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How much cash should we take on our cruise vacation?

A common question we get is "how much cash should we take onboard a Caribbean cruise?"  A disclaimer here, we are NOT big cash carrying people at any time.

Most all ports of call take U.S. Dollars, so I can't recommend that you go to the expense and bother of getting local currency.

We just got done figuring for our upcoming 7N cruise aboard the Carnival Breeze with 3 ports of call.  Here's what we came up with:

  • Porters/Drivers -- we figure $1/bag and round up to $5 denominations.  So, from 2-5 bags would be $5; 6-10 would be $10, etc.  If you're getting transfers from the airport to/from the pier, do the same calculations.
  • My wife likes the Piano Bar.  If the entertainer is good, she'll usually do about $5/night.
  • Your wait staff and room service staff can be anything from $0 - $20 per group.  Yes, they're covered in your gratuities already, but if you think they've been exemplary, an extra gratuity would be appreciated.
  • We're calling on Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.  These are all ports we've been to before, so we know the lay of the land.  Mo Bay and Cozumel are definitely taxi towns;  Grand Cayman not so much.  Most of these are flat rate fees and you can research these ahead of time.  Unless you're being really adventurous, I can't think of anywhere that $20 one way isn't the max.  Plus, lots of times the rate is based on 4 guests.  While standing in line, see if one of your cruise mates want to split a cab if you're going to relatively the same place.

Doing all this figuring, we're going to take about $200 in cash for our 7 night cruise.  We try to take too much vs. not enough, but there's ATM's onboard if we see we're going to run short.

Hope this helps.  What about you?  Tell us your calculations!

 

 

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