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-   -   foreign currency (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/foreign-currency-979999/)

dotsy Jun 1st, 2013 08:16 AM

foreign currency
 
We are going on a Scandinavia/Russia cruise next month. At this point in our lives, we
do not plan to buy any souviners or meals off ship. If we don't spend any money off ship(besides tips) can we get away without changing any money??

ira Jun 1st, 2013 08:21 AM

How will you pay the tips?

Why are you denying yourselves a few souvenirs? All you need do is borrow $200 from friends and family.

If you get off the ship, you really should have about $50 worth of local currency "just in case".

Enjoy your cruise.

((I))

Robert2533 Jun 1st, 2013 08:31 AM

I take it you're from the States. Very few people will accept US dollars for purchases or tips. It's foreign currency and difficult to exchange. In Scandinavian countries you'll need a few Swedish Krona, Norwegian Krone and Danish Kroner. In Russia you'll need a Ruble, unless you'll be flashing $100 bills around. Then someone might accept but will check to see if it's real or counterfeit first. There are a lot of counterfeit hundred dollar bills floating around.

Why are you going to Scandinavia and Russia and not what to experience their cuisine? You have no idea what you'll be missing out on. It makes no since regardless of your age.

Cowboy1968 Jun 1st, 2013 08:33 AM

Scandinavia is credit card friendly. And tips are not common or expected.
Don't know anything about Russia.

adrienne Jun 1st, 2013 08:36 AM

What if you want to buy a bottle of water, coffee, or an ice cream cone? What if the public rest rooms have a matron and charge a fee? Why would you walk around without money? Do you do that at home?

If you're absolutely certain that you will not need any money than don't change any money but, as Robert pointed out, how will you tip people on the cruise? Will any port excursions use local guides that you will need to tip?

sparkchaser Jun 1st, 2013 08:39 AM

Don't change money, just withdraw a few bucks from an ATM as needed. But use your debit card, not your credit card (unless you like paying fees and extra interest).

StCirq Jun 1st, 2013 08:39 AM

Well, of course if you don't buy anything you don't need money, but are you seriously planning to be in a whole new and exciting part of the world without getting off the ship and experiencing it? It's rather hard to imagine that if you disembark in a couple of places you won't need a bottle of water or a cup of coffee or spot some delicious exotic treat you'll want to buy - and for that of course you'll need local currency. If you don't plan to disembark at all, then one has to wonder why you'd pay money to be imprisoned on a boat.

sparkchaser Jun 1st, 2013 08:49 AM

You'd rather eat on ship than off-ship? That's crazy talk. :p

Cowboy1968 Jun 1st, 2013 09:05 AM

When you tip on a cruise ship, you do in the official on board currency.
Which is, for cruises in the Baltic Sea, typically either US-$ or Euro. And none of the other regional currencies.
Same applies for any excursions which had been organized by the cruise ship.
Whether or not you can get an ice cream cone with a credit card in Stockholm is a different thing - but chances are good that you can (unless you buy it from a food cart maybe).

adrienne Jun 1st, 2013 10:24 AM

I guess you can always find a place that will take credit cards for whatever you need to buy but when I'm thirsty I'll pay cash for a water bottle from a nearby kiosk and also pay less for it.

I'd like to know why someone would not want to have local currency in their pocket. I would not be at all comfortable.

Everyone travels differently so whatever works for you is what you should do.

nytraveler Jun 1st, 2013 10:56 AM

Cannot imagine how you will be able to get off the boat and not spend ANY money. Even if you are determined to stay with the ship tour they will definitely make stops for shopping and snacks. And for the Scand cities I would definitely want to sightsee on my own - including paying for sights and local restaurants.

dotsy Jun 3rd, 2013 07:39 PM

Guess I came off as a crabby tightwad!! Actually we have been to Europe numerous times as well as island trips, cruises, etc. We always bought something for our home such as a piece of art. We also shopped for the 10 grandkids. At this point, after downsizing quite a bit, we don't want anything else and we don't want to spend our time souviner shopping.
Of course we will need tips and money for snacks or drinks, but I was hoping these small purchases could be done with US currency or euros but guess not. Just wanted to avoid the hastle of changing money in several ports. Thanks for your input and suggestions

sparkchaser Jun 3rd, 2013 10:28 PM

>Just wanted to avoid the hastle of changing money in several ports. <

"Changing money". Don't do that. Never do that unless there is no other choice.

There is no hassle. Use an ATM and get out $10-20USD worth of local currency with your DEBIT card.

adrienne Jun 3rd, 2013 10:34 PM

Don't cruise ships have ATM machines?

bilboburgler Jun 4th, 2013 01:25 AM

adrienne, great question, do cruise ships have ATMs?

bilboburgler Jun 4th, 2013 01:25 AM

and in what currencies?

sparkchaser Jun 4th, 2013 01:35 AM

Yeah, what currency is a better question. Then again, a cruise ship ATM probably charges a $5-10 fee. Kinda like in casinos and strip clubs.

bilboburgler Jun 4th, 2013 07:30 AM

"Kinda like in casinos and strip clubs."

I lack your experience.

sparkchaser Jun 4th, 2013 08:08 AM

Isn't that why we are hear, to benefit from other people's experiences? ;)

doug_stallings Jun 4th, 2013 08:25 AM

Almost all cruise ships have ATMs that dispense whatever currency is used onboard. So in this case most likely U.S. dollars. Most Scandinavian countries do not use the euro and don't accept euros. No one accepts U.S. dollars.

What I'd suggest is this: You can take out the equivalent of $20 if you get off the ship out of an ATM (or whatever you budget for yourself per port). Use local currency; buy stuff (if you do change your mind) with credit cards. Easy as pie. If you spend it, then take out $20 more. Try to find an ATM that you can use without incurring a fee, but if you do, then you may lose about the equivalent of $20 to $25 for 4 or 5 ATM withdrawals over the course of your cruise. It's annoying but not the end of the world and isn't likely to bankrupt you.

They have ATMs in Russia as well, and you can take out rubles there. If you have any currency left over, change it at the airport on your way back or keep it as a souvenir that takes up almost no space. You'll do badly on the transaction, but so what? You can't sweat the small stuff here.


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