On my last cruise, they had a low limit table ($2/$4). I specicially asked one of the casino staff if there would be a poker tournament one day, and was told no. (Probably doesn't make as much money for the house compared to a blackjack or slots tourney).
Carnival Triumph 11/2005
Carnival Glory 9/2006
Carnival Freedom 11/24/07 - Open Bar Cruise!!!
Yes, today you have several options for poker play onboard cruise ships.
As you already know many cruise lines have installed the "poker pro" computerized poker table on their ships. This is equal to playing online, but with larger house rakes.
If you enjoy "LIVE" poker games and tournaments... I recommend you do a search for 'poker cruises' online.
You will find one or two MAJOR companies offering large private poker cruises. These are very well run and offer various games. However, as they advertise mostly on the big Poker Magazines, you will find they attract many that make a living playing poker.
There are also smaller, more player friendly poker cruises available. These are designed for the 'casual' player and may appeal to you.
Either way, Poker Cruises are a great way to indulge your passion for cruises AND your passion for Poker.
We were on the Carnival Legend last summer and they had two tables that were all run via computer. Each person had a monitor and to play you had to sign up for a special debit card that you had to insert. They had two tournaments during the week. They fill up fast and the blinds go up so fast its like a turbo tournament. Makes the game more about luck than skill.
We were on the Amsterdam last fall and they had a live table. There was a game set up everyday that they had players. I believe it was low limit.
They also had some tournaments.
This year we were on they Ryndam they only had the video tables. The turnout was not that good.