Cruise Ship Casinos, Types of Games, Tournaments, and Loyalty Programs

Cruise lines that have onboard casinos feature a selection of classic games, tournaments, and attractive perks and rewards

Many cruise ships, even the smaller ones, have an onboard casino, except for Norwegian’s Pride of America, the Disney Cruise Line, and most river boats and expedition ships. Players enjoy a wide selection of gaming options, loyalty programs, and a great cruising experience.

Types of Tables and Machines Onboard

Cruise ship casinos feature a variety of table and slot machine options, including blackjack, roulette, and poker. You will find different poker variations like Let It Ride, Three Card, Caribbean Stud, and Ultimate Texas Hold’em. Some cruise lines also feature tables with live dealers, for example, most Royal Caribbean and all Norwegian ships. Others such as Princess and Carnival have electronic Poker Pro tables. You will usually find at least 1 craps and 1 roulette table but most cruise lines don’t offer baccarat. It is also uncommon to find games like sa gaming 168, domino, sick bo, or chuck a luck.

Cruise lines rarely have high-stake tables that are reserved for high-rollers. Select Royal Caribbean sailings arrange games if there are enough high-stake players on board.


Most cruise lines organize tournaments of some kind but it is usually blackjack and slots competitions that they offer. In most cases, they are buy-in tournaments whereby all players pay an entry fee to join. Some cruise casinos also offer the option to rebuy during poker and blackjack tournaments. On most ships winners are offered cash prizes but some cruise lines like Royal Caribbean also feature free cruises.

Minimum Age to Play

The minimum age to play in a casino depends on the destination and cruise line but it usually 18. Royal Caribbean, Azamara, and Celebrity require that players are at least 21 on sailings to Alaska. Cruise lines that raised the age to 21 on all sailings include Seaborn, Windstar, and Princess. If you wish to play but are unsure whether you are allowed to, check with your cruise line or travel agent before booking.

Loyalty Programs

Most cruise lines also feature loyalty programs and a large selection of rewards such as complimentary cruise packages, stateroom amenities, free drinks in the casino, shore excursions, and priority disembarkation. Other perks that players enjoy include stateroom discounts, exclusive birthday offers, and the option to transfer points between different ships.  Promotional offers are also available.

Cruise lines also allow players to activate a credit line to play in the casino. To this, they are asked to fill in an application in advance and include information such as sail date, ship name, and credit limit requested. They also provide details such as passport number, county and state issued, driver’s license number, and preferred postal address. Applicants are asked whether they rent or own a house and whether they are applying for joint credit.

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