Cruise FAQ

What is a poker cruise? A poker cruise is the same as a regular cruise, except that there is an opportunity to play poker while at sea. We turn the conference space on the ship into a fully staffed professional poker room. The poker room is normally closed when in port and during early dining. You can play as much or as little poker as you want. All of the regular shipboard activities are available for your pleasure including all-you-can-eat free food and Broadway style entertainment!

Is a poker cruise expensive, and what is included?  No, a poker cruise is not expensive!  Some of our recent cruises have had fares starting at less than $550 per person, plus port charges. This includes your cabin, food, and all the cruise amenities that are offered, such as movies, trivia, a spa and fitness center, internet center, dance classes, sports activities, lectures, cooking lessons, poolside games, Ping Pong, shuffleboard, a disco, nightly Las Vegas-style shows, and many other activities to suit everyone's interests. Most Royal Caribbean ships have rock climbing walls, ice skating rinks, and miniature golf, and some even have Surfriders, zip lines, carousels, Broadway theaters, and Aqua theaters.

The cost of your cruise includes access to our cardroom, plus functions such as our welcome aboard and farewell parties, seminar/s, etc. that are only available to passengers that have booked with us. There really is no cheaper way to travel.

Who goes on a poker cruise? The large majority of passengers are recreational players who enjoy poker and are seeking a fun-filled vacation. We have had players on their honeymoon, celebrating anniversaries or birthdays, and have even had family reunions on board.

I am not an experienced player - will I be intimidated by the poker room atmosphere, and is there instruction and low-limit games for me? The atmosphere in the poker room is very relaxed and jovial. Smoking is not allowed and we have a strict no abuse policy, so everyone has a great time. A very friendly, professional staff is available to insure that you have a good time. Any of our staff will be happy to assist you in any way, so please don't hesitate to ask any questions you might have. We offer beginner lessons to spouses and friends who are not poker players, and a beginners only low-limit game. The beginners game is very popular and a lot of fun!

Why should I book with Card Player Cruises?

In order to play in the poker room, cruise lines dictate that you must book with Card Player Cruises. You will be issued a name tag that you will have to wear whenever you are in the poker room. Another reason to travel with us is that often the Card Player Cruises prices are better than you can find elsewhere.

What perks do I get when I travel with Card Player Cruises?

You get access to an incredible poker room with some of the best poker staff in the world. You get the benefit of traveling with a group and having personal concierges to help and guide you. As a guest of Card Player Cruises, you will be entitled to free cocktail parties, special private excursions (on most cruises), beginners’ lessons, seminars, and poker, poker, poker! You will have access to a delicious food buffet in the poker room.

Who puts on your poker seminars? The poker seminars are taught by the partners of Card Player Cruises; Linda Johnson, and Jan Fisher; renowned poker players, authors, co-hosts of a variety of television programs, and many other accomplishments. Linda is the former owner of Card Player Magazine and a World Series of Poker bracelet winner, as well as the former announcer for the World Poker Tour. Linda Johnson and Jan Fisher are both inductees in to the Women's Poker Hall of Fame. Their seminars are fun and informative. 

Are CPC rates comparable to standard cruise rates?

Oftentimes our rates are better than the cruise lines offer. Card Player Cruises signs a contract at least a year ahead of the sailing and rates are locked in at that time. When the sailing is selling well, the rates often go up but if you book early enough, you will still get our early bird rates.

How far in advance do I need to book my cruise?

Selection and availability are best when booked early. Oftentimes certain categories of cabins sell out, so the sooner you can book the better. Once we are within 90 days of the sailing, we have to return our unsold inventory and then we are subject to current cruise line pricing. 

In order to secure your cabin we require a deposit (normally $500 per cabin) which is fully refundable up to 90 days prior to sailing. (This applies to all bookings except those fares that are offered at a special non refundable deposit rate)

What are cruise cancellation policies?

Generally you can get a complete refund if you cancel at least 90 days before the cruise. Escalating penalties commence after 90 days prior to the sailing.

I am a solo traveler; do you help with roommates if needed?

We are often able to find you a roommate. The earlier you book, the better your chances will be that we can find you a roommate.

What is included in the cruise fare?

Your accommodation, all you can eat, Las Vegas style entertainment, fun and games such as trivia, Scattegories, name that tune etc., fitness center, full-service casino, enrichment lectures, dance classes, art auctions, housekeeping at least twice a day, pools and Jacuzzis, library, movies, and much more!

What is not included in the cruise fare?

Transportation to and from the ship, gratuities for the shipboard staff, cocktails and soft drinks, shore excursions, photos, poker buy-ins, specialty restaurants, spa and beauty services.

Am I required to play a minimum number of hours of poker during the cruise?

No, you can play as much or as little poker as you want during the cruise.

What hours is the poker room open?

On sea days, we open at 9am. We close during first-seating dinner and when we are in port. On our more popular cruises, we may stay open around the clock, but normally the poker room closes around 3 - 4 a.m.

What kinds of games are played, and are there tournaments? Our poker room is open every day, except when we are in port, and we offer a wide variety of games and limits.  A general guideline regarding the games and limits on most cruises is as follows:

No-limit hold'em at blinds of $1-$3, $2-$5 and sometimes higher.

Omaha/8: $4-$8, and often higher  Limit Texas hold'em: $2-$4, $4-$8 Mixed games: $4-$8 and sometimes higher If the game or limit you wish to play is not in progress, we'll be glad to start an "interest" list for most games.  All of our cruises offer poker tournaments. Each poker cruise has at least 7 - 10 tournaments per cruise.. These events are some of the most popular aspects of the cruise. Tournaments generally include a no-limit hold'em and occasionally an Omaha high-low event. Buy-ins can be from $80 up to $1,100 HPT main event but each cruise is different. We include a poker schedule link on each of our upcoming published cruises.  

What else is there to do besides play poker? Cruise activities include rock-climbing walls, basketball courts, bingo, spa services, Internet, aerobics, movies, ping pong, shuffleboard, trivia contests, disco, karaoke, lectures, dance classes, bridge, golf, volleyball, swimming, parties, and so much more. At night, there are Las Vegas-style shows with singers, dancers, magicians, comedians, Broadway highlights, etc. You won’t be bored! Of course, you can always choose to sleep in, lie around the pool, or read a book and relax. What better way to spend a vacation?   

Would my children enjoy cruising?  Children love cruising! There are extensive programs for children that provide entertainment for the kids from morning until night. Some of the activities are scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, talent shows, pizza parties, disco parties, trips to the spa/gym, video games, etc. Children are able to sail at reduced rates on most cruise lines.  

Is seasickness a problem?  Ships are built with great stabilizers and they are so large that you often can’t even tell you are on a ship. Of course it can happen, however there are very good medications available onboard to prevent seasickness.  

How old do you have to be to play poker on one of your cruises? You have to be 18 years old to play poker in our poker room.  

How do I tip the cruise ship employees? Gratuities for shipboard personnel (waiter, busboy, and cabin attendant) will be automatically charged to your SetSail or other pass during your cruise. A 18% gratuity will automatically be added to your bar bill or wine check when you are served.