Other Things To Know About Gambling On A Cruise
Loyalty Programs Yes, there are loyalty programs on a cruise ship, just like on land. Youll earn points for your play that can be redeemed for things like drinks, discounts off your cruise tab and even pay for future cruises.
Youll use your room keycard to track your spending in the casino and your loyalty points.
Smoking While smoking is banned in indoor spaces across the ship, it is allowed in the casinos. In general the smoke smell isnt that bad. You likely wont come out of the casino smelling like an ashtray.
Be warned that the smaller size of the casinos on the ship means that it can be tough to get away from smoke if you are sensitive. If you have someone sitting next to you smoking at a slot machine, there may not be many options for other machines to play.
Tournaments There are slot and blackjack tournaments on the ship. They typically take place during off hours for the casino . These tournaments can win you some money while risking only the admission fee.
If you want to play, then check the daily calendar thats delivered to your cabin each day. There will be a listing of any tournaments going on during that day.
Classes If there is a game youve always wanted to try, then a cruise is a great place to learn. The casinos often have classes for games that you can join for free. Here, a dealer will explain how the game works and show you the ropes. Best of all, it wont cost you any money to learn.
When Its All Aboard After A Day In Port The Fun Continues After Dark As High Rollers Try To Beat The Odds In The Best Cruise Ship Casinos At Sea
Royal Caribbean casino life.
If your ideal vacation involves sightseeing or sunbathing by day and trying your hand at blackjack, roulette or slots at night, the cruise industry has got you covered. The best cruise ship casinos pretty much mirror their land-based counterpartsoffering the gamut of gaming options, albeit on a smaller scalewithin close proximity to bars, restaurants and your cabin. The main difference is that cruise ship casinos can only open when the vessel is at least 12 miles from the coastline, so its not until you sail away from port that the lights, bells and winner-takes-all whoops begin. To gamble while the sun shines, book an itinerary with several sea days, when the ships casino can stay open until the last player collects his winnings . Heres a look at the best ship casinos by cruise line.
Each of the lines 25 ships features a lively Casino Royaleoffering slots, roulette, craps, poker and blackjackbut the biggest, splashiest and best are onboard vessels introduced over the past decade. Sail on 5,100-passenger Oasis-class ships to experience the largest casinos at sea, each featuring French Riviera-inspired décor and crystal chandeliers an offering more than 450 slot machines and dozens of gaming tables. Royal Caribbeans 4,200-passenger Anthem of the Seas also has a casino that will make you go wow.
Couple enjoying the casino on a Holland America cruise.
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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When Are The Casinos Open
As you might guess, there are a number of laws that oversee casino gambling, depending on the jurisdiction the ship is in. Thats why theres a simple rule the casino is open when the ship is at sea.
On the day that you board the casino will be closed . It will open up later that night after the ship has set sail. As well, during the days that the ship is docked the games are closed, but available once the ship exits the jurisdiction of the port country. So at days at sea, the casino will be open.
Note that if you want to play during off hours such as early in the morning on a day at sea then table games might not be staffed. However, coin pushers and slot machines will still be available to play.
Casino Tips To Remember
Never bet more than you can afford to lose Cruises and casino gambling can be exciting. While its certainly great when you do win, it doesnt happen all of the time. Have a set budget for what you can gamble at the casino and stick to it.
Take advantage of the ships casino club You could get extra discounts and benefits for other services while onboard and at other businesses onshore long after your cruise vacation is over.
Dont leave money on the table Before leaving the ship, be sure to cash in all of the chips you may have purchased or won at the ships casino. Many cruise lines have the policy that once you leave the ship, you wont be able to cash them in. You can certainly keep a few as souvenirs, while youre on board, thats still money in your pocket. It might just come in handy the next time you want to take a cruise!
If you follow these tips and stick to one of the cruise ships on this list, you can enjoy your cruise casino dream to the fullest!
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Not All Casino Cruises Have Table Games
Although it seems bizarre not to have table games, some cruise ships simply dont have the space for them. Its always a good idea to research which types of table games a cruise will have, but poker games like Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Caribbean Stud, Three Card, Let It Ride are common. Blackjack, roulette, and baccarat are available on select cruises.
Casinos Arent Open 24/7
It would be nice to enter the casino early in the morning, but most cruise ships have to close around 2 or 3 a.m. The casino may also close if the ship ports in a country where gambling is illegal. As long as youre out to see, the casino will maintain regular hours. Depending on the cruise ship, the casino may stay closed in the day to make room for other activities.
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Onboard Casino Age Limits Opening Hours Slots Payouts
Carnival Cruise Line’s Casino gambling age is 18+. The list of Casino games on Carnival cruise ships includes Black Jack, Craps, Poker, Roulette and various Slot Machines and penny slots . As to the payouts – higher denominations machines have a higher payout rate . Now about the Casino hours:
- On sea days: slot machines , select tables , full casino , the hours may vary due to itineraries.
- On port days: closed while the ship is in port, opens after the ship sails . “The Bahamas exception” – on ships staying overnight in Nassau, the casino is open during night hours, on ships calling on Half Moon Cay it may be open at the management’s discretion.
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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Urcomped Comped Cruises With Virgin Voyages
If you are a frequent cruise ship casino go-er who is often comped cruises Virgin Voyages are part of a company called URComped which will be offered comped cruises to people who have been offered comped cruises by other cruise lines. This means that if you are offered a comped cruise by Norwegian Cruise Line or Royal Caribbean, Virgin Voyages will look at that and may offer you a comped cruise.
This is of course up to Virgin Voyages and theyll try to decide how much youre worth based on the other offers you are getting. Its free to join so if you have ever had a comped offer its probably worth signing up: URComped
What Are Cruise Casinos Like
In many ways cruise ship gambling is similar to what youll find on land. That also means that while they all feel familiar with flashing lights and dinging bells, each casino has its own personality.
In general, the gaming floor is small by the standards of land-based casinos. On many ships, youll usually find closed-in areas with relatively low ceilings . The low ceilings and maze of games give the casinos a cozy feel. Still, they are among the largest rooms on a cruise ship.
Some ships most notably the newest ships in Norwegians fleet have more open casinos. On those ships, the casino floor opens up to the rest of the ship, giving it a brighter feel.
As for atmosphere, within seconds of walking into a cruise ship casino youll forget that youre on a ship. Give the casino size and number of passengers, evenings can get crowded. That means the casino will feel high energy, with lots of people cheering, noise from machines, and generally a festive atmosphere.
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Casinos Close While In Port
If you plan to spend a lot of time in the ships casino, choose an itinerary with a lot of sea days. With a few exceptions including overnight in Bermuda and Nassau ports cruise ship casinos are required to remain closed when the ship is in port so as not to compete with local gambling or entertainment businesses. In Bermuda, casinos on ships can operate from 9 pm to 5 am, and in Nassau, from 7 pm to 3 am.
Taxes On Gambling Wins When Youre On A Cruise Ship
Ok, heres where things get a little more complicated.
Paying taxes on your winnings really depends on whether the amount you win is deemed worthy of reporting to the state by the casino operators on board the ship.
Should somebody win over $1,200 in a single payout or enjoy a table game win with odds of 300/1 or more, then technically the house is required to provide the forms to the lucky winner who can then pay the taxes on their haul.
But, theyll only have to do this if the casino operators are based in a country that taxes its gambling winners.
The UK does not and has not done since it changed its laws back in 2001, so you can keep your cash if youre in its waters.
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Cruise Ship Casinos Actually Have Windows
Ever gambled in a casino with a view? Of course not. Its an age-old tactic used by land-based casinos to limit the amount of natural light coming in to keep people playing longer instead of thinking about the time. Many cruise ship casinos offer plentiful windows running down the sides of the ship. And if you get a seat near one, you can have a great view of the passing water while playing. Its a unique view for a casino and actually makes us want to stick around longer!
Carnival Casino Comps And Perks
It means for table games minimum bets of $50 per hand . There’s also the “On Us” casino drink program – when you reach 1500 points at the Slot Machines you get the “Drink On Us” card – and complimentary drinks while playing in the casino for the rest of your cruise. Table Players can also qualify for the drink card – they’ll need to ask the Pit Boss to get rated for this program.
- As you play, your S& S card will tell you how many points you’ve accumulated. When you make the 1500 points, call someone from the Casino staff and they’ll add your free drink card to your onboard S& S card. Remember – the drink cards are provided only on longer sailings . Cards are good only in the Casino, you must ask the Pit Manager to consider your betting.
- As additional perks, some players have received bottles of wine sent to their Main Dining Room tables, a wine& cheese basket or sweets sent to their cabins, free photo coupons. Sometimes they may get a “future” free drink card plus free onboard credit. And these are huge comps compared to those offered in land-based casinos.
- A free Carnival cruise promotion for Players Club members. It’s a limited-time based on availability promotion – on selected sailings you’ll pay only the taxes, meaning the stateroom is for absolutely free.
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Card Sharks Are A Rare Species At Sea
Professional gamblers tend to focus their energies on the land-based casinos that are open around the clock, without the distractions of a cruise from buffets to deck parties and those pesky ports of call. Plus, according to Paul Jarvis, vice president of casino operations for Carnival Corp., card sharks seek anonymity, and passengers need to provide the cruise line with their passport details before boarding.
So Easy To Play Withcash & Credit Access
Casino Credit is available to players for gaming on Norwegian Cruise Line. The application process is easy, there is no fee to apply and differed payment terms can be arranged. The minimum application amount is $5,000.00. A personal cheque is required onboard to activate the credit line. Markers or counter cheques can be paid by your winnings, personal cheque or bank wire.
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What Casino Games Are Available On A Cruise
Like playing slots? Youre covered. What about blackjack or craps or roulette? They have them all. Despite the small size of cruise ship casinos compared to those on land, they offer a wide variety of games.
For instance, while you wont find table after of blackjack, there will be a few, and usually one craps table. There is also roulette and often other specialty table games like WPT Heads Up Hold Em. Texas Hold Em poker is also popular, with tournaments and play throughout the cruise.
Whats a little surprising is that there are several games you wont ever find on land that are on a cruise. One is similar to a skill crane where you use a joystick to move a key to push down stacks of dollar bills. But perhaps the most popular are the coin pusher machines.
The coin pusher machines are exactly like youd find in an arcade, but instead of tokens they use quarters. You can try your luck to push quarters over the edge, along with wads of cash that are also in the machines.
Many cruise lines are also now offering their own scratch-off tickets available for purchase, as well as big lotto-style drawings with jackpots worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Casino Games Available
- Slot Machines
- Lotto Draws
Who Regulates Casinos On Cruise Ships
The worlds largest cruise industry trade association, Cruise Lines International Association enforces some regulations and policies surrounding equipment, rules of play, internal audits, internal control procedures for cash counting, and customer service.
In general, CLIA tends to follow the regulatory standards and rules of play used by control boards, licensed jurisdictions and established casinos in Nevada and New Jersey in the US, or England in the UK.
But who do you contact if you have a gambling dispute on board a ship?
Its unlikely youll find a representative or agent in the middle of your cruise, so your best bet is to first raise your issue with the onboard casino manager. If it cant be resolved, youll then usually be directed to the hotel manager or director.
In rare cases, when a dispute cant be solved onboard, the policy is to direct patrons to the contact information for the main office or casino operator on land.
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Whats The Gambling Age On A Cruise Ship
While there are some exceptions, the majority of places in the United States require you to be 21 to gamble in a casino.
On a cruise which heads to international waters the minimum age to gamble is 18 years old. If youve ever wanted to try your luck but havent been old enough to head to Las Vegas, a cruise ship might be your best bet.
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