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I want to purchase some "Cruise Cash" to apply to my onboard account and use toward onboard purchases. When I went to the gift section to make the purchase, I noticed that the "Cruise Cash" is NON-Refundable which surprised me because on other cruise lines that I have sailed, when you purchase onboard credit and if you have some left at the end of the cruise, it is credited back to the credit card you used to purchase the onboard credit.

So here is my question regarding the unused "cruise cash". 

If I were to purchase $100 in cruise cash and I still have some cash left on my account toward the end of the cruise, can I use my sail pass in the ship's casino to buy chips and then cash in whatever chips I have left for cash in order to use up my "onboard credit"?             

Does Carnival allow you to use your sail pass in the casino so you can extract your cash balance from your account so you don't lose the "non-refundable" cash before the end of the cruise?

Thank you in advance for helping me with this dilema.

Edited by NRichard10
DOUBLE UP

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Yes there is a way to cash out in the casino but why bother with cruise cash when gift cards are refundable without having to take any action? If you have leftover money from a giftcard they will automatically send it to you in the form of another gift card after the cruise.

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I buy cruise cash every cruise with discounted gift cards.  I love that I don't have to pay a visit to guest services to put gift cards on my account, money is already there when I board ship. I love not having to travel with all that cash and or gift cards, and constantly worrying about loosing it or them getting stolen or whatever. We buy more then we need for the ship so we go to casino and cash out a lot of it, to use in ports. At the end of cruise if any is left, we cash out at casino also. This method works very well for us. I HATE standing in a long line at guest services when I could be out having fun. I remember traveling for the first cruise with $2000 in cash on me. I was paranoid all the time for 3 days, till I got onboard ship. 

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You use your sign & sail card in the casino.  If you have money leftover, put it in the slots, spin a few times, and cash out.  I did this once, and ended up winning $300!

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Carnival knows that most people will use all of the OBC, Cruise Cash, and gift cards in most cases. But if you do not then the slot machine works fine unless you decided to check your luck. then Carnival wins again. 

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7 hours ago, crabbdock said:

I buy cruise cash every cruise with discounted gift cards.  I love that I don't have to pay a visit to guest services to put gift cards on my account, money is already there when I board ship. I love not having to travel with all that cash and or gift cards, and constantly worrying about loosing it or them getting stolen or whatever. We buy more then we need for the ship so we go to casino and cash out a lot of it, to use in ports. At the end of cruise if any is left, we cash out at casino also. This method works very well for us. I HATE standing in a long line at guest services when I could be out having fun. I remember traveling for the first cruise with $2000 in cash on me. I was paranoid all the time for 3 days, till I got onboard ship. 

Where are you purchasing the discounted gift cards? Are you cashing them in at the Casino cashier or through table or slots?

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3 hours ago, NRichard10 said:

Where are you purchasing the discounted gift cards? Are you cashing them in at the Casino cashier or through table or slots?

Join allstate rewards and enter codes for points which can be sued to but gift cards at a 10% discount.

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10 hours ago, crabbdock said:

I buy cruise cash every cruise with discounted gift cards.  I love that I don't have to pay a visit to guest services to put gift cards on my account, money is already there when I board ship. I love not having to travel with all that cash and or gift cards, and constantly worrying about loosing it or them getting stolen or whatever. We buy more then we need for the ship so we go to casino and cash out a lot of it, to use in ports. At the end of cruise if any is left, we cash out at casino also. This method works very well for us. I HATE standing in a long line at guest services when I could be out having fun. I remember traveling for the first cruise with $2000 in cash on me. I was paranoid all the time for 3 days, till I got onboard ship. 

Well said crabbdock!  We do the same thing.  Many posters will ask why . . .  but this method works very well for us.  On one cruise I had $500 in gift cards and thought I had lost them and was kicking myself for not just buying the cruise cash ahead of time.  Luckily I found them but it put a temporary damper on my vacation just the same.   I also like to have everything pre-paid to avoid the long lines at guest services.

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We usually budget in such a way that any cruise cash (or cruise cash bar) that we have has been spent by the end of the cruise but it's nice to know that there is a way to cash it out if necessary.

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I prefer gift cards. I buy them from AARP, which gives me a 10% discount. Any leftover funds at the end of the cruise, Carnival puts them on a giftcard and sends it to me, to be used next time.

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1 hour ago, Bookster99 said:

I prefer gift cards. I buy them from AARP, which gives me a 10% discount. Any leftover funds at the end of the cruise, Carnival puts them on a giftcard and sends it to me, to be used next time.

I think AARP discontinued the discounted Carnival cards. 

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36 minutes ago, Kri1970 said:

I think AARP discontinued the discounted Carnival cards. 

For now at least. AARP has removed them from their gift card offerings, until the bugs can be worked out by switching over to their new(Uggghhh) fulfillment company. Hopefully the gift cards will reappear. 

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We buy Cruise Cash too.  End of the cruise, we load the balance into a slot machine in the casino, play a few times then cash it out.  Easy...

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28 minutes ago, Joe817 said:

For now at least. AARP has removed them from their gift card offerings, until the bugs can be worked out by switching over to their new(Uggghhh) fulfillment company. Hopefully the gift cards will reappear. 

Thanks for this update. I just informed AARP to cancel my membership until they work it out.

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14 hours ago, n6uqqq said:

Yes there is a way to cash out in the casino but why bother with cruise cash when gift cards are refundable without having to take any action? If you have leftover money from a giftcard they will automatically send it to you in the form of another gift card after the cruise.

 

I don't personally use cruise cash but did once use a gift card.  Here are a few reasons someone might want to use Cruise Cash:

  • Gift card balances are refundable to another gift card (or cash out with the same casino trick).  Another gift card is only good if you will take another Carnival cruise
  • Gift cards usually require at least a $100 purchase ($90 with discount), while cruise cash starts at $25.  Lower levels can be easier for some with budgeting or make a nice gift while the higher amount might be too much.
  • Since it is purchased on-line, you don't risk forgetting your cruise cash at home.

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I buy Cruise Cash. I've never had a problem using it up. Just know your cruising habits and only buy what you'll need. Internet, laundry, candy store, casino, extra room service, gratuities, etc.

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I too purchase Cruise Cash for most of my cruises.  I too have never had a problem using it all (you can only purchase $500 per cabin).  I just find it more convenient than buying gift cards and then having to go to GS to have them placed on my account.   

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15 hours ago, pacruise804 said:

 

I don't personally use cruise cash but did once use a gift card.  Here are a few reasons someone might want to use Cruise Cash:

  • Gift card balances are refundable to another gift card (or cash out with the same casino trick).  Another gift card is only good if you will take another Carnival cruise
  • Gift cards usually require at least a $100 purchase ($90 with discount), while cruise cash starts at $25.  Lower levels can be easier for some with budgeting or make a nice gift while the higher amount might be too much.
  • Since it is purchased on-line, you don't risk forgetting your cruise cash at home.

 

12 hours ago, sc4125 said:

I too purchase Cruise Cash for most of my cruises.  I too have never had a problem using it all (you can only purchase $500 per cabin).  I just find it more convenient than buying gift cards and then having to go to GS to have them placed on my account.   

Pretty much both of these. I never seem to be able to find the discounted gift cards when I have a cruise planned and it's just easier for us to buy $25-$50 of cruise cash each week in the month or two before the cruise. I get bupkiss for interest so no big loss there.

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To answer the original question.....Yes, you can cash out your onboard account at the casino.

 

To add my two cents about cruise cash.....I’ve purchased cruise cash many times, both for myself and as gifts for my cruising (adult) children. Have never had an issue with it. And as others have mentioned, gift cards must be purchased in $100 increments where cruise cash can be purchased in $25 increments. A lot easier to spend $25 at a time, especially if you’re on a budget (me!). Also when giving a gift, I like the credit to show up on the persons account when they board rather than making them wait at guest services (or the kiosks which never seem to work for gift cards) to add the gift card. It’s a nice surprise for the cruiser to find that credit on their account. And they know where it came from as there’s a note left in their stateroom that says they received the gift and who it’s from.

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2 times now, we've booked with a large online travel agency, and have received $150 in OBC. Much to my surprise, the first time we cruised that OBC was in the form of Cruise Cash, and was waiting for us when we boarded. I assume the same will apply for our next cruise. We also purchased 2x$100 gift cards from AARP the first cruise. Upon embarkation, the very first thing I did was run up to Guest Services and put those 2 g.c.'s on our sail and sign account. When we got our settlement statement, I was surprised that we still had $79.61 remaining on our S&S card. We received a g.c. from Carnival for that amount, in the mail about a week later. That was a 5 day on the Dream. We are now debating how much Cruise Cash vs gift cards for this next sailing, a 7 day on the Freedom next September. I'm thinking $100 cruise cash, plus 1, $100 g.c. Btw, we are not heavy spenders, or heavy drinkers. But we do like peace of mind. 

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Thank you all for your input. You have all helped to make my decision easier.

I was just nervous about not being able to retrieve any left over cruise cash because I have already prepaid my gratuities and it is only a 5-night cruise, so I just wanted to make sure I don't lose any credit that I might have left on my account if I really can't find a way to spend it while onboard.

I have decided to purchase cruise cash vs. gift cards only because that is what I am familiar with on other cruise lines. As long as I can "cash out" in the casino, I am more comfortable with the cruise cash over gift cards.

Thank You All! Can't wait to go. Whoo! Hoo!

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If I wasn't going to use a credit card that I simply paid off post cruise I would just take plain 'ol cash.  Converting cash into a non-refundable brand locked certificate simply isn't a wise choice especially with no incentive.  At least the discount gift cards save you 10%.

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8 hours ago, ray98 said:

If I wasn't going to use a credit card that I simply paid off post cruise I would just take plain 'ol cash.  Converting cash into a non-refundable brand locked certificate simply isn't a wise choice especially with no incentive.  At least the discount gift cards save you 10%.

The incentive varies by person. For me the incentive is pure convenience. I have some money put aside just for the cruise that can't be spent for anything but the cruise and I don't have to visit guest services onboard. (And to be fair the gift cards are also a non-refundable brand locked in card, you can't use them anywhere else and you cant' redeem them for cash.)

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10 hours ago, ray98 said:

If I wasn't going to use a credit card that I simply paid off post cruise I would just take plain 'ol cash.  Converting cash into a non-refundable brand locked certificate simply isn't a wise choice especially with no incentive.  At least the discount gift cards save you 10%.

I agree with Sparks 1093. For me, it has nothing to do with the credit card itself. This particular cruise is only a 5-night cruise and I just like knowing that my cruise is paid for, my gratuities were prepaid with my final payment, and by putting a couple of hundred on my credit card now, paying it off on my next statement, and boarding the ship with a $200 onboard credit applied to my account just gives me the feeling of "free money" to use with my sail pass card. I don't get that guilt feeling for buying drinks, purchasing items in the shops, maybe an excursion, or playing a table game in the casino because it is already paid in full. No sticker shock when they slide that bill under my cabin door on debarkation day. And even if I go over my onboard credit total, it probably won't be for much and that just makes me very happy. If I have extra left on my account on the last night and I know I can cash it out at the casino, I will do that and use it for an Uber ride and nice lunch before boarding my plane. So I guess for me, that is an incentive and a wise choice.  

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7 hours ago, NRichard10 said:

I agree with Sparks 1093. For me, it has nothing to do with the credit card itself. This particular cruise is only a 5-night cruise and I just like knowing that my cruise is paid for, my gratuities were prepaid with my final payment, and by putting a couple of hundred on my credit card now, paying it off on my next statement, and boarding the ship with a $200 onboard credit applied to my account just gives me the feeling of "free money" to use with my sail pass card. I don't get that guilt feeling for buying drinks, purchasing items in the shops, maybe an excursion, or playing a table game in the casino because it is already paid in full. No sticker shock when they slide that bill under my cabin door on debarkation day. And even if I go over my onboard credit total, it probably won't be for much and that just makes me very happy. If I have extra left on my account on the last night and I know I can cash it out at the casino, I will do that and use it for an Uber ride and nice lunch before boarding my plane. So I guess for me, that is an incentive and a wise choice.  

 

So....how is that different than walking on the ship with $200 which you deposit at check-in?  It gives the same $200 'onboard credit'.

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