Maybe you want to hit the casino with cash. Or maybe you are about to head to shore and need a few extra bucks for walking around money. While the vast majority of transactions on a cruise ship are simply charged to your room, there are still times when you want cold hard cash in your pocket.
For those times, yes, cruise ships have ATMs on board.
Here’s everything you need to know…
Most People Don’t Need an ATM During a Cruise
To be honest, while you’ll find an ATM on a cruise, truth is that not many people actually need one during their vacation.
First, many people make a stop for cash before their trip. In other words, they come on the ship with the money they already need. Given the expense of using an ATM on a ship (more on this below), that’s a good idea that can save you a few bucks.
But more importantly, there are only a handful of times that you’ll actually need cash during your cruise. While on the ship, nearly everything — from buying drinks to casino gambling can be done via your room keycard. Your room key acts like a credit card on the ship.
So where would you need cash? If you want to have some money to tip people during your trip, then you’re going to want some bills. As well, many people actually prefer to gamble using cash instead of putting the charges to their shipboard account.
Perhaps the biggest place you’ll spend money, however, is in port. Off the ship, you’ll need to use your own funds (credit card or cash) to pay for things like meals and activities.
Most people simply bring what they will need for the entire trip with them. But if you find yourself in the middle of a cruise and need some cash, ATMs are available.
Where to Find ATMs on the Ship
Chances are there will only be one or maybe two ATMs on your cruise ship. Look for them in the busy interior spaces of the ship that get a lot of foot traffic, like near elevators on the main decks, or near the casino.
If you are having trouble finding an ATM, you can ask Guest Services — or any staff members — for its location. They can point you where to go.
How Much Do They Charge to Take Out Money?
If there is one surprise about the machines, it’s that they can charge high fees to take money out.
In our personal experience, we’ve seen rates around $6-$7 per transaction. Keep in mind that this charge is in addition to anything that your bank might charge as well. For that reason, we suggest limiting using the ATM to when you really need it. Even then, it’s a good idea to get any money you might need for the rest of your trip, instead of getting money out multiple times.
What If My Ship Doesn’t Have an ATM?
While we can’t think of a cruise ship that we’ve sailed without an ATM, there is a possibility that not every ship has one. If that’s the case, how can you get some cash when you need it?
For that, you have a few options. First, you can head to Guest Services or the casino cashier. These two areas deal with cash transactions on a daily basis and should be able to help you get some money out.
As well, you can also look for an ATM in port when you stop. Many ports have welcoming areas for cruise ships that include shops, restaurants, and more. You will be able to find a place to access your money here. Just keep in mind it’s possible that the cash will be in the local currency.