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Sorry if this has been beaten to death already.

While doing the standard Baltic cruise (Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Norway) would it be advisable to carry a relatively small amount of local currency for incidentals? I'm particularly concerned about pay toilets. Any info appreciated. Thanks!

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Currency for Finland, Estonia, and Germany Is Euro - bring some Euro.

Denmark, Norway and Sweden are various version of ‘Kroner’ - those countries are almost cashless - or you might be able to pay in Euro. Bring a chip and pin credit card - you can also use ApplePay with your phone at many locations.

I have only used US$ in Skt. Petersburg.

I do not know about Poland - their currency is Zloty.

I’m only bringing Euro (US$) and credit card when traveling in those countries with short stays.

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Very few places in Norway accept cash other than NOK. Apple Pay is still fairly uncommon, since there are local alternatives. Most places accept bank cards and locals rarely use cash at all. Some machines or smaller vendors may require a chip & card, but most staffed shops can also handle foreign signature cards (it may be useful to carry a pen, since signing is not common).

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Very few places in Norway accept cash other than NOK. Apple Pay is still fairly uncommon, since there are local alternatives. Most places accept bank cards and locals rarely use cash at all. Some machines or smaller vendors may require a chip & card, but most staffed shops can also handle foreign signature cards (it may be useful to carry a pen, since signing is not common).
Apple Pay is fairly uncommon in Norway?
Last June I used Samsung Pay everywhere in Norway. In two weeks I only encountered one vendor whose card reader didn't work with it, so I used a credit card (chip+pin), but since it was from a US bank, I had to sign the receipt.

While we didn't need cash for any purchases, we did withdraw some NOK from an ATM (debit card) for tipping tour guides.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

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On our last cruise (visiting all those countries and more), the only currency we travelled with was EUR for tips (or US$ in Russia). We used the toilets at cafes and museums and never encountered a pay toilet. Even the person selling ice cream bars from a bicycle cart in Copenhagen took credit cards.

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6 hours ago, duquephart said:

I'm particularly concerned about pay toilets.

Toilets are free in museums and restaurants (provided you are actually eating in said restaurant). We have encountered pay toilets in most of the countries you will be visiting as we tend to DIY. If the toilets are coin operated, you will need local currency - if there is an attendant, euros are usually accepted in Poland. I don't know if euros would be accepted by toilet attendants in Sweden or Denmark.

In a pinch, pop into a restaurant, purchase a coffee/tea & use their toilet.

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51 minutes ago, dogs4fun said:

Toilets are free in museums and restaurants (provided you are actually eating in said restaurant). We have encountered pay toilets in most of the countries you will be visiting as we tend to DIY. If the toilets are coin operated, you will need local currency - if there is an attendant, euros are usually accepted in Poland. I don't know if euros would be accepted by toilet attendants in Sweden or Denmark.

In a pinch, pop into a restaurant, purchase a coffee/tea & use their toilet.

 

In Germany most coffee shops etc. will let non customers use their toilets for a small fee - usually 50c. Just ask at the counter.   Another tip, use the free toilet on the train -  very clean and well maintained, in this region at least.

Anni

www.travelanni.webs.com

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4 hours ago, just_dont said:

Apple Pay is fairly uncommon in Norway?
Last June I used Samsung Pay everywhere in Norway. In two weeks I only encountered one vendor whose card reader didn't work with it, so I used a credit card (chip+pin), but since it was from a US bank, I had to sign the receipt.

It's uncommon in that almost no one uses it. In fact, the only time I've seen someone try was a tourist at a local brewpub (and the bartender was very confused when asked if they accepted it).

 

More and more places are accepting tap payments, but locals mostly just uses tap-enabled bank cards. In terms of payment apps, there's one that was created years ago by a local bank that has become the de facto standard.

 

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26 minutes ago, kaisatsu said:

and the bartender was very confused when asked if they accepted it).

Apple Pay can be used in all the physical stores that receive wireless card payments.

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2 hours ago, hallasm said:

Apple Pay can be used in all the physical stores that receive wireless card payments.

Several places in Norway (including that particular bar) do not have contactless payment devices. The bartender was confused, because the customer asked specifically about using "Apple Pay" (which is not widely used locally) rather than asking about "contactless" or "tap" payments in general.

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Several places in Norway (including that particular bar) do not have contactless payment devices. The bartender was confused, because the customer asked specifically about using "Apple Pay" (which is not widely used locally) rather than asking about "contactless" or "tap" payments in general.
I'd imagine almost every vendor that accepts 'contactless' or tap-and-pay will be able to accept Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay. The one vendor I encountered where it didn't work did have a contactless card reader that looked the same as all the others, but she said she didn't think paying by phone would work. She was right. She said others had also tried unsuccessfully. Perhaps her system was through a different bank, or maybe it just needed a software update.
Several times when I went to tap my phone to the card reader, the vendor wasn't sure what I was doing, but when it got the green light, they were surprised that it worked. One girl in Oslo was amazed and said she'd never seen anybody pay by phone like that.
Sometimes I had to ask to pay "contactless", and they would pull out (or sometimes just point out) the card reader.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

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Apple Pay seems to be a mostly American vernacular.  Contactless or tap is more universally known.  

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5 minutes ago, Sirius 10 said:

Easier just to use one of the many ATMs for a few Roubles.

I had wondered why that hadn't been mentioned. I can't remember ever actually changing currency.

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Posted (edited)

We are doing Norwegian Fjords (4 Norway ports) and Scandinavia (Norway, Denmark, Sweden) cruises.

 

Last time, I did these cruises, I exchanged a small amount $ into the different currencies.  Being so expensive we did not use any of the currencies and lost money on the exchange.

 

I plan to use credit card for any purchases since most countries use credit cards now.

 

We will be using the cruise lines excursions, which normally do not go near any ATM.

 

Is it better to use US$ or Euro for tips for these ports?

Edited by phabric

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48 minutes ago, phabric said:

We are doing Norwegian Fjords (4 Norway ports) and Scandinavia (Norway, Denmark, Sweden) cruises.

 

Last time, I did these cruises, I exchanged a small amount $ into the different currencies.  Being so expensive we did not use any of the currencies and lost money on the exchange.

 

I plan to use credit card for any purchases since most countries use credit cards now.

 

We will be using the cruise lines excursions, which normally do not go near any ATM.

 

Is it better to use US$ or Euro for tips for these ports?

 

As put forth in my original post, I wonder about incidentals and pay toilets.

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2 hours ago, phabric said:

We are doing Norwegian Fjords (4 Norway ports) and Scandinavia (Norway, Denmark, Sweden) cruises.

 

Off-topic but when are you going? I'm not sure about Sweden and Denmark but Norway's borders are closed.

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1 hour ago, clo said:

Off-topic but when are you going? I'm not sure about Sweden and Denmark but Norway's borders are closed.

Not going until August 2021.

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