for your background on Improviser. I'm amazed that Fodor hasn't pulled his post as it goes way over the line in my view.

P_M, thanks for your post as well. The whole thing has me bemused because I thought I had spotted some commonalities between the Canary Islands and islands in the Caribbean which, it is now apparent, do not exist. As to my travel habits, the fact is that I have lived in Germany, worked on assignment in London, rented flats in London and Paris (and cottages elsewhere in Europe) as a traveler, and visited, usually by car, every major country in "Old Europe," most of them multiple times. As a result I have sense enough to know what to expect in terms of currency usage.

All I was seeking was some guidance on some cruise ports which might (or might not) share some characteristics with other places I've been including a number of ports in Asia. Who could possibly have known that there was at least one person out there who seems to have some serious anger issues?

Again, thanks to all for your input and support.

Happy travels,
BigBlue
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Aug 28th, 2013, 08:02 AM
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I think it goes back again to what the currency of the country is. If you've just arrived in, say, St. Lucia, businesses probably won't expect you to have East Caribbean dollars. The Euro zone is different. Plus, not that many Americans go to the Canary Islands. I doubt they see many US dollars at all.

P.S. - I'd ignore any poster who has that much anger going on.
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Aug 28th, 2013, 09:44 AM
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"Plus, not that many Americans go to the Canary Islands."

I think you are right Jeff. I went to Madeira a few years ago which is not in the Canaries but it is a Portugese island about 500 miles from mainland Portugal and slightly north of the Canaries. The people there seemed genuinely impressed to meet an American because so few ever go there.

Big Blue, will you be making a stop in Madeira? It is an absolutely gorgeous place.
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Aug 28th, 2013, 10:00 AM
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Jeff, my initial query had to do simply with a specific set of islands which are, after all, rather remote. My goal whenever using different currencies is to have an exit strategy which always allows me to make that currency run out at the same time I leave that area. In the case of GBP on this trip I'll pay off my last hotel bill from our two plus weeks stay there with whatever GBP I have left. Once we leave there we're on board ship for 26 days until we reach the States. In the case of the euro, our actual last stop in the Eurozone will be in the Azores and our next ports of call will be Bermuda and Fort Lauderdale. Changing euros back to USD at ports involves a hit often a bit larger than desirable. Thus, ways to minimize exchange charges can pay off. My question was scarcely posed out of ignorance or arrogance so I viewed the unwanted, ill-informed, and aggressive personal attack on for for what it was. And, yes, you're right: Ignoring ignorance is the smarter course.

To your point about the folks in the Canaries not seeing many Americans, the ship we'll be on carries over 3,000 passengers of whom typically about two-thirds to three-fourths would typically be from the States and that, on any given day, is a lot of people.

Again, my thanks.
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Aug 28th, 2013, 10:10 AM
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When it comes to GBP and euros I never bother about ending up with zero. That way I have some to start the next trip.
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