When setting up the S&S why do so many people say credit is better? What are the draw back of using cash? I only have one card with a small limit. Id like to leave it with the sitter incase of emergancy.
The only reason it's better is because of the convience. When you do a cash deposit you have to go to the pursers office after you present your documents to pay your deposit. Then if you exceed that limit, they call you to bring more money. It's just faster to give them a card. In your situation, it looks like you have two choices. Either take the card, and leave the babysitter cash, or give her the card and you take the cash. Either way works.
I agree with you melody that with a small credit on your card, you don't want to tie it up. I have the same problem, so I have been buying 1 $25 gift certificate every month and when I get on the ship, I will leave that as part of my credit (it will only be about $200, but I will prepay my excursions too and hopefully I wont feel the impact). I will still end up leaving cash (I'll need my credit card to get me to the ship after I miss it.... at least that's what my nightmare is!) but it wont hurt me as much. I have heard that it can be a bit of a problem getting the cash back afterwards because you get it in a cheque and you have to wait in line to settle your account. I hope it all works out for you!
Use what you have. I used cash back in 2003 for the Carnival Conquest. I had no problems. Just a piece of advice and I tell this to everyone when cruising. If you have special request or business to attend to, do it IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOU BOARD!!! Once its over you are free to do whatever you want. On the last day just go down early before the crowd forms and get all of your money back in whatever form it comes. I got mine in cash, just as I gave it on the first day. Give the card to your babysitter. At least you will know (with cash) how much you can/can't spend. Take care and enjoy your cruise.
I agree with Meufasa. Do it immediately after you board. We used cash and were the first ones in line at the Purser's desk. Later on there was an incedibly long line. Oh, and just so you know they take the total tips for the week off immediately. Not that it matters, but just so you don't wonder where a chunk of your money went to when you check your balance.
Melody we too have done both, instead of cash we got large $ travelers checks at the bank, it worked great at the end of the cruise they gave us a check back for the rest we didn't use, and then they will cash the check for you. Do whatever makes your trip the easiest.