If there’s one place during a Disney vacation that you will never really need to bring cash with you, it’s a Disney Cruise.
From the moment that you board a Disney Cruise ship, you will not need any cash or a credit card because all of your purchases will be charged to your stateroom folio.
That said, there are some instances when you might need some cash in hand. This is especially the case if you plan on going some Port Adventures at some Port of Calls.
Here’s a quick rundown on how much cash you should bring when on a Disney Cruise.
- For the Bahamas and Caribbean cruises, $200 to $300 in U.S. dollars is sufficient.
- For Europe and the Mediterranean, $500 (or Euros) is more than enough cash.
- This cash can be used for extra gratuities on and off the ship, as well as local shop and food purchases from places that don’t accept credit cards.
Cash for Excursions
By far the most important use of cash on a Disney Cruise will be at your Ports of Call.
Even though almost every retailer and restaurant at your Bahamas and Caribbean Ports of Call will accept U.S. dollars and major credit cards.
For European and Mediterranean cruises, euros and local currency is preferred. When it comes to credit cards, Visa and Mastercard are accepted almost everywhere. However, American Express is very rarely an available option.
When I do excursions at the Bahamas or Caribbean, I bring around $150 to $200 in cash. This is mainly used for any tips after excursions and tours, or if I shop at any local shops and vendors.
When in Europe, I brung around $500 for the seven nights, which was more than enough. Some vendors and restaurants at a few Port of Calls sometimes didn’t or couldn’t accept credit cards (especially my AMEX), so having some cash in the local currency was a must. Cash is also great to have if you plan on taking taxis, some of which can’t except credit cards.
The amount of cash I needed for an Alaska cruise was even less because every place accepted all of the major U.S. credit cards. For Alaska Cruises, I brought $100 in 20s and only used them for excursion gratuities.
But to be honest, I almost never have to use cash, unless tipping the tour guides.
Cash on the Ship
When onboard a Disney Cruise, you will never use cash mainly because you are required to link a credit card to your stateroom guest card.
The only times you will physically need cash when onboard is if you decide to leave gratuities, which leads us to the next section.
Cash for Gratuities
Disney recommends a gratuity of $14.50 per night per stateroom guest . For guests staying a Concierge Stateroom or Suite, it is recommended that you leave a tip of $15.50 per night per stateroom guest.
You can pre-pay your gratuities online before you board the ship. But if you don’t have the chance to prepay, you’ll be automatically charged the suggested gratuity amount. Once onboard, you can visit Guest Services to adjust the amount before the end of your cruise.
Guests will receive a paper and envelopes with the pre-paid gratuities that you will distribute to the dining room server, dining room assistant server, dining room head server, and stateroom host.
You also have the option to add any additional cash into those envelopes.
This amount of physical cash that you leave for a tip is based entirely off of your personal experience.
From personal experience, we usually add an extra $5 to $20 per envelop if the service was incredible.
Also I, tip around $5 per bag when I drop off our suitcases at the bag drop in Port Canaveral before we board.
So in conclusion…
It is recommended to bring around $200 to $500 in cash on a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Alaska, and the Mediterranean.
And if you don’t plan on getting off the ship, then you honestly won’t need to bring any money.