I am a newbie, I have never taken a cruise before so be gentle with my ignorance. I am going to be on the msStatendam Aug. 24 to 31. I have never played bingo anywhere but in my home. I even try to avoid it there, but I am told that there are many nice things to win on HAL including free cruises, so I thought I'd give it a try. How much does it cost to play and what type of prizes are there?
According to an expert (my wife), each session consists of four games. One card is $10. A set of three cards is $30. The bingo prizes are in cash. The main bingo game is a snowball which usually doesn't go until the last day of the cruise, and often builds up to the two or three thousand dollar level. There are one or two sessions per day. Late in the cruise, there are two sessions, and as I recall two during sea days. There are occasional free cruise drawings for which you must purchase tickets. They are likely sold during bingo sessions.
We just got off the Veendam on Sunday and played BINGO just once, for the cruise, since the game followed something else in Rubens Lounge, the disembarkation talk, perhaps.
A triple card is $20. Judging from the number of the people in the room, HAL made money on this deal, considering the price of Caribbean cruises. You can't choose your destination; it's Caribbean only. I don't recall any mention of cabin categories.
It's one game of blackout BINGO. Three people BINGO'ed at once, so they had another game for those three to determine the winner (2nd place gets $100, big deal). The runoff game was four corners.
If you buy a triple card, don't separate the three "cards" that are on the strip to share them, else you'll have to go back to the table and get a new set.
I've sailed with HAL and always play Bingo. For the majority of the games, $20 gets three cards per game, usually for about 4 games. Most prizes are for money, as mentioned. The amount of the prize is dependent on the take, so prized increase if more people play. Why the prizes were higher on the Zuiderdam -- more people onboard, more playing. But the down side is that less chance of being a solo winner in a game. The snowball which uusually does not go until the last night costs $20 to play just one game. But the prize on the Zuiderdam for our cruise was over $6400 -- and only one person won. I was waiting for one number for nine calls -- very frustrating as my one number was never called. But it was fun.
Also, many sessions have a coverall which if won within a certain number of numbers being called, will mean a $25,000 prize. A passenger won it on the Rotterdam the week before our Zuiderdam cruise.
Sometimes other small prizes are given out to people who show up for Bingo. I've gotten a free dam mug. Others may get a photo gallery credit, etc. Ships are different. All in all, I meet fun people and always have fun. Especially if the caller is a fun type, like Jazzy Jazz was on our Zuiderdam cruise.
Try the bingo. I am young compared to the regular bingo/cruise crowd, and usually think this kind of thing is silly, but trust me, it is very exciting to do the snowball. The way they play it, an extra number is called each time, and on the last bingo day, all of the numbers are called untill there is a winner. I am sure there were about fifty of us who were SURE we were about to win. The only drawback is the high cost of the bingo cards, but then we aren't big gamblers, I am sure for most this is no problem (really- we do nickel slots)