And I shall take full advantage.
But first, I must note that Royal Caribbean is rather cheap in some areas.
Food is ridiculously plentiful. I can eat twenty-four hours a day at no extra cost. That is good, and not cheap of the cruise company . Drinks are reasonably priced, around Manhattan levels, and that is good. But, passengers (also known as paying customers) are forbidden to bring their own alcohol on board. We must buy the company's. One of my table-mates attempted to bring eight bottles of assorted booze on board, but it was all confiscated. Supposedly he'll get it back once he gets to Rome, but in the meantime he must buy Royal booze. Some folks, like myself, cannot afford to buy drinks nightly. Bringing a bottle or two or twelve along for the cruise would have been useful. As a side note, I've learned that they cannot catch box wine. Apparently they use X-ray to spot the bottles, so box wine slips through the machines . I wonder if one can smuggle plastic bottles on board. Something to consider.
They are also pretty cheap in the casino. I used to deal poker in Vegas, and I've played in Atlantic City. Poker is a little different from table games. In table games, it is player vs the house, and the house always has an edge. In poker, it is player vs player, and the house makes its money buy charging a rake, a fixed percentage of the pot. In Vegas, the typical rake for a small stakes game is 5% to a $2.50 max. So, with a $10 pot, we would take 50¢. A $40 pot would have a $2 rake. Because of the cap, a $150 pot would have a rake of only $2.50. Poker is more expensive in Atlantic City, with a 10% rake capped at $4.00. So, a $10 pot would cost $1, and a $40 pot would cost $4. And because of the cap, a $150 pot would cost $4. But this damned boat charges a 10% rake with a whopping $15 cap. So, with a $150 pot, the house takes a full $15. With an ass fucking like that, they should hand out free lube to the players.
Blackjack and roulette seem to be games with normal rules and normal percentages for the house, but I do not play those games. I wondered what kind of average payouts the slot machines have, but it is not posted. On asking a floor person, I was told 90%. That is around Atlantic City percentages, but less than Vegas which pays out around 95-97%. For some reason the poker players get fucked, but the other gamers do not. Doesn't strike me as fair.
With all that said, let me get to that mistake that was made, and how I shall take advantage.
When I first got on the boat, my keycard did not work. It would not open my door. Neal, our stateroom attendant tried it, and he told me that I needed to go to guest relations and have it replaced. So I did. For some reason, the guy behind the desk gave me a gold colored card instead of a silver one like I had originally. I didn't think much of it until one of the bartenders asked me if I appreciated the free drinks at the Concierge Club.
Free drinks? What's this, I ask.
He explained that because of my gold card, I am entitled to free drinks every evening because I am staying in a suite. I've since checked, and I have no such privileges. David and I are staying in a junior suite. Big difference there. He only has a silver card, and he paid for the damned room.
But, I checked out the club tonight, and sure enough, I got free drinks. I just showed the guy at the door my card, and he waved me through. With a smile even.
I've been trying to ration my drinking since I got on board. My money will only stretch so far (and thanks to all those who kindly donated to my Drug and Prostitution Fund.), but now I can drink free of charge nightly.
Stealing? Maybe. Do I feel guilty? Not at all. They shouldn't have tried to fuck me at the poker table.