What’s it take to get a free Carnival cruise? Learn everything about the Carnival Player’s Club
How many points do you need to earn on your Carnival cruise to get a free cruise? Let me explain what I mean. You may or may not have heard of the Carnival Player’s Club. The Carnival Player’s Club is the comp program or player’s club program on all Carnival Cruise ships. It’s the way your points are tracked on the ships to reward you with discounts or free cruises.
There are no published details regarding how many actual points you need to get a discount, but through multiple trips and some research and questioning, I was able to figure out how much is actually required to do much of anything. For every $2.50 you play on the Carnival ship, you earn 1 point. It is standard for most cruise ship casinos and even on most land casinos. Some land-based casinos give you 1 point for every $5.00 you play. Now, this doesn’t mean that to earn 1,500 points, you have to take $1,500 and dump it into the casino. Most cruise ship casinos have a payback percentage of 90 to 98% or so, so to get 1,500 points, you’ll likely have to gamble around $500. That’s about enough to get you “noticed” in the casino. This isn’t a specific set amount. So, if you take $500 and put them into a $25 denomination machine, and hit the max bet button, you’ll likely lose the $500 in a few minutes and only earn a few points. You have to earn the points by playing a long time, and the only real way to do this is to either win (which is really rare in a cruise ship casino) or play penny and nickel slots so that you can earn more comps over a longer period of time with less out-of-pocket funds.
Instant cash back rewards are paid in units of $10 for every 1,000 points earned, up to a maximum of $2,500 or 250,000 points. Instant cash back is paid per cruise and only on slots. You must insert your cruise card into the machine’s card reader during play in order to earn points. One point is awarded for every $2.50 of coin-in on regular slots, and one point for every $5.00 of coin-in on video poker games. Your machine will alert you once you have earned Instant Cash Back in the increments of $10. It will then prompt you to use while playing, or your Instant Cash Back will deposited in your Player Bank for use at a later time.
What about if you’re a table player, how do you get rated to earn comps?
A table player can be rated when playing at most table games. Just let the Dealer know that you wish to be rated every time you play. You will earn comps based upon your average bet and time played. Play 4 hours of play per day, at an average bet of $20, for your table play to be rated.
It looks like someone actually asked the CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines how many points it takes to get noticed. Here’s what he said on 12/10/2014:
I always get asked about cruises that are given to our guests by our casino department and how they are chosen. Carnival Players Club Premier players are players who have accumulated at least 7,500 points during the last 12 months. They get invited to select sailings, and must sail on one of these in order to receive great amenities, including special cruise rates, casino cash, Players Club gifts and free drinks while playing. A Premier guest who has sailed on a Premier cruise during the year also receive a special invitation for the ULTRA cruise giveaway at the end of the year – where we are giving away over $60,000 in prizes this week on top of the regular Premier offers.
We actually have a special casino premier cruise on the Carnival Sunshine this week? Looks like the casino is giving away a lot of shiny prizes to some lucky Premier cruisers…”
The prizes are:
60” Samsung LED TV
iPhone 6 Plus
A Yak called Brian.
Wine of the Month club membership
Gift Cards valued at $200, $300 & $400
Special Edition Johnnie Walker Blue Label
And the grand prize: THE ULTIMATE CRUISE PACKAGE! This is a Grand Suite on any North American sailing up to 12 days, a shore excursion, chef’s table, specialty restaurant, spa treatment & dream studio package – by far the most popular prize.
1,500 points – enough for drinks while you’re playing in the casino. This includes all alcoholic beverages. There’s no tiered cards on Carnival, so the 1,500 points is not hard to reach, and the deal is really awesome especially if you like to drink alcohol. The rule is that you can get up to 15 drinks a day, and you have to wait 15 minutes between drinks. But, I can tell you that as long as you give the cocktail server a tip (I gave $1), they would keep coming back and you can get as many drinks as you want for your friends and family that may have come along to watch you play in the casino. On some cruise lines, like Norwegian Cruise Lines, there’s a tiered system of cards, so spending $500 won’t get you to even the lowest tier. If you spend $1000 you’ll get to the lowest tier, and even then you won’t get the best liquor.
Slots- Every $2.50 ran through machine = 1 point
Video Poker- Every $5 ran through machine = 1 point
Texas Holdem Tables- No points are earned
Table points are calculated as follows:
Amount of bet times the # of hours played
For example, to earn the 200 required points for the Drinks on Us card it would take:
$15 per hand x 16 hours
$25 per hand x 8 hours
$50 per hand x 4 hours
$100 per hand x 2 hours
Carnival Cruise Lines is now transitioning in a new tracking system fleet wide for table players by 2016
Currently available on all the newer ships, the dealer swipes your card upon initial buy-in.
On your current cruise (6 days or more), when you earn 1500 points playing the slots notify the casino host and you will be issued a Drinks On Us Card.
On your current cruise (4-5 days), When you earn 1000 points playing the slots notify the casino host and you will be issued a Drinks On Us Card.
On your current cruise (3 days or less), ask the casino host or pit boss for free drinks as there are no Drinks On Us Cards available.
For your next cruise:
As of now, unless Carnival changes it, you will be issued a Drinks On Us Card on the very first day of your next cruise if you earn 1,500 points on your current cruise. The same goes for table players and this can be confirmed by asking the casino host or Casino Services. What do you get at the following levels:
3,000 points – you already got your Drinks on Us Card, so don’t expect anything else at this level, even though you doubled your points
4,000 points – again, not much coming your way, even though you’ve probably gambled a few thousand dollars.
6,000 points – at this level of play you’ll get a free bottle of wine at dinner. You’ll be told when you get to the dining room that the casino will let you choose a red or white wine to have with dinner.
8,000 to 10,000 points – at this level, you’ll get another bottle of wine, you’ve reached the 7,500 point threshold for the free future cruise, and you’ll even get fruit in your stateroom.
10,000 to 15,000 points – now you’re starting to get noticed by the casino host, and you’ll probably get more fruit, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate, and maybe even a champagne bottle in your stateroom.
15,000 to 20,000 points – more bottles of wine, fruit baskets, pastries, chocolate coming your way
20,000 + points – when you hit this level, you’ll be one of the biggest players on the cruise, so you’ll get all of the above and more. They’ll be inviting you back to cruise for free soon.
Before going on your next cruise, if you think you’ve earned some points but aren’t sure of your discount, or want some “extras” in the room, you can send an email to either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
If you don’t like to email, or want to talk to someone from the Carnival Casino department, you can always call them. Try calling 1-800-522-7466 ext 78084 or 1-866-299-5859 or 1-888-672-2582.
Keep the following facts in mind (this is true for most land-based casino) before you start to think about how many points you should or shouldn’t have earned.
1) The total amount of your own money that you “spend” is not actually even factored into the system
2) The formula for calculating points is a % of the avg bet times the amount of time you play
3) The formula is different for every game in the casino but for an easy example lets assume that for the game you are playing on it is 5% of your avg bet time the number of hours you play
4) Using the formula above if you bet $20 per hand and played for 1 hour you would have $1 worth of points
5) The formula is also different for every casino and is usually not a known commodity except for the regulars who have either developed enough of a relationship to ask or have figured it out on their own
The 2 determining variables that you can control are the avg bet and the time played. Of course on a table game if you get in good with the floor supervisor who is taking your card he could be more generous in his determination of your avg bet and time played
The following is the only published facts from the Carnival Players Club which can be found online.
Casino and Carnival Players Club (Published 03/11/2015 10:00 PM | Updated 06/01/2015 04:54 PM)
Casino Tables and Slot Machines
Due to itineraries, the Casino hours may vary among the fleet:
- Sea Days: Slot Machines open at 9:00am; select tables open at 10:00am; full casino opens 12:00pm-3:00am.
- Port Days: The casino is closed while in port; the casino opens after the ship sails. For ships that overnight in Nassau, the casino is open during night time hours. For ships visiting Half Moon Cay, the casino may be open at the discretion of ship management.
- Black Jack Tournaments
- Slot Machine Tournaments
- Offered on select ships, seasonally (not available on all sailings)
- U.S currency is accepted at all tables and slot machines.
- The Sail & Sign Card can be used to purchase chips at the tables and credit for the slot machines from the Cashier’s Window; a 3% charge will apply. If the Sail & Sign Card is used in the slot machine, no fee will apply.
- Travelers Checks can be used to purchase chips at the tables and credit for the slot machines.
- Coinless Fun Slot Machines: Players will set-up a player bank account in order to upload and download credits from slot machines.
- Table limits vary and are modified to best suit the guests onboard. Following are the guidelines:
|Roulette Table Limits||Other Table Limits|
|25 Cents||50 Cents||$1 table|
|Dice /Craps||Roulette||Texas Hold ‘Em
|Note: Tables and slot machines are subject to change|
Carnival Players Club
The Carnival Players Club is a unique players club that offers something for every level of player. From gaming lessons for beginners to establishing credit lines and betting limits for high rollers, this is a club for anyone who loves to play. All members are eligible to receive benefits and special offers. Carnival Players Club Membership has various levels – with a variety of benefits — based upon frequency of cruising and point levels.
Additional information can be found at www.oceanplayersclub.com
- How can I join the Carnival Players Club? When you use your Sail & Sign card in the casino, you are automatically a member! Just insert your card into any slot machine. You’ll set up a Player Bank, and a profile will be automatically created for you. That’s all it takes at the Slots. If you are a table player, simply present your Sail & Sign card to the Supervisor while playing or ask your Casino Host for further details.
- What is a Player Bank? Your Player Bank allows you to place your winnings in your own personal bank account once you’ve finished playing at the slot machines. You can access your funds to play slots during regular casino hours any time during the cruise. Please be sure to cash out all your winnings at the Cashier’s Cage on the last night of your cruise. Just tell the cage cashier that you’d like to cash out your “player bank.”
- Will I get a players club card? Your Sail & Sign card is your key to the Carnival Players Club and all its rewards! We do not issue specific players club card. Your Sail & Sign card will change on each cruise you take, but your unique Player I.D. number will carry over each time you cruise.
- How do I earn comps? Comps are extended on board based on your level of play. Both slot and table players can receive comps, such as complimentary drinks, spa treatments, logo items, invitations to our Steakhouse, and wine at your dining table, based on your casino play.
- I’m a table player, how do I get rated to earn/claim comps? A table player can be rated when playing at most table games. Please advise the table games dealer or supervisor that you wish to be rated every time you play. You will earn comps based upon your average bet and time played. Typically, we’ll rate your play on a minimum of 4 hours of play per day, at an average bet of $20. You must ensure to present your card at each session. Please check with the casino host on your cruise for further details.
- Do I get complimentary drinks while playing? We do offer complimentary drinks to eligible players once they’ve reached a certain level of play.
Note: Available on ships that sail on 4-day/5-day rotation itineraries and on 6-day or longer cruises. This program is not offered on ships that sail on 3-day/4-day rotation itineraries (Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Imagination, Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Sensation). On Premier sailings, this is automatically included for the targeted guest and one companion.
- Slot Players: Any guest who earns the required number of points during a single voyage will be eligible to receive the On Us card. The standard point level that must be reached to qualify from slot play is 1,500 points. However, this can differ on certain vessels and not all vessels offer this program. Guest must contact Casino VIP Services or see Casino Host once on board to confirm eligibility.
- Table Players: Table players will be awarded an On Us card when they reach comparable table play. Guest must contact Casino VIP Services or see Casino Host once on board to confirm eligibility.
- Pre-Qualified Guests: Any guest who reached 5,000 or more points on their previous voyage as captured in the One List that is delivered to each vessel at the start of each voyage, will automatically qualify for the On Us card. Prior to the start of the cruise, the Casino Host is to identify these guests on the One List and prepare the issuing of On Us cards.
Please see the Casino Host on board for further details on our “On Us Drink Program” offered on select Carnival ships.
- I’ve received an offer in the mail/e-mail; can I use it on my cruise? Please review the Terms & Conditions of your offer. They should be located on the back of your mailer or at the bottom of your e-mail. Offers may only be valid on certain cruise dates booked within a certain time frame. If your planned cruise date does not fall within those booking windows then your offer is not valid for that particular cruise. Multiple offers cannot be combined on any one cruise.
- Do you accept cash in the casino? Yes, we do. However, while you can insert cash into our machines, we run on a coin-less system. Therefore, your winnings and outstanding balances must be cashed out from your Player Bank at the Cashier’s Cage. You may also access those funds for continued gaming action at another slot machine. Just don’t forget to cash out the last night of the cruise, as the casino will not be open on debarkation day. Table players can exchange cash for chips directly at the table or at the Cashier’s Cage.
- What types of games do you have on board? It varies by ship, but we offer a variety of slots and table games on board in each casino. On most ships, you’ll find your favorite slots such as Wheel of Fortune and Wolf Run. You’ll find Blackjack, Roulette, Let It Ride, Caribbean Stud, Three Card Poker and Craps on most ships.
- What are your table limits? It varies by table; please see your casino host for details.
- What are your minimum bets on the tables? It varies by table; please see your casino host for details.
- How old do you have to be to gamble on board? 18 years of age.
- Do you have live poker on board? We offer live poker played on the automated Poker Pro tables. In a PokerPro game, up to 10 players can compete against each other and enjoy the speed and accuracy of an “automated dealer.” To learn more about PokerPro and the wide variety of casino tournaments offered on board, see your Casino Host.
- Do you offer any tournaments on board? Yes we do. We offer Slot, Blackjack and Poker tournaments on nearly all itineraries. Tournament schedules vary from ship to ship. To play in or learn more about any of our tournaments, just stop by the casino and ask for one of our friendly casino hosts. They’ll be happy to help make the most of your casino experience during your cruise.
- Can I use my on board account card to get funds in the casino? Yes, there is no charge at the slot machines for using your onboard account card to access funds. For any transactions done at a table game, or the cashier’s cage there is a small service fee of 3% each. You can charge up to $2000 per day on your Sail & Sign card to play in the casino. Please consult the casino staff onboard for further details.
- I left a balance in my Player Bank how do I get it back? Funds in excess of $10 USD will automatically be forwarded to guests. For further enquiries please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at extension 78087. Please allow 3 business days for a response from one of our casino service coordinators.
- Do you offer credit lines? If so, how can I establish one? To apply for a line of casino credit, we ask that you complete an application at least two weeks prior to your sail date, for a minimum credit line of $2,500. Please visit https://www.oceanplayersclub.com/vip-services/apply-for-casino-credit.aspx to complete our application. If you are unable to access a computer please e-mail email@example.com or leave a message at extension 78082. Please allow 3 business days for a response from one of our casino service coordinators.
- If I win, do I have to pay taxes? We are required to file an IRS form W-2G for all slot jackpots of $1,200 or more and for all table game jackpots and payouts where the odds paid are 300 to 1 or higher (e.g. some poker progressives and royal/straight flushes). There is normally no tax withheld on slot jackpots if the winner can provide a valid social security number. If you are unable to provide a valid social security number, however, we are required to withhold taxes at a rate of 29%. All table game payouts subject to tax reporting are also subject to withholding at a rate of 26% (29% if a valid social security number cannot be provided). These tax guidelines are for citizens and permanent residents of the United States only.
- Do you provide Win/Loss statements? Yes we do. Please fill out the Win & Loss statement form located at www.oceanplayersclub.com. This will be the only way to request this information – no telephone or email requests will be accepted.
- I have further questions about casino, who can I contact? For further inquiries please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at extension 70367. Please allow 3 business days for a response from one of our casino service coordinators.
Now that you’re all knowledgeable about how to earn points and how many points you need to get to a certain level of “getting noticed” you’ll be able to gamble and earn free drinks & a free cruise!