Is there something fishy at Royal Caribbean's Casino Royale?

23 Aug 2023

We were on Odyssey of the Seas on the transatlantic crossing in April 2023 and there were a few things we felt were a bit fishy...

This blog contains our opinions based on our experiences on the sailing and what we have heard from other players in the casino.

RTP (Return to Player)

Return to Player (RTP) is a phrase commonly used in gambling, which refers to the percentage or value of rewards that a player can expect to receive based on their initial deposit.

According to ChatGPT the average Return to Player (RTP) in Las Vegas will vary depending on the casino and game being played, but as a general rule, most casinos in Las Vegas have an RTP of around 90-95% for their slot machines.

In the UK for example gaming machines must make information available about their category, RTP and whether they are compensated or random.

On the Odyssey of the Seas we approached the casino host to ask what their RTP was. The response we got was they would not tell us, as it was a secret.

As a lot of Royal Caribbean cruise ships are registered in the Bahamas and sail in international waters they do not have to follow the same rules and regulations that land based casinos must follow. As such they are not required to disclose these statistics.

The fact that Royal Caribbean is not willing to disclose the RTP numbers would indicate that there is something they are trying to hide. Royal Caribbean should be more transparent.

Points Earned

On the Odyssey of the Seas we chose to spend $600 playing low stakes across 6 or so different slot machines. We were only able to earn 280 points with the $600, which equates to $2.14 dollars per point. If the RTP at the casino was 85%, which is consider to be low, we would expect to make 1.19 points per dollar or 714 points for $600.

We may have been exceptionally unlucky at the casino on the sailing, but this is the worst points per dollar ratio we have seen on any cruise ship we have sailed on.

We wonder if the RTP on Odyssey of the Seas had been set intentionally low, in order to minimize payouts and maximise profits. We have for example noticed that the casinos on older ships such as Liberty of the Seas and Independence of the Seas have been more generous than casinos on newer ships.

No Bonus Round

As part of our research we chose to play $100 on a single slot machine, betting between $0.50 and $1.00 per spin. This equated to somewhere between 100 and 200 spins. The machine had a low volatitily and low jackpot.

We were able to win a few dollars within those 100 to 200 spins, but not once did a bonus round kick in. It is common for bonus rounds to kick in somewhere between every 10 and 20 spins.

Again we may have been exceptionally unlucky, but the unlucky streak does raise some flags.

Low Attendance

At no point during the sailing was the the casino particularly busy, compared to many of the other cruises that we have been on. When we sailed on Liberty of the Seas in September 2022 the casino was heaving.

The Blackjack Card Counter

Finally there is a story about a blackjack player, who said he was counting cards. When the dealer got to the cut card at the end of the shoe he requested to see the rest of the cards in the shoe.

The reason for the request to see the rest of the cards was that based on his count there should have been a lot of picture cards after the cut card and he was confident that they were not there. He wanted to verify this, as he suspected that the casino or dealer was intentially removing high cards from the game, to give the casino a bigger edge.

The casino refused to entertain his request, but they offered him a complimentary cruise and told him to shut up.


As you can see there are several things about our experience at Casino Royale on Odyssey of the Seas that do not sit well or instill confidence in the casino. We hope that there is no dishonesty or cheating by the cruise line or casino, but we call on Royal Caribbean and Casino Royale to be more open and transparent, rather than being dismissive and secretive.

Other Blogs That May Interest You

Royal Caribbean's Casino Royale blog series
Royal Caribbean's Casino Royale loyalty program
Complimentary cruises from Royal Caribbean's Club Royale