Casino Cruises in Florida

By James | Last updated May 16, 2024

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Gambling in Florida is strictly controlled and as a result there were a number of casino boats in Florida on short half day casino cruises from a variety of Florida ports, though this number has dropped dramatically in the last decade, particularly with the competition from the large onshore Hard Rock casino gambling resorts run by the Seminole tribe.

There was a time that no matter where you were staying in Florida you were probably only a couple of hours away from a casino cruise port


Today if you want to have a “flutter” in the Sunshine State then you have a limited number of options including:

  • lotteries like the Florida State Lottery and inter-state lotteries like Powerball
  • at pari-mutuel facilities like horse racing tracks, jai alai frontons and cardrooms
  • in gambling casinos on land owned by Native American tribes (Seminole and Miccosukee) and
  • on casino cruise boats in International waters

You also used to be able to gamble at greyhound tracks but all greyhound tracks had closed by January 1, 2021.

As yet there is no online gambling in Florida.

Typical Casino Cruise Intineraries in Florida

Because it is illegal in Florida, there are no casino river boats. You have to go to the coast, then by sailing a few nautical miles offshore, these casino cruise ships can take advantage of International waters where there are no gambling restrictions.

Passengers can then participate in a whole host of Las Vegas style casino games including Blackjack, Roulette, Poker, Craps, Mini Baccarat and traditional slot machines.

Casino cruises in Florida typically last around four to six hours with one sailing late morning (brunch) and the other early evening (dinner). You may also find late night cruises on offer as well but Florida law prohibits them from staying offshore overnight.

Bear in mind that after leaving port, it takes around 45 minutes to an hour to reach International waters and then the casinos can open. Once back into US waters on the return trip the casinos have to close again.

Gambling cruise ships in Florida are smaller than ocean going cruise liners and essentially operate close to land but the waters can still be choppy some days so it is worth taking that into consideration, especially if you are prone to seasickness.

Casino Cruise Prices

As an incentive some (but not all) Florida casino cruise companies used to offer all manner of complimentary treats including free transportation to the port, free parking, free meals and drinks and free entertainment. Free drinks are usually only offered whilst gaming.

Typical cruise costs per person ranged from zero up to around $50 though you could often find reductions during mid week. Prices are a lot lower these days and range from $8 to $13 but you will sometimes find discounts.

Note that you may also need to pay various port taxes, Federal Excise Tax and a Passenger Security Charge though these are usually built into the boarding price.

Passengers usually have to be at least 18 (21 in some instances) to board and you will need to present either a passport or a valid government-issued photo ID to board the ship.

Current Florida Casino Cruise Lines

There are nowhere near as many casino cruise operators in Florida as there were a decade ago with many casino cruise lines closing in the period 2008 to 2010.

Back in 2004 there were 17 gambling boats in Florida, today there are just two casino boats in Florida; the Victory I sailing from Port Canaveral (close to Cape Canaveral) on the Atlantic coast and the smaller Tropical Breeze Casino sailing from Port Richey, north of Tampa on the Gulf Coast. Both offer a range of Las Vegas style casino games.

This means there are no longer any casino cruise boats operating from North or South Florida, only Central Florida but most of the land based casinos and pari-mutuels are in South Florida.

Victory Casino Cruises, Port Canaveral

Victory Casino Cruises started operations at Terminal B 2 at Port Canaveral in 2011. The former SunCruz Surfside Princess 1,200 passenger ship was fully renovated and renamed as Victory I.

There are two sailings per day, Wednesday through Saturday, with a lunchtime and an evening cruise. On Sunday there is a single mid day cruise. Cruises typically last five to six hours.

At present the ship does not sail on Mondays and Tuesdays to allow additional deep cleaning.

The Victory I features around 630 of the very latest technology slot machines as well as around 30 gambling tables and sports betting. You can play the slot machines or a variety of games such as Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, EZ Baccarat, Ultimate Texas Hold’Em, Mississippi Stud, Three Card Poker, Let It Ride, Bingo and a Sportsbook.

For entertainment there are two dining rooms, the full service Atlantic Café buffet or A La Carte dining. The Dolphin Bar is an outside bar serving drinks and snacks with live entertainment and the Sportsbook Lounge has wall-to-wall TV screens and betting on major sporting events.

If you want to listen to live music, watch acts or dance in a club atmosphere, then there is Big Norm’s Club V.

Advanced boarding costs $13 per person and alcoholic drinks are free whilst you are gaming. You have to be at least 18 years old to board and at least 21 to consume alcohol.

In April 2014 Victory Casino Cruises announced that they had purchased a second ship, the SunCruz Aquasino, a 229 foot catamaran to be called the Victory II which would sail from the Mayport near Jacksonville, starting in June 2014.

The Victory II was smaller than the Victory I and held around 640 passengers with about 300 slot machines and 17 gambling tables as well as a Sportbook, Bingo and live entertainment.

After a couple of years in early 2017 she temporarily moved to Port Canaveral whilst Victory I was in dry dock undergoing routine maintenance.

The Victory II and the Mayport operation closed down in 2018.

More details on the Victory Casino Cruises website.

Tropical Breeze Casino, Port Richey near Tampa

The 465 passenger Tropical Breeze Casino sails daily except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays from Port Richey north of Tampa on the Gulf Coast. Each cruise lasts around six hours.

The boat has slot machines ranging from penny slots up to $2 as well as video poker games, Blackjack, Let It Ride (based on Five Card Stud), Three Card Poker, Roulette, War 21 and Craps.

Boarding costs from free up to $8 per person depending upon the day of the week and they have other offers on certain days like free beer. Hot and cold food and drinks can be purchased on board.

More details on the Tropical Breeze Casino website.

Cruise Lines with onboard Casinos

If you fancy a slightly longer gambling cruise then many of the major cruise lines operating out of Florida also offer gambling on board their short Bahamas cruises and longer Caribbean and South America cruises. Note that within a given cruise line the actual game tables may vary from ship to ship.

Be aware that a cruise billed as a two day cruise is usually two nights; i.e. depart port on day 1, spend day 2 at your destination(s) and return to port on day 3. Likewise a three day cruise will typically span over four days.

With these types of cruises you are officially leaving the United States for another country and therefore will require your passport before boarding. You also need to be at least 18 years old (sometimes 21) to enter the casinos on most cruise ships.

A lot of the cruise lines have their own private islands in the Caribbean which make an ideal destination for a mini-cruise.

The following cruise lines all offer Florida casino cruises, with shorter cruises to the Bahamas and Western Caribbean and longer cruises to Central and South America.

The one glaring omission that sails out of Florida is the Disney Cruise Line. As part of their “family friendly” ethos they do not operate casinos on any of their cruise ships, nor does Viking Cruises.

Azamara Club Cruises used to have casinos on their ships but they closed all their casinos on January 1, 2022.

Carnival Cruise Line

The Carnival cruise ships have casinos where you can play Blackjack, Craps, Poker, Roulette as well as Carnival’s own Fun 21™ and PokerPro tables. For novice card players, casino staff will give you a guiding hand.

Carnival sail from Jacksonville, Port Canaveral, Miami and Tampa and they offer two day cruises from Miami to Nassau giving you around 9 hours to explore Nassau.

Celebrity Cruises

The Celebrity cruise ships have casinos where you can play Blackjack (Regular or Single Deck), Craps, Texas Hold’Em Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’Em Poker, Three Card Poker, Roulette, Baccarat and a range of slot machines including tournaments with big cash prizes.

Celebrity sail from Tampa, Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Their shortest duration cruise is a 3 night cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Nassau or Miami to Nassau and Bimini.


Cunard do not run any mini cruises out of Florida. They do sail the Britannia from Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean but they specialise in longer cruises, 13 days or more.

The small casino on board has gaming tables and slot machines.

Holland America Line

The casinos on the Holland America cruise ships feature Bingo and Slots, Paradise Lotto as well as a range of table games including Blackjack, Poker and Roulette. Casino staff are on hand to offer advice to those card players new to gambling.

Holland America sail from Fort Lauderdale to the private island of Half Moon Cay, Bahamas on their shortest three day cruise.

Margaritaville at Sea

Margaritaville is a fairly new player and sails from the Port of Palm Beach to Grand Bahama Island. They offer a two night cruise sailing or four and six night cruise and stay packages.

At their “Par-A-Dice Casino” you can play Blackjack, Roulette and Ultimate Texas Hold’Em as well as slot machines. There are free lessons for amateur card players.

MSC Cruises

MSC cruise ships feature casinos with Bingo, Roulette (American & Single Zero), Blackjack, several types of Poker and slot machines.

MSC sail from Miami and Port Canaveral and have three night cruises from Port Canaveral to Nassau and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. There is also a three night cruise from Miami to Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.

Norwegian Cruise Line

In the Norwegian Cruise Line “Casinos At Sea” they have slot machines from 1¢ to $100 and table games of Craps, Blackjack, Texas Hold’Em, Ultimate Texas Hold’Em, Let It Ride, Roulette, Baccarat, Pal Gow Poker and Three Card Poker.

Norwegian sail from Port Canaveral, Miami and Tampa. Their shortest cruises are a selection of three day cruises from Miami calling at two destinations from Key West, Great Stirrup Cay (their own island), Nassau or Grand Bahama Island in the Bahamas.

The shortest cruise from Tampa is a four day cruise calling at the same selection of destinations.

Oceania Cruises

Oceania’s “Casinos At Sea” boast Monte Carlo-style gambling with Roulette, Blackjack and other card games plus slot machines. Casino staff are happy to provide lessons on how the games are played.

They sail from Miami and their shortest cruises are seven days to Mexico, Honduras and Belize.

Princess Cruises

Voted best cruise lines for gamblers by USA Today, Princess has slot machines and tables games including Bingo, Roulette, Blackjack, Texas Hold ‘Em poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, Three Card Poker and Let it Ride at their “Princess Casinos”. Like some other cruise lines they also run tournaments for Blackjack and slot machines.

Princess sail from Fort Lauderdale and their shortest duration cruise is a four day cruise to their own private resort at Princess Cays, Bahamas.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Regent Seven Seas’s is owned by the same holding company as Oceania Cruises (Prestige Cruise Holdings) and offers the same type of casino table games.

Like Oceania they sail from Miami and their shortest cruises are seven days again to Mexico, Honduras and Belize.

Royal Caribbean International

Every one of their ships features a “Casino Royale” offering Blackjack, Craps, Texas Hold’Em Poker, Roulette, Baccarat and slot machines. There are tournaments on slot machines, Blackjack and Texas Hold’Em Poker with large cash prizes.

If you are a novice gambler you can even get complimentary Learn-To-Play lessons from professional dealers for some of the most popular games like Craps and Baccarat.

Royal Caribbean sail from Port Canaveral, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa offering anything from a two night mini cruise to CocoCay, Bahamas (their own private island) to longer 12 plus day cruises.


Seabourn sail from Miami but they specialise in longer ultra-luxury cruises, 11 days or more.

Their casino offers Blackjack, Poker tables and slot machines.


Silversea sail from Fort Lauderdale offering a one way seven day cruise, island hopping to Grand Turk, Tortola, St. Johns, St. Kitts and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The casino plays Blackjack, Roulette and slot machines.

History of Casino Cruise Lines no longer sailing from Florida

Casino boats in the United States have been sailing into International waters from as early as 1928 to get around strict gambling laws.

There has been quite a shake-up in Florida gambling boat companies over the last decade and many companies have suspended operations from specific ports or ceased operations entirely. As a result all but two Florida casino boats have left the state.

Many new companies offering one day Florida casino cruises opened in the early 2010s with boats mostly purchased from bankrupt casino cruise operators only to cease trading themselves a few years later.

Big “M” Casino

Big “M” Casino operated two ships, one from Myrtle Beach in South Carolina and the other from Fort Myers Beach in Florida.

The Fort Myers based luxury 162 foot yacht could take up to 400 guests and offered two cruises per day with an “all you care to eat” buffet. Games included Blackjack, Roulette, Let-It-Ride, Three Card Poker and over 185 slot machines.

The Florida boat relocated to Myrtle Beach in 2015 after 18 years to join its sister boat, but returned to Fort Myers for periods of time until 2017 when it made the move back to Myrtle Beach permanent.

Black Diamond Casino Cruises

The 160 foot Black Diamond with 250 slot machines and card games operated out of the Port of Palm Beach for just three months in November 2012 offering morning and nightly cruises but closed down in February 2013.

The Black Diamond was taken over by Island Breeze International in May 2013.

Blue Horizon Casino Cruises

Blue Horizon cruises was a short lived operation at the Port of Palm Beach that took over the Black Diamond boat in July 2015 but suspended sailing in 2016.

During its brief operation the 600 passenger boat offered 250 slots, Video poker gaming machines, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette and Sportsbook.

Casino Princesa

The 200 foot luxury yacht Casino Princesa used to sail twice daily from Miami and has 32 gaming tables offering Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Poker, Baccarat and over 240 slot machines. Casino Princesa ceased operations and the ship moved to Georgia and was renamed the Emerald Princess II.

Discovery Cruise Lines

Discovery Cruise Lines sailed from Port Everglades to Grand Bahama with the 1,200 passenger ship, Discovery Sun from 1987. They ran the service as a straight forward ferry, day casino cruise and as a cruise and stay package.

The company ceased operations in September 2011 due to financial difficulties.

Horizon’s Edge Casino Cruises

Horizon’s Edge Casino Cruises opened their first service in Florida, the 186 foot SS Horizon’s Edge sailing from Miami in 2006 with two sailings each day, every day late morning and evening. The ship could carry 500 guests and on board there were 225 slot machine and 11 gaming tables.

They also sailed from Treasure Island, Tampa Bay for a time.

Horizon’s Edge closed their Florida operation in 2009.

Island Breeze International

Island Breeze International took over the former Black Diamond casino cruise ship in May 2013 and relaunched it as the Island Breeze Casino offering gambling cruises in April 2014 from the Port of Palm Beach.

The ship could hold up to 550 guests and offered two sailings per day, late morning and evening but Island Breeze International filed for bankruptcy in 2016.

Jacks or Better Casino

Jacks or Better Casino started sailing from Mayport, Jacksonville in 2010, a year after SunCruz closed down.

The 155 foot boat with a capacity of 500 passengers had over 180 slot machines and table games including Baccarat, Craps, Roulette, Poker and Blackjack as well as betting on worldwide sports.

Operations in Florida ceased in 2012.

Las Vegas Cruise Lines

The newest player in the Florida casino cruise market was Las Vegas Cruise Lines and they had hoped to start operations in April 2008 with their ship, the 300 foot Liquid Vegas but first sailings from Port Canaveral were delayed.

When operations did commence, Las Vegas Cruise Lines offered Craps, Blackjack, Three Card Poker, Roulette, Let-It-Ride, Mini Baccarat, Texas Hold’em and over 500 slot machines.

The ship held around 900 passengers and had four cocktail lounges, live entertainment, a dance lounge with DJ, hot and cold buffets and gift shops.

In early 2009, Las Vegas Cruise Lines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and in May 2009 they ceased operations.

Palm Beach Casino Line

The Palm Beach Casino Line operated from 1997 out of the Port of Palm Beach with Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, Craps and slot machines plus live entertainment, cabaret shows, a dance club and a sports bar.

The 421 foot Palm Beach Princess (formerly the Viking Princess) could carry 800 passengers and had three casinos offering Blackjack, Craps, Three Card Poker, World Series of Poker, Let It Ride, Texas Hold’em, 7 Card Stud, Roulette, mini Baccarat and over 400 slot machines plus Sportsbook and Bingo.

Other entertainment including a live review show, a lounge, dining room, bar and grill, sports bar, swimming pool, sun deck, cabins and a massage therapy room.

In 2005 a second ship, the larger 1,200 passenger Big Easy Casino joined the cruises with over 550 slot machines, and a similar range of table games. The ship even included a full service restaurant and four themed bars.

In 2009 they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to allow them to continue trading whilst resolving their financial difficulties but they ceased operations in 2010.

Port Richey Casino

Port Richey Casino (also part of Oceans Casino Cruises) operated from Port Richey with Blackjack, Roulette, three Card Poker and over 300 slot machines but ceased operations.

It has reappeared as Tropical Breeze Casino, still operating from Port Richey near Tampa.

Resorts World Bimini SuperFast

In early 2013, Genting, who had been trying to build a super casino in Miami for years, bought a 1,600 passenger 32,000 ton fast ferry and renamed it the Bimini SuperFast Ferry. They offered a 2 1/2 hour fast crossing from South Florida to Bimini in the Bahamas where they had built a new casino at Resorts World Bimini Bay.

The Bimini Superfast used to sail twice a day from Miami to Bimini in the Bahamas, just 50 miles away. It offered onboard Blackjack, Roulette, slot machines and sports betting as well as six restaurants and bars, shops and a party deck.

Upon arrival at the Bimini Resorts World, you could relax in the resort by the two pools or continue gambling at the onsite casino and then sail back to Miami the same day if you did not want to stay over.

Bimini Resorts World subsequently withdrew the SuperFast casino boat but the casino and resort on Bimini itself continues to operate.

If you still want to go to Bimini there are a couple of airlines operating out of Fort Lauderdale; Silver Airways and the seaplane Tropic Ocean Airways.

If you prefer to cruise, then Balearia Caribbean offer a fast ferry service aboard Jaume II, also from Fort Lauderdale. There is food and drinks available but there is no gambling on board.


SeaEscape used to sail twice daily from Port Everglades at Fort Lauderdale. Their ship, the MV Island Adventure at 15,400 tons and 512 feet was the largest day cruise ship in Florida at the time with a capacity of 975 and was renovated in 2007.

As well as the casino with over 40 gaming tables, SeaEscape also offered buffet or premium dining, a disco, theatre, lounge showing live revues of Broadway hits and favourite classics, video arcade, Thai Massage, cabins and a swimming pool. They even offered wedding packages if you fancied tying the knot at sea.

Unlike many of the other casino cruise lines they allowed kids on board (if accompanied by an adult) where they could have fun in Camp SeaEscape. They stopped sailing in 2008.

Sterling Casino Lines

Up until July 2008, Sterling Casino Lines sailed one of the largest casino cruise ships in Florida, the Ambassador II but following a number of technical problems and their lease at Port Canaveral expiring, they ceased operations.

The 1,800 passenger Ambassador II had four main casinos with fifty gaming tables offering a number of games including Blackjack, Mini-Baccarat, Craps and Roulette plus 1,000 slot machines.

SunCruz Casino

SunCruz Casino (part of Oceans Casino Cruises) operated more casino cruise ships than any other Florida operator though they ceased sailing from Daytona Beach, Palm Beach and Madeira Beach before they folded.

Until 2009 they operated from Jacksonville, Port Canaveral and Key Largo in Florida and Myrtle Beach in nearby South Carolina but on December 29, 2009 they filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and all their eleven ships were put up for sale.

The 165 foot catamaran, SunCruz VI could hold 600 passengers and sailed from Jacksonville with 38 gaming tables and over 300 slot machines.

The 308 foot SunCruz Surfside Princess could take up to 1,200 passengers and sailed from Port Canaveral with 35 gaming tables and over 640 slot machines. She was sold to Victory Casino Cruises as the Victory I.

The smallest ship was SunCruz I which could hold 149 passengers and sailed from Key Largo (Mile Marker 100). It had 7 gaming tables and 88 slot machines.

The 87 foot SunCruz IV operated out of Panama City and had 118 gaming stations.

The 207 foot SunCruz VIII sailed from Myrtle Beach with up to 600 passengers and had 22 gaming tables and 380 slot machines.

The 228 foot SunCruz Aquasino operated from South Beach, Miami with over 20 gaming tables, poker room, 200 slot machines, sports bar and cafe. She was also sold to Victory Casino Cruises as the Victory II.

In 2010 SunCruz was bought out by SantaCruz Casino in Little River near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and presently seems to be trading as Big “M” Casino. It no longer operates in Florida.

Titan Cruise Lines

Titan Cruise Lines started operating the 450 foot Ocean Jewel with a capacity of 2,000 out of St. Petersburg in October 2004 but the operation quickly closed down in late 2005.

The Ocean Jewel had 28 gaming tables and over 1,000 slot machines.

Treasure Island Casino

Treasure Island Casino (also part of Oceans Casino Cruises) has also ceased operations and they used to sail from Madeira Beach into the Gulf of Mexico.

Other gambling ships in Florida now long gone include:

  • Midnight Gambler Cruises, Pompano Beach
  • La Cruise Casino, Jacksonville