Just got our cruise documenst for the Golden Princess in August for UK.
A box is on the booklet of the page for CC as in VISA for you to tick or not, to convert your card to your local issuing card country.
This applies to cards issued out of US like Canada, UK, Australia.
If do not tick box then they convert your card from shipboard currency (US) to a current currancy rate of your card plus a fee of 3 %.
Sounds like one should have your bank set conversion rate not Princess when the charge is processed and bank conversion rate would be what ?
Actually Ernie you are now required on Princess to check the box if you want the credit card company's rate of conversion not Princess. If you don't check the box, then you will be charged Prncess rate plus the 3%. The conversion is done on the last day of your cruise, unlike in the past when the credit card company did the conversion on the date they received the billing.
First reply to my TA from Princess said their 'surcharge' was most likely better than the banks surcharge. I 've asked TA to ask Princess to tell me the actual currancy conversion rate they use which I've heared is fixed for 2005 as in 1.4 for US to CDN .
Our rate today is 1.21. This is exclding surcharge.
Have also asked CIBC VISA to tell me their surcharge and do they recognize a billing out of a US company being converted or not converted.
My gut tells me , someone worked out a way to earn monies on perceived convenience factor. On land it would be pay in local and then VISA converts.
It always bothers me when I hear that people removed the automatic tip so that they could reward the people who they feel gave them excellent service. Do they know that all the cash tips that are received by staff must be turned in and that they go into the pool...exactly the same as if you leave the auto tips in place. If you really want to make the staff that has served you well happy then tip over and above the auto tip. The staff will still have to declare that they received a cash tip from you but if you have left the auto tips in place they will be able to keep the "extra" !
I have not noticed any appreciable difference in service since auto tips have been added to my onboard account. Those changes that I have notices seem more directly related to cut backs by the cruise line rather than attitude of the staff. (eg. waiters that have more tables and therefore more passengers to take care of in the dining room leaving less time for each passenger). If word gets out that passengers are tipping "extra" for excellent service it seems to me that all the staff would be really working hard so they could capture one of those "extra" tips.
Here is the answer for me in terms of US$ to CDN$ I'll let VISA do what it does naturally.
and I'll TICK the box.
Here is the quote for my case of CIBC VISA to me today. It confirms I'm charged the currency rate at time of purchase and an admin fee of 2.5 of the converted amount. I'm opting out for two reasons, the Princess rate of 1.41 for 2005 instead of today's 1.21 plus .5 more then the banks 2.5 for admin.
quote at July 26, 2005 : "if you use your CIBC VISA to purchase merchandise or services priced in foreign currency you are charged the same conversion rate CIBC must pay, plus an administration fee of 2.5% of the converted amount, on both debits and credits.
This fee is to offset the costs incurred by VISA International and CIBC in offering a worldwide VISA service. The exchange rate is set at the time of purchase and will vary according to date and time. "
The lesson is verify the currency rate the cruise company will use plus the conversion rate they will use against your credit card provider's rates.
Question...If the ships currency is the USD why would there be any conversion to another currency unless the credit card being used was issued by a bank from another country other than the USA. Princess is a US based operation?
I don't understan the logic here.
Correct , if you use a US issued CC on Princess then no conversion needs to occur but for a lot of us who are citizens in other countries using our CC issuesd as in my case Canada, then normally I'm billed US dollars and my CC company converts exchange when I'm billed in Canada.
In my case Princess will automatically convert at an exchange rate determined by them and charge me a conversion rate unless I choose to TICK a box to opt out.
That is what these notes are about.
KInd of like when you have a store convert your travellers cheques instead of going to a bank, you will pay more.
Thanks for the clarification of the posts. I will be sailing the Sea Princess in Europe next July and thats why it was a matter of concern to me.
I know not all ships in Europe use USD as the currency, but I thought Princess would.
I remember years ago cruising on a British ship and everthing was based on the pound.
I understand your situation and hope the conversion rate you get is fair.