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We don't have credit or debit cards either so we are going with a cash passport from travelex you can have one in dollars and euros and it is a prepaid currency card. (www.cashpassport.com) Going on the norwegian jade on 26th July 2009 for our honeymoon can't wait. hope this helps .
I must admit never paid by cash always via a credit card as the currency exchange rate is good for the pound against the dollar, but you will have to declare at the time of checking in at the cruise desk to board your ship that you will settle by cash. I have on a few occasions had to help someone out at a hotel were they were staying prior to joining the ship as they insisted on a credit card and I covered the problem for them, a bit risky but there have been no porblems. Not sure paying by cash gives the cruise line a guarantee you will still be there on the day the ship docks to pay your cabin account so they might ask for a deposit in advance. No doubt others will respond to this who have seen others guests paying by cash. The one thing it will mean is a long queue to pay on the last day that having a credit card avoids.
If you look at FAQ's on NCL website you can pay by cash with a deposit upfront.It doesn't say how much nor which currency, but you can safe bet on US Dollars. Other lines that accept cash upfront require $250 down payment. NCL's UK Office 0207 591 8016 might give the best answer. Personally I wouldn't leave the country without a credit card, who knows what eventualities may occur. Only my opinion. Regards.
I agree with Wilba that a credit card would be a very good idea. You can still settle up with cash the night before leaving the ship should you prefer and have the credit card cover any late evening expenses you may incur from then on. I wouldn't relish the thought of queuing on the last morning to settle up as half the ships passengers seems to converge on the pursers desk at that time for some reason. Nationwide seem to provide the best one at present due to their lack of charges on foreign transactions (and no, I don't work for them!). You just about have time to get one but don't leave it too long.
I understand what the others are saying and for practicality and security, believe it or not a credit card would be prefered however if for any reason you are unable to obtain a card then you can get away without using one , after all money is money, just be aware that they won't accept cheques and the exchange rate you will get will not be as good as Nationwide or many other provenders of cards.
You will only find "Duty Free Shops" that you can officially use in countries that are not members of the EEC. Some countries have lower alcohol and cigarette taxes than us and therefore will be cheaper to buy in. Good luck and have a good cruise. ... Ida.