2019's Best Casino Cruises

There are many different types of cruises including family cruises, seniors’ cruises, holiday cruises, sight-seeing cruises, adventure cruises, singles’ cruises, couples’ cruises and more. In each case, the traveler decides on the type of cruise that fits his or her individual interests and expectations.

One of the most popular types of cruises is the casino cruises. Grande Vegas online casino patrons and other casino enthusiasts can enjoy onboard casino action when they book a casino cruise. Even ocean cruises that aren’t billed as a “casino cruise” will usually feature an onboard casino (other than Disney and the Norwegian Pride of America Line). The casinos aren’t generally open during the daytime when passengers are sight-seeing and engaged in other activities.  But at night, the casinos are the hot place to be!

For a real non-stop, high-action, authentic casino event, book one of the upcoming 2019 Casino Cruises.

About Casino Cruises 

All cruise ship casinos offer a wide range of slot machine options -- including penny slots -- as well as table games such as blackjack and different variations of poker games (Ultimate Texas Hold' Em, Three Card, Let It Ride, Caribbean Stud) that are played against the dealer.

Texas Hold 'Em aficionados, who enjoy playing against other players, can find dealer-dealt tables (most Royal Caribbean ships and the Norwegian Cruise Line) while others will use electronic Poker Pro tables (Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line).

You can also generally count on finding at least one roulette table and one craps table. Some at-sea casinos offer baccarat.

VIP players should check out which cruise ships offer truly high stakes gambling BEFORE they book, since not all casino cruises have high stakes tables.  On some ships such as on select Royal Caribbean ships, if enough VIPers want to play a high stakes game, such a game might be arranged. For the most part, tables are limited.

If you’re looking for a tournament you can usually find a slots or blackjack tournament on a casino cruise ship.  These tournaments are buy-ins -- you pay to enter the tournament and then don't need to place additional wagers during the tournament itself. On some cruise lines, you can rebuy during poker and blackjack tournaments. In those cases, the winners tend to be the players who continually rebuy. On some ships, i.e. the Royal Caribbean, winners of a Texas Hold' Em tournament receive free tickets for two to the Royal Poker Tournament Cruise where a guaranteed prize of $100,000 awaits. 

Laws

The casino cruises are obligated to maintain the laws of the country in whose waters they are cruising. That means that casinos on cruise ships are only open when the ship is in port in countries where gambling is permitted (i.e. Bermuda) or out at sea on international waters.  

The minimum age to be in the casino is 18 on most ships. Lines such as the Royal Caribbean raise that age to 21 for cruises to areas in which the minimum age for gambling is 21.

You can pay for your gaming with your cruise card or with cash. The slot machines generally take your cruise card and at the tables, you’ll be able to charge the price of the chips on your cruise card or, alternatively, have your cash turned into chips. Since the fees on an on-ship ATM are high, it’s suggested that passengers bring cash with them.  

Most casino cruises offer a loyalty program where you earn points towards rewards (cruises, drinks, etc). This loyalty program is separate from the general cruise line loyalty program. Rewards that you earn on one cruise ship don’t always transfer to another ship, even within the same line, so if you’re looking for that, check before you start playing.

Best Cruises of 2019

There are more casino cruises than ever in 2019 but which ones are the best? Four of the top casino cruises include

Sophisticated

The Queen Mary 2, a Cunard ocean liner, travels between New York and Southhampton, providing travelers with a luxury cruise of VIP suites, an 8000-book library, and the sophisticated Empire casino. The ship features nine gaming tables -- roulette, blackjack, three card poker, Texas Hold' Em poker and Heads Up Poker. Table limits range from $3 minimum to $500 maximum. There are also 99 slots machines with a range of $0.05 to $5 per spin.

Daily lessons are held in the casino so novice gamers can get the advice and guidance of the liner’s highly-trained croupiers who explain the rules of each game and how to play each game. Tips are also given for the various games.

The dress code for the Empire Casino is smart-casual but you’ll feel perfectly at home in a dinner dress or a tux. This cruise is the perfect way to envision what it was like for the European royalty who used to enjoy casino entertainment on their Queen Mary voyages during the Victorian era.

SuperYacht

There’s no need to pack a suitcase when you go on the SuperYacht casino cruise in Gibraltar. SuperYacht is permanently docked in Gibraltar’s Ocean Village Marina so you can enjoy your casino adventure while gazing out over the breath-taking views over the famous Rock and the strait towards Morocco. 

The casino features three American roulette tables, four card tables, and three live poker tables. There are also 58 slot machines.

There are minimum bets -- £0.01 on slots machines, £1 on American roulette and £5 on blackjack. Maximum bets reach £500. Players also have access to a dedicated poker room where regularly-scheduled tournaments are played. You can come for the day or stay on board in one of the luxury bedroom suites. There’s a bar in the casino and table-side service for those who don’t want to leave the table.

High Stakes Casino Cruise

Norwegian Cruise Lines operates a state-of-the-art casino on board the Norwegian Escape for dedicated gamers who are looking for some gambling action in between port calls in the Bahamas. The casino is outfitted with 28 gaming tables that include craps, blackjack, baccarat, roulette, Pai Gow and Let it Ride poker. Buy-ins range from low to high so everyone can play. Dozens of slot machines line the floor so everyone can play slots at their leisure.  
VIP gamers are invited into the high roller suite where limits can exceed the $5000 maximum limit on the casino floor.

Las Vegas Casino Cruise

The Allure of the Seas, the Royal Caribbean’s largest cruise ship (2nd largest in the world) offers the Casino Royale where guests can play more than 500 slot machines or any of the 27 table games that include video poker, craps, blackjack, roulette and Caribbean stud poker.

The entire casino experience is designed to offer guests the most luxurious gaming adventure possible. Guests are served drinks and snacks right at the tables and slots. In addition to the casino Allure of the Seas hosts Broadway shows and an Aquatheatre.  

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