An overview of how payments onboard work. How to activate your cruise card.
Cruise card as you means of payment during your cruise
During the cruise there is no physical exchange of cash for the purchase of any goods or services. Instead, you simply swipe your cruise card. The goods and services you might need to pay for include: drinks; excursions and tours off the ship; onboard shopping at the duty free area; health spa and salon treatments; photos and videos; gambling at the casino and arcade games.
How do I get a cruise card
MSC will normally place your cruise cards in an envelope that you find in your cabin when you embark.
How to load credit on your cruise card
To activate your cruise card you will need to open an onboard account at one of the cruise card activation terminals onboard the ship or ask Guest Services/Reception for assistance. The onboard account can be activated by means of: 1) cash (South African Rand or other major currencies i.e. US Dollars, Euros or GB Pounds); 2) you could also use your debit/cheque card; or 3) lastly a credit card.
Pre-authorisation/hold amount on a credit card
The credit card on-line system will request an initial pre-authorisation/hold amount of US$250 – the currency in force onboard. The currency will be Euros on cruises sailing from Europe to SA – southbound grand voyage. The online system will then automatically ask for incremental US$100 single authorisation for every US$100 spent thereafter.
On the night before disembarkation 2 copies of your onboard bill will be delivered to your cabin. You will be required to verify and sign only 1 copy of the bill that you will receive in your cabin and deliver that signed copy to Guest Services/Reception before disembarking the ship. The second copy will be your passenger copy to take with you. It is important to note that the pre-authorisation/hold amount is only an estimate of the amount that could be utilised during your time onboard. This pre-authorisation/hold amount is not an actual debit on your credit card, the amount is merely BLOCKED on your credit card for a period of between 7-20 working days after your cruise. After this period has lapsed your bank automatically releases the pre-authorised/hold amount.
The only amount actually debited to your credit card will be the amount that corresponds with the bill you signed prior to disembarkation.
Your children’s own cruise card – Teen card
Activating the onboard account automatically makes all funds loaded on that account available to all passengers on the booking, including children. Your will need to inform Guest Services/Reception whether or not you wish to place limits on how much your children can spend.
As an alternative, to cater for children you could either open a separate “teen card” – personalised prepaid debit card for children aged 7 to 17 years – for them yet another option is to simply purchase prepaid beverage packages for them to use.
What currency is used at the casino?
The casino only accepts CASH – South African Rand or other major currencies i.e. US Dollars, Euros or GB Pounds. The casino does not accept credit cards or cheques.
Your casino winnings which are in the form of casino vouchers can only be cashed out on board at the casino before the end of your cruise. No casino vouchers can be encashed after you have disembarked.
Credit balance on your account at the end of your cruise
For passengers that would have activated their onboard accounts with cash or a debit/cheque card it is important that you get reimbursed your unspent credit at Guest Services/Reception while you are still onboard. The reimbursement of your credit balance cannot be done once you have disembarked the ship at the end of your cruise.
For guests that activated their onboard accounts with a credit card there will be no balance that MSC will need to reimburse you – the credit card on-line system only deducts the amount you actually spent during the cruise.
Is there a bank or ATMs onboard
There is no bank and/or banking services offered onboard. There are no ATMs on any MSC cruise ship either. Guests need to ensure that you have sufficient funds for the duration of your cruise.
Can I get prepaid onboard credit
With MSC it is currently not possible to purchase prepaid onboard credit. You will only be able to activate your onboard account once your cruise has started.