June 30, 2015
(1:35 p.m. EDT) -- The ongoing financial crisis in Greece has prompted the British Government to advise citizens traveling there to bring plenty of cash with them, in case difficulties arise getting money there.
The U.K.'s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised British travelers to take enough euros to cover daily expenses, as well as emergencies.
A statement from the FCO said: "While banks are closed in Greece and some withdrawals are limited, make sure you take sufficient euros in cash to cover the duration of your stay, emergencies, unforeseen circumstances and any unexpected delays. You should take appropriate security precautions against theft. There are currently no restrictions on taking unspent euros out of Greece at the end of your stay."
The United States has not issued any travel alerts or warnings for Greece.
Greece is in the middle of severe financial crisis due to the country's failure to meet its debt obligations. A referendum has been called for July 5 for citizens to vote on whether they want to stay within Europe's Eurozone or go with their own currency.
A variety of news stories have reported tourists are finding many ATMs without funds, due to Greeks pulling money from their bank accounts; citizens are limited to 60 Euros -- about $67 -- per day. Some stores are rejecting credit cards, and travelers heading to Greece should bring euros with them, reports the Associated Press.
On Cruise Critic's message boards, cruisers planning Greek sailings are concerned about the situation.
Said White Cloud, who is traveling to Greece on Celebrity Reflection in July: "I was going to depend on ATM's for Euro's to pay for our private tours. With no stops at a EU country except Greece until we get back to Italy at the end of our cruise, I may have to order Euros' from our bank. I really do not want to carry that much cash with me.
I hope the banking issue is resolved soon, not just for us, but for the people of Greece. I can't imagine not having access to cash or accounts."
Meanwhile, cruise lines are continuing their itineraries to the Greece as scheduled. Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Princess and Costa Cruises are all sailing in Greece this week and have not changed their plans.
As is Windstar, which sent its passengers a message, letting them know that foreign travelers could still use international bankcards at ATMs. Currently, only Greek nationals are under the daily withdrawal limitations. Windstar also noted that U.S. credit cards are still accepted at many places.
Azamara Club Cruises is also continuing its Greek sailings. Said Signe Bjorndal, Director of Global Marketing & Public Relations: "RCCL's global security team is watching this on an ongoing basis, and if they feel any kind of modification or changes are needed, they will take immediate action"
--By Jamey Bergman and Chris Gray Faust, Cruise Critic editors