Let’s just say, it isn’t cheap, and you can only withdraw USD.
If you think ATM fees in Australia are bad, think again. The ATM’s on board Royal Caribbean ships (or at least all the ones I’ve been on) charge a fee of USD$6.50. As far as I am aware, this fee applies to all cards. So you are immediately paying a hefty premium just to get cash out. Then, of course, there are additional fees that vary depending on your card and bank.
Cash Advance Fees
If you are from Australia like I am, unless you have an American bank card, you will have to withdraw using a credit card or travel card since our EFTPOS system doesn’t talk to the American system. If you are using a credit card, this is called a cash advance, and most Australian banks will charge you a fee on cash advances. As an example, my bank charges 2% of the AUD value of the withdrawal amount with a minimum charge of AUD$2.50 and a maximum of AUD$150. However, if I’ve put extra funds on my credit card so that I’m withdrawing solely from a positive balance (not drawing on the credit), there is just a flat fee of AUD$2.50. So if you need to withdraw cash using a cash advance, it’s worth planning in advance to ensure you get the best value from your transaction.
Overseas ATM Fees
Some banks and travel cards charge a fee for using a foreign ATM, so it’s worth checking in advance if yours does or not. If you use a travel card, they usually have a schedule of ATM withdrawal fees that will apply, and sometimes run promotions to reduce the fees on ATM withdrawals when overseas. For example, QANTAS Cash typically charges a USD$1.95 fee for an ATM withdrawal that is in USD (PDS here), but I have seen promotions for fee-free withdrawals. Comparatively, the Australia Post Cash Passport doesn’t charge any fees for overseas ATM withdrawals (fee info here).
As I said at the start, it isn’t cheap. With a bare minimum fee of USD$6.50 and variable other charges, it’s entirely possible to spend AUD$10+ just to withdraw cash. I always suggest carrying sufficient foreign currency onto the ship so that you won’t need to pay premium fees. It is worth knowing in advance though what it will cost you in the event of an emergency, so do your research.