Can You Pay Cash On A Cruise Ship? What Cruise Lines Prefer

You cannot pay cash in restaurants, bars, spas, or other facilities on a cruise ship. But you can pay cash in the casino. You can also pay tips to waiters or stewards in cash. You will get a cruise key card linked to your credit or debit card for making payments onboard.

a black man paying a tip to the waiter holding a cup on hand.

Why cash is not allowed on cruise ships?

Cash is not allowed on cruise ships to avoid delays during debarkation.

Handling cash is also a complicated matter for cruise lines.

What are the policies of the cruise lines on using cash?

Cruise ships do not accept cash at restaurants, bars, spas, shops, etc.

The only place where you can pay in cash is the casino.

You have to link your credit card or debit card to your onboard cruise account at the time of embarkation. So, you will be able to pay from your cruise account for purchases onboard.

If you link your debit card, the cruise line will block a certain amount on the card for up to 30 days. The amount blocked will depend on the policy of the cruise line.

You will get a cruise key card, which you can use to make your purchases onboard.

On the debarkation day, your credit card will get charged for the total expenses onboard.

If you can’t pay your cruise bill at the time of debarkation, the cruise lines follow a certain protocol.

According to Rick Daniels, Customer Services Director, Princess Cruises, the cruise line will:

  • Request you for another suitable method of payment. This can be another credit card, cash, etc.
  • Make you sign a promissory note if you can’t. They will keep photocopies of your passport in such a case.

The cruise line reserves the right to file criminal charges against you too.

And they may ban you from their cruise line.

Tips for using cash on a cruise

It is up to you to decide whether you need cash on a cruise ship.

But you must have cards to make purchases onboard.

My advice is to keep some cash with you as you need to:

  • Pay tips to waiters and stewards.
  • Play at the casino. But you can also pay through your cruise account.
  • Shop or dine at the ports.
  • Pay for local transportation at the ports.
  • Book shore excursions on your own.

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About Tully Seal

Avatar of Tully SealTully Seal is a travel blogger. She is a BA graduate in Hospitality Management and has over 4 years of work experience in the travel and hospitality industry. She loves to cook in her spare time.

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