The mad rush hasn’t quite begun and at this point in time I’m double checking to ensure I have everything in place for our upcoming trip, appropriately dubbed, The Ultimate Scandinavian and Russian Cruise, which begins in Copenhagen, Denmark when we board Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas.
We will use a number of different currency’s. Denmark, Sweden and Russia each has their own currency. Russia will take Euros, but only if they are crisp and new, whatever that means. The other two have their own version of the dollar. We settled on bringing $200 in euros with us. In lieu of purchasing, and possibly being stuck with other currencies, we will attempt to use credit cards whenever possible.
A few tips for your next European Vacation:
We used to get our currency overseas through American Express. That was when they had offices on every corner of the earth. It was much less expensive than converting at the airport hotel. American Express has since closed most of their offices here and abroad and conversion prices in other places have skyrocketed. This time, we went through our bank, Bank of America, and they ordered euros for us. It took roughly five days to get them and the costs were minimal. Having them in tow means we won’t be scrambling to find them later.
I’ve never had a problem using my American Express Card anywhere in the world. The same is not true for Visa and MasterCard. There’s nothing more embarrassing than being in a restaurant in Italy that only takes MasterCard and your card is rejected. You know you haven’t overspent; you know you’ve paid your bill religiously and yet your credit worthiness is being questioned. It was after that experience that I found that we needed to contact our credit card company prior to leaving. Over the years they’ve gotten more finicky. This latest vacation meant I had to detail every country and the dates we would be visiting. Even so, they told me they couldn’t guarantee they would allow us to use it everywhere. I’m betting that it won’t work in Russia, which is fine. I had no intention of using it there.
This time, I also got a cobranded Visa from Royal Caribbean. Not only won’t I have problem using it, I will get extra points to be used as credit on future cruises.Follow @DigitalDebbie