10 Cruise Lines With Great Casinos

by Fran Golden

10 Cruise Lines With Great Casinos

by Fran Golden

From raucous crowds around the roulette wheel and clanging slot machines to Monte Carlo-style glamour, the casinos on these lines offer a little something for everyone who wants to gamble while cruising the ocean. Really looking to win big? Many lines offer tournaments during sailings where you can challenge your fellow high rollers.  Here are 10 lines that let you gamble in style.

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Star Princess' Casino / Princess Cruises / Mark Katzman
Craps on Norwegian Breakaway
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1. Norwegian Cruise Line 

The readers of “Casino Player” magazine have rated Norwegian Cruise Line best at sea, and who are we to argue? Norwegian's casinos feature updated slots and a good selection of table games. The casino on Norwegian Escape is the fleet's largest — 19,000 square feet of Vegas-style fun, including 357 slots and 28 tables with limits of $5 to $5,000 (and higher in a private VIP room). You can also play digital poker at the Skyline Bar, with its LED screen showcasing skylines around the world.

The readers of “Casino Player” magazine have rated Norwegian Cruise Line best at sea, and who are we to argue? Norwegian's casinos feature updated slots and a good selection of table games. The casino on Norwegian Escape is the fleet's largest — 19,000 square feet of Vegas-style fun, including 357 slots and 28 tables with limits of $5 to $5,000 (and higher in a private VIP room). You can also play digital poker at the Skyline Bar, with its LED screen showcasing skylines around the world.

Grandeur of the Seas' Casino Royale
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2. Royal Caribbean

Casino Royale on Royal Caribbean ships offers just the right mix of dash and flash, late hours, and plenty of games. The Vegas-style experience is best showcased on Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and Harmony of the Seas — we're talking more than 18,000 square feet covered with dozens of tables and a bunch of games (some ships even have baccarat), plus hundreds of slots, a poker room and a sports book, and poker tournaments.

Casino Royale on Royal Caribbean ships offers just the right mix of dash and flash, late hours, and plenty of games. The Vegas-style experience is best showcased on Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and Harmony of the Seas — we're talking more than 18,000 square feet covered with dozens of tables and a bunch of games (some ships even have baccarat), plus hundreds of slots, a poker room and a sports book, and poker tournaments.

Craps at Star Princess' Casino
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3. Princess Cruises

The Princess Casinos aboard Princess Cruises' Royal Princess and Regal Princess are particularly pretty, with a spiral staircase in the center and an adjacent bar. As on all the line's ships, they have a broad variety of slot machines and tables, plus tournaments.

The Princess Casinos aboard Princess Cruises' Royal Princess and Regal Princess are particularly pretty, with a spiral staircase in the center and an adjacent bar. As on all the line's ships, they have a broad variety of slot machines and tables, plus tournaments.

Celebrity Reflection
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4. Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises is known for its stylish decor, and the Fortune Casinos are no exception. You'll find a large variety of slot machines, plus table games and video poker. But you don't actually have to set foot in the casino to wager — download the Celebrity Fortunes app and you can play anywhere on the ship.

Celebrity Cruises is known for its stylish decor, and the Fortune Casinos are no exception. You'll find a large variety of slot machines, plus table games and video poker. But you don't actually have to set foot in the casino to wager — download the Celebrity Fortunes app and you can play anywhere on the ship.

Nieuw Amsterdam
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5. Holland America Line

The popular, glitzy casinos on Holland America Line ships offer a decent variety of table games — blackjack, three-card poker, Texas Hold’em, roulette, and sometimes even craps — and slots ranging from a penny to $5, plus exceptionally friendly dealers. The casino on Eurodam also has The Billboard Onboard piano bar, operated with the pop music chart publisher. This feature will also be rolled out on other ships, too. 

The popular, glitzy casinos on Holland America Line ships offer a decent variety of table games — blackjack, three-card poker, Texas Hold’em, roulette, and sometimes even craps — and slots ranging from a penny to $5, plus exceptionally friendly dealers. The casino on Eurodam also has The Billboard Onboard piano bar, operated with the pop music chart publisher. This feature will also be rolled out on other ships, too. 

Casino Luxe
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6. Azamara Club Cruises

Azamara Club Cruises' two ships may be small, but play is popular at the wood-paneled Casino Luxe. These casinos have but six tables, configured for blackjack, three-card poker, and roulette. You can also play Texas Hold'em on an automated table, or hit the slot machines.

Azamara Club Cruises' two ships may be small, but play is popular at the wood-paneled Casino Luxe. These casinos have but six tables, configured for blackjack, three-card poker, and roulette. You can also play Texas Hold'em on an automated table, or hit the slot machines.

Seabourn Casino
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7. Seabourn

The casinos on Seabourn's contemporary luxury ships are cushy enclaves near The Club lounge, and are a prime nighttime hangout spot — even getting surprisingly lively at times. The roulette wheel typically attracts the most enthusiastic crowd, but there are also tables for poker and blackjack, plus a dozen or so slots.

The casinos on Seabourn's contemporary luxury ships are cushy enclaves near The Club lounge, and are a prime nighttime hangout spot — even getting surprisingly lively at times. The roulette wheel typically attracts the most enthusiastic crowd, but there are also tables for poker and blackjack, plus a dozen or so slots.

Queen Mary 2's Blackjack Casino
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8. Cunard Line

The classy, Monte Carlo-style casinos on Cunard's ocean liners (including Queen Mary 2) take on a particularly James Bond-esque ambience on formal nights, when passengers decked out in tuxes and ball gowns place bets at a dozen blackjack and roulette tables. Electronic gaming tables and 100 slots are discreetly located in a separate area.

The classy, Monte Carlo-style casinos on Cunard's ocean liners (including Queen Mary 2) take on a particularly James Bond-esque ambience on formal nights, when passengers decked out in tuxes and ball gowns place bets at a dozen blackjack and roulette tables. Electronic gaming tables and 100 slots are discreetly located in a separate area.

ResortsWorld Casino on Crystal Esprit
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9. Crystal Cruises

As you would expect on all-inclusive luxury line Crystal Cruises, the Vegas-style casinos on Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony are elegant, chandelier-lit affairs, with a variety of games (including mini baccarat on request), slot machines, and video poker. What you might not expect is that if you have a shipboard credit, the line will actually give you up to $100 in slot machine vouchers or chips to play.

As you would expect on all-inclusive luxury line Crystal Cruises, the Vegas-style casinos on Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony are elegant, chandelier-lit affairs, with a variety of games (including mini baccarat on request), slot machines, and video poker. What you might not expect is that if you have a shipboard credit, the line will actually give you up to $100 in slot machine vouchers or chips to play.

Carnival Pride
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10. Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line's casinos have a loyal following of players attracted by the array of table games — including roulette, craps, Caribbean stud poker, and three-card poker — and hundreds of slots. Many sailings have organized slots and blackjack tournaments. But our favorite part is the glitzy decor, which includes a Hanging Gardens of Babylon theme on Carnival Freedom.

Carnival Cruise Line's casinos have a loyal following of players attracted by the array of table games — including roulette, craps, Caribbean stud poker, and three-card poker — and hundreds of slots. Many sailings have organized slots and blackjack tournaments. But our favorite part is the glitzy decor, which includes a Hanging Gardens of Babylon theme on Carnival Freedom.

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