Currency exchange/ shore excursions

Jan 4th, 2003, 09:44 AM
  #1  
Veronica
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Currency exchange/ shore excursions

Doing the Legend from Auckland to Sydney in February. Where do we get best exchange rate? Local bank or ATM. Shore tours booked through cruise line pretty pricey. Can we extect "guides" be at the dock area hoping for business as on Caribbean cruises?
 
Jan 4th, 2003, 10:39 AM
  #2  
Elaine
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I'm assuming the same principal applies worldwide and on our trip to Italy last year, the ATM was best. But I remember reading an article before we left on the subject and it said to check with your ATM service because some banks were starting to tack on new charges which (the article writer felt) were too high and I remember he named a couple of the bigger US banks. So I called my little home-town bank who said the charge would be just the same as what they charge if I use a local ATM machine that isn't theirs.
So we used it several times over there, the exchange rate was good and the fee, minimal. In fact, the one time we went into a bank, the fee was higher.
You might ask your bank..just so you'll know.
 
Jan 5th, 2003, 12:11 AM
  #3  
Paul Therault
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Hi Veronica,

Best to go to a bank. The ATMs' will just give you chump-change.

The banks will only give you cash with your pasport in hand. Most cruise lines hold your passport and give you a "card." They are useless. Get your passport from the ship before going ashore.

As far as restaurants and stores - use your credit card. Not Discover.

Hang the small exchange rates. Just an additional headache when on vacation. Same with shore tours.

Paul
 
Jan 5th, 2003, 04:03 AM
  #4  
Elaine
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I'm not sure what Paul means by chump-change. We exchanged over $100 each time and if you are using your credit card in stores and restaurants, how much local currency do you need? And it's convenient! ATM's are all over and open 24 hours a day!
 
Jan 5th, 2003, 04:58 AM
  #5  
Theresa
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When traveling in Europe (no experience in Australia), I have been advised by my bank (Wells Fargo) to get the best exchange rate is to use ATMs. Everytime I go abroad I ask them and this is always the answer. And it is easy!

I also use my credit card for most charges at restaurants and stores.
 
Jan 5th, 2003, 11:27 PM
  #6  
Paul Therault
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$100 is not enough for a family if you wish money to say take a harbor cruise, cabs/limos, tips, entrance fees, bribes to buck the lines, priorty parking at busy sites, etc.

Paul
 
Jan 6th, 2003, 02:41 AM
  #7  
Elaine
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Who is saying you must take out just $100 anyway. What's the ATM limit..$250 a day? So, yes, if you are charging all major items and - like me -using cash for things like a cab, a snack or a cup of coffee, museum entrance fees, small souvenirs, etc., then - hopefully - whatever you can get from an ATM will suffice.
However, if - like Paul - you are 'harbor cruising', riding in limos, bribing people to buck the lines and paying for 'priority' parking (in what..your rented vehicle?) ETC..then yes, go to a bank. Better yet, bring one!

 
Jan 6th, 2003, 06:01 AM
  #8  
Peter
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Veronica - ATM's are definitely the way to go - simply because, as one poster put it, they are everywhere.

As far as your passport goes, once again, Paul is giving you misleading information. Most cruise lines DO NOT keep your passport while you're sailing.
I have been on two Med cruises with RCCL and neither time did they keep our passports.
 
Jan 23rd, 2003, 03:43 AM
  #9  
judy
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ATM's it is so easy. Try getting money on a Sunday at a bank.
I have been one 4 oversea cruises and the cruise line does keep your passports. We were told to get duplicates of our passports(photo copies) and use those if we had problems. The duplicates are handy for traveling anyway. I carry my husband's and he carries mine in case our passport is get stolen. I also used mine for id on our carribean trip so I would not have to take my passport when we took a shore trip. I needed photo id for the tenders and I hadn't taken my drivers license.
 
Jan 24th, 2003, 12:26 AM
  #10  
Paul Therault
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You can request your passport from the Purser's desk. They are obligated to give it to you.

Paul
 
Jan 24th, 2003, 03:43 AM
  #11  
Theresa
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You can also call your bank before you leave and have your "daily amount withdrawn from the ATM increased". It is also a good idea to tell them your travel plans so that they can note it on your account.

Have a great trip!
 
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