Effective February 1st, 2024, Norwegian Cruise Line will make a major change regarding onboard currency.
Foreign currency exchange services will no longer be available on the cruise line’s ships, making USD the sole form of payment accepted for settling onboard accounts.
Norwegian Cruise Line shared the changes in an email to guests and travel partners on Friday. This change impacts all upcoming cruises scheduled to depart on or after the specified date.
What this means for cruise travelers
Cruise passengers sailing with Norwegian Cruise Line will need to plan ahead if they want to use local currencies in foreign ports of call.
While USD will still be accepted for onboard account settlements, exchanging US dollars for other currencies will only be possible off the ship.
While exchanging currencies at a local bank or credit union is generally recommended, some travelers have gotten used to the convenience of onboard services.
However, be aware that cruise ship exchange rates are often unfavorable and only suitable as a last-minute option. Additionally, settling onboard accounts in Euros or Pounds will no longer be possible.
Cash on a cruise
While traveling abroad and not using a credit card with zero foreign transaction fees, I will sometimes use a local ATM for local currencies. It’s convenient and the fees are not usually that exorbitant. The only issue is making sure the ATM machine has not been compromised.
A cruise ship is a cashless society, but since you will be getting off at various ports of call, having cash on hand for both tipping and buying goods from vendors is a good idea.
Keep in mind that many ports of call in the Bahamas and Caribbean will gladly accept U.S. dollars, but always do your research first. Even if you pay in USD you might receive Bahamian dollars back as change.
Statement from Norwegian
Read the full statement from Norwegian Cruise Line here:
FOREIGN CURRENCY EXCHANGE SERVICE DISCONTINUATION
Dear Valued Guests and Travel Partners,
Thank you for choosing to sail with us for your upcoming cruise vacation. We have important information to share, and travel partners are asked to share this information with impacted guests.
Effective February 1, 2024, we will no longer provide foreign currency exchange services on board, and USD will be the only form of currency accepted for the settling of your onboard account. If you are in need of US currency for your upcoming cruise, we encourage you to obtain it prior to embarkation. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
As always, we are at your service and look forward to providing you with a truly memorable onboard experience!
Norwegian Cruise Line