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04 Jul 09 Gaming on the open seas…

In just the last decade Cruise ship sailing has increase dramatically and so have the size of the vessels. In may 2007 the largest cruise ship in the world, RCCL’s Freedom of the Seas, had it’s maiden voyage. Freedom of the Seas has more than 1,800 rooms for up to 4,375 passengers, is more than 1,112ft (339m) in length – longer than 37 double-decker buses. 10 years ago both ocean going liners and the casinos onboard were a fraction of the size of today’s liners. Cruising is the world’s fastest growing holiday choice and still has only reached a tiny percentage of its potential.

Carnival Cruise Lines is by far the biggest Cruise ship company, Carnival was only formed in 1972 Carnival and today along with its associates, (Holland America Line, Princess Cruise, Cunard, and Costa Cruises), account for nearly half of the whole world’s fleet. Carnival soon started its fleet of Fun ships which are known for their Las Vegas decor and entertainment, which was about the time when the cruise lines began to take casinos onboard more seriously.

A combination of RCCL and Celebrity cruise lines comes a distant second in the number of ships and other major players are Disney, Holland America, NCL and Crystal are the major cruise lines. All major cruise lines now have casinos onboard all their fleet with the exception of Disney which are the only cruise line yet to allow onboard gaming.

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