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First time cruiser, need info from anyone ever on a Poker Cruise

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I just booked my first cruise. I have travelled lots to the Caribbean but never been on a cruise. I am a avid poker player so I decided to book the Royal Caribbean's poker cruise departing October 27, 2012.

What should I expect on this cruise? Are poker cruises different then a normal cruise other then someone hosting poker tournaments on them? I also have two small children under the age of 5 and wondering what the Royal Caribbean cruise line is like for children and activites. We will be at sea over Halloween and wondering if they will have special events.

Also has anyone been on a poker cruise, what is the level of play on these? And are they run well?

Thanks for your help.

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    We were on one cruise where they had a poker tournament onboard for the length of the cruise (think it was Carnival). However, it does not affect those that are just cruising and not playing poker. It's just a scheduled activity on that particular ship. These tournaments all run differently, the ship we were on it was an ongoing tournament for the week. You have to pay an entry fee to play and the ship does all the rest as far as scheduling the players, etc. And yes, they are very well run because there is money involved! Some of the ships will have slot tournaments, card/poker tournaments just for a day at a certain scheduled time.

    We were on a Princess cruise this past Sept. and they had a poker tournament for one day. Anyone could sign up and play. My husband entered it and ended up winning! You got so many chips to play with at the beginning of the tournament and whoever had the most chips at the end was the winner. It was very well run.

    I'm not a card player so not exactly sure how the play went. They should have info on their website about how the poker tournament will be run. I think I would definitely call RCCL and ask them about the tournament also rather than wait til you get onboard.

    RC does have children's activities, look at their website to see what they offer and I would also call their 800# and ask them specific questions. Where your children are young you will know if it is the type of cruise you want to be on. From what I have seen on cruise ships, most of the children's activities are well supervised and the staff is very good w/ them.

    As far as the level of play, my observation is that most people entering those tournaments are pretty saavy about cards! That's why I don't play! LOL

    Good luck!

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    I think the cruises is not organized by RCCL but by a sperate entity called "Card Players Cruise". The ship provides the venue and that's it. Card players would book the cruise through "Card Players Cruise".

    Just remember that legal gambling can only take place where the ship is at international water so it won't be a 24/7 poker fest.

    The ship offers kid's program to keep them occuppied. However, you will be forgoing a lot of other activities that the ship is offering because you will be "tied-up" at the Poker tournament.

    Other consideration would be dinner arrangement for the kids. Are they prepared to sit through a 2 hour dinner in the Dining room? Then there are also issues of "formal nights" among other things.

    A cruise in general, can be an exciting time for the young ones and offer a relatively safe enviroment for them to explore.

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    There is a company in Las Vegas called Card Player Cruises who do nothing but poker cruises. If you like poker and you like cruising you have just found your perfect vacation.
    This company makes a deal with cruise lines such as Carnival and Royal Caribbean and puts a Las Vegas style poker room on board one of their ships during a normal cruise.
    They bring professional dealers and floor people and all the tables and equipment needed to work a 24 hour a day poker room. The room is closed for action any time that the ship is in port. They market this cruise to players so that there is usually 100 to 200 cabins of poker players on board each cruise. They play all of the normal games with low-med-and high level games going every day. Play when you want, go when you want. The cruise line is doing it's thing everyday and you may be having too much fun to even get to the poker room, but it is nice to know that it is there when ever you want to play. They also hold poker tournaments each day that does not have a stop in a port.
    Just go to the web site for Card Player Cruises.
    They usually have three or more poker cruises going out each year to different ports of call. I have been on many of their cruises and their trips to the Caribbean are my favorites. Alaska, New England, and Mexico are also lots of fun. Enjoy

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