During my most recent cruise on Oasis of the Seas on Royal Caribbean, a player was asking me about getting money and cash advances. It seems like even though many of us gamble on various cruise lines, not all of us know the options available to us, aside from of course bringing your budget onboard as cash at the start.
There are ATMs onboard the ship in the casino, and like many casino ATMs the fees there are less than ideal. But for those who just wish to have a simple way to grab money out of their bank account, this can certainly work.
But the primary means for getting money is probably a room charge, which bills back to the credit card on file. There can be a couple of ways this can be valuable.
First, for players on Royal Caribbean, their normal 5% fee for room charges in the casino are waved when you are at Prime level or above. So compared to a cash advance, this is quite a strong financial alternative.
Second, because all room charges are lumped together, you tend to be able to leverage your cash back cards and enjoy any perks that come from them. This seems like a weird loophole, but it works, having sailed on four cruises across three ships with Royal Caribbean anyway.
For those who wish to use bank funds, it’s not difficult to then just go down to the guest services and apply a manual payment, or make a payment on the card to offset money being charged through the room charges.
But ultimately these room charges, which can go up to $5,000 in a day and can be made at both slots and tables, become a helpful way to access your cash while on the ship, without having to bring a stash onboard.
Of course, it also means keeping careful track, and not overdoing it, as it can be easy to lose track of what you have been doing. For me, that means leveraging the Royal Caribbean app to keep tabs on purchases, and my credit card app to monitor the holds hitting from Royal Caribbean to make sure all is flowing as expected.
But compared to other methods of getting cash, the onboard charge is the smoothest and (for regular gamblers) likely cheapest aside from having it on you at the start of the trip.