Casinos? Gambling? You Bet!
The majority of large cruise ships have casinos onboard, which is great if you enjoy a bit of gambling. There are hundreds of different slot games to play and tables for those of you who enjoy roulette, black jack, poker and other favourites.
The features and facilities can vary enormously from ship to ship. To make sure you get everything you are looking for, I have put together a useful guide to give you a safe bet in finding which one suits you.
This video was taken onboard Harmony of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world.
If the casinos are an important part of your holiday, it is worth checking with the cruise line or a cruise specialist which currency is used onboard. The majority of major cruise lines work with US dollars. P & O, Fred Olsen and Cruise & Maritime use British Pounds and MSC work in Euros. For more information see Your Cruise Onboard Currency Guide
The photos I have included here, give an idea of how much casinos vary in size from ship to ship. Generally speaking a smaller ship will have a smaller casino. However Disney Cruise Line is the exception to the rule as they do not have casinos onboard their cruise ships.
Due to gambling laws, the casinos will only open once the ship has set sail. If you have one or more consecutive sea days, then the casino will remain open 24 hours a day.
Most casino’s allow smoking and will have one half of the casino allocated to smoking and the other half non-smoking. Usually this means the casino bar is the only indoor bar area where people can smoke, making it a popular place when the weather is not so good.
A ship casino does not provide complimentary drinks whilst playing poker, black jack, roulette, slots or any other casino game. However, if you are planning on spending a great deal of time gambling and enjoy quite a few drinks, I would advise you to find a cruise line who offers a beverage package. You will find these available on most of the cruise lines with the larger cruise ships such as Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC and Princess Cruises. With the ultra luxury cruise lines such as Crystal Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises your drinks are all complimentary, so there is no extra cost.
Free Bets and Bingo
Keep an eye on your cruise planner, which is delivered to your room daily. There you may find some free spins or special deals or bingo bonus cards. If you are a regular traveller, some cruise lines offer loyalty guests free bets on slot games. Bingo is not usually held in the casino and event details and locations will be printed in the cruise planner.
Most cruise ship also offer free gaming lessons for beginners or people wanting to improve the skills they already have. Whichever skill level you are, it is a great way to meet likeminded people and have a bit of fun at the same time.
If you are planning a cruise with Royal Caribbean, you may also like to read my guide on how to get Free Onboard Spend