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While a regular cruise won’t guarantee a casino parlor, casino cruises are designed to cater to customers who want to gamble on vacation.
Famous cruise ships like Royal Caribbean International feature blackjack, roulette, poker, and slots, but others add even more games like Princess Cruises. However, you can come to expect these 8 things on every casino cruise.
1. Not All Casino Cruises Have Table Games
Although it seems bizarre not to have table games, some cruise ships simply don’t have the space for them. It’s 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.
2. Penny Slots and Regular Slots are Very Common
You’ll never find a casino cruise without hundreds of slot machines. Since slot machines, like Sweet Bonanza Slots, are easy to set up and maintain, they become big attractions on cruises. Penny slots are also available in the casino room, with bets starting as little as a penny and as high as $2. Penny slots are the perfect way to enjoy the rush of gambling without overspending.
3. Casinos Aren’t 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 you’re 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.
4. Minimum Gambling Age Varies Between Ships
Most cruise ships have a minimum age of 18, but it starts to rise depending on where the cruise ship is likely to dock or sail. For example, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Azamara raise the age to 21 as they sail past Alaska, while MSC does the same near the Caribbean. If you’re over the age of 21, you’ll be able to enter the casino regardless of location unless it’s banned.
5. Casinos Accept Cruise Card and Cash
A cruise card acts like a debit card while you’re on a cruise. To fill up a cruise card, you must transfer money into it before sailing. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay an expensive fee to withdraw cash from the ATM. If you have money with you on the cruise ship, you can pay with bills or use the cruise card if you feel uncomfortable using cash for your transactions.
6. Drinks Aren’t Usually Free
Unless you’re on a luxury cruise line like the Regent, Silversea, or Crystal, you’ll have to pay for all of your drinks in the casino. Pit bosses can buy a round of drinks for passengers, so if you want free drinks, make friends with a pit boss immediately. Cruise ships have loyalty programs that could give you free drinks or other prizes once you rack up enough points.
7. General Cruise Lines Have A Loyalty Program
Not all cruise lines have a loyalty program, but those that do tend to shave this program with other ships. In the casino, you earn points every time you play, which can add up to drinks, as mentioned, or free cruise vacations. If you want to gamble just to earn rewards, you’ll likely lose more money than you’ll make, so focus more on getting that jackpot than earning free stuff.
8. You May Be Able to Smoke in the Casino
Although smoking in public places has been outlawed in the United States, you may be able to smoke while in the casino. Most big ships have smoking sections, like the Norwegian Bliss, while others won’t permit smoking anywhere in the casino like Cunard, Celebrity, Seasbound, Regent Seven Seas, Crystal, and others. Research smoking policies before lighting a cigarette.