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first time cruise (Carribean): what money do we take?

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Apr 30th, 2013, 11:59 AM
  #1
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first time cruise (Carribean): what money do we take?

Hi
We are on our very first cruise this June - setting off from Barbados. What money do we take given that we are visiting different Islands? I'm guessing its US$.

Also, is there usually enough time to do any walking on the Islands visited. We are visiting St Lucia and would like to do some walking there - is this something the Cruise Ships sort out?

Thanks for any help.
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Apr 30th, 2013, 12:46 PM
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All of the places should accept US currency, no problem. Our rule of thumb when traveling is $100/pp/per day. There will be days we do not use this, and days we use more.

How long are you in St Lucia?

Carnival will have shore excursions you can book through them for activities to do on each port of call. They tend to be 15-30% more than individual tours, however, they are affiliated with the cruise line and if it runs late or something happens, the ship will not leave without you.

I have not sailed to St Lucia, but have sailed to 10 other islands and at every one, there is a large touristy shopping area directly outside of the cruise port.. so even if you don't want to venture beyond that, there is always something to do.

I highly recommend cruise critic dot com and going over to the St Lucia page for more specific things on what to do.
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Apr 30th, 2013, 08:54 PM
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On cruisecritic.com, join the roll call for your particular cruise. You can find other people forming groups to do things. How much time you have depends on your itinerary: when the ship docks and when it departs. On all the islands there are taxis and van drivers anxiously waiting and trying to sell you on letting them take you around. Often they gather a small group together and it is pretty reasonable. We did that on several islands, never booked ahead, and it worked out fine.

You might also pick up a guide book that covers all the ports in the Caribbean and will tell you what there is to do and how to do things on each island.

As I remember, dollars were accepted everywhere. Have cash for taxis, tours, etc.
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May 1st, 2013, 01:07 PM
  #4
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Thank you both for your very helpful advice, I am really pleased I posted the question.
Kindest regards.
stevelyon is offline  
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May 12th, 2013, 09:35 AM
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I would also suggest a roll of quarters and a bundle o $100 bills. Most bus systems take exact change so the quarters would be good and if you get a cab, best to have singles so no problem with the fare/tips.
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May 12th, 2013, 04:39 PM
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A roll of $100's. Hmmm. Somehow I flashed to a scene from the mafia movie "Donnie Brasco" when Lefty (Al Pacino) tell Donnie (Jonny Depp) "What are you doin with a wallet? A wise guy carries his money in a roll with a beaner (c-note) on the outside.
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May 17th, 2013, 03:16 PM
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You can take the $100 bills, but get them changed into smaller denominations on the ship before you get off. Only carry with you what you want for that day and carry it in a safe place, not the obvious pocket. Pickpockets are everywhere. Also, listen to any information given daily on the ship about the ports - St. Lucia can have some issues and I wouldn't wander off the beaten path on my own. Use your head and be street smart wherever you are in this world.
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May 17th, 2013, 04:26 PM
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If you want to take a lovely tour in St. Lucia I highly recommend Spencer Ambrose. I can't say enough good about him. He is a great guy and will give a wonderful tour at a very reasonable price.

Www.spencerambrose.com
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May 23rd, 2013, 05:45 AM
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A Manc in the Caribbean--sounds like a title for a book. The currency on board is in US dollars and you should pay by CC at end of the cruise. Make sure you register your card online pre cruise.

If you look at the ship's excursion offerings, it will tell you what's available at each port of call and you can again, book pre cruise or once on board. The difficulty when on land, is what currency might come out of a local ATM wherever you happen to be. You don't want to be stuck with a load of local money, so try and pay by CC where you can and maybe get some US dollars here in the UK before you go. The rate won't be good, but what the heck.
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May 23rd, 2013, 06:41 AM
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If you pay by CC try to use one with no foreign transaction fee.
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May 25th, 2013, 12:15 PM
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Ha ha... Nearly laughed out loud at the "bring $100 bills" comment! Umm... can only assume that was a typo and writer meant $1.00 bills, which is highly recommended! You'll get stuck with bigger bills and not able to change them into smaller depending on where you are.

As jacketwatch said above.... Gone are the days when you can pay free by credit card! I did this for years overseas til the credit card companies caught on. Then I began getting slammed with crazy foreign transaction fees. Call before so you know what these are, as they really add up. And if you are going to make big purchases.... well, instead of a CC, maybe a few $100 bills wouldn't be the worst thing.
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May 25th, 2013, 02:41 PM
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There are some CC's with no foreign fee but as Megan says call first. Those that do have an annual fee so they get you one way or another. The Chase sapphire card is one of them and recently I got an email from UAL saying that their Explorer card as of June 1 will not have a foreign trans. fee either.
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