No gambling cruise ships?


Dec 3rd, 2008, 06:24 AM
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No gambling cruise ships?

I'm trying to plan a cruise as a gift for my parents. They mentioned possibly Alaska, but they might be open to other locations. My major concern with this is not putting them into a tempting situation with a casino on board. Are there any cruises (Alaskan or otherwise) that do not have any casinos on board? Thanks in advance!
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Dec 3rd, 2008, 07:13 AM
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Yes, Cruise West, Lindblad are non gambling ships in Alaska.

NCL Pride Of America sailing Hawaii also is. All of the other major lines have gambling.
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Dec 3rd, 2008, 07:22 AM
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While it may not be the Cruise line of choice for their age, I was of the understanding that Disney also did not have casinos on their ships.
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Dec 3rd, 2008, 08:38 AM
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Thanks for your quick responses. I have only been on one cruise myself so I'm not extremely knowledgeable about the different cruise lines. Of these four that have been mentioned (Cruise West, Lindblad, NCL Pride of America, and Disney), which is the best for the money as far as entertainment, food, ports, etc.? Thanks again!
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Dec 3rd, 2008, 04:50 PM
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Cruise West and Lindblad do not offer a traditional cruise experience. They are small-ship cruises and focus on seeing wildlife/scenery rather than onboard entertainment, which is mostly limited to lectures about history and wildlife. They are both premium cruises (i.e., relatively expensive). These cruises are really special but will not appeal to those looking for the traditional big-ship experience.

NCL's Pride of America is a very middle-brow cruise with all the traditional stuff but because it has an all-American crew, it's not rated as highly for service as most other NCL ships, and I've heard negative reports about the quality of food (though on a demonstration cruise I took when the ship first launched, that was not my experience). Of course it only sails in Hawaii ... nowhere else.

Disney is a very high-quality experience but is very limited in its itineraries (mostly short cruises in the Caribbean and sometimes elsewhere). I don't believe they go to Alaska. Obviously, these cruises are very family-oriented and might not be right for your parents unless they are real Disney fans.

My parents have been on 2 cruises in Alaska, both on Carnival, and they loved both.

If you are looking for a mainstream cruise line, you will not find one without a casino. If you go upscale, that's a different thing, but then you are talking about double or triple the cost of a regular cruise. Off the top of my head, I can't remember if Oceania, Silversea, and Regent Seven Seas have casinos, but they do all sail in Alaska and might be worth checking out.

Also if your parents want an Alaska-like experience, you might consider Hurtigruten, which sails in Norway. There is no entertainment on these ships, either, however. But the line is offering some good deals right now.
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Dec 4th, 2008, 09:08 AM
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You might look for a charter where a group has chartered the entire ship and will not be having the casino open.
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Dec 4th, 2008, 09:27 AM
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Doug's response was very comprehinsive and I would agree with everything he said.

The one issue that you mentioned as high priority (no gambling) however is an issue on Carnival. Like most of the major lines, gambling is there and promoted heavily. They will be tempted often, even if they stay out of the casino because they'll be enticed to play bingo before shows, buy scratch-off tickets at various times, etc.

Again, this isn't just Carnival, the same can be said for most of the major lines. That is why I mentioned Disney, but the problem there is what Doug also pointed out, they are family oriented and there will be lots and lots of children.
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Dec 5th, 2008, 06:15 AM
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Thanks everyone for your responses. They are very helpful. I'm not sure what we will end up doing for them, but at least I have enough information to get started in my research. Thanks again!
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Dec 11th, 2008, 06:35 PM
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I have a question, why not put them in that situation? They are adults, and unless they have an addiction (which if they do I appologise) they can control themselves.

Plus cruise ships now a days are huge and have a ton of things to do. I have been on many cruises where I did not even see the casino. 7 days was just not enough time to do everything they offered. From swimming to shows to movies under the stars to art shows to eating, there is plenty to do. And if your walking around a port all day and get back to the chip, who has the energy to stay up all night gambling.

Oasis of the Seas in RCL newest ship coming out in 2009. It will be 220,000 tons. They is 2.58 times larger that the Disney Wonder. Plenty of things to do that do not include gambling.

Disney is a great option, but you have to like Disney a little to go. But the ship is geared towards kids. These smaller specialty ships that do not have casinos are going to be expensive.

The average Alaskan Cruise on Cruise West is $5,200 for the lowest stateroom, while Holland America, a great cruise line in Alaska for a 7 day cruise is $600 for the lowest state room.

Remember that the casinos are only open when the ship is sailing at sea. So if you find a cruise with little to no sea days your set. Try the Canadian Fall foliage cruises.
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Dec 12th, 2008, 06:48 AM
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Depending on the budget, I think the best cruise experience in Alaska (or anywhere else for that matter) for your parents would be on one of the smaller ships such as Regent, Silversea, Seabourn etc. They do have casinos but they're quite small and certainly not the "draw" like you'll find on the mass marketed ships. The majority of cruisers on these higher end lines never set foot in the casinos. They're all inclusive and the food, service, intimacy and ambiance is miles ahead of the larger capacity ships. There are all age groups from younger honeymooners to active seniors.
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Dec 12th, 2008, 04:18 PM
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I don't know how much help this will be, but I want to point out that lines like Carnival put the casino where you must pass through it to go from one end of the ship to the other. Others like Princess, HAL, or Celebrity usually put it away from the main flow of traffic. Slightly less temptatiion.
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