The Eight Differences Between Cruise Ship Casinos and Regular Ones: The Inside Story

Have you ever wondered what the differences are between a cruise ship casino versus a land-based one? Say, for example, you booked a cruise and you like to gamble. Well, chances are, you are going to spend some time in one. Otherwise, why would you go? The one thing you will see is the familiar lights and sounds of your regular land and online casinos. Oh, yeah, and, they are smaller in size. Do not let that fool yourself because there are some major differences. You need to know about the differences if you are going to play.

1) Limited Hours

Much like your land-based casinos, cruise ship casinos are open for a limited time and hours. The only casinos that stay open 24/7 are online casinos. Do not expect to play at 5:00 AM. Most casinos are going to close down if they are in port. They have to adhere to the local regulations when in ports of call. Most of them open around 11 AM and stay open until the early morning hours(usually 1:00 or 2:00 AM). Do you like table games? You will have to wait for them too. They do not start opening up until the early afternoon. You will need to check with the cruise ship for the exact times. As I said, they do not keep 24/7 hours like online casinos.

2) 18 and Older

In land-based and online casinos you have to be 21 to play most games. Cruise ships allow you to start playing once you hit 18. Now, once again. you do have to check with the cruise ship you booked for exact information. I am going through the general information here.

3) Games

You can expect to find most games that you see online or in Vegas casinos. The only difference is you will find more with a cruise ship. In some ways, they spoil you with choices. Some fans like the more obscure games including pai gow. Most cruise ships are not going to have those, but you will need to check with the staff to know for sure. They will most likely have some variation in the games. You will also find games that you might not normally see. How many of you are familiar with the skill crane game? It is the one where you put money in to win a stuffed toy. You are going to find a variation of that game on the cruise ship. The prize is cash instead of a stuffed toy. I prefer the stuffed toy, myself, but you might be different.

4) Stakes

You are not going to find high stakes on a cruise ship. They offer lower stakes, which is great for those who do not like to bet too high. The table games are $5(at most). The reason they are so low is they do not want to scare the passengers. As I said, a lot of gamblers are not high stakes people. They prefer to keep it low key. The cruise ships do not want to scare people into not playing. Some of the high stakes games will do that if the amount is too high. What is the point, then? The idea is for people to have fun and not worry about it too much. That is one way the cruise ships stay in business. Can you go bet higher? Yes, of course, you can. That is on you, though.

5) Drinking

Do you know how the land-based casinos offer free drinking services? The reason is that they want you to keep playing. They want you to spend money and stay. Cruise ships do not do that. You still get drinks, but you do have to pay for them. The only time(and this is rare) the cruise ship will start doing free drinks is if you are a big player. We are talking a high roller heavyweight in the gambling business. It is their version of a rockstar or celebrity. Drinks are big business on cruise ships. They are not just going to start giving it away for free, even in the bars. You have to earn your drinks like everyone else.

6) Smoking

How many of you have been on cruises before? Then, you will notice how smoking is banned pretty much everywhere you turn, including restaurants and cabins. The only place you can smoke is in the cruise ship casinos. Those of you who love to smoke and play will have fun with this. However, they might change that in the future. I am only stating how it is now. Keep your eyes and ears open because they could change that rule.

7) The Payouts

Cruise ships are a good mix of a lot of people and poor payouts. You are going to see a captive audience, for sure. The payouts are terrible, The reason is that the cruise ship only has one casino. They make do with what they have. Another reason why you are not going to get a good payout is due to thousands of people on the cruise. I am just saying it is something you need to prepare for.

8) Cashing Out

One final thing to mention involves cashouts. In most casinos, you hit the print out button. The paper comes out with the amount you win. You go to the redemption machine and get your cash. Cruise ships do not work that way. You have to go to a teller’s window and wait. Most casinos give you convenience with the payouts you take for granted. It is not until you are on the cruise ship that you realize just how much you have taken it for granted. Some cruise ships offer you the redemption machine, but most people do not get that lucky.