NCL bingo practices...

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1,868 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
I just read something on here that reminded me of my biggest complaint about my Alaskan Sky cruise in '03..BINGO.
Before the SKY, I'd only played bingo on our 2 RCL cruises. On one, the final jackpot was almost 6,000 and the other, almost 5,000 (both were 7 day cruises, too!). Then came the Sky! Besides charging more per session than the others, they kept announing on the final day that the bingo jackpot was going to be.....$1,000!!! I thought they were joking, or that it was going up from there, so I asked. That was it! We passed. Not that a $1000 is to be sneezed at, but they should be ashamed of themselves for setting it so low after all they raked in because they had a very good turnout each time!! (My husband, who otherwise likes NCL, calls them the Bingo bandits!!) Then the other day on this board, someone said the final jackpot on their cruise was $600, and all my feelings of '03 came rushing back! So here I am to 'gripe' some more and get your experiences and thoughts on this.

I have to add the following which really makes my point. On our Galaxy cruise in November I split the final jackpot..Francis from N Little Rock and I each got $1800. Their sessions were cheaper and smaller than those on the Sky, and the final payout, in part, was determined by the number of people playing the last game. (That is how it should be but isn't with NCL).

I, personally, will never play bingo on NCL. I think a boycott is the only thing that will make them change their squirrelly ways! If you agree, I hope you'll join me, no matter how much you may enjoy playing!

Note: If Francis is out there, or if someone knows Francis, please holler back on here. We talked when they walked us to the purser (?) to get our money and I told her that my parents retired to NLR and lived there 20+ years but I was in such shock that I couldn't even remember 'where' when she asked. It came to me shortly after!!
toms river, nj USA
2,011 Posts
Joined May 2003
when i went on the NCL Sea a few years ago the final jackpot was a cruise for 2
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New York, NY, USA
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Joined Jul 2000
I completely agree with the OP. As much as I have enjoyed all my NCL cruises, I refuse to play bingo on their ships because of their high prices and low payouts. Luckily (for me at least), there's plenty of other activities onboard to keep me occupied.
Holladay UT
874 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
I played bingo at every session on my Jan cruise on the NCL Star. Each session there was a deal to keep the prices down for playing. Usually you could play for about 29.00 a session. Lattitudes members also get a free card (with purchase) for all sessions but the final jackpot. The bingo machines cost about 39.00 each session. I always play bingo on any cruise I am on. I have won at least one bingo on all of the seven cruises I have taken. On the Star I won three bingos on the final sea day. I wish one had been the jackpot. The winner of the Jackpot took home $3000.00.
I disagree with any boycott of NCL Bingo because the payouts on Bingo are based on the number of players at each session. If no one shows up to play those of us who like to play won't get much money for each bingo won and also the jackpot will be less.
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1,868 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Yes, I know it depends on how many are playing..just my point. They hawked the games on the Sky cruise incessantly and played almost every session in the "Theatre"...and there were always lots of people there. (We played once and were just nosy a couple of other times). On the Galaxy, they advertised very little, charged less, and held theirs in one of the lounges without near the attendance (except for the last game which was between shows in the theatre on the last night). And, because it was just the one game being played that night, the charge was even less!!

As I said earlier, we like NCL. In fact, we're booked on the Sun later this year. But, unless something changes, we will not be playing bingo and filling their coffers!
New York, NY, USA
11,229 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
I'm sure the payout does go up if participation and sales increase. But the problem lies in the percentage cut that a cruise line decides to take off the top. Comparing my recent NCL cruises to one four or five years ago, I've concluded that NCL is taking a bigger cut, one that doesn't allow for what I consider a fair payout.

This is also what's happening with the blackjack tournament in the casino and I assume the slots tournament. Years ago, the cruise line would pay out pretty much all of the proceeds that it raised from the entry fees. No longer. Now, they set a maximum payout to the winner and runners-up. Then, they heavily promote the tournaments throughout the cruise in order to hold numerous preliminary rounds, each time charging another entry fee. IMO, they've turned these fun activities (bingo and casino tournaments) into revenue sources. As a business, they're entitled to do so. As a consumer, I've opted not to participate any longer. By doing so, I hope that they realize the error of their ways and change it back to the way it used to be.