A long time ago when I was a child and still had Grandmothers alive, I might have met Bingo. It was played in a hall/room with tables, chairs and a lot of little old people. Each sat with a number of cards in front of them, a pile of chips and intense concentration.
I am sure that there was a charge for participating for the session, but as a child you don’t often pay attention to such things. I remember the caller standing at the front of the room rapidly calling out letter/number combinations and every one concentrating fiercely on each succeeding call. If you didn’t keep up with your 3/6/9 card layout in front of you – it was your issue. I don’t even remember prizes. Probably were, but small little trinkets. The important thing seemed to be participating and probably beating out your friends and neighbors for the privilege of yelling BINGO!
Fast Forward to Cruise Bingo. I remember seeing it on RCL and either Costa or MSC in addition to the last NCL Cruise I was on.
Sitting in the Galaxy lounge today, it was invaded by the “Big Stakes Bingo.” Now, I am not a mathematician, but I certainly can do the arithmetic. Bingo is like the lottery or any other gambling – the house always wins. But there they are, row after row of participants, each shelling out significant amounts of money to play. Obviously things have progressed – there are now printed sheets which are punched out rather than cards and chips which might just slide onto the floor.
But this is not the Bingo that I remember – “Four Corners” “Some other variations” and asking people to stand up when they are one number away then screaming, yelling and dancing around if they manage a Bingo?
Ok. This is a cruise ship and all of those intense people seemed to be happy with the play, the charges, and all of the music and noise. It still is a lot of money to play a game in which the house takes in more than is given back while winning is binary – you either win or you don’t. Even at the lowest charges – the ship should have taken in 3x what was offered in prizes. Go figure.
I had a productive and relaxing day and it didn’t cost me anything extra.
I have toys that change color in the sun. Handed out at the Gift Shop. I finished the “Blues” Hanne Falkenberg that I started on the Windstar Cruise last summer. And the Mole in a normal activity for him.
My friends Mary and Tom bring their grandchildren shirts that change color in the sun, when they return from their Florida vacation. These are big hits.
Bingo is gambling. Gambling is not very interesting to me, either.