Today is my 23rd wedding anniversary. My husband surprised me with what we were going to do for it. He had bought a Groupon for the Victory Casino Cruise. With the Groupon, two people get to take it for $45, and it includes admission on the cruise, lunch or dinner, four drink tickets, and $10 in slot play. He bought the Groupon when it was an additional $5 off, so he paid $40. This was our first time taking the Victory Casino Cruise, so we thought it would be fun to check it out, especially since it's only an hour from our house. The boat is at Port Canaveral, right by where the large cruise ships depart from. We drove our car down there, but I found out when we were there that they have a coach bus that takes people to and from it ever Friday for $10 per person, with stops in New Smyrna Beach, DeLand, and DeBary.
It's easy to get into the cruise terminal for the casino cruise. And it just took minutes to check in, go through security, and board the boat. There are several floors, which include casino areas, a buffet, a stage for shows, a tiki bar, and deck area for people to relax outside. There are places to also sit inside. There were lots of gaming machines, tables, and there is a sports book.
We signed up to get a players card (free), and for doing so and giving them our email address they gave us both $5 on it to play. The $10 we were supposed to get didn't come so easily. As it turns out, you have to gamble $24 to get the $10 in play added to your card. Well, I'm not a big gambler and we didn't want to waste/lose a bunch of money, so we didn't even get the $10 each in play credit.
When we boarded we were given the time that we could go to the buffet for lunch. If you eat meat the buffet seemed fine, a typical cruise ship type buffet. There were numerous meat dishes, pasta with seafood in it, etc. Being a vegetarian, it was tough for us to get a good meal. We ended up having a salad, which wasn't bad, but more options would have been nice. We also had some of the desserts (my husband had the cheesecake and I had the carrot cake, both of which were good).
After lunch, we found a nice spot on the deck to just relax and watch the water. It was lovely! It was a beautiful day on the water, we spotted dolphins several times, and we just enjoyed relaxing there on the deck. I don't drink alcohol, and the sodas are free (your alcohol drinks are also free while you are gambling). I gave my husband all four free drink coupons to use so he could get beers with them for him, and I had a Coke. We sat there relaxing and talking for over three hours. I had heard that they stop the gambling at 3:30 (gambling can only take place once three miles away from shore), so at 3:05 we went in to the slot machines. I planned to spend only $5 gambling, plus the $5 they gave me on the card. I lost that pretty quickly. My husband gambled his $5 that was put on the card and put in his $5, but at 3:20 they stopped the gambling, and he had to get $2 back. Total we spent $8 of our money gambling.
After that, we went back to the deck for the next half an hour, as we headed back to the dock. There was a crowd of people exiting the ship at once, but it moved at a decent pace. We were back to our car quickly and it was easy to get out of the parking lot and cruise terminal area.
Overall, we enjoyed the day. It was beautiful outside and we really enjoyed sitting there on the deck watching the water. It was very relaxing. While the food selection could have been better for us, we still enjoyed the experience overall. Total it cost us $40 for the groupon, and we spent $8 gambling, plus the gas money there and back. Not bad for the experience, which is a 5-hour boat ride. If you are sensitive to cigarette smoke it is important to note that inside the ship it is strong. It was horrible and about gagged me. Out on the deck it was great.