Tag-Archive for » Cruise ship casinos «

Cruise Gambling…Cruise WiFi

News item: Cayman Islands government attempting to legalize gambling on cruise ships.

There is no gambling in the Cayman Islands, which seems a little odd considering that the Caymans have long been known as a place extremely wealthy people can hide money so they don’t have to pay taxes. That’s irrelevant, of course, when it comes to gambling on cruise ships. What is relevant is that the government is proposing allowing gambling on (a) ships registered there (b) passenger ships carrying more than 12 people (c) ships in international waters and on an international voyage between Cayman and another port.

Here’s the catch…

Gambling’s not allowed on ships in port or in Cayman’s territorial waters.

What are we missing here? Can’t cruise ships with casinos open the slots once they’re in international waters?

“This bill is aimed solely at the cruise ship industry,” said a government official.

It must be for the ships with 12 passengers.

News item: Carnival announced it expanded its innovative hybrid connectivity system to create the cruise industry’s largest WiFi network.

Okay, isn’t it time that somebody invented a gizmo to measure WiFi size? Doesn’t anybody have a gigabyte meter? In all that cyberspace, how does anyone really know who’s on first? Or second? Or even in the same ballpark?

In the last months, there have been Internet/WiFi announcements by three cruise lines, all of them crowing about having the biggest, best, fastest service at sea. If it’s a game, then we need a Commissioner of WiFi to tell us who really is the best…or does it really matter?

If your Internet service on a cruise ship is fast enough to make you happy, that’s good enough.

Isn’t it?

In the news…

• Unlimited and free Internet now on all Regent Seven Seas ships
• Five-year deal for better Glacier Bay access for American Cruise Lines
• Santa Cruz II replaces Santa Cruz I after 36 years to the Galapagos

Today at portsandbows.com: Disney flying high wirh Star Wars


Carnival Elation
5 nights
November 28, 2015
New Orleans (return): Cozumel, Progreso
Inside: $249
Cost per day: $49
www.carnival.com

Times To Butt Out Of Ship Casinos

The world continues to close in on smokers. One of the last places where smokers can still light up are gaming establishments. For whatever reason, smoking and gambling seem to be partners.

On land and at sea.

Casinos on land usually have a non-smoking area. Presumably, these areas will grow in size as there are more non-smokers, which seems to be happening in society. Casinos at Casino smoke-freesea aren’t usually large enough to designate a portion of the space as non-smoking. Instead, they’ve done what we noticed — and not for the first time — on the Star Princess.

Smoke-free days.

A day or two per cruise is earmarked as non-smoking on a growing number of cruise ships. On the Star Princess, during a one-week Alaska cruise, there were two. In Asia, where it feels like a higher percentage of the population smokes, in many large outdoor areas — from Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam — smoking is not allowed.

If you’re one of the people who stays away from cruise-ship casinos because you can’t deal with the smoke, let the cruise line know. And if you’re one of the passengers who would stay away from the casino if you couldn’t smoke, let the cruise line know.

In the end, the impact on the cruise line’s bottom line is likely to determine how often the “no smoking” signs will be posted.

Today at portsandbows.com: Excursion options on Silversea World Cruise 

Norwegian Jewel
5 nights
September 29, 2015
Vancouver, Victoria, Astoria, Los Angeles
Inside: $199
Cost per day: $39
www.ncl.com

South Korea waters tricky for casinos

Star Cruises is a small cruise line that opens a piece (28 per cent) of a big cruise line, Norwegian. Its sell line is that Star is the “leading cruise line in Asia-Pacific” so, naturally, it caters to Asians.

On the weekend, South Korea gave Star Cruises permission to operate casinos once the ships are in international waters, which is the cruise norm. It also said local residents will be allowed to use casinos on cruise ships carrying the Korean national flag. At the moment, there are no such ships, but that’s going to change as cruising starts to grow in South Korea.

But locals weren’t going to be allowed in…really?

In other words, foreigners would have been able to play tables and slots but not nationals. Now that would give a new reason for having your ID checked, wouldn’t it?

Apparently, there is some rationale to this. In South Korea, there are presently 17 casinos. The industry is growing rapidly, despite the fact that only one of the 17 casinos allows South Koreans to gamble.

Really?

In the news…

• Viking's first ocean ship to be christened Sunday in Norway
• Popular Celebrity Eclipse emerges from nine-day refurbishing

Today at portsandbows.com: First look at the Viking Star

Celebrity Constellation
7 nights
August 23, 2015
Venice (return): Dubrovnik, Ephesus, Mykonos, Corfu
Inside: $699
Cost per day: $99
www.celebritycruises.com

Creativity In Ship Casinos

Our sense is that things are gradually changing on cruise-ship casinos. It started when Crystal Cruises announced last month it was offering passengers — albeit passengers from gambling hotspots Hong Kong and Singapore — the opportunity to convert on-board credits into chits for the casino.

Ship casinoNow, Carnival has a promotion that gives you up to $50 to play in the casino. Book a cruise of five days or less for $25 in casino cash, six days or more for $50. The asterisk is that it applies to “select” rates.

But that’s not the point.

The point is that cruise lines are getting more creative with their casinos. Whether it’s because casino numbers are down or because they just want to capitalize more on what’s a high-profit center is anybody’s guess.

If you frequent casinos on land, you know how the come-on works. Join the player’s club, earn points by gambling, redeem free play. There are variations on that theme from casino to casino, but those are the fundamentals of the promotion.

So, will there be more of that on casinos at sea?

Probably. If it works on land, and it clearly does, it’ll work on the water.

Today at portsandbows.com: All the latest cruise news

Royal Caribbean Splendour of the Seas
14 nights
April 20, 2015
Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Tenerife, Malaga, Barcelona
Oceanview: $725
Cost per day: $51
www.royalcaribbean.com

Crystal Casinos Using On-Board Credits

Crystal casinoTwo things in life that cannot be refuted:

1. We live in a points world.

2. Everybody likes free stuff

And so it is that Crystal Cruises is raising that bar for the rest of the industry, by allowing passengers to convert “on-board credits” into “gambling dollars.”

Starting next month, when the Crystal Symphony sails out of Singapore for Hong Kong, passengers with shipboard credits will be able to convert them into vouchers or chips that they can use in the ship’s casino. In an era when casinos on land regularly offer customers “free play” cruise lines are getting with the times, and why not?

“On-board” credits means spending your money “on board” the ship, doesn’t it?

Neither the credits at the sea nor the free play on land can be redeemed as cash. They have to be “played” but once they are, any winnings can be turned into cash. And on Crystal’s ships, any on-board credits not spent in the casino can be returned to the room account.

Crystal is not the first cruise line to allow this, but usually it comes with a catch. Also a charge. By allowing it to happen without nickel-and-diming the customers — and then talking about it — Crystal is setting this bar higher than it’s ever been.

Today at portsandbows.com: Projection of 23 million cruisers in 2015

Crown Princess
7 nights
November 28, 2015
Los Angeles (return):Puerto VallartaMazatlanCabo San Lucas
Inside: $439
Cost per day: $62
www.princess.com

  • Categories

  • Archives