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Not exactly.

 

Royal Caribbean's casino doesn't offer free drinks to players unless they're members of their casino program (Club Royale) or are recognized as a "Gold" or higher status M life member (from land-based casinos).

 

Club Royale is an invitation-only program. For slots players, one needs to earn about 2,000 points during a week-long cruise to be invited in.

 

Note that Club Royale will be transitioning to a new, tiered program at some point in the next few months, probably in early 2016. No details about what this new program will look like or what benefits it will offer players is known yet.

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Steph, you CAN sign up for MLife on the Royal Caribbean website. I've done it myself. Just signing up gives you almost nothing (I think there is some minimal savings at MGM properties but nothing you couldn't get other way, I'm sure) but you CAN become a member online at RCI. I'm sure you have to visit one of the properties and establish some kind of history in order to gain any kind of status. I rarely go to Vegas or AC so I'm thrilled that MGM is building a big casino closer to us - just outside of DC. Can't wait for it to open !

 

While Club Royale reciprocates with MLife, I wonder if MLife returns that favor ? I would assume that they do. Guess I'll find out when MGM opens at National Harbor.

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Thanks for everyone's feedback.. I called the Royal Casino line and they said to enrol you have to spend min of 3-4 hours in the casino everyday with a minimum bet of $5 a spin for slot machines and same time at Blackjack tables with min of $50 bet each hand.. guess I won't be getting free drinks like I always do with Carnival :) 

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  • 3 months later...

Janza, congratulations to your husband !  Dan won it once and we went to the Royal Poker Tour finals (it was then held on the Liberty....I think it was December 2010) and it was fun....and I came in second twice.  Both times I came in second, the second place money ended up being a better prize than the free cruise so I made out better by coming in second than winning.  If you are in the casino on the Feb 21 cruise then we will definitely run into you.  That's where you can pretty much find us most of the time !

 

The truth is, the best way to get into Club Royale is just go up to the Casino host and tell them you want to be rated (there will probably be 2 hosts/hostesses on the Allure.  There were 2 on the Oasis in Jan 2015).  That's the most direct way. That's the way we both got in.  ...and the fact that you're going to be rated on the Allure is a big bonus.  It's much easier to qualify on the big ships than the smaller ones b/c their tracking systems are much better than those of the smaller ships. 

 

It's purely a numbers game.  At the time we qualified, the magic number of 2100 points.  I have no idea what it is now.  Even though we do not normally play slots, we did on that cruise b/c you can track your progress real time and you know if and when you reach your goal !  You can just check your points periodically and see if you're getting close and modify your play to maximize the points.  It took us nearly the entire cruise to reach 2100 but eventually we both did, and we were in !  ...like I have said many times before, under the current system, you do not have to ever requalify.  Once you're in, you're in.  Under the new program that they have been talking about implementing for over a year now (and who knows if and when they actually will), you will have to requalify periodically to retain your level...which is a big bummer for me, but that's the way most of the tiered high roller programs are.

 

Good luck !  l...and see you in 18 days !

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The Royal Poker Tour satellite tournaments (which are the ones that they play on all the ships, on every cruise, throughout the year) used to have an entry fee of $100 but in the last few years I have found it consistently lowered to $75.  There are all kinds of [optional] re-buys so it can get a little pricey.  If the casino has enough in entry fees to cover the cost of the "free" cruise to the Royal Poker Tour Finals (usually held the first or second week of December....this is where the individual ship winners of the satellite tournaments come together for the finals) then the winner gets the free cruise and any money left over (after the casino takes its cut, of course !) gets divided among usually the runner up and second runner up.  It all depends on how many people play and how many re-buys, etc.  I've forgotten now how much money they need to "gross" in order to cover the cost of the cruise but I think it's somewhere between $2.5 and $3K.

 

If they do NOT make enough money to cover the "free" cruise (which seems to be happening more and more often these days) then they just take their cut and divide the rest up as prize money among the top 1 - 3 or 4 people.

 

You can enter as many times as you want right up until the finals which is generally held the final sea day of the cruise.  Depending upon how many entrants they get they will run 1 or 2 preliminary tournaments throughout the day on a sea day and sometimes even have one in the evenings on port days.

 

It is a real hit or miss thing as to how much "poker intensity" there is on any given cruise.  On many cruises you can go the entire week and never have more than a couple of cash games in the late evenings (usually starting after the late show lets out).  This is the most common time for poker games.  On the very RARE cruises, you will have a very enthusiastic and large group of poker players.  On the TA that we took in May 2012 (Miami to Harwich) we played twice EVERY day...once in the afternoon and one game in the evening and there was always a waiting list to play.  You just never know what you're going to have on that particular cruise.  Between Dan and me, we made enough money on that cruise to pay for our entire trip plus the 3 days we stayed in London.  It was GREAT !

 

I will mention here that poker is not one of the games that the casino "rates" (this is true in most land-based casinos, too).  In other words, if you are spending hours and hours at the poker table, you are not getting ANY credit towards your Club Royale rating time.  I suspect that is b/c, while the casino is raking in a very consistent % of the called pots, they are not receiving as high a yield per hour as the other tables games.  I've always resented this rule but it is almost universal so it is what it is...

 

The casino will ALWAYS try and get the cash game to be a $2/$5 game.  If they have a big poker crowd then that's the game you will end up playing in a cash game for the entire cruise.  If there is a SMALL poker crowd and they want to incentivize people to play, they will lower the blinds to $1/$2.  Of course, the casino is going to make WAY more money if they blinds are $2/$5 as they take 10% of all called pots up to $15 so they want as much money in the pot as possible.  For ships that have the poker pro machines the blinds are always $2/$5 so there's no negotiating with them !

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