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We will be going to several french islands in the Caribbean and have heard it is difficult to find an ATM. Does anyone know if Seabourn exchanges from us to euros and what the exchange rate is?

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I believe you can do an exchange at Seabourn Square, but the rate would not be advantageous.  I recommend that you do some internet research on the islands you will be visiting regarding the availability of ATMs.  You might be surprised.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, islandchick said:

We will be going to several french islands in the Caribbean and have heard it is difficult to find an ATM. Does anyone know if Seabourn exchanges from us to euros and what the exchange rate is?

Take bunches of dollars and your favorite credit card. Both are very welcome everywhere in the Caribbean.  I’ve done hundreds of cruise days all over the Caribbean and doing 21 days over Christmas this year. 
 

Trust me-no one will ever turn down your USD or cc. 

Edited by raphael360
Sic

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We were able to change dollars to Euros aboard a SB ship, but were not able to change to other currencies on another ship.   I have learned that most Scandinavian countries prefer all transactions to be done with credit cards.  

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Thanks for all the info, I have never had an issue with USD either but I have seen people mention on these boards that some french islands won't take them. Hopefully we wont have any issues. 

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Hi islandchick,

I'm assuming you're talking specifically about the French West Indies that SB sails to.  If so, I've been to each of these islands 8 times over the last 4 years.  These islands are heavily dependent on tourism and, as such, locals make it as easy as possible to separate you from your money ( be it Euros, US dollars, bitcoins etc.).  I have never been denied a service or a product because I was void of Euros.  

 

I do, however, always travel with local currency when going countries such as  Europe, Great Britain and Canada mostly for the occasional taxi ride or taking a beer in a local hole in the wall pub.

 

If you would feel more comfortable having a stash of Euros for the "just in case", My suggestion is to buy some Euros (maybe €100.00 worth) at your favorite bank before you.  I use Wells Fargo where most of their branches actually keep Euros in stock.

 

I own a company that purchased medical equipment from a dutch company for over 20 years and, as such, I've purchased millions of Euros over the years.  Here's how it works.  There is "the actual exchange rate" which is called Spot.  Then there is the difference between the Euro "buy price" and the Euro "sell price" which is called the Spread. And then there is the Commission.  Today, Spot price is: €100 EUR = $110.43 USD (Bloomberg).  Today Wells Fargo  is selling Euros at: €100 EUR for $115.94 USD (including commission).  In plain terms, it cost approx. 5% to buy a Euro and another 5% to sell it back when you get home (making the spread between 9 - 10%).  The buy price, sell price and commission rates are not fixed.  I use Wells Fargo because it's spread rate and commissions are consistent and fair.  Commissions at airports such as Miami are 10% PLUS the spread rate.

 

I know SB sells Euros onboard during their European cruises but I would doubt they offer Euros onboard their Caribbean cruises.  I'm pretty sure Wells Fargo's rates, including commission, would be better than SB's.

 

My advise is: if you would feel more comfortable having some Euro scratch in your pocket, buy it before you go at your local bank.  Keep it when you get home for future trips.  Become a Jason Bourn. Have a stash of international currencies (Euros, CAD aka loonies, ASD, Pounds, Kroners, and maybe some Cuban CUCs).  One never knows which country  they will be assignment to next ;)  This post will self destruct in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 seconds.

Edited by raphael360
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Thanks for the tip on Wells Fargo. I wasn't sure which banks would have Euro's on hand. 

 

I usually have a little money left from the foreign countries I visit however never enough to do much. The only money I have enough of is Tahitian so I guess I will have to go back there to make use of it :classic_biggrin:

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it is really not the best to pay that spread.  Using an ATM gets you the best exchange rate without the spread and if you are careful in buying your Euros at ATM;s you won't have any left at the end of your stay and if you have a few just keep them until next trip.  

 

  • Also find that in most places you can do without converting money or using ATM's just put everything on your credit card which also gets the  best rate without the spread and nothing left over.  Have to be sure you use credit cards without a foreign transaction fee and there are plenty of those around.
  • And, when the merchant asks or the terminal asks, ALWAYS PAY IN LOCAL CURRENCY.    DO NOT PAY IN US DOLLARS.  THEY WILL SCREW YOU PLAIN AND SIMPLE ON THE EXCHANGE RATE.  YOUR CARD WILL GIVE YOU THE BEST RATE WITHOUT A CHARGE.

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Yes, using a credit card is the way to go and what I normally do, however some places dont take credit cards such as market stalls or beach lounger rentals. Also,  on some of the islands finding an ATM is difficult according to some threads I have read. 

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Hi Islandchick, 

I love you spirit.  Knowing you're a planner, just bag some Euros for any local major bank before you leave.  If they don't have Euros at the branch, they will deliver them in within 1-2 day FOC.  

 

Paying a $5 fee to have €100 euros in ready reserve  when you find  your  "one of a kind Basse-Terre refrigerator magnet" on your $10,000 SB cruise - priceless.

 

As a side note: I've personally found International ATM's to be problematic, at best, on my 100 plus business trips to Europe and South America.  Experienced travelers swear by them but I never found one that would work with my bank when  in Holland (back in the 1980's).  I totally stopped trying to use foreign ATMs when a bank ATM "ate" my ATM/credit card in Sao Paulo Brazil. Sunday, bank closed, no extra credit card - priceless.  And then there are those pesky ATM fees.  My Wells Fargo ATM card has no ATM fees" unless" I use it in an MGM Casino ($7.99) or Ballys Casino ($9.99) or a 7-11 in Vegas ($3.00).  You get my point.

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Wow Raphael360, you certainly have had your share of ATM issues. I have never heard of a ATM eating a credit card:classic_ohmy:

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2 hours ago, islandchick said:

Wow Raphael360, you certainly have had your share of ATM issues. I have never heard of a ATM eating a credit card:classic_ohmy:

And what about the ATM eating your money? That happened to us at Nice Airport. You have to grab it quick!

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13 minutes ago, Heather White said:

And what about the ATM eating your money? That happened to us at Nice Airport. You have to grab it quick!

That didn't sound very nice??😎😁

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On 10/12/2019 at 2:33 PM, islandchick said:

Wow Raphael360, you certainly have had your share of ATM issues. I have never heard of a ATM eating a credit card:classic_ohmy:

Islandchick,

My ATM woes were from back between 1980-90.  I was flat broke but had to travel to Europe and Brazil for work.  I almost always had to get on a plane with less than $100 in my wallet so you can imagine the terror I went through when the ATMs wouldn't work for me in a foreign country.  I totally gave up on the ATM concept and haven't used one in 20 years.

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Remember American Express, "American Express will not charge any foreign transaction fee on the purchases you make outside of the United States with your Card. However, there may be circumstances where ATMs or merchants charge a fee on foreign transactions."

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Never had a problem using ATMs to obtain foreign currency.   We always go to one in a bank lobby that is part of our network.   We also use credit cards whenever possible.

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So Islandchick,

Now you have all the good poop... on euros

1. Bag some before you leave or

2. Find a bank in your bank's network, go to their "in lobby ATM" and ATM away or

3.  Buy your rum runners using your "no foreign transaction fee" credit card like the AMEX Videopark uses.  Capital One, Citi, Chase and Wells Fargo all offer no foreign transaction fee credit cards also.

     On a $10K cruise, every penny helps.

 

As a world traveler you know to call your credit card providers and give them your "out of the country" itinerary. Be sure to have a back up credit card also.

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Funny, my credit card company (Chase), sent me a message stating that no notification was required.   Guess they already knew I was traveling because of the charges to my credit card for the cruise, hotels and plane tickets.

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On 10/14/2019 at 8:00 PM, Covepointcruiser said:

Never had a problem using ATMs to obtain foreign currency.   We always go to one in a bank lobby that is part of our network.   We also use credit cards whenever possible.

If not a bank lobby available, I think arrivals in airports are next best bet for not having skimmers attached.  Agree or not?

 

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12 hours ago, Covepointcruiser said:

Funny, my credit card company (Chase), sent me a message stating that no notification was required.   Guess they already knew I was traveling because of the charges to my credit card for the cruise, hotels and plane tickets.

I'd love to know how Chase messaged you (text, email, phone call).  I'm asking because as a Chase Private Client with 2 Sapphire cards they don't even send me a 'happy birthday' message.  Now I'm feeling neglected by Chase.

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2 hours ago, raphael360 said:

I'd love to know how Chase messaged you (text, email, phone call).  I'm asking because as a Chase Private Client with 2 Sapphire cards they don't even send me a 'happy birthday' message.  Now I'm feeling neglected by Chase.

I'm a Chase Private Client too.  Not only do I get a birthday card, I also get a present like a pen, wallet or an embossed note pad.

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