Want to go try your luck spinning the slot machines, throwing the dice, or trying to get blackjack? If you’re in central Florida, one of the most popular choices to gamble is Victory Casino Cruises. Departing daily from Port Canaveral, the boat heads out beyond state waters where it is legal to play casino games.
If you’ve never sailed on the gambling boat, there are quite a few things you might want to know before you book your spot. We recently sailed on the casino cruise and have everything you need to know.
It’s $13 Per Person to Sail
Most casinos are happy to let you in the doors for free. Victory charges passengers $13 per person to board. You can book your tickets ahead of time on the cruise line’s website. As well, many regular players who are members of the casino’s players club can get free boarding vouchers for their play. You can also just show up and book your spot to board at the terminal.
The Gambling Age is 18 Years Old
Head to Las Vegas and you have to be 21 to gamble. On the ship, however, you only need to be 18 to board and gamble. No one under 18 is allowed. If you want to drink on the ship you will still need to be 21 years old, like on land.
Trips Sail 7 Days a Week, Twice Daily
While the departure and arrival times may vary slightly, there is a morning and an evening cruise seven days a week. Most morning cruises depart at 11 a.m. and get back at 4:15 p.m. Most evening cruises leave at 7 p.m. and get back at 12:30 a.m. Sunday cruises depart at noon and return at 6 p.m., while Friday and Saturday night cruises leave at 7 p.m. and get back at 1 a.m.
If You Book Online You Can Skip the Line
As we said, the entry fee for the ship is $13 per person, and you can book your ticket online. One of the advantages of booking early is that you can skip the line that most people stand in to get their tickets. Instead, when you arrive, just enter the terminal and head to the left to the security metal detectors. It can save you a lot of time on boarding.
The Ship Has Four Decks, With Gambling on Each
The Victory has four decks, and each has a different purpose and feel. Deck 1 features the ship’s buffet and ala carte restaurant. As well, there are sports betting terminals here where you can bet on nearly any sport you can think of.
Deck 2 features slot machines, video poker, and table games. Deck 3 is the “Slot Atrium” with nothing but slot machines spanning the entire length of the ship. Deck 4 features the ship’s nightclub, lined with slot machines. There is also an outdoor bar on the back of the ship.
Tables Games Options Are Impressive Considering the Size of the Ship
You might think that a casino boat would only have a few table games. In fact, the Victory has an impressive variety of games. There are several craps tables (the only ones in Florida), roulette, blackjack, baccarat, Let It Ride, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, and more. There are also electronic roulette machines (a real wheel but betting terminals) and even bingo. If you don’t want to play slots or video poker, there is plenty for you to do. All told there are 27 tables. Note that there is no live poker.
It Takes About 45 Minutes of Sailing Until You Can Play
Due to state laws, it’s not legal for gaming until the ship reaches three miles from the shore. That means for the first part of the trip — and again when the ship comes back in — you can hang out on the deck or grab a bite to eat, but you can’t play. The trip out to sea takes roughly 45 minutes until reaching the 3-mile mark. There will be an announcement that gaming is now open.
The Ship Is a Fantastic Vantage Point to Watch Rocket Launches
Sailing from Port Canaveral, the channel from the port is literally right next to the Kennedy Space Center. Rocket launches draws tons of people to the area, and finding a spot to watch the launch can cost money and mean fighting for a spot. However, the ship heads just a few miles out to sea offering a fantastic vantage point with no obstructions like buildings in the way. It’s the perfect spot to have some fun and head to Deck 4 to watch a launch if it goes up while on your cruise.
Limits Are Usually Low
Are you a low-stakes gambler? Good news, you’ll fit right in on the Victory Casino Cruise. With 600 slot machines, penny slots are plentiful, as are quarter video poker machines. During our cruise — which wasn’t very busy — we saw multiple tables with $5 minimums. The highest minimum we saw was one table at $15. Bottom line, you don’t have to bring a huge bankroll to have some fun.
The Ship Could Use Some Updating
If your experience gambling involves the big swanky hotels in Las Vegas or similar venues, then you should temper your expectations. The Victory casino ship is a bit worn and could use some updating. Things like worn carpet are common and in general the furnishings show some age. There is also a bit of rust and wear on spots around the ship itself.
Parking is Free
Many people drive to the terminal and the good news is that parking is free. While parking for a regular cruise is around $20 per day, the casino cruise doesn’t charge. You can park across the street from the terminal and walk right to the check-in area and the ship. It makes it extremely convenient for those coming to the casino by car.
The Terminal is at the End of the Port Complex
Need a little help in finding where to go? There are abundant signs pointing the direction, but the port is at the end of the Canaveral cruise complex, close to the beach. We’ve labeled the map below to give you a sense of where to go:
Transportation Is Available
Don’t want to drive to the port? You’re in luck. Victory has a number of bus routes that will pick you up all over the central Florida area. This includes everywhere from Ocala to The Villages, to Vero Beach to Palm Coast. Rides are also affordable at just $20. Call the company to arrange your spot on the bus.
Get $5 Freeplay with a New Card and Email Address
Want a little freeplay to start your day at the casino? Sign up for the casino card when you get on the ship. It’s completely free and when you track your play on the machines and at the table with the card, you can get casino offers. If you provide your email address when you sign up, you also get $5 freeplay to use on the machines.
Drinks Are Free When Playing
Want to have a drink or two while you try your luck? There is drink service from waitresses that roam the casino floor. Drink service is free while you play (be sure to tip). If you want something from the bar, you will have to pay for that. There is coffee and soda available on Deck 1 if you want to sip something non-alcoholic.
Our Thoughts of the Victory Casino Cruise
As mentioned above, we recently sailed aboard the ship to check it out. So what is our impression of it?
In general, we had a good time. Our cruise on a Monday night didn’t have many people, meaning it was easy to find a place to play without having to fight for a spot at a table or a machine. It was also extremely easy to drive right up to the terminal, park, and board.
We found the machines to be “loose” and came out ahead on our cruise. Slot machines consistently gave good play, even when we ended up losing. Video poker machines were either 7/5 or 6/5 (be sure to check the pay tables to find the best for you), which does leave something to be desired. One thing that stuck out to us was that nearly every game you can think of was available on the ship. Normally smaller casinos offer only some games you might find at a larger venue.
Our biggest complaint is that the ship is definitely in need of some updating. As mentioned above, it definitely shows its age. Wear and tear are evident in many places. Keeping any ship in tip-top shape is difficult given the salt and the sea, so we understand. Still, it would be nice to have a more updated casino to play.
Overall, if you are in the central Florida area the Victory Casino ship is a fun way to spend a few hours… and hopefully make some money.
Have more questions about sailing on a Victory Casino Cruise from Port Canaveral? Let us know in the comments below.