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PAYING FOR THINGS





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How do I set up a shipboard account?

Cruise lines set up "cashless" systems to handle purchases on board. With the exception of casinos, no cash is exchanged anywhere on the ship. When you embark, you are requested to provide the purser's office with an imprint of a valid credit card or a cash deposit to cover your expenses. Once your account is established, you simply sign for your onboard purchases. It is a good idea to keep your receipts in case there are any discrepancies between your's and the purser's records at checkout.

On the last evening of the cruise, an invoice for all your purchases will be left in your cabin. The bill will show up on the next month's credit card statement. If you prefer to settle in cash, or if you dispute any of the charges, you will need to go to the purser's or the credit office and settle your account.

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Is the shopping reasonably priced?

Film, suntan lotion, aspirin and other sundry items are available at the ship's shop. Most of the large ships also have duty-free shops with items ranging from jewelry and furs to souvenirs from the cruise line. If you seek a special item, you may want to check prices at home before starting your cruise. Purchases at these shops may be signed to your shipboard account or bought directly.

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Can I have my laundry done?

Generally, yes. The ship will have a laundry service similar to that in a hotel. Not all lines offer a dry-cleaning service. Some lines have self-service laundry facilities. There may be a small charge to use the machines or purchase detergent.

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What if I need to make a phone call?

Most cabins are equipped with a phone, and long-distance calls are charged to your ship account. The present rate is U.S. $9-15 per minute for satellite service. You may also inquire as to whether the ship can make calls via less costly but poorer quality shortwave radio. A third option is to bring your cellular phone. On a typical Caribbean cruise, you will be in range of a cellular phone about half the time. Expect charges to soar.

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Should I purchase travel insurance?.

There is no simple answer to this question because it depends upon your situation. Insurance can provide peace of mind for a relatively small investment. A cruise, after all, represents a considerable outlay in cash. Travel insurance generally covers you and your traveling companion if you have to cancel the cruise for various reasons. The insurance may cover medical bills outside the passenger's country of origin or transportation expenses incurred in an emergency. There are many types of policies.

If you consider buying travel insurance from your travel agent, read the fine print carefully. Compare the policy with others to determine which one is right for you. U.S. residents might also want to check their policy with the state insurance commissioners. Keep in mind that insurance companies must be individually licensed in every state in which they do business. If you purchase your cruise from an out-of-state discount travel agent, the insurance company may not be legally licensed to do business in your state. You can get the number for your state insurance commissioner by calling the National Association of Insurance Commissioners at +1 816 842 3600.

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|| CHOOSING A CRUISE ||
|| FOOD ||
|| PAYING FOR THINGS ||
|| ACTIVITIES AND ENTERTAINMENT ||
|| CHILDREN ||
|| PORTS OF CALL ||
|| SECURITY AND MEDICAL ||
|| TIPPING ||
|| CRUISE BOOK RESOURCES ||
|| INTRODUCTION ||



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