While one of the many benefits of going on a cruise is the fact that just about everything is provided for you, you still definitely want to bring some cash along on your trip. But, how much cash should you bring? You definitely don’t want to be carrying around so much cash that you are worried about losing it, but you also don’t want to bring too little and end up running out.

Will I Need Cash Onboard the Ship?

One of the reasons that you won’t have to bring as much cash with you as you might think is because cruise ships operate largely on a cashless system now. You can order food, drinks, dine out, and enjoy yourself and simply have the expenses billed to your account. At the end of your cruise you will be given an itemized bill, so try to remember that everything you are just signing for will have to be paid for at the end of your trip. You should also take the time to look over your bill carefully to ensure that you haven’t been overcharged. While most cruise lines are very fair and honest, mistakes to happen, so if you spot one make sure that you file a dispute.

One thing you will need cash for onboard a cruise ship is for tipping. While you can charge expenses to your account, it’s simply not feasible to try to charge every little tip you want to leave to your account. So, having some cash on hand to tip someone for helping you with your bags, or for any other reason is always helpful.

So, what should your budget be for tipping when you are on the ship? As a general rule of thumb, you should probably bring $15 to $20 per person per day on the ship. While you can add many gratuities to your account, you may wish to have some cash on hand in the event that someone deserves an extra reward for providing outstanding service to you.

Should You Carry Cash When You Are Spending Time Off of The Ship?

While you can charge most expenses to your account when you are on board your cruise ship, this won’t work for you when you are spending time off the ship. You can’t go to a restaurant when your ship is at the port and ask them to charge your meal to your account. Now, you can use a credit card in many places when you are traveling, but you should refrain from doing so whenever possible. You may not be aware of it, but many credit card companies charge foreign transaction fees, which means you could end up spending far more money than you realized when you are exploring foreign cities.

How Much Cash Should You Bring?

After factoring in the $15 to $20 per day you will likely need on the ship, you also need to take into account the cash you will need when you are at port. Using credit cards is an option, but with foreign transaction fees, and the risk of credit card fraud, it’s better to carry and use cash whenever possible. As a general rule of thumb, you should budget $100 to $150 per person per day for activities spent off the ship. This includes eating, travel, souvenirs, shopping, and various other expenses that you are likely to see when you are spending time in a foreign city.

Having Cash on Hand Can Make Your Trip Much More Enjoyable

Going on a cruise is often the dream vacation that many people have waited for years to go on. A cruise offers great value, but it isn’t inexpensive, so most people have to budget and plan for some time before they are able to book their trip. With how much you have looked forward to your trip, you don’t want to add any stress or make things difficult on yourself by making the mistake of not carrying cash with you on your trip. You don’t need to bring a small fortune, but having ample spending money will definitely make your trip more enjoyable for you.