Best option to settle on board expenses

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#1
UK
1 Posts
Joined Apr 2014
I am going on our first cruise shortly (to Norway from Southampton) and have received the following from Royal Carib.

A
I choose to pay my onboard charges in the currency of my card. I choose to use Royal Caribbean International's currency conversion programme. This currency conversion transaction is based on wholesale exchange rates collected from Bloomberg, plus a 3% international currency conversion fee. My choice to have charges billed in the currency of my card is final. I accept that the exchange rate used will be the rate in effect at the time the amounts are charged to my card.
B
I choose to have my credit card issuer convert my onboard charges to the currency of my card in lieu of participating in the Royal Caribbean International currency conversion programme.

If I opt for my charges to be converted by my credit card issuer, or if my card is not billed in one of the billing currencies listed, my charges will be processed in the onboard currency (USD) and the issuer of my card may charge a service fee for currency conversion.

I am concerned that I will have no control over the exchang erates and thus be ripped off by RC or my credit card company or both! I have read some threads and it would appear that I may be able to settle us with USD cash at the end of the cruise. This would mean I get to chose the exchange rate before the cruise. I also note that my expenses wil not necessarily be that much so the exchange rate differences on $500-$1000 will not be great, but I'd love to hear the views of members so I know for the future or can learn any tips before this cruise.
Thanks in advance for your replies.
#2
Cork, Ireland
1,091 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Originally posted by Quackers1962
I am concerned that I will have no control over the exchange rates
You don't have control over exchange rates, no one does (well, not us mere mortals!).

It is always recommended by most in the know, to have your credit card charged in the currency that you are purchasing in (in this case USD) and let your credit card company do the conversion.
#3
Connecticut
11,076 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Exchange rates are what they are - you have no control there. However, the fees applied can add significantly to your final cost. Letting the line apply their own conversion (and paying their 3% penalty on top of the rate they choose to apply) could hit you with a double whammy. Better to let your card issuer do the exchange (if any) from the ship's currency to your own.
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#4
Malvern, Worcestershire, England
622 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Originally posted by VMax1700
It is always recommended by most in the know, to have your credit card charged in the currency that you are purchasing in (in this case USD) and let your credit card company do the conversion.
Another agreeing with this option. It may also be prudent, sometime during your cruise, to drop by the Purser's desk and confirm that the instruction you have given, either in advance or at check-in, has been registered.
#5
Romsey England
11,075 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by navybankerteacher
......... the fees applied can add significantly to your final cost. Letting the line apply their own conversion (and paying their 3% penalty on top of the rate they choose to apply) could hit you with a double whammy. Better to let your card issuer do the exchange (if any) from the ship's currency to your own.
100% agreed.

Most card suppliers also charge a foreign exchange fee, but will give you a far better exchange rate than any cruise line. Some card suppliers don't even charge a fee - if you're planning to use a card abroad on a reasonably frequent basis check out Halifax Clarity, Capital One, the credit card issued by the Post Office, and (account holders only) Nationwide.
So choose B.
As Sekhmet's post, RCI sometimes (rather too often) foul-up & convert, contrary to instructions - so double-check.

Ships' exchange rates for cash are usually even more horrible, so don't get your krona or whatever on the ship.
Buy before your cruise at the best rate you can find from the usual suspects - M&S, Tesco, Sainsbury, Post Office, on-line agencies etc (we get a better deal on home turf than Americans & Canadians ) or use your debit card in ATMs at the ports (using a credit card attracts interest from the moment you hit the ATM).

JB
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#6
Here I am
3,320 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
How much is the difference between buying US$ at home vs. using credit card that is charged in US $ ?

Keep in mind, on the last full day of the cruise there will be long line of people trying to settle their accounts, why do you need this additional stress?

Credit card charged in US $ may be cheaper than buying $ in advance, and paying again for exchanging the leftover into your currency.

Let RCI charge your card in US $. B. B happy, B healthy
#8
GTA, Ontario, Canada
33,021 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Choose B then follow up with the purser to make sure they just add the amount owing in USD to your credit card

We have had some lines do the conversion from their rates so better to check before the end of the cruise they will do it option B

If you have USD left at the end of the cruise you can go on the last night & pay your account down
#9
Seascale,Cumbria,U.K.
5,449 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by LHT28
Choose B then follow up with the purser to make sure they just add the amount owing in USD to your credit card

We have had some lines do the conversion from their rates so better to check before the end of the cruise they will do it option B

If you have USD left at the end of the cruise you can go on the last night & pay your account down

You've no need to buy any $$ at all, as everything is charged to your account; we're only taking €€ to Norway as most places will accept those, or else we'll use a credit card.
I know of someone who takes a highlighter to run under Option B, hoping that this will stop the line converting by accident....
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