Venthus
Venthus
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May 18th, 2022 at 8:11:37 PM permalink
I've been cruising lately and ran (what I consider) fairly hot at the onboard casino over the last few days... I bank with Wells Fargo that has no international services to speak of, and the ship will be making a single stop in the US in a few days before heading out to Europe, which leaves me one day to deposit an amount well above 10k, unless I want to explain to Customs when I fly back to the US why I'm carrying that much in cash. (...Assuming it makes it to the end of the trip. Another reason to offload a considerable chunk of it.)

The ship doesn't offer bank transfer services of any kind, and the only option to get money off, other than carrying cash, would be to request a check mailed from their headquarters, which takes an estimated four weeks and would still be above the 10k threshold I'd like to avoid (preferential, but not absolutely required).

I admit I've never actually been in a case like this, and I'm sure there's a lot of angles I'm missing, but... Any suggestions? At the moment, I'm looking at just depositing most of it and dealing with the fallout of it after.
SiegfriedRoy
SiegfriedRoy
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May 18th, 2022 at 8:31:31 PM permalink
can't you just take about 3K-4K and go to a local BOFA or Chase bank and open a new "free" savings account and deposit? And then about $6k-$7K at your Wells Fargo, and the rest, you can deposit with the casino, and they will mail you a check. I've had cruise ships mail checks after leaving a balance with the cruise and both times it has taken less than 2 weeks.
billryan
billryan
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May 18th, 2022 at 8:36:09 PM permalink
Quote: Venthus

I've been cruising lately and ran (what I consider) fairly hot at the onboard casino over the last few days... I bank with Wells Fargo that has no international services to speak of, and the ship will be making a single stop in the US in a few days before heading out to Europe, which leaves me one day to deposit an amount well above 10k, unless I want to explain to Customs when I fly back to the US why I'm carrying that much in cash. (...Assuming it makes it to the end of the trip. Another reason to offload a considerable chunk of it.)

The ship doesn't offer bank transfer services of any kind, and the only option to get money off, other than carrying cash, would be to request a check mailed from their headquarters, which takes an estimated four weeks and would still be above the 10k threshold I'd like to avoid (preferential, but not absolutely required).

I admit I've never actually been in a case like this, and I'm sure there's a lot of angles I'm missing, but... Any suggestions? At the moment, I'm looking at just depositing most of it and dealing with the fallout of it after.
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Won't you have to go thru some sort of customs when you make the stop?
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
Ace2
Ace2
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May 18th, 2022 at 8:41:14 PM permalink
Just declare it all on your final return into the USA. Say it's gambling money...you left with $20k and and came home with $15k or whatever
It’s all about making that GTA
billryan
billryan
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May 18th, 2022 at 8:46:30 PM permalink
Quote: Ace2

Just declare it all on your final return into the USA. Say it's gambling money...you left with $20k and and came home with $15k or whatever
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I don't think you are supposed to leave with more than 10K without filling out a form.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
Venthus
Venthus
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May 18th, 2022 at 9:02:18 PM permalink
Opening new bank accounts is doable, I guess, but I'll get to have a lot of fun with Uber-ing around... Also, I'm looking at high five digits (if I stop now; low six at the pace I'm going if luck holds). I'm not sure I'll have the time to get to that many banks and open accounts to make that feasible without missing the departure. Partial deposits... Would work for getting liquidity; I have a bit of a cruise racket going on that benefits greatly from access to funds to float (gambling at a 10% discount to buy-in? Yes, please!)

I had nothing to declare on the way out, which makes things look even more awkward when I come back. For extra fun, this cruise includes stops in Eastern Europe, which, uh, may make sums even more eyebrow raising.

Edit: They also don't really ask about what you bring out, either... Not sure who I would have declared anything to on the way out if I had anything-- especially since my first leg was US-to-US.

Quote: billryan

Won't you have to go thru some sort of customs when you make the stop?
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Getting off of a cruise ship is a joke, even at end nodes. In Boston, I accidentally walked out of the terminal without even noticing that was the exit, not just a walkway to another building. There was NO inspection or inquiry of any kind. Not even a passport check. LA, there's a facial recognition thing and I've always been waved through. No survey, questions, or docs to sign.

Been a while since I've been to Fort Lauderdale, but I don't remember anything there either.
Last edited by: Venthus on May 19, 2022
camapl
camapl
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May 19th, 2022 at 11:55:42 AM permalink
As some have already posted… You don’t HAVE to unload all the cash at once/at one bank. You could just dump some amount under $10K into your WFB account at the next US stop. Unless, of course that still leaves you with an “uncomfortably high” amount for the remainder of the trip… If this US location where the ship stops next is somewhere that you might return to in the near future and/or not too far from home, you could inquire about a safety deposit box for any “overages” that you don’t want to deposit right away. In case you won’t be back soon, I don’t know the rules for requesting the contents of such a box being deposited at a later date to your account with the same bank. Would they be able to do this? And without having to back-date the deposit? Don’t know… Just trying to think of ideas to get you back to the ship in time. Fewer stops means less waiting on Uber and a lower bill!

If your balance is too high at the end of the trip, you could split the money again - walk with under $10K, and request a check from the cruise line for the balance (also already posted)… Even though you haven’t had to deal with customs upon your return each trip, that could change at any time at any port…

“Funds to float” sounds interesting! A 10% bonus for buy ins? Awesome! Guess they figure everyone will play the slots… Or they just aren’t good at math! Who woulda thunk it?!?

What have your experiences been while cruising post-COVID? How would it compare to pre-COVID? Are ships anywhere near capacity? What’s the food situation? buffets? fine dining? snack bar? Is anything else closed that wasn’t before?
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Venthus
Venthus
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camapl
May 19th, 2022 at 1:57:26 PM permalink
Cash deposit box is interesting... I'll be back there sometime towards the end of the year. Hopefully (if I go that route), the bank doesn't burn down or something before I get there though.

I don't think time-shifting like that is a thing that's offered, anywhere-- it kind of screams 'structuring'...

To be fair, I'm pretty sure the paytable for Job is worse than the one that VP2F lists at 86.x%... I'll have to double check that on my next pass... It's one that has 2P pay 1, but I think FH/S/F are worse than listed.

Comparing preC to NOW (even a month ago, things were different) ...

In terms of the actual cruising experience, THIS SHIP is pretty much worse all around. Chronic understaffing, supplies are short (my minibar consisted of a single 375ml of JD), stuff is/has broken down, entertainers are... not so entertaining, the production shows are often cut, something is consistently slightly off with the food (raw bananas for bananas foster?), lots of maintenance going on (dust-covered pizza...), etc. I heard multiple people reporting a nonfunctional safe, which I am REALLY glad not to have an issue with. My last ship (Majestic Princess) had NONE of these issues, other than cripplingly slow premium dining.

The quality of the food at the MDRs are... Fine. About what I'd expect from a low-20$ entree place. If you consider the fare price for an interior, it's generously in line with that price point too... Plus you can get extra courses, making it a better value.

Buffets are self-serve for things on tiny trays/cups (so a plate of salsa and chips is fine), staff-served for things that are out of... Chafing dishes? It's fine. Just expect any meats to be well done to WELL. DONE.

Masking is at <10% I'd say. Optional but encouraged, whatever that means in a practical sense. Sanitizer is around.

Occupancy is high for cheap, popular routes. My last trip doing MexRiv was at ~95%. My last CaliCoast was ~60%, but that's a less popular route anyways. This TransCanal is around 90% according to the official statement, but it sure doesn't feel like it.

All facilities are open, as far as I know. (Still haven't been to the gym...)

If you just view it as a casino with RFB, some interestingly exploitable options, and magically goes to different places as you sleep though, it's FANTASTIC. I've actually cut terrestrial gambling out of my cycle... Though getting pulverized at my local tables, rising gas prices to Vegas, and increasingly poor quality of service everywhere (particularly RWI and the Venetian) had a factor in it.
Last edited by: Venthus on May 19, 2022
AxelWolf
AxelWolf
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camapl
May 19th, 2022 at 2:49:50 PM permalink
Quote: camapl

As some have already posted… You don’t HAVE to unload all the cash at once/at one bank. You could just dump some amount under $10K into your WFB account at the next US stop. Unless, of course that still leaves you with an “uncomfortably high” amount for the remainder of the trip… If this US location where the ship stops next is somewhere that you might return to in the near future and/or not too far from home, you could inquire about a safety deposit box for any “overages” that you don’t want to deposit right away. In case you won’t be back soon, I don’t know the rules for requesting the contents of such a box being deposited at a later date to your account with the same bank. Would they be able to do this? And without having to back-date the deposit? Don’t know… Just trying to think of ideas to get you back to the ship in time. Fewer stops means less waiting on Uber and a lower bill!

If your balance is too high at the end of the trip, you could split the money again - walk with under $10K, and request a check from the cruise line for the balance (also already posted)… Even though you haven’t had to deal with customs upon your return each trip, that could change at any time at any port…

“Funds to float” sounds interesting! A 10% bonus for buy ins? Awesome! Guess they figure everyone will play the slots… Or they just aren’t good at math! Who woulda thunk it?!?

What have your experiences been while cruising post-COVID? How would it compare to pre-COVID? Are ships anywhere near capacity? What’s the food situation? buffets? fine dining? snack bar? Is anything else closed that wasn’t before?
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I don't think you can ask for the contents of your box to be deposited into your account, I don't even think you're supposed to be keeping cash in there. Also, I was under the impression that you or someone you have assigned to the box has to be there in person in order to open the box. He should definitely call ahead if he wants to get a safe deposit box, a lot of times they don't have any available.
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪
billryan
billryan
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May 19th, 2022 at 8:18:18 PM permalink
When I opened a safety box at my local bank I had to sign a form saying I'd keep less than $300 in it. Jewels, gold and other stuff is okay, just not cash. I've no idea how they enforce it.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.

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