On-board Spending Accounts

I want to introduce to a friend:  The on-board spending account

For years cruise lines have resorted to on board spending accounts for the passengers. I mean it does make sense and I am sure it makes accounting on the back-end a hell of a lot easier. All the merchandise, drinks, spa services, etc., will be paid with that card that you are given during embarkation.

What exactly is a on-board spending account?

Most cruise lines out there operate on a cashless system, meaning no cash is accepted on board (except tipping).  So in lieu of cash, they give you a credit card to use on the ship. When you fill out your online registration for the cruise and you have to submit your credit card number, that is for your sailing card.

The on-board spending card is very handy and convenient to use, almost too convientent. Watch out for the following ways to get side tracked with your card and wind up getting yourself into some big-time debt.

The Spa: When you are in the spa your nice and relaxed, the cruise line also has your account number at this point. During and after the spa treatment these masseuses will try to put the hard sell on you because you are nice and relaxed. Remember just being it feels good doesn’t mean its right! 🙂

The Bar: When you are around the ship you’ll meet a lot of new friends and lets be honest, you’ll be drinking. Be cautious of ordering shots, drinks, and cocktails for your new group of friends that you make. You don’t want to wake up the next morning and see a few new couple hundred dollar charges on your folio.

Casino: This subject me shriek just typing about it. Its way to easy to get money these days when you are at the casino. You can literally walk up to a dealer, put your card in a reader, and advance up to 2,000 dollars on your slot, poker table, or roulette game, per day. More so when gambling, people have the mentality that its just a on board spending card (play money) but in reality its also connected to your CREDIT CARD. Don’t be stupid and know your limits. You don’t want to be like this moron I was sailing with who threw down a couple of thousand just to loose it all and regret what he did the next morning. If you have the money to do that, by all means knock yourself out.

Stores: To be honest with you, unless you are buying booze, the on board stores aren’t really all that much cheaper. They really up play this at the campfire chats throughout the cruise but it’s the same stuff you can buy at Target really.

So remember avoid:

  • The hard sell on spa products
  •  Being careless at the bar when ordering for all your “new friends”
  • The casino
  • Impulse buying at the stores

In closing, don’t write checks that …. well your account cant cash.  At the end of the cruise if you exceed your spending limit you will be stuck on the ship until everyone is off.  Not only is it embarrassing but you have to sign a promisary note that you will settle the balance with the cruise line in full within ten days.

4 Responses

  1. It is very hard to try to control your impluse spending on the ship espcially in the shops with all the novelty items they are trying to sell you. Budget yourself wisely.

  2. I like the on-board spending account because it does make me set my limits on what I can and will spend. It also is so much easlier not having to walk around with alot of cash on me to worry about getting stolen or losing.

  3. Onboard spending account. Oh boy. I can’t tell you how many people are surprised on that last night. The bill comes under the door…and shazam…my bill is THAT much? Well, if you are hitting the bar, buying drinks for everybody…the bill adds up fast! Especially with those mandatory tips on each bar purchase. Just remember that you’re gonna have to pay the piper (or the cruise line) at the end of the cruise. Shop, drink and gamble within your budget and you won’t be shocked! Be sure to check your bill everyday down at the pursers desk to make sure there aren’t any unauthorized charges! If you or the kids want soda’s, buy a soda pass the 1st thing when you board. You don’t want to be buying sodas at the bar!

    Scott Lara

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