Posted August 21st, 2013, 06:35 PM
I'm going to play Devil's Advocate just a bit here. My father-in-law is 72 and has never used credit in his life. Inherited his family property, always pays cash his whole life. Never even used a debit card and at this point in his life why start. It isn't that he has poor credit, he has NO credit, nor does he have an interest in getting it. Of course, I virtually live off my Amex so he doesn't need it to travel with us.
There's also the person who had to walk away from an upside down house, or made bad decisions at 18 that are still haunting them at 25 even though they learned their lessons and are now responsible.
Anyway, I agree with the OP that everyone should have a credit card, but not everyone (my aunt, on the flip side to my father in law) can be trusted with the responsibility!
You are exactly right. While I expect it is the exception rather than the norm, particularly on mid-priced, more upscale cruise lines, sometimes past credit catastrophes (however caused) can affect credit ratings for many, many years - long after the person has corrected whatever the initial issue was. The causes can be everything from the foolishness of youth, to job loss, to medical crises, to name a few, all of which can often be overcome after a few years time. But it takes upwards of 7 years I believe to clear credit ratings. In the interim, people can really be stuck even if their current financial situation is very stable.
All that said, I strongly agree with having at minimum one credit card with you (two are better). I know it is not always possible, but where it is, then it is highly, highly recommended particularly when not traveling with other close family or friends who could help you if needed.