Handy Tips to Get The Most Onboard Credit

How Much Do You Spend On a Cruise

Why would you need free onboard credit on your cruise? Well, despite having your food, entertainment and activities included in the price, there are many non essential extras on offer.  You could try a shore excursion or two, maybe have some professional photos to take home and treasure, or treat yourself to a relaxing treatment which is hard to resist when you have access to a spa like this one on the Allure of the Seas.

Certainly they are not an essential part of your cruise, and many people prefer to simply do their own thing in ports.  With the introduction of all-inclusive you won’t even need to pay for drinks or gratuities in some cases.  So why would you want free on board credit? The trouble is, the better value for money you get with your cruise fare, the easier it is to excuse that little treat, like this Dreamworks character breakfast on Christmas Morning.

Best Dollar Rate For Holiday Money

Firstly you need to check the type of currency that will be used onboard. Here is my currency guide to help you. It used to be advantageous to buy extra on board credit with the cruise line before you travelled. However since the fall of the sterling rate to the dollar, this may not be the case. For example, Royal Caribbean have dropped their rate for pre purchasing onboard credit, to approx $1.25 to £1 GBP.  If you settle your on board account by credit or debit card, you may be given an option for the currency to be converted by the ship or your bank. It is always far better for you to allow your bank to convert the currency. They give you a much more favourable rate of exchange.

Cash Out in the Casino

So, what if you have qualified for free onboard credit at the time you booked your cruise, but there is nothing you want to spend it on?  This is what I did on my last cruise on Celebrity Eclipse. The casino will give you $5 promotional chips to use on the roulette tables or you can use the credit for slot machines.  This was my first time on the roulette table and although it can appear quite intimidating, once you get comfortable, you get to meet some really fun and lovely people.

The Sting (well not quite)

So, stick to betting on black or red. Watch a few spins until the same colour has appeared two or three times, then start betting on the opposite colour. There’s no guarantee that you will win, but the law of average is the opposite colour will come in soon. Remember the zero can put a spanner in the works. Here you can either start again from scratch or carry on. I tend to carry on. Place your $5 promotional chip on your chosen colour when you are ready. If it wins, you get to keep your promotional chip and are given an additional $5 casino chip, which can be cashed out. Put that chip aside and continue to play with your promotional chips until you’ve lost them all. Hopefully, you’ll have converted some of your promotional chips to real chips.

If your colour doesn’t come in the first time, simply double your bet each time to cover your loss. So your first bet will be $5. If no win, place $10, then $20, then $40. If you start with $200 on board credit in chips then that should give you a run of up to 6 bets on any one colour. Please remember that this is not risk free if you want to keep your free on board credit, however it will not cost you anything from your own pocket. Be prepared to lose the entire $200 on board credit. My suggestion is to quit after 4 bets in a row and then start again from $5.

Image of Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas Casino
Harmony of the Seas Cruise Ship Casino

For a guide to cruise ship casinos, check out my post here.

*Information is accurate as of 0900 28 September 2017 and is subject to change at any time.





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    1. Hi Neil. I know. I get to meet some really interesting people in the Cruise Industry and their passion for the industry is something that many people are not aware of.

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