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Casino Cruise Ships

MS Radiance of The Sea has a Vegas-style casino that is an impressive 6,459 square foot with 188 slots and 11 tables.

The MS Radiance of the Seas has a Vegas-style casino that is an impressive 6,459 square foot with 188 slots and 11 tables.

Cruise ships are a great place for players top enjoy some gambling while they are on a relaxing vacation at sea. With many of the leading cruise lines offering ships that have full casinos, players who enjoy the thrills of blackjack will find great games that can be played. The main difference between playing on a cruise ship as opposed to a land casino is the limitation of game variations. Since there is smaller floor space available, most cruise ships will only offer a single variation of blackjack, though there may be a few that have two or more variations depending on the size of the casino.

Cruise ship casinos open their gaming tables the moment the ship is three miles offshore, in international waters. Gamblers will find that he betting options on a cruise ship are relatively low, so high rollers may not be interested in betting. However, for the casual blackjack player, these cruise casinos offer a great way to enjoy some gabling action while on vacation. There are even themed cruises, where the focus is on gambling and these can offer more game variations and even tournaments that can be played aboard.

Best Cruises for Gambling & Blackjack

Blackjack fans will want to make sure their selected cruise ship offers the game and below are the most popular ships for those that enjoy the thrills of blackjack.

Radiance of the Seas – Royal Caribbean

Destinations: Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Transpacific, Hawaii

  • Single and eight deck blackjack offered with a $5 minimum on both tables.
  • Cruise offers blackjack tournaments.

More info:

Voyager of the Seas – Royal Caribbean

Destinations: Asia, Australia/New Zealand

  • 6 blackjack tables offered, 2 with single deck games.
  • Small table limits, between $3 and $6. Two tables offer higher bets, ranging from $25 to $300 per hand.

More info:

Carnival Fantasy – Carnival

Destinations: Bahamas, Caribbean

  • Multiple blackjack tables with variations such as Face Up and Fun 21.
  • Low game minimums for casual players with some higher limits up to $300 per hand.

More info:

Norwegian Jewel – Norwegian

Destinations: Alaska, Mexican Riviera, Pacific Coastal

  • 9 multi-deck blackjack tables with $5 minimums.
  • One table offered for high rollers for bets from $100 to $2000.

More info:

Norwegian Dawn – Norwegian

Destinations: Bermuda, Canada, New England, Caribbean

  • Multiple tables with eight deck games and side bets, like Lucky Ladies and Wheel of Madness.
  • High roller table reserved with minimums of $100.

More info:

Five Important Tips for Playing on a Casino Cruise

Playing casino games on a cruise ship is not much different from playing at a land casino, but there are some slight differences to prepare for when sailing. The following tips will get gamblers ready for their onboard blackjack experience.

1. Plan gambling around the complete cruise itinerary. Always remember that all cruise ship casinos are closed when the boat is in port. There are some exceptions, such as in Bermuda and Nassau.

2. The casino will be open when in international waters, so those eager to play just have to wait for the boat to be between 3 and 12 nautical miles from shore.

3. Be ready to deal with smokers. Most of the cruise ships that offer a casino will have designated smoking areas and if the casino is small, smoking may be allowed everywhere in the casino. There may be some exceptions to cigar smoking.

4. Most casino games on a cruise ship are played by casual players. There are seldom card sharks or professional players on board, so prepare for a casual and relaxing experience at the tables.

5. Watch for themed cruises where a major focus is on gambling. These are the cruises that will offer blackjack tournaments and special events throughout the cruise that will make onboard gambling even more exciting and rewarding.

In Summary

Playing blackjack on a cruise ship is not only enjoyable, but can be very rewarding. The mentioned ships are known for offering stellar blackjack games and payouts and players will find table minimums that will suit their budgets. Most cruise ship casinos will have at least one table that is for high rollers, where larger bets can be placed. One of the great things about onboard gambling is the rewards club offered by many cruise ships. This works just like a loyalty club at a land casino, where points can be earned to get free play or even onboard credits.

With cruise ship blackjack games, players will usually come in contact with beginner and casual players, so those that are used to extreme competition may be disappointed. However, any player with skill will benefit from the table action since many of the players will not have mastered the basic blackjack strategy, providing experienced players with a great benefit and advantage. The game rules are mostly the same as in land casinos and players will have the ability to place side bets and even compete in cruise ship blackjack tournaments.

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