All casino cruise ships have numerous slot machine options, and most have table games as well, including blackjack and a variety of poker games (Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Caribbean Stud, Three Card, Let It Ride) that you play against the dealer. For Texas Hold’em played against other players, some ships will have dealer-dealt tables (Norwegian Cruise Line, most Royal Caribbean ships), while others will use electronic Poker Pro tables (Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises). Still other ships will not offer Texas Hold’em at all; Silversea doesn’t offer poker of any variety. There’s usually also at least one roulette table and one craps table, and a rare few will have Baccarat.
Casino Cruise Tourneys
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 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.
Casino Gaming Hours on the Cruise Ship
Casino cruise ship facilities are only open when the ship is out to sea or in port in a select few countries where gambling is permitted (at least on the cruise ship), such as Bermuda and Malta. On some cruise ships, casinos are also closed during the day — even when the ship is out to sea because cruise lines know most people are doing other things during daylight hours. Night hours vary, but cruise ship casinos tend to stay open until 2 or 3 AM. Always check your daily cruise schedule for the day’s casino hours.