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Debit Card Question


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We are taking our family on a reunion cruise in July. We have cruise and airfare covered for everyone, but on-board expenses are up to each family. One DD (single mother with two kids) has only a debit card, no credit cards. Two questions:


1. How much of a hold will Carnival place on her debit card for a 5 day cruise?


2. How long does it take to get that hold released after the cruise?


Thank you for your responses. I tried searching, but didn't find any specific answers.

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I don't know specifically how much of a hold they put on the card but I can tell you that I've never used a credit card, only a debit card and have never had a problem. As long as she has plenty in her account to cover all her costs, she should be fine. Another option is to call carnival and put money on her sail and sign account before the cruise and then just have the debit card as a back up if she goes over that amount. Then she wouldn't have to worry about a hold on her account.

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When I last sailed with Carnival they did not put any holds on my debit card and just charged the amount as a whole when the cruise was finished. (In fact they didn't actually run the charge to my card until about 3 days after I got home) - which I thought was strange. (My bank shows all pending holds and it was three days after the cruise ended before they ran my card the first time). Now with Princess I used my debit card and they would attempt a pre auth on the card after a couple days on the cruise equal to the amount spent on the account at that time. Do not use a Visa card that is a gift card - they would not accept one from someone we happened to have dinner with because there are no customer names on them. She could call ahead of time and go ahead an put a credit on her account and charge it to her debit card so that she already has a credit on the account when she boards.

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We just set ours up for cash. Put a couple hundred on to cover any expenses and tips and then we don't have to worry about a hold. Be sure she notifies her bank that she will out of the country if she uses her card. If not they will freeze her account because it will red flag it with out of country charges.

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I went in November with a debit card and they do place a hold on the card. I checked my balance online on day 2 just to see if it actually happened. It's based on the lenght of the cruise and how many people.


From carnival web site:

Important Note: A hold will be placed on the credit card or checking account debit card at the beginning of the cruise as a deposit for an onboard purchases. This will reduce the amount of available credit on the credit card or restrict the availability of cash in the checking account. The hold will be released and actual charges will be billed at the end of the cruise.


The following dollar amounts, per guest, are used as a deposit when the Sail & Sign Account is opened:

2-4 day cruises: $100 deposit pp

5-8 day cruises: $200 deposit pp

9 + day cruises: $350 deposit pp

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We just set ours up for cash.
Yes..nothing focuses the mind like setting up your onboard account as a Ca$h account.

Most ppl don't even realize it's a possibility!

When you set up for Cash

suddenly every cent counts, and you end up with a sane bill.


Did this on my last cruise and got away without having to sacrifice a limb

like some ppl have to! :)

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