Cruise ships are very popular within the entertainment and leisure industry, passengers hop on board these enormous vessels with the hope of enjoying a wonderful holiday on the open waters. Entertainment activities on board these floating hotels are designed to ensure passengers are happy, relaxed and occupied throughout the day. What does not capture the attention of the holiday goer on board the ship is sure to captivate them during their off shore excursions.

In the past, cruise lines accommodated casinos merely as an additional form of entertainment to their other features. It was with this understanding that game tables had betting limits that were fairly low. This was most appropriate as the average player was simply there to relax and unwind and didn’t take gambling too seriously.

Casino Cruise

Today casinos are popular attractions on most cruise ships

This however is a model of the past. Today, with the high demand and growing popularity of gambling activities worldwide, on board casinos have focused their efforts on maximising the gaming experience for the players. Although the Cruise ships still focus their efforts on the general passenger who might only enter the casino to unwind a little, they now also focus their marketing efforts on the more experienced and avid gamblers. Casinos on board passenger ships are now considered a large source of income for the cruise liners.

Some of the benefits that casino players can experience from playing on board casino cruises are rewards such as; meals at specialty restaurants, complimentary spa treatments, upgrades to superior rooms and more. Players Club reward points can be redeemed for various rewards and could even be used to pay the final bill.

Five of the largest cruise line operators in the world are Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International, Star Cruises, MSC Cruises and Louis Cruises.

Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival, a British-American cruise liner is currently the number one cruise line operator in the world.

Carnival Players Club is the casino cruise club that was established by Carnival cruise lines with the aim of maximising gamblers fun. Anyone over the age of 18 can join this club. In order to become a member one simply needs to earn 1,000 points or more whilst playing in the casino.

This club is all encompassing in that it offers something for players on all levels. For the beginners the club offers gaming lessons and for the more experienced gambler it offers credit lines and betting limits. All members qualify to receive player benefits and unique offers.

Player winnings accumulate are accumulated on players cards, these cards are simply inserted into the machine of choice. On the last day of the cruise, players are able to exchange the points for various rewards.


Carnival Cruise

Carnival Cruise Line is a British-American based cruise line

Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean, a Norwegian-American cruise liner is currently the worlds’ second largest cruise line operator. They are incorporated in Liberia and based in Miami, Florida. Royal Caribbean anchors at hundreds of ports of call in some of the most beautiful places in the world. From the undisputed beauty of Alaska and Canada to the unique charm of Europe and the ever popular destinations of Mexico, Hawaii, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, Bermuda and the Bahamas

Royal Caribbean cruise liners, voyager class ships are five of the largest cruise ships in the world. Each one accommodates their own unique Casino Royal. These casinos are considered to be some of the largest on the sea, and each one holds 16 gaming tables and 300 slot machines. The rest of the ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet each hold at least 8 gaming tables and 150 slot machines.

These Casino Royals bring Las Vegas to the open waters. They offer games for all levels of players, including on board classes for beginners and high stake tournaments for the more experienced players. Inside each one of these casinos you will find various table games and a wide array of slot machines.  On almost all of the cruises there are Blackjack and slots tournaments for players to get involved in.

Club Royale is the casino cruise club that was established by Royal Caribbean International. Based on the level of play during the guests’ time aboard, they could be invited to become members of this club by the casino cruise ship managers.

Royal Caribbean International and MGM Resorts International have created an exclusive partnership, which offers M life members the best that cruise holidays and at-sea casinos have to offer. Members will receive complimentary cruise vacations and whilst playing on board in the Casino Royals they can earn M life tier credits. MGM Resorts awards cruise packages as prizes during their slot tournaments as well as other relevant casino cruise ship promotions.

Liberty of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s newest ships, each with their own Las Vegas-style casino Royals are among the largest sailing casinos

Watch this video to find out more about Casino Royal on board the Royal Caribbean International cruise ships

Star Cruises

Star Cruises is a member of Genting Hong Kong and is currently the worlds’ third largest cruise line operator. Star Cruises has a firm hold over the Asia-Pacific market. This is a popular cruise liner for the Asian markets  and also targets North Americans, Europeans and Australians that have a desire to travel to  Asian destinations.

MSC Cruises

MSC is an Italian-Swiss cruise liner based in Geneva.  Originally they were named Lauro Lines by the founder Achille Lauro, in the 1960’s. The company was renamed MSC Cruises in 1995. MSC Cruises is the world's leading cruise company in the Mediterranean, South African and Brazilian markets and claims to be the worlds’ third largest cruise line operator.

Playtech and MSC cruises have a well-established partnership. Playtech is a gaming software development company. As a result of this partnership, MSC operates the Neon Casino Management System on a large number of its ships. MSC headquarters houses a central data warehouse where management can gain in-depth insight into this system, across all the relevant ships.

The Neon system works together with the ships’ Fidelio Cruise property management system, which allows guests to make use of their room key to charge transactions to their account. To do this players can make use a multilingual app stationed at each slot, or an iPad which can be found at each table or with the cashier.

With the Neon system in place, MSC Cruises are able to offer an array of bonus platforms thus allowing them to maximise the entertainment experience whilst encouraging guests to participate in these activities. This system means MSC can offer free and bonus play incentives, virtual prize draws, targeted jackpots as well as hot seat bonuses.

MSC cruises

MSC Cruises, the beautiful Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa

Louis Cruises

Louis is a Cyprus-based cruise line that operates from Cyprus, France, Italy, India and Greece, travelling to exotic destinations around the world. Louis is the worlds’ fifth largest cruise line operator.

Watch this video to see what could be in store for you whilst on board any of the Louis Cruises passenger Cruise ships.

Norwegian Cruise Line

This cruise line does not fall within the top 5 of the biggest cruise Liners in the world but it is a large cruise liner in its own right. Norwegian Cruise line is an American based company.

Casinos At Sea is the casino cruise club that was established by Norwegian Cruise Line. This club ensures that players earn points on slot machines and table games. They also stand the chance to redeem cash rewards at the end of their cruise or points which can be carried over.

Norwegian Cruise Line's highly esteemed Casinos At Sea, feature over 2000 slot machines and nearly 200 tables fleetwide. Casino Player Magazine and Porthole magazine both rated Norwegian Cruise Line as the ‘Best Cruise Line Casino’ for twelve consecutive years.

The Casinos At Sea, which is considered the most generous gambling loyalty program on a cruise ship, tracks slot play as well as table play. A players status will soar based on how much they play, rather than the extent to which they win or lose. This program comprises of four status levels: 1. You’re Lucky – requires no minimum points 2. You’re Hot 3.Your’re Golden 4. You’re VIP – earn a certain amount of points relative to each status level over the year and receive the relevant status, which is valid for 12 months and earns players additional perks and rewards.

Find out more about these rewards

Norwegian Cruise Line hosts several blackjack, slots, and poker tournaments throughout the year that draw in hundreds of gaming fanatics. Throughout the year, they stage qualifying rounds, and the final competition takes place towards the year end.

Casinos at Sea

Cruise Liners offer various gambling tournaments on board their ships


Norwegian Cruise Line is an American based company

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity cruises introduced its own casino cruise club, called the Blue Chip Club. On board any of the celebrity cruise lines guests can download the celebrity fortunes casino mobile gaming app. This free app means that guests can play casino games from any location on the ship from their apple or android smartphone or tablet.

Playing On Board

For true high rollers, several cruise liners now offer gambling cruises where the more experienced players are invited by the company to enjoy a complimentary cruise in exchange for playing on board the ship in the various tournaments.  Poker theme cruises are also becoming something of a phenomenon.

Norwegian cruise lines and Royal Caribbean International are two of the main casino cruises that place a large focus on reaching out to high rollers, by offering large incentives to these players. Gambling fanatics are  encouraged to consider integrating their vacation time with their passion for gambling.

Cruise ship casinos look to land casinos to determine the rules and the required training for their dealers. Cruise lines also reflect land based casino principles by offering the latest and most popular slots and table games.

It should be taken into consideration that not every cruise ship offers gaming facilities. For example the Disney Cruise Line due to the fact that it is a family dedicated cruise ship does not have any casinos.

To find out more about booking your casino cruise you can contact pair-a dice travel

For interest in other relevant casino vacations read this article

Cruise Liner

The ship comes to light at night whilst sailing on the open sea

Playing Outside The Casino

Gambling on cruises is not limited to the casino. Bingo games are a regular occurrence on the ships and may be played for prize money, large jackpots, or complimentary cruises. Many cruise ships also offer scratch lottery tickets with rewarding prizes to be won.

Cruise Ship Gambling laws

Whether it be in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean gambling is legal on cruise ships. The flag that represents the ship determines which countries laws the ship needs to abide by. Laws that are applicable to activities on the water are called Maritime law.

When a ship is docked it is then required to abide by the laws of the country whose internal waters they are in. Once the cruise ship has reached 24 miles from any internal waters it is then considered international water and can proceed to offer games. The laws of gambling when it comes to being at port will change according to the various countries.

Riverboat casinos follow fairly simple rules, due to the fact that they are always within the same territorial waters, they are required to abide by the laws of that country, these being the same laws that the countries land based casinos are required to abide by.

Did you know: River Belle casino is an online riverboat themed casino. River Belle Casino offers an online gaming experience, allowing players to play in the comfort of their own home.

Poker Cruises

Poker cruises are becoming ever popular vacation options for gamblers and vacationers alike. Poker cruises allow players to visit many glamorous destinations around the world, whilst travelling on board some of the largest and most luxurious cruise ships. Whilst at sea, poker games are open at any point in time. Texas Hold’em is the most popular cruise ship game and is offered with a variety of limits. A minimum of 1 multi-table poker tournament is guaranteed to take place on each poker cruise.

Poker Afloat

Poker Cruises are becoming a popular vacation option

Poker cruise

Poker Tournaments are no longer only land based