As the infection rate dwindles vacations are back on life's menu. Cruise ships pull up their anchors to set sail once again, and if you're into first-rate fun, their casinos are top of the rung. In fact we've listed the best onboard game lounges of 2021.
1. Royal Caribbean's Oasis-class Cruise Ships
Led by Symphony of the Seas, the largest passenger cruise ship in the world, four Oasis-class ships from Royal Caribbean share the #1 spot on this list. Joining the Symphony, Harmony of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and Oasis of the Seas round out the Oasis-class fleet.
With each of these ships boasting at least 1400m2 of casino floor space, it's no wonder that the Oasis-class ships take the top spot. Up for high stakes poker? They have a whole room dedicated the game - unheard of on cruiseliners. That's notwithstanding hundreds of slot machines and dozens of card tables - fit for 5400 passengers to play on rotation.
Of course nothing beats the wholistic experience of being on a cruiseliner - where luxury meets even more luxury. Symphony of the Seas, for example, offers the following:
- 20 restaurants
- 12 bars and lounges
- a theatre with a live orchestra
- spa and fitness centre
- the Flowrider© surfing simulator
- basketball and tennis courts
- pools with waterslides fit for a theme park
- laser tag
- a library
- mini golf
- rock climbing
- ice skating
- and more...
Check out this video tour of the Symphony of the Seas.
2. The Norwegian Escape
With over 300 slot machines and 25+ card tables, the Norwegian Escape comes in at #2 on our list. What the Escape may lack in size versus the Oasis-class ships, it makes up for in luxury. Leather seats, high-quality finishes, and an open plan design make the cruise ship casino on the Norwegian Escape one of the best around.
Hosting over 4000 passengers, the Norwegian Escape includes much more to do than gamble. Restaurants, bars, entertainment and shopping are found in abundance. Notably, the Norwegian Escape has an ice-cold snow room. This interesting concept can be paired with a sauna to get a Scandinavian experience wherever you happen to be out on the high seas.
3. Queen Mary 2
Dress smartly at this casino, the first one on our list that has a dress code. From 18:00, guests are meant to adhere to an evening dress code. How much this is enforced is debatable as most cruise ships have similar guidelines, but you're more likely to be asked to change out of your favourite football jersey on the Queen Mary 2 than some of her American cousins.
While not the biggest cruise ship casino, the Queen Mary 2's boast impressive surroundings. Expensive panelling and quality light fixtures make this one of the best ship-based casinos out there. Large windows overlooking the sea make for a casino experience like none other.
But be prepared for a long voyage. The Queen Mary 2 is a transatlantic cruise ship, making trips between Southhampton, UK, and New York City, USA.
4. Celebrity Cruises
Here's another group winner, the entire fleet of Celebrity cruise ships. High-quality casinos have been a staple of the Celebrity brand for several years. The casinos on Celebrity ships operate more like their land-based peers than the more casual fun that is typically found on other ships. Players can find a tiered system for higher-valued players, lines of credit, tournaments, and special casino events on Celebrity cruises.
Check out this page for more details on casino events and Celebrity cruises.
5. The Sunborn Superyacht Hotel and Casino
Lastly, we focus on a bit of a smaller ship. But this is only smaller in size; the quality is top-notch. You won't be going anywhere on this ship. Permanently moored in Gibraltar, The Sunborn Superyacht Hotel and Casino is a hotel/casino combination right on the Ocean Village Promenade. Like its seagoing counterparts, The Sunborn offers live music, a spa, dining options, and more.
Being a land-based attraction, The Sunborn also hosts events like company retreats and weddings.
Check out The Sunborn's website for more details.