Hi, I'm Jan Fisher and I'd like to tell you all you need to know about cruising (well, almost)!
First, here's a little information about me, so when we meet, you'll feel like you know me.
I've been associated with Card Player Cruises since about 1990. I started out as a dealer and eventually became a partner in this business I love so much. It has been very gratifying.
I am a past contributer to Card Player magazine, where I wrote my column "Poker 101" since the mid 1990's. Currently, I write for Poker Player Newspaper where I talk about my travels and other poker-related fun stuff. Prior to that, I wrote feature articles as well as interviews with many people in the poker industry. I also was the live studio announcer for the PPT (Professional Poker Tour) but the show wasn't picked up for another season, at least not yet! I am the statistician for the WPT (World Poker Tour), a WPT Boot Camp instructor, and on the board of, and a founder of, the Tournament Directors Association (pokertda.com). This and assorted other poker and non-poker related things keep me plenty busy!
I have been a resident of Las Vegas since 1977 and I hope that when you visit this exciting town, we can share some poker adventures and maybe even get the chance to check-raise each other at every turn.
I hope you find this information helpful. You are invited to email me with any questions or comments, as I enjoy providing personal service and want to help make your cruise with us the vacation of a lifetime! I hope to meet you on a Card Player Cruises poker vacation soon!
Before your poker cruise, you'll receive a Deck Gazette containing valuable tips and information about your vacation. While the Deck Gazette is specific to your vacation, here are some things that apply to all Card Player Cruises poker adventures.
Our Poker Room
We feature a professional, fully staffed, non-smoking, no-abuse poker room. The poker room is usually open for play immediately after the first-seating dinner on your departure day. The poker room remains open throughout most of the cruise except when the ship is in port. On our international cruise each year, the poker room closes at 1am on nights before port days.
We also offer free beginner lessons for novices taught by both Linda Johnson and me, depending on demand, followed by a $1-$2 limit hold’em game.
The Card Player Cruises staff will be happy to spread any game and limit that enough players want to play. If the game you wish to play is full, give your name to the brush or board person and you will be put on the waiting list. If the game or limit you wish to play is not in progress, we'll be glad to start an "interest" list for most games.
A general guideline regarding the games and limits on most cruises is as follows:
Texas hold'em: $1-$2, $2-$4, $4-$8, $10-$20, $20-$40
Omaha/8: $2-$4, $4-$8, $10-$20, occasionally higher (usually $20-$40)
Mixed games: $20-$40, occasionally higher (generally ½ HE, ½ OE,or stud/8)
No-limit hold’em at blinds of $1-$2 and $2-$5 with capped buy-ins
Each domestic cruise has a tournament on each sea day. These events have proven to be one of the most popular aspects of the cruise. All tournaments begin promptly as scheduled. Tournaments generally include a limit hold'em freezeout, no-limit hold'em, and occasionally an Omaha high-low freezeout. Anticipate buy-ins of up $125 up to $230. Each cruise is different and we can answer questions about your specific cruise prior to departure.
Return to Top
Poker Room Etiquette:
Because we want everyone to enjoy the cruise, no abuse of any kind will be tolerated in the poker room.
The poker room is always non-smoking. Smoking areas are available nearby for the convenience of smoking guests. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation.
Your tickets and luggage tags will be available online approximately 50 days prior to your cruise.
Most Card Player Cruises voyages offer shore excursions as provided by the cruise lines. In addition, Card Player Cruises occasionally offers a variety of shore excursions only to our poker cruise participants. These are unique to each cruise and will be mentioned in the Deck Gazette we send you if we have anything planned in this regard. We recommend signing up for the ship's shore excursions as soon as possible after boarding. You'll be notified of the Card Player Cruises shore excursions by email before the start of your cruise if any are available. Excursions sponsored by Card Player Cruises may be purchased prior to departure.
United States and Canadian passengers need proof of citizenship (passport recommended, or a copy of birth certificate with raised seal). Resident aliens need their Alien Resident Card. Aliens should contact the appropriate consulate to inquire about necessary travel documentation. All passengers will need a photo ID. The law has changed and everyone will be required to carry a valid passport so please check with the cruise line for updated info about ID requirements. You also may call our office at 888-999-4880 for answers or contact us.
Return to Top
It's important to know that while US currency and traveler's checks are accepted in most ports of call, most of the ships employ a sail and sign format.
In order to purchase beverages, photos, shore excursions, and other incidentals on board, you will need a sail-and-sign card. You'll be asked to register your credit card or make a cash deposit with the purser on sailing day. At that time, you will be issued your sail-and-sign card.
Small cash advances are possible with major credit cards at the ship's casino and in most ports of call. Card Player Cruises will accept cage deposits by check up to 14 days prior to departure. Please note that Card Player Cruises is unable to cash personal checks but is happy to accept Traveler’s Checks.
We strongly recommend that you use some form of prevention if you are prone to motion sickness. Please remember, to be effective, you must take this before you get sick. The purser will provide you with seasick pills at no charge. We have found Bonine to be very effective in combating seasickness, and it does not make most people sleepy. Bonine can be purchased without a prescription at most drug stores.
Everything you have heard about cruise food is true! You will be able to eat constantly on your cruise if you wish, including 24-hour-a-day complimentary room service! You can have breakfast in your cabin, then in the dining room, again up on deck, and eat again in the poker room. We keep drinks and "munchies" in the cardroom. You'll have your choice of any (or all) of the entrees in the dining room.
To minimize disruptions to the poker room, most of the poker players are scheduled for the early seating and the cardroom will close during this time so that our staff can have a nice meal and get to know you all better. The cruise line will be able to accommodate most special dietary or seating requests but they must have this information well in advance of sailing. Please contact our office for specifics.
Return to Top
Comfortable, casual resort-style clothing appropriate for the cruise climate is the best choice. You will have several occasions when you will have a chance to dress up in more formal attire.
For formal night, ladies usually wear evening dresses or cocktail dresses. Gentlemen may wear either tuxedos or suits. (Tuxedos or dinner jackets usually may be rented on board.) There are alternative dining arrangements available for those who do not wish to dress up.
You can bring your hair dryer, electric razor, hot curlers, and other small electrical appliances that require 110 volts AC. Most ships have hair dryers in the cabins but they are very low powered so we do suggest you bring your own. You may bring radios, ipods, and DVD players, but you are requested to use headphones out of respect for the other passengers. Laptop computers can be used and not only are there Internet cafes on every cruise ship today, cybercafés can be found in almost any port worldwide. There is a charge for internet service on the ship and varies from cruise to cruise.
You are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages of any kind on board the ship. If you purchase alcoholic beverages in port, you may not consume them in public rooms or on deck.
Gratuities are not prepaid for most cruises but are conveniently added to your sail and sign account before the end of the cruise. These generally will total $10 a day per person. We strongly suggest you add to this minimum amount for especially good service, which you will receive! As a guideline, the $10 amount is broken down to approximately:
Waiter - $3 per person, per day
Busboy - $1.50 per person, per day
Cabin Steward - $3 per person, per day
Head Waiter - $1.50 per person, per day
Maitre'D - $1 per person, per day
Gratuities are distributed by the cruise lines to the appropriate employees. The staff works for tips and are always appreciative.
Welcome Cocktail Reception:
There will be a welcome cocktail reception the first day of the cruise so you can meet your fellow poker players, pick up your welcome gift, and have a chance to get all the information on any CPC tours and tournaments. This generally is right before first dinner on debarkation day.
Cruiser Appreciation Party:
On the final evening of the cruise, Card Player Cruises hosts a farewell cocktail party to say goodbye and thank you for sharing your vacation with us. We invite you to attend both parties and also to fill in and return to us your CPC surveys at this time.
Please contact us (888-999-4880 or contact me with any questions you may have. Please call our office to book a cruise or have a chat with our staff.
I look forward to welcoming you on your cruise!
Get to know Jan Fisher here.
Return to Top