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Monday, 2 September 2013

Do High Rollers get free cruises?

I was watching Oceans Eleven at the weekend, (the original with the Rat Pack in it), and it got me thinking about comped rooms.
A comped room, (for anyone not 'down' with Las Vegas slang), is a room or a service that has been given to free, or paid for by the casino, to a high roller, (someone who will gamble a lot of money). This is done to entice them to your hotel over one of your competitors in the hopes that they will spend, (and lose), large amounts of money at your gambling tables.
As so often happens when a random thought pops into my head I started to think how this may apply to the world of cruising.

A cruise line casino is never going to compare to a land based casino either in terms of size or turnover, however I've still seen large amounts of money cross the tables on certain cruises.
Combine that thought with the rest of the facilities on a cruise ship, (show's, fine dining etc.) and I can see a cruise being an attractive holiday destination for some high rollers.
So here's my question..................
That being the case do cruise lines try to attract these gamblers by offering them free suites on-board their ships?
I know when I worked as a specialist cruise consultant the top suites on the cruise ships always seemed to be sold out, (the old adage being the cheapest and most expensive rooms always sell first, it's only the mid-priced cabins that are hard to shift), but were they really sold out? Or were/are the cruise lines keeping them back to offer out to high flyers in the hopes they will come and spend a lot of money in their casino?

I'm sure the cruise lines themselves would never want to comment on this practice, (if it exists at all), but I know what I'd do if I owned my own cruise line!
What do you think? Did you used to work on a ship and may have heard something? Are you a high roller who's been comped a suite in the past?
Why don't you let everyone know what your thoughts are here?

Happy cruising.