A cruise is a great opportunity to give the kids some independence, so how can you give them some spending power on board without them breaking the bank? Deborah Stone provides some top tips

WaterWorks features on Carnival’s family-friendly ships

I’ve just come back from a family holiday with Princess Cruises, and because food and entertainment were free they could grab an ice cream, or other treats, if we weren’t around.

The kids didn’t have credit but their daily automatic gratuities were covered by our credit cards so there weren’t any problems at the end of the cruise. But if you do want your children to have some spending power, you could pre-pay the gratuities then put cash on their accounts when you get on board.

Signing up for a soft drinks package and free children’s entertainment will also reduce their need for money. Carnival Cruise Lines will even put a daily cap on how much children can spend if you talk to the guest services desk.

Alternatively, you can select the “no charging rights” section for them when you set up your Sail and Sign accounts online.

Read Ask the expert: When to book a cruise?

Read Ask the Expert: Mystery Cruises

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