Best way to pay.

We are going on a southern Caribbean cruise in about 4 weeks. Is it best to pay for things we buy in port with cash or with traveler's checks? I've heard it's not a good idea to use credit/debit cards. Please advise.


Forum Manager
Staff member
I'm not to keen on using my debit card away from my home territory but the credit card is another thing.

I would recommend using it rather than carrying a lot of cash. YOu have a record of your purchases and actually some leverage should a transaction go awry. If a merchant is hooked up to a major card he usually is legit.
That being said one must kept track of the card and who has possession probably a little more that back home.

Also we always travel with a backup 2nd card just in case something goes wrong.


Forum Manager
Staff member
Travelers cheques are a thing of the past compared to cards these days. Even I haven't used them in years.

Bought time you got out of the house again :)

You can still cash them at the "Bank" or whatever they use for a bank now on most ships . Check for sure with your cruise line or TA.

Lots of merchants these days are actually not taking them or would rather not.


Active Member
I leave my debit card at home and use a credit card for larger store purchases. You'll also need a fair bit of cash for taxis, markets, food stall purchases, etc.

Before you go call your credit card company and tell them about your travel plans. If you don't do this you may well end up having problems using the card. A toll free number for doing this is typically printed on the back of the card.

I do carry some traveler's checks. But these days one generally has to cash them at the purser's (front) desk or a local bank. Many merchants don't take them.

Krazy Kruizers

Holland America Specialist
We still carry traveler's checks and we do not wish to carry large sums of money.

We do cash them either at the front desk in a hotel, front desk on a ship or with our concierge on the ship.

This way we can take small change off the ship for small purchases. We use one of our credit cards that we have requested to have just a small limit on it -- just in case something would happen to the card.
We will use our credit card in the hotel or ship. but never on shore .I don`t want them to get my credit number. If I can,t pay cash I will wait to by it on board or buy it at home.
I know I would be able to cancel any purchases that I think would be wrong.I don,t need that kind of problems
Thanks to all of you for your input. I don't want to use credit/debit cards in port, so I'll probably get traveler's checks and cash them on the ship, as we need them. It may be archaeic, but it's safe!


Well-Known Member
We take travelers checks and cash them at the pursers desk the night before we get to a port. I also take a lot of $1 bills for tips - on and off the ship.

Also, we do take a credit card with us on the islands. As we are not big spenders, we've very seldom used it. BUT...before leaving home I contact my Credit Card companies...and inform them of our entire itinerary, including dates, and what we expect our purchases to be while we are traveling. This way, if we are supposed to be in St. John...we are not making purchases in California. LOL
i think travelers checks are a waste of time. The purser will give you cash and put that amount in your ship card thats how carnival has always done it. Then once on the island ATM's are all over. I wouldnt bring a wad of cash with you, but to bring 500 bucks isnt that crazy and should get you through a couple of islands