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#1
Murfreesboro, TN USA
936 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
I'm leaving soon (yippee!) for my river cruise on Viking. Will be on Embla. (Budapest - Bucharest sailing, Passage to Eastern Europe)

If anyone has anything they want me to specially note for them while I'm gone, let me know and I'll do my best.
Felicia
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#2
Mid-Atlantic, USA
558 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Hi Felicia --
We'll be on the same cruise in 3 weeks. Can't wait to hear about your experience!

I'll be interested to hear how you make out with all of the different currencies. I admit that's been my main concern and even after reading other's advice (franski was very helpful) I'm a little worried about how that will play out. We plan to get euros at the airport in Frankfurt and then use them for tipping local guides/bus drivers if we don't get currency from an ATM in each country. Let me know how you handle that if you don't mind.

I hope you have an amazing adventure!!
#3
Coastal NC
3,241 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by Sparky333
Hi Felicia --

I'll be interested to hear how you make out with all of the different currencies. I admit that's been my main concern and even after reading other's advice (franski was very helpful) I'm a little worried about how that will play out. We plan to get euros at the airport in Frankfurt and then use them for tipping local guides/bus drivers if we don't get currency from an ATM in each country. Let me know how you handle that if you don't mind.
In June we went from Bucharest to Budapest. I was also concerned about the different currencies. Quite frankly, we spent very little money because we had very little free time after the included tours. What I did was change either $10 or $20 in US currency at an exchange kiosk. I wanted some currency from each country to bring home. That worked fine for me. I knew I wasn't getting the best rate, but it was only a small amount of money. I gave the extra as a tip to either the local guide or the bus driver.

We also tipped the local guides and bus drivers in US dollars.

The only place that I used an ATM was in Budapest, and we were there for three nights.

Don't fret over the different currencies, it will all work out.
Have a wonderful trip.
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Sharon

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#4
Mid-Atlantic, USA
558 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Thanks H2Otstr. I'm not planning on doing a bunch of shopping so I wouldn't even exchange money or go to an ATM knowing I can use euros or US$ to tip.
#5
Murfreesboro, TN USA
936 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by Sparky333
Thanks H2Otstr. I'm not planning on doing a bunch of shopping so I wouldn't even exchange money or go to an ATM knowing I can use euros or US$ to tip.
I, too have wondered how the situation is going to work out when it comes to tipping. I don't think that it will be a problem, but I will let you know!
Felicia
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#6
Texas
586 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Have a great trip! We will also be on the Embla the first week in October. This is our 3rd trip with Viking but our first on the new longships. Enjoy!
Susan


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12.2008 Grand Circle Provence/Saone
12.2006 Grand Circle River Rhapsody/Danube
10.2005 Louis Hellenic Perla/Greece & Turkey
12.2003 M/S World/Egypt
#7
Vancouver Island, Canada
639 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Originally posted by Osnab
I, too have wondered how the situation is going to work out when it comes to tipping. I don't think that it will be a problem, but I will let you know!
Felicia
I get the bank to order some euros in for me before I go an cruise to Europe.

For tipping on Viking you can put it on your credit card at the end of the cruise.
#8
New York
8,254 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
The only non-Euro country on our recent Rhine cruise was Switzerland, but maybe this experience will prove true for you too: Euros were accepted universally there. We never felt the need to get Swiss francs.

Also the tour guides were clear that they and the bus drivers are quite happy with US dollars as tips!
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#9
Murfreesboro, TN USA
936 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Haven't hit other countries yet, but in Hungary, they took forints of course and I noticed some people tipped the guide yesterday and today in dollars. They seemed ok with that.
I noticed some places had the prices in forints and euro. Personally, I'd carry a small amount of forints but mostly euro. And an ATM card
Felicia
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#10
Mid-Atlantic, USA
558 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Thanks Felicia. We'll plan to get forints at an ATM since we'll be in Hungary a few days but I'm hoping in other countries we might be able to tip local guides in dollars so we don't need to visit ATMs everywhere.
#11
Mackay Australia
786 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Now I fully realise that this is going to offend our American posters BUT why do you think it is Ok to tip or buy in your currency in a foreign country. We travelled on the Amsterdam/Budapest trip in 2011 and we saw first hand Europeans refusing to accept U.S. Dollars in any form of transaction. They politely explained that it cost them money for their bank to exchange the currency. It may come as a shock but if I tried to tip a NY cabbie with Australian dollars he'd not only refuse them but probably give me an earful - correctly so.
#12
Texas
586 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Hi Osnab, we will be doing this same trip as you get off, leaving in a few days for Bucharest. Is there anything you think we should know, be it about the ship, Embla or anything on your trip? How's the weather, especially temp wise? I hope you're enjoying the cruise. We're looking forward to it. Thanks for any insight.
Susan
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5.2011 Viking Emerald/China
2.2011 Carnival Triumph/Mexico
9.2009 Uniworld River Ambassador/Rhine
12.2008 Grand Circle Provence/Saone
12.2006 Grand Circle River Rhapsody/Danube
10.2005 Louis Hellenic Perla/Greece & Turkey
12.2003 M/S World/Egypt
#13
Mid-Atlantic, USA
558 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Ozjohnno- I totally get that and I've always thought that too. It's the height of arrogance to think you can go around the world using dollars everywhere. BUT, several people on this itinerary have mentioned guides and bus drivers being happy (I don't know if that's just happiness for any tip vs. no tip at all) to have dollars. So I wanted to get more feedback from Felicia on her trip.

If possible, yeah, we definitely will get local currency - I'm just worried if we're on a tour for one day where there's not an ATM available, etc., having a backup plan will be better than no plan. I did say "so we don't need to visit ATMs everywhere" in my earlier post -- my meaning is more that we'll have an option if we can't.
#14
Tasmania, Australia
659 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by Sparky333
Hi Felicia --
We'll be on the same cruise in 3 weeks. Can't wait to hear about your experience!

I'll be interested to hear how you make out with all of the different currencies. I admit that's been my main concern and even after reading other's advice (franski was very helpful) I'm a little worried about how that will play out. We plan to get euros at the airport in Frankfurt and then use them for tipping local guides/bus drivers if we don't get currency from an ATM in each country. Let me know how you handle that if you don't mind.

I hope you have an amazing adventure!!
August last year we went from Budapest to Amsterdam, we took mainly euros, but did get about $500 in florints as were in Budapest for 3 days prior ot the cruise, plus the cruise had a full day in Budapest too.
I always like to have some of the local currency when we arrive, nothing worse than not having money to pay for a taxi or even a coffee!!

We didnt see any restaurants or tourist attractions etc that took euros in Budapest (but they could have and we just didnt notice), but some souvenir places did have both prices up.

I would not think of trying to tip someone in Australian dollars, actually when we were on the free walking tour In Budapest our young guide did ask that if possible could we all tip in florints, but euros were accepted too, he did say that the fees that are charged on US dollars make it so that they barely get anything in return.
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#16
S.E. MA
970 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by Ozjohnno
Now I fully realise that this is going to offend our American posters BUT why do you think it is Ok to tip or buy in your currency in a foreign country. We travelled on the Amsterdam/Budapest trip in 2011 and we saw first hand Europeans refusing to accept U.S. Dollars in any form of transaction. They politely explained that it cost them money for their bank to exchange the currency. It may come as a shock but if I tried to tip a NY cabbie with Australian dollars he'd not only refuse them but probably give me an earful - correctly so.
I totally agree with this....everything I've read says to tip in local currency.
In the U.S., our guides and bus drivers certainly wouldn't accept euros or any other European currency. I've also been told or read that if we do give U.S. dollars they have to be pristine, not old or wrinkled.
#17
Tulsa OK
7,553 Posts
Joined May 2006
I wouldn't tip in US dollars in Europe unless I had nothing else (ie had Been robbed since I always get local currency). But I don't necessarily think those who talk about tipping in dollars are being rude or arrogant or even ignorant. There are lots of countries where the local people want dollars. For sure, Peru and Ecuador because I have been both those places. And on this board, people frequently mention getting one dollar bills for tips in Vietnam and Cambodia. One of my sons was in Africa and had me send dollars to him to use.
#18
271 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by Ozjohnno
Now I fully realise that this is going to offend our American posters BUT why do you think it is Ok to tip or buy in your currency in a foreign country. We travelled on the Amsterdam/Budapest trip in 2011 and we saw first hand Europeans refusing to accept U.S. Dollars in any form of transaction. They politely explained that it cost them money for their bank to exchange the currency. It may come as a shock but if I tried to tip a NY cabbie with Australian dollars he'd not only refuse them but probably give me an earful - correctly so.
I would agree with this for countries on the Euro, but for Non-Euro countries I have found they prefer dollars (or Euros)
#19
Murfreesboro, TN USA
936 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by Ozjohnno
Now I fully realise that this is going to offend our American posters BUT why do you think it is Ok to tip or buy in your currency in a foreign country. We travelled on the Amsterdam/Budapest trip in 2011 and we saw first hand Europeans refusing to accept U.S. Dollars in any form of transaction. They politely explained that it cost them money for their bank to exchange the currency. It may come as a shock but if I tried to tip a NY cabbie with Australian dollars he'd not only refuse them but probably give me an earful - correctly so.
I don't find that offensive at all (being American) but I also don't ever assume it's ok to tip or buy in USD in a foreign currency. So I can't answer that question. It's also not related to the original question, which is what does anyone need to know before (or now during) the trip?

I have heard from 2 members of the Viking staff that it is OK to tip in USD. We stopped yesterday at a store that would accept either Kuna (Croatian currency) OR USD OR Euro.

I hope that answers the question about what type of currency has been accepted thus far.

Felicia
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#20
Mid-Atlantic, USA
558 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Hi Felicia -
If you see this post can you give me an idea of what time you had to board the ship in Budapest the day you sailed away? Trying to plan our afternoon and not sure how much time we'll have.

Also, if you can give me an idea of how long the Viking tour in Budapest was that would be very helpful. Did it go from 9am - 1pm for example? I think I read that in some post a while ago.

Thanks!
Leslie