Is A Cruise Right For You
Alright, lets talk about FAQ. The question that I was asked most often during this trip was simply whether or not we would recommend cruising in general especially in Europe, especially with Viking, and especially as a 30-something. ) To be sure, everyone has different traveling styles and budgets to work with. But in general, I would say that a Viking cruise is right for you if:
Know What Youre Paying
Courtesy of Viking Cruises
As we mentioned earlier, Viking cruises arent cheap, but that doesnt mean that you cant travel frugally.
Viking River Cruises offer a 3.3 percent discount for travelers who pay via e-check, so if youre looking for a way to reduce your expenses, thats a great place to start. You should also research tipping policies for your vessel while tips are voluntary for both ocean and river cruises, Viking ocean cruises have a discretionary hotel and dining charge of $15.00 per day .
For river cruises, tipping recommendations vary depending on your location. The Viking River Cruises website contains gratuity recommendations for various cruises, along with currency recommendations.
While youll want to show your gratitude to the ships staff, youll want to know what youre paying, particularly if youre traveling on a ship that doesnt use your typical currency. Planning in advance should help you avoid a costly mistake .
What Types Of Machines And/or Tables Will I Find In The Casino
All cruise ship casinos have numerous slot machine options, and most have table games as well, including blackjack and a variety of poker games that you play against the dealer. For Texas Hold’em played against other players, some ships will have dealer-dealt tables , while others will use electronic Poker Pro tables . Still other ships will not offer Texas Hold’em at all Silversea doesn’t offer poker of any variety. There’s usually also at least one roulette table and one craps table, and a rare few will have Baccarat.
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Youll Need To Use Your Phone
Courtesy of Viking Cruises
Part of the fun of a cruise is getting away from the stresses of your everyday life, and for many of us, that means turning off the smartphone for a while. However, Viking offers a few apps to make your cruise more enjoyable, and if you dont install them, youll miss out.
The Viking Art Guide offers a self-guided audio tour of the artwork throughout the public spaces of the ships, with insightful commentary from your host, Vikings Senior Vice President Karine Hagen, as well as a variety of curators and experts, our source says.
Another essential download is the Viking Voyager app, which lets you see daily events, plan your cruise program, and book shore excursions, spa appointments, and dinner reservations. Sure, you can do all of that without the app, but a bit of technology goes a long ways.
As one of the apps reviewers puts it: This app is an essential tool for getting the most out of your cruise.
Do Virgin Voyages Cruise Ships Have Casinos
All cruise ships from Virgin Voyages will have casinos onboard. The casinos will be relatively small compared to some other cruise lines but will contain a variety of slot machines and gaming tables.
Scarlet Lady is the first cruise ship from Virgin Voyages, she does have a casino onboard and can be seen in the photos below.
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What Is In The Casino On Scarlet Lady
The casino will include a mix of slot machines and table games.
From the Virgin Voyages FAQs:
What type of machines and games will there be in the casino?
Feelin lucky? Hope you said yes because our casinos will have a mix of traditional, vintage, and modern games available. So make sure to wear your lucky knickers .
The casino will include:
115 Slot Machines
10 Gaming Tables
Craps: 1 Craps Table They do allow side bets/ bonus bet up to 5xs off
Roulette: 2 x Roulette Tables
Texas Holdem: 1 x Electronic Texas Holdem
Blackjack: 1 x single deck blackjack
And More: 5 x tables that include- blackjack , three card poker, Ultimate Texas Holdem and Baccarat.
These Are The Ultimate Casino Cruise Ships
Gambling in the casino is a popular cruise ship activity, with many of the major ships and cruise lines having onboard games as part of their adult entertainment. The most luxurious ships have casinos that rival those on the land in style, sophistication, and even size. Not everyone goes on these cruises exclusively for gambling, but the option is there for those who love taking chances.
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Everything You Need To Know About Cruise Ship Casinos
Whether youre an avid poker player or just like to try your luck on the slot machines, cruise ship casinos offer a little something for everyone, without a flight to Las Vegas.
While some cruise lines offer more games than others, blackjack, poker, roulette, and slots are standard on all ships except Silversea Cruises, which dont allow poker. Heres what cruise lines offer in their casinos so you can take a gamble on your next cruise:
Best Small Cruise Ship
The first cruise line to stop sailing when COVID hit last year, Viking immediately started looking at ways to ensure their guests would be safe when they started again. We saw what was happening, realized we were not prepared for it and just turned the ship around, remembers Hagen. It was an obvious decision to make. The health and safety of our guests has to come first.
All Viking passengers undergo daily PCR testing
They called in experts like Vice Admiral Raquel C. Bono, M.D. and started studying the situation, paying special attention to the massive outbreak on the Diamond Princess, where, according to Japanese researchers, the seven deaths and almost 700 infections aboard the ship most likely stemmed from one infected person.
The conclusion was that the only way to stop the spread was by testing daily, says Hagen. So the protocol we developed was based on those early findings.
According to Dr. Bono, We knew at the time that the technology and science really supported PCR labs because that was the type of testing that most reliably caught the virus the earliest. So then it just became a matter of configuring the space onboard the ships to accommodate the labs and make sure we had the right kind of equipment and the right kind of lab techs who we trained ourselves. These labs are truly state of the art.
But thats only part of it.
Viking has already done almost 200,000 PCR tests
The UV-C robot disinfecting the World Cafe
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Five Things You Should Know About Viking Ocean Cruises
Last year I had the great opportunity to experience something completely new in the world of ocean cruising when I spent 11 days on a journey around the Mediterranean on the Viking Star the first vessel in what will eventually be an entire fleet operated by Viking Ocean Cruises. You may be more familiar with Viking thanks to their river cruises not only in Europe, but also around the world, and of course those now iconic commercials many of us grew to love while watching Downton Abbey. Many were skeptical when this river cruise giant took to the high seas, but in their first year they proved everyone wrong not just thanks to the feedback of their passengers, but also to the many awards they have earned. From my own experience, Viking Ocean Cruises forever changed the way I look at cruising and brought me back to the fold of enjoying this style of travel. A few weeks ago I once again joined the Viking Star on a sailing, as it repositioned from New York to the Caribbean, its new home now that the second ship in the Viking fleet has entered the waters of Europe. Looking back at that very brief cruise, I thought Id share a few aspects of sailing with Viking Ocean Cruises that may not be widely known but really should be. Viking revolutionized the way the world looks at river cruising and theyve done it again in the competitive world of ocean cruising. This is no mean feat and bears a closer examination.
No nickel and diming
Can I Use Cash In The Casino Or Is Everything Charged On My Cruise Card
On most cruises, you’ll be able to use both cash and your cruise card. At the tables, your cash will be turned into chips or you can charge the price of the chips on your cruise card. Most slot machines will just take your cruise card, but some will also take cash. Very few cruise ship casinos are cash-only but a few do exist. Though most big ships will have an ATM, the fee to withdraw money is usually pretty high bring some bills if you’re unsure of how the casino on your chosen ship works.
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Tour The Bridge And The Galley
Courtesy of Viking Cruises
If youre on an ocean cruise, you can actually take a tour of the bridge and galley, but youll need to act quickly in order to get a spot.
At least once during your sailing, the ship will offer behind-the-scenes tours of the bridge, where the captain and crew manage the direction and speed of the ship, and the galley, the kitchen, a Viking representative says.
These are limited capacity and can only be booked once onboard, so talk to the guest services team once you arrive and watch your Viking Daily newsletter to make sure you can secure your spot.
That might not interest every traveler, but if youre interested in the inner workings of a major cruise vessel, its well worth the time.
Are Drinks Free In A Cruise Ship Casino The Same Way They Are In A Land Casino
Drinks are only free in casinos on ships where drinks are always free, such as luxury lines including Crystal, Silversea and Regent. On most ships, you’ll have to pay for your drinks just like you do at the bar or in the dining room. Pit bosses do have the authority to buy a round for the table a couple of times a night, so make friends with the pit boss if you can. If you’re a member of a cruise ship’s casino loyalty program and have racked up enough points, you might earn free drinks but most programs require you to bet a significant amount of money before all drinks are on the house.
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Will There Be A Casino On My Cruise Ship
That depends on which cruise line you’ve chosen. Most large cruise ships, and even some of the smaller ones , will have an onboard casino. The major exception to the big ship rule is Disney Cruise Line, which does not have a casino on any of its four cruise ships. Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America also does not have a casino. Most expedition ships and river boats do not have casinos.
Can You Smoke In The Casino On Virgin Voyages Cruises
Guests cannot smoke in the casino on Virgin Voyages cruises. Virgin Voyages have strict rules about where smoking is allowed and cruisers who break these rules will incur a fee and possible disembarkment.
From Virgin Voyages terms and conditions:
Smoking areas are provided around the vessel. A Guest found smoking anything, to include vapes, in their room or other non-designated areas onboard, agree to a $1,000 fee to be added to their onboard account, and may be disembarked from the voyage, which may be at a port of call.
If the above does happen you are responsible for all costs which might happen when you are getting home. If youre under 21 an adult would have to be disembarked with you too which could get seriously expensive.
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Ships Without Cruise Ship Casinos
Sorry, but if you are thinking about booking a sailing on Disney, Viking, or Voyages to Antiquity youll have to find other ways to keep yourself entertained at night since none of these lines ships have a casino . Some passengers enjoy escaping the clamor of slots and the buzz of voices as the roulette wheel spins and the dice roll, while others thrive on the nightly energy.
Would you book a trip on any of these cruise ship casinos? Let us know in the comments below!
You Can Avoid Overpaying For Drinks
Courtesy of Viking Cruises
If youre planning on drinking regularly no judgments here, were talking about a vacation there are a couple of ways to keep your budget in check.
The most obvious: Pay for the Silver Spirits beverage package, which offers unlimited beers, cocktails, premium wines, juices, espresso drinks, and mineral water for the entire cruise. Prices vary depending on the length of the cruise, but for around $19.95 per night per guest, youll never have to worry about what youre spending.
Is that worth it? If youre planning on drinking several glasses of wine per night , its certainly a decent purchase. If that doesnt sound like a great value , theres another option.
You can also buy local wine and bring it onboard, a Viking Cruises representative tells TravelAwaits via email. Each stateroom on Viking Longships and Vikings ocean ships have a refrigerator, and a corkscrew is also available onboard.
As with all other aspects of your cruise, the trick is to plan ahead. Make a list of planned expenditures, then do the math to see whether you can justify the Silver Spirits package. If not, you can always grab a few bottles of the good stuff during a shore excursion.
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What Is The Minimum Age To Play Or Hang Out In The Casino
On most cruise ships, the minimum age to be in the casino is 18. Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara raise that age to 21 on sailings in Alaska, while MSC raises it to 21 in the Caribbean. Princess Cruises, Windstar and Seabourn Cruises are among the few lines that require passengers to be 21 in the casinos on all sailings. In many cases, casinos are located along main thoroughfares, so kids will be walking through although they’re not supposed to linger. If you wish to gamble, but think you might be too young, check with your travel agent or the cruise line before booking.
Cocktails And Premium Alcohol
If you would like to enjoy alcoholic beverages beyond the included beer and wine at lunch and dinner, Viking Ocean Cruises offers a drink package for an additional cost. The Silver Spirits Beverage Package allows you to enjoy unlimited beverages in all dining venues and bars throughout the ship for the duration of your cruise for any drink up to $15. Both guests in a stateroom must purchase the package for the full length of the cruise. A 15% service charge per person is included with the price.
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Is There A Casino Loyalty Club Through Which I Can Earn Points And Perks
Most big ship casinos offer a loyalty program that is separate from the general cruise line loyalty program. As you bet money, you earn points toward rewards, usually free drinks and cruise sailings. You have to bet a lot of money to rack up a significant number of points, so don’t gamble in the casino just to try and earn rewards you’ll end up spending more money than the reward is worth. The rewards you earn on one cruise ship do not always transfer to another ship, even within the same fleet. If earning casino points on multiple cruise ships is important to you, check with the cruise line ahead of time to get specific rules of the casino loyalty program.
Are There Poker Blackjack Or Slot Tournaments In The Casino
Most cruise ships with a casino will offer tournaments of some kind. Most common are slot and blackjack. Most tournaments are buy-ins where you pay a certain amount to enter and then don’t actually spend money during the tournament. Some cruise lines allow you to rebuy during blackjack and poker tournaments, so winners tend to be whichever player is willing to continually rebuy. Winners of tournaments typically win money but on some ships, namely Royal Caribbean, winners of the Texas Hold’em tournament are also eligible to receive a free cruise for two on which the final Royal Poker Tournament is held, for which a prize pool of $100,000 is guaranteed.
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How Can I Find Out More About Cruise Ship Casinos
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The What to Expect on a Cruise series, written by Cruise Critic’s editorial staff, is a resource guide, where we answer the most common questions about cruise ship life — including cruise food, cabins, drinks and onboard fun — as well as money matters before and during your cruise and visiting ports of call on your cruise.