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SunCruz Casino - Port Richey: First time on a casino boat

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  • SunCruz Casino - Port Richey: First time on a casino boat

    I visited the Suncruz Casino boat for the first time November 2011 and here is what I thought. First of all the casino does not offer a hotel and a players club that I know of so my rating for those is n/a. I also did not get a chance to play any table games. This was my first time visiting a casino boat ever so I did not know quite what to expect. The casino was very easy to find. There was a giant billboard marking the entrance off the main road ( US 19) in Port Richey and parking was not a problem. Once we parked and went into the waiting area we were greeted by a nice lady working behind the desk. At that time we presented to her the $5 free game play coupon we printed off of Sun Cruz website. She in turn asked for a $5 fee to get onto the shuttle boat. She also handed us a raffle ticket ( $50 free slot play drawings every half hour), a $15 dollar slot voucher for $10, a shuttle boarding pass, a voucher for a free meal, and a promotion coupon for a night we could not be there. We had arrived about 30 minutes early so we had some time to sit around the waiting area. There was free coffee in the waiting area. After we waited a bit it was time to board the shuttle that takes us out to the casino boat parked 15 miles off shore. The shuttle boat had ample seating and there was coffee and soft drinks served as a snack bar on board. It took about an hour for the shuttle to reach the casino out in the Gulf of Mexico. The shuttle boat was parked quickly and we got our first look at the casino. It was pretty smokey inside but that bothered my girlfriend more than I. The bottom deck where we entered housed a bunch of slot machines, the cashier, and a bar. We went upstairs right away to explore our options. The second deck had a few more slots, a bar, some table games, and was a little less smokey. I would compare each deck to about the size of a tennis court. Maybe a tad bigger. We were hungry so we went to the bar upstairs and got our voucher out to eat. We could choose from about 10 menu items for free. I ordered a simple turkey sandwich and the girlfriend had a grilled chicken sandwich. The food was free but it was nothing special and came with a tiny bag of chips. After we ate we wanted to hit the slots. They had a few of my favorites like wheel of fortune, double diamond, red white blue 7's, etc. All the slot machines in the casino were older and the ticket system is not used there. We cashed out in tokens or nickels if you were playing a 5 cent machine. Their slots also do not accept newer bills especially 5's with the red ink on them. Feeding the slots money was not always easy and had to exchange newer bills for old a few times. Most of the machines there were 25 centers and it seemed like most were single pay line with a max bet of 2 or 3 credits. There is one bank of nickel slots (maybe 10 total) and a few dollar slots scattered around (all wheel of fortune machines were $1 =( ). There were also a few $5 slots (maybe 10). One really nice part of the experience was the free drinks. Unlike the local Hard Rock Casino in Tampa they do serve free drinks to those gambling. The drinks were pretty strong and easy to get. It reminded me of Vegas a little bit. As far as the machines being any more loose then anywhere else I could not really comment. We were up and down all night until we had to leave. I guess that's to be expected. At the end of the night after last call and they make you stop gambling it was pretty frustrating. You are 15 miles offshore and you have to wait for the shuttle to come back and get you then take it all the way back. What they ended up doing is driving the casino boat towards Florida to meet the shuttle half way so we wouldn't have to wait as long for it to reach us. That was nice that they do that. The only bad part is once you're no longer in international waters you can't smoke or gamble any more and have to follow Florida law. After we reached the shuttle they docked it quickly and boarded us. The trip back to port in the shuttle was not bad. One thing they did when we got back was they unload the staff at the port before the customers. There is probably some logic behind this but it was a little frustrating at the time. All and all I had a decent experience. I am glad that companies like this exist so we can gamble in more places. I thought I was going to like the "boat" part better then I did. The boat rocking back and forth sometimes (not all the time) while I was sitting at a machine got annoying a little bit. I can't truly say I will go back when there is more modern and convenient places to gamble but don't take that as a negative. I also live quite a ways away (2 hr drive) but I am glad I went.

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