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Author: terric

Joined: 6/2/2011
Posts: 3
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

Three Grand circle trips, Amalfi coast, the German river cruise, and the Paris - Normandy river cruise. I have enjoyed Ireland twice with a music group and have also been to Scotland. Really interested in River Cruising.

Traveler Since: 2005

July 22, 2012

 I am booked on an upcoming Eastern Europe river cruise.  Does the boat offer small ($50-100) exchange on board?  Reading others posts there is a different currencyin every country.  I only foresee needing pocket money.

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 231
GCT Trips Taken: 8
OAT Trips Taken: 8
Traveler Since: 2007

July 22, 2012

 We took the Black Sea trip a few years ago, and recall that not every currency was available on theship,however some were.  You will not need every currency, because you won't be ashore long enough to purchase anything that you can't likely use your credit card for.  You will need local currency in Budapest, which we recall was available on theship, however, there were sufficient money exchanges in Budapest to obviate having to change money on the ship.

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 607
GCT Trips Taken: 12
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Countries Visited:

Argentina, Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

July 22, 2012

 Assuming this is Eastern Europe to the Black Sea. your Travel Handbook states:

"Exchange services: Onboard ship we will break down or change larger U.S. bills into smaller ones (for example, one U.S. $50 bill into U.S. $20, $10, $5, and $1 bills), and change U.S. currency into Euros (for example U.S. $20 into Euro €XX — depending on exchange rate). This service is available only for the Euro & U.S. dollar currencies. The daily exchange is limited to a maximum of U.S. $50 per person. You can exchange larger amounts at local banks in port towns. In European countries that do not use the Euro (such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania) we cannot offer exchange services for legal reasons."

Many countries will not allow non-banks to provide banking services as a protection from fraud, counterfeiting, money laundering, etc.

The ship will also not accept payment in local currencies. You can use excess local currency as a part of your tip to the ships crew and your PD, but don't overdo it, as they will have to spend it in the issui ng country. We have had problems in the past converting Hungarian to Czech currency, but eventually succeeded.

Most vendors selling to tourists will accept Euros and US dollars and in fact will quote prices in dollars or Euros, but be aware of the exchange rates. Also, pay in exact amounts whereever possible. Most vendors are honest, but you don't want to be stuck with worthless, counterfeit currency, which could also get you in trouble with the police if you attempt to spend it.

Also make sure that you have informed your bank  and credit card companies of your foreign itinerary, including countries and dates, so that you cards are honored and don't end up blocked.

Author: janice.

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 322
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1999

July 22, 2012

Another person, who was concerned about having the proper currency for use of toilets, asked a similar question last month.  Do a search on currency in the Europe forum to find the discussion which I think you will find helpful.  Also, I believe the PDs will give everyone more specific information on obtaining local currency.

Author: jandb

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 33
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 1999

July 22, 2012

 We just returned from this wonderful trip last month.  The only place we needed local currency was in Transylvania to buy ice crean (delicious) and in one resturaunt.  We used dollars, euros, or credit cards for everything else.

BTW, when you notify your credit card company you will be traveling abroad be sure to get a "PIN" number.  Several times we were required to supply a PIN in order to have the card accepted.  Also check to find out what fees the card company or bank levies on foreign transactions.  Those fees can vary a great deal.

Everything about this trip was terrific.  We did extensions in Prague and Transylvania, the program directors were great, the ship and it's crew were all we could ask for and our fellow passengers were enthusiastic and adventurous travelers.  

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 1,018
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

July 23, 2012

When you notify your bank where you'll be and when, ask if they have agreements with banks in other countries.  You may find that if they do, there won't be an additional charge.  That's never happened to me, but I've heard of it.

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