Posted March 25th, 2007, 08:14 PM
I'll try to answer both questions.
You charge EVERYTHING on the ship on your Seapass card --- that's drinks, soda cards, purchases in shops on the ship, bingo cards, etc.
You can also charge your tips to your Seapass card. You will receive a questionnaire in your stateroom early on in the cruise, asking if you want to charge your tips. If so, you will receive a voucher for the recommended tip amount for each server, along with an envelope. If you want to add extra cash to the envelope, you can, and then you hand the envelope to your server or room steward at the end of the cruise. If you don't give them the envelope and you are giving them just the recommended/voucher amount, they will still get the tip. This is the method of pre-paying tips.
How much money will you spend? That's entirely subjective. Some people spend thousands and thousands of dollars. You can get away with spending nothing (but your tips). Some of the places you will spend extra money are:
- Soda Card (about $5 a day plus tip)
- Bingo Cards (about $35 for a pack)
- Photos ($9.95 and up). Just a note: you don't have to purchase the photos that are taken ... they take the picture, then you review them and only buy the ones you want
- Drinks (this is what can really get people!) $4.95 for liquor drinks (and up to $8.95); wine is a bit expensive, beer is about $4 a bottle
- Surcharge restaurants (Johnny Rockets, Chops, Portofinos)
- Shopping in the on-ship stores (fragrance and makeup, logo clothing store, jewellery store, souvenir shops, duty free liquor and cigarettes)
- On board Art Auctions (not my cup of tea, but some people swear by them!)
- Extra charge fitness classes like spinning and pilates (most classes are free, and the equipment is free) - $10
- Onshore excursions
- Spa services (can be very pricey)
We are moderate drinkers who buy some photos, eat in the specialty restaurants at least once, and I normally buy some stuff in the shops. We spend about $100 a day on the ship (including tips). We don't spend much onshore, and normally pay for our excursions in advance. I usually carry about $150 in small bills to use for extra tips (and room service tips), taxis and other small purchases ashore. There are ATMs almost everywhere now ... and virtually everyone accepts Visa/MC/Amex.
Hope this helps ... but you'll really have to do some figuring yourself.
“Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.” Elizabeth Taylor
21 cruises (and counting!) on Royal Caribbean & Celebrity