Jack Stewart, the Editor at online bingo directory Bingo Find, managed to find some time to sit down with the very busy Dennis Conroy, Director of Operations for the World Championship Bingo Tournament Cruises as they prepare for the upcoming bingo cruise. In a very interesting chat Dennis Conroy reveals how it all started, what can online bingo players expect from this event and giving away who actually decides on which islands to visit in the Caribbean.

Jack Stewart: What is the story behind the Bingo Bugle World Championship Gaming Cruise?

Dennis Conroy: The World Championship Bingo Tournament Cruise was created by Roger Snowden and his Bingo Bugle Newspaper publishers in 1989. Roger was always looking for ways to promote the great game of bingo, and he felt it was high time bingo had its very own World Championship. And how much more exciting could it be, he thought, than to have the event on a world-class luxury liner sailing the Caribbean?! Thirty years ago, in 1980, Roger founded the Bingo Bugle Newspapers, the first publication in the world to cater exclusively to bingo players. The Bingo Bugle Newspapers have since grown into the largest gaming publication in the world, with over 50 editions across the United States and over 1.2 million loyal readers.

JS: With 22 bingo cruises under your belt, how do you make sure that every year it’s a completely different experience?

DC: Night after night, day after day, in bingo halls around the world, devotees of Bingo are playing away – why? Because bingo is fun and exciting! Add the thrill of vying for tens of thousands of dollars in guaranteed bingo prize money in a posh lounge on a luxury cruise ship as it sails the azure waters of the Caribbean, or glides among the glaciers of Alaska, and you’ve just turned bingo into a unique, one-of-a-kind event. Throw in Sizzling Slots Tournaments, Blackjack Tournaments, dazzling new cruise ships, state-of-the-art bingo equipment, new and exciting optional games and tabs – and you have a bingo player and gamers dream come true vacation! With our two-plus decades of experience, we have a good idea of what Bingo players want (because they tell us!) and we’re a always finding ways to improve the gaming experience.

JS: What sort of bingo games and tournaments are available during the cruise?

DC: Sixty games of World Championship Bingo are played out over the days the cruise ship is at sea (so players don’t miss the stunning ports-of-call). The Bingo tournaments are played amid the plush two-level show lounges that are the centerpiece of Carnival’s luxury-liners, with our friendly and experienced bingo staff at the players’ beck and call. $80,000 in guaranteed cash and prizes are up for grabs, and the player with the highest earnings after all sixty games is crowned Bingo’s World Champion and receives a free cruise for two aboard the next year’s Bingo Bugle World Championship Cruise. We are the only Bingo Tournament Cruise to guarantee Bingo payouts to our players in the history of Bingo, and we’ve paid out $2 million in cash and prizes to our tournament players! We also offer a super-exciting elimination-style Sizzling Slot Tournament with $15,000 in prizes, a Bingo Bugle Blackjack Tournament with $3,500 in prizes, and a Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament with $3,000 in prizes. There’s also a full-service Las Vegas-style casino aboard the ship. So no matter what your game, you’re sure to find a winning experience aboard the Bingo Bugle World Championship Cruise.

JS: Who decides the locations you visit every year?

DC: We survey our prior Bingo Cruisers, our Bingo Bugle Newspaper Publishers, and bingo players nationwide to help us determine where we will sail each year. We host a large group of bingo fans for these events, so we only cruise on the largest, most state-of-the-ships. We demand that our ships be spacious and spectacular!

JS: How much does it cost and what is included in the package?

DC: There are a wide array of packages and options for cruisers to select from, so there is no one set price for a cruise. Prices range from $1,350 per person and upwards depending on the type of cabin you select, which gaming tournaments you wish to compete in and where you are flying from. Price includes 7 nights in a private stateroom, all shipboard meals, ports taxes and government fees, private cocktail party, complimentary 24-hour room service, spectacular entertainment including nightclub acts, Las-Vegas-Style shows, live bands and orchestras, extensive shipboard activities, and use of all shipboard facilities including pools, movie theater, gym, spa, library, casino, game room and more. Our prices are a great value, especially when compared with a land-based vacations.

The bingo cruise is set to depart from Miami, Florida on October 31st and return on November 7th as online bingo players from around the world take a break and take a long deserved holiday. We will make sure that we catch up with someone from Bingo Bugle upon their arrival later in the year so they can share their experiences.