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Money matters

The cancellation of the call at Reykjavik has focused my attention on another topic – foreign currency. On most cruises it’s just a case of getting €s, either in advance or via an ATM from a credit card. But credit cards often charge fees, and on this cruise getting currency in advance would be difficult – we’re nowhere near €-land. In Norway we needed Norwegian Kroner, in Iceland we needed Icelandic Kroner, and in the Faroe Islands we’ll need Faroese Kroner – although Danish Kroner will also work.

A few months ago I got a Caxton currency card. This was actually before a non-cruise holiday I had in Singapore, Malaysia and Dubai, all of which have their own currency of course. The card has to be loaded with GBP beforehand, but once that’s done I can draw money from an ATM with it, or use it as a debit card in shops, etc, up to the amount in GBP that’s been loaded onto the card. Best of all, Caxton give very good exchange rates – the daily mid rate. (Although you do have to be aware that many ATMs will offer their own, generally worse, exchange rate first – you have to reject this and ignore the stern warnings that the ATM then gives you.)

Back to the current cruise. I drew N Kroner and spent almost all of them so that was OK. Then yesterday we drew out 4000 Icelandic Kroner (sounds a lot but it’s actually about £35), and we’ve only spent about half of them – the balance was for souvenirs from Reykjavik today, of course. Anyone going to Iceland?

The good thing about using the currency card is that I didn’t get any Faroese Kroner in advance. Should our call there on Monday be cancelled, I won’t be left holding currency that I don’t think I’ll ever need.

Although I do have some Danish Kroner from a previous cruise that I was hoping to spend tomorrow….

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