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Credit Cards & Cruising!

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Hi All

Yes I know I'm going on a cruise - but it has taken us four years to save up for it!

SO I am trying to save money by paying for things the most economical way possible - here's the question:

When you board the Royal Caribbean ship they ask for a credit card (or Debit Card) to set up your on board account. At this stage you can choose whether you want RC to settle your account at the end of the cruise by THEM convering the currency into £'s from Dollars (they say they use a good honest covertion company - but they will charge a 'loading fee') or you can choose to let them request it from your credit card in Dollars and let your own credit card company apply the conversion rate and any loading fee (apparently Nationwide Debit Cards dont carry a loading fee).

Which way is the best?

I assume that RC conversion would not be as favourable as a good credit card - is this assumption right??

If you dont make a choice (maybe because you dont understand what the choice is) RC apply there own conversion.:money:

All help appreciated. x
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  • BenL
    BenL Posts: 3,189 Forumite
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    Correct

    Get them to bill you in dollars and settle up with your Nationwide card.
    I beep for Robins - Beep Beep
    & Choo Choo for trains!!
  • lisyloo
    lisyloo Posts: 29,642 Forumite
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    Definitely get charged in dollars and let your bank do the conversion.
    Your bank rate is almostly certainly better than RC and especially if you are with Nationwide.
  • lisyloo
    lisyloo Posts: 29,642 Forumite
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    Also be careful on what you spend.

    Every health & beauty seminar is about selling you (Elemis?) products or services on board.
    If you go to a makeover show, they will try to sell you a product for $24.99.
    If you go to a fitness seminar it will start by appearing educational and but end up trying to sell you a body composition analysis, elemis products or personal training.

    Doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy yourself and you can always say no, but don't be under any illusion about what it is about.
    Royal Carribean is of course very American, so there will be lots of selling.

    Have a good trip.
  • anna42hmr
    anna42hmr Posts: 2,845 Forumite
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    Hi All

    Yes I know I'm going on a cruise - but it has taken us four years to save up for it!

    SO I am trying to save money by paying for things the most economical way possible - here's the question:

    When you board the Royal Caribbean ship they ask for a credit card (or Debit Card) to set up your on board account. At this stage you can choose whether you want RC to settle your account at the end of the cruise by THEM convering the currency into £'s from Dollars (they say they use a good honest covertion company - but they will charge a 'loading fee') or you can choose to let them request it from your credit card in Dollars and let your own credit card company apply the conversion rate and any loading fee (apparently Nationwide Debit Cards dont carry a loading fee).

    Which way is the best?

    I assume that RC conversion would not be as favourable as a good credit card - is this assumption right??

    If you dont make a choice (maybe because you dont understand what the choice is) RC apply there own conversion.:money:

    All help appreciated. x

    nationwide now charge for using out of europe (1%) it is still better than most cards but if they class it as purchases as opposed to cash withdrawls, then you could also consider abbey zero credit card and the post office credit card neither of which charge fees for foreign use
    MFW#105 - 2015 Overpaid £8095 / 2016 Overpaid £6983.24 / 2017 Overpaid £3583.12 / 2018 Overpaid £2583.12 / 2019 Overpaid £2583.12 / 2020 Overpaid £2583.12/ 2021 overpaid £1506.82 /2022 Overpaid £2975.28 / 2023 Overpaid £2677.30 / 2024 Target: £1800, £750.09 overpaid as at April so YTD = £750.09 Total OP since mortgage started in 2015 = £34,142.27
  • Molly_Mack_1
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    Thanks all for your responses.

    However, the responses have made me think even more!!

    I know that Nationwide only charge a loading fee outside of Europe - now I know that this is probably a really silly question but...........

    The cruise is taking place in europe - but the currency is in Dollars. Does this mean that Nationwide will charge the 1%?

    I think common sense tell me that they will!!

    Another question - would it be better for me to go to a place like Tesco's and exchange say £500 for Euros (to spend off board in the cities that we visit) - or would we get more for our £ if we used our Nationwide card at ATM's abroad?

    :money:
  • carol01
    carol01 Posts: 568 Forumite
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    TrollAlert.jpg
    always smile no matter how broken you are.
  • gingernm
    gingernm Posts: 31 Forumite
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    Just back off a short RC med cruise. We spent @250 dollars onboard, which was billed to our uk account for 170 pounds (pound sign on working on work pc), which isn't too bad.

    You could exchange cash to dollars before you travel and then settle your account in cash. Downside is you could be left with dollars after your cruise. You can however pay part cash/part card, ie win dollars in the casino and pay these off your bill and the remainder with your card.

    Remember to keep a check on your account using the cabin interactive TV

    As your meals and most onboard activities are free, you don't spend an awful lot, casino, alcoholic drinks are the main cash expenditure and the offical photos are a fortune!!

    One tip for on board is, sharing a soft drinks packages, buy one and use for all soft drinks, we get the kids the package each and use their cards too. This is not legit however, one other for soft drinks is the still drinks in the windjammer are free. These were ice tea, lemonade and water on adenture of the seas (was hoping they'd have the cherry)


    Hope this helps and have a great cruise.

    Rob.
  • Molly_Mack_1
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    Thanks Rob

    Very helpful, especially about checking my account on board and the drinks package!!
  • lisyloo
    lisyloo Posts: 29,642 Forumite
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    What you spend is up to you.
    There is no need to spend anything at all.

    But if you want wine, coctails, photos, massages, hair done then it all costs.

    I really don't think these boards should be used for illegal/immoral tips.
    The drinks package is for one person only.
    If you share it then that is stealing.
    This is not what money saving is about.

    Personally I found the "soda" packages to be not worthwhile.
    Jiuce at breakfast is free and tea & cofee is free (apart from fancy lattes etc.) so you'd need to drink several litres a day for it to be woethwhile.

    All I'd say is just be aware of the hard sell and also that the $ exchange rate is not good at the moment, so everything is extra expensive.
    BTW - the internet and phone packages (via satellite) are very expensive and the internet is very slow.
    So don't make phone calls or use the internet if you can help it.
    Text messages are not too bad or just not using the phone/internet at all.
    Thta's weird for someone like me that spends everyday at a computer, but there is really no need.
  • Molly_Mack_1
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    Thanks everyone for your responses - it was initially a Credit card question - which was answered, but I got the added bonus of getting some money saving tips on cruising as well.

    Slightly harsh saying that sharing a drinks package is immoral and illegal!! I would say that it's a bit mischievious and against the rules myself. Doubt very much that the offended would be destined to hell or prison!

    RC are a money making machine (the machine in this case being the ship) - which is what business is all about (rightly so). However, they''re not always 'morale' themselves as they apply their own set of charges i.e. their own conversion rate as standard, and if you are Money Savy you can choose to OPT out, but if you're not then you just trust them and let them 'rip' you off.

    I asked the initial question, as I hoped that the replies would indicate that RC actually do use a fair conversion rate and it would be ok to let them do it for you - as it turns out they dont, and it's better to use the Credit Card.

    Thanks all - over & out.
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