JohnnyQ
JohnnyQ
Joined: Nov 3, 2009
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July 30th, 2017 at 1:48:41 PM permalink
My local casino has "Annual Cruise" listed as one of the benefits of being at the 3rd tier of their Players Club. So when I noticed that last year, after a couple of attempts I eventually got in touch with someone who could explain it to me and confirm that I was eligible for it.

Fine Print

It didn't surprise me that I would have to pay the normal taxes and port fees. I wasn't as excited about paying another $ 260 pp for an "administrative" fee, but even with that I felt it was a still a good deal overall for us.

So we booked a 7 night cruise on the inside passage itinerary on Norwegian cruise lines, round-trip out of Seattle. Mrs. Q and I had actually done that itinerary before and loved it, so we knew what to expect.

Cost vs Retail Price

You can find that particular cruise on-line on-sale for about $ 799 pp + taxes/port charges( ~ $ 239 ) for a decent ocean-view cabin, so the "expected value" for us was:

$ 799
- 260
= = =
$ 539 per person

x2 = $ 1078 overall. Our actual invoice we had to pay was approx $ 1020 total. We were happy with this deal for a week long cruise for 2 people, it worked for us.

I was pleasantly surprised that the Casino at Sea deal included the same add-on perks I saw available on-line, so we picked the upgrade to 3 restaurant meals and pre-paid service charges ( tips ). We also got free drinks at the casino when it was open as part of the package, so that was a nice perk as well since normally the over-priced cruise ship drinks are not free in the casino.

Casino On-board

The casino on-board was about what you would probably expect, fairly small with an offering of

- slots
- 6/5 Jacks or Better Video Poker, 25 cent denom
- 7/5 Jacks or Better at $ 1
- some low limit *** 6:5 $6 "black-jack tables"
- higher limit 3:2 blackjack ( $ 25 if I recall correctly )
- roulette
- and a couple of the other table games I don't play, so sorry that I don't remember exactly what they were, but probably 3 Card Poker and Mississippi Stud.

It was open most days once we were a ways out of port.

*** The $ 6, 6:5 blackjack wasn't actually 6:5 unless you bet $ 10 per hand. Your total bet had to be at least $ 6, but you could split that into a $ 5 bet and a $ 1 side-bet, where if you got a blackjack, you could hit a button which spun a wheel which nearly always stopped at $10 or $11, but who knows how often could go as high as $ 500. The side-bet was pretty popular, nearly everyone else played it every hand.

If your bet in the circle was $5, a blackjack paid $6.

If your bet in the circle was $ 6, a blackjack paid $7. So betting the minimum $6 amount without the side-bet, it was really 7:6 blackjack. Kindof clever in a slightly devious way.

We didn't do very well in the casino, which doesn't exactly come as a big surprise. But we had fun, got some free drinks ( the showroom was right next door so I usually took one drink from the casino into the show ), and ended up losing about $ 300 each.

I mostly played 7:6 blackjack, and Mrs. Q entertained herself on VP and slots.

Cruise Stuff



We didn't purchase any on-shore excursions through the ship. In most ports, it is much less expensive to purchase a trip from one of the many booths on-shore. This is the Mendenhall glacier in Juneau, a ~25 minute bus ride from port:



Nope, this wasn't on the ship ! We saw this on one of the Park Service tours in Skagway, which was the last town that could be reached during the Yukon gold rush:



View from our cabin at port:



The Port of Seattle provided a very cool free service when we got back. They took our luggage to the airport and checked it in for us, VERY NICE ! ! ! That enabled us to walk around Seattle for 1/2 a day before our mid-afternoon flight. This is a picture from our DUCK tour, which I highly recommend.

Last edited by: JohnnyQ on Jul 30, 2017
I don't give a hoot about what people have to say, I'm laughing as I'm analyzed. Lunatics anonymous, that's where we belong, Sure, cause I am one, till my strength is gone, Yeah, this beat goes on - Da Kings: The North Coast's Friday Anthem
GWAE
GWAE
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July 30th, 2017 at 2:21:21 PM permalink
I want to do another cruise. It was do much fun. We picked the unlimited drinks package and was hammered for 7 days.

Did you play the quarter pusher game? We had a ton of fun on that and won a few bottles of wine as well.
JohnnyQ
JohnnyQ
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July 30th, 2017 at 7:28:47 PM permalink
Quote: GWAE

Did you play the quarter pusher game? We had a ton of fun on that and won a few bottles of wine as well.

It looked interesting but I don't think I ever saw anyone doing very well with it.
I don't give a hoot about what people have to say, I'm laughing as I'm analyzed. Lunatics anonymous, that's where we belong, Sure, cause I am one, till my strength is gone, Yeah, this beat goes on - Da Kings: The North Coast's Friday Anthem
beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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July 31st, 2017 at 2:22:42 AM permalink
Last time I was on NCL in 2013, they had the quarter pushers and also some key machines, where you tried to line up just right on a prize, then pushed go, and if the key profile went thru the plexiglass, it dropped the prize. You got 1 try per dollar, and the key would go back to home position between tries. There were a couple guys who were obsessed, must've dropped hundreds, a dollar at a time.

Your ship must've had a much smaller casino than mine (Epic). They had 3 pits with about 10 tables in each, and dealt roulette, craps, 3cp, uth, Spanish 21, bj, lir, pgp.

Glad you had a good time. I saw the title and thought at first you were on the boat where the woman was murdered last week and you were going to tell that story.
"If the house lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game."
JohnnyQ
JohnnyQ
Joined: Nov 3, 2009
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July 31st, 2017 at 4:03:48 AM permalink
Quote: beachbumbabs

I saw the title and thought at first you were on the boat where the woman was murdered last week and you were going to tell that story.

Thank goodness we weren't and I brought Mrs Q home with me.
I don't give a hoot about what people have to say, I'm laughing as I'm analyzed. Lunatics anonymous, that's where we belong, Sure, cause I am one, till my strength is gone, Yeah, this beat goes on - Da Kings: The North Coast's Friday Anthem
GWAE
GWAE
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July 31st, 2017 at 6:26:38 AM permalink
Quote: beachbumbabs

Last time I was on NCL in 2013, they had the quarter pushers and also some key machines, where you tried to line up just right on a prize, then pushed go, and if the key profile went thru the plexiglass, it dropped the prize. You got 1 try per dollar, and the key would go back to home position between tries. There were a couple guys who were obsessed, must've dropped hundreds, a dollar at a time.

Your ship must've had a much smaller casino than mine (Epic). They had 3 pits with about 10 tables in each, and dealt roulette, craps, 3cp, uth, Spanish 21, bj, lir, pgp.

Glad you had a good time. I saw the title and thought at first you were on the boat where the woman was murdered last week and you were going to tell that story.



The Epic is one of the larger ships. 2nd largest they have if I remember correctly. We were on the Dawn and the casino was about the same as his. JQ, did you do the BJ or slot tournament? We had fun doing those.

I havent heard about that murder, gonna have to look it up.
GWAE
GWAE
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July 31st, 2017 at 6:28:00 AM permalink
Quote: JohnnyQ

It looked interesting but I don't think I ever saw anyone doing very well with it.



We started with 20 in quarters, it has HE just like slots so your 80 quarters would turn to 60, then 50, then 70, then 60, then 40, then 20, then 40, the 10, then 0. All at 1 quarter at a time, $20 would last us about 90 minutes all the while drinking our free drinks.
Joeman
Joeman
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July 31st, 2017 at 8:07:16 AM permalink
Quote: beachbumbabs

Last time I was on NCL in 2013, they had the quarter pushers and also some key machines, where you tried to line up just right on a prize, then pushed go, and if the key profile went thru the plexiglass, it dropped the prize. You got 1 try per dollar, and the key would go back to home position between tries. There were a couple guys who were obsessed, must've dropped hundreds, a dollar at a time.

I tried that machine on a Carnival cruise last year, figuring I could zero-in on it given enough tries. About the 10th try, the key kept moving up for a fraction of an inch after I let go of the control. Wouldn't you know, I missed my target by that same fraction of an inch!

Needless to say, I didn't put any more money in the machine, and will never again in the future.
"Dealer has 'rock'... Pay 'paper!'"
GWAE
GWAE
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Thanks for this post from:
Joeman
July 31st, 2017 at 9:33:24 AM permalink
Quote: Joeman

I tried that machine on a Carnival cruise last year, figuring I could zero-in on it given enough tries. About the 10th try, the key kept moving up for a fraction of an inch after I let go of the control. Wouldn't you know, I missed my target by that same fraction of an inch!

Needless to say, I didn't put any more money in the machine, and will never again in the future.



This game works the same exact way as the block game. The game where the blocks go back and forth and if you get to the top you win a prize. They are always gaffed until the machine collects x amount and then it plays fair until the win. You just have to get lucky enough to be that person.
JohnnyQ
JohnnyQ
Joined: Nov 3, 2009
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July 31st, 2017 at 3:25:09 PM permalink
Quote: GWAE

JQ, did you do the BJ or slot tournament? We had fun doing those.

I read the rules of a blackjack tournament on a previous cruise, and it seemed like it had (not surprisingly ?) much too high of a house hold. So I didn't play this one.
I don't give a hoot about what people have to say, I'm laughing as I'm analyzed. Lunatics anonymous, that's where we belong, Sure, cause I am one, till my strength is gone, Yeah, this beat goes on - Da Kings: The North Coast's Friday Anthem

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