Having been a member of Cruise Critic for a while, I have participated in a couple of the Meet and Mingles as well as the bulletin boards. There are a number of other group activities that you will see on various cruises; namely gift and chocolate exchanges. Then there are various luncheons, bar hopping, cabin crawls. Today I was introduced to another group activity: the Slot Pull.
Simply put, the group decided on a per person amount. Making a time/date arrangement with the Casino management a slot machine in selected. Each person plays their money, one after another on the same machine. No one plays more than their initial investment ($15, $21 – some multiple of $3). Anything over than is allowed to ride. What ever is left at the end is split evenly amount the participants.
Joy (lives up in Stavanger Norway) organized this one. And I mean organized. She had everyone listed, she had a check sheet set up for the number of pulls and kept track of who one anything over their initial investment.
All together the 32 of us managed to entertain our selves for an hour with a per person return of 16.25 on a $21 investment. I figure just watching the group for an hour was well worth the $5.
Otherwise there was knitting, exercise and a half way decent lecture on the building of the Panama Canal. The lecturer is from Winnipeg and has a generally good knowledge. He had collected up a number of the old photos to use as slides and maintained a very dry sense of humor. He also talked about the future of the new Canal. I do think he is overstating the case of benefit.
The new Panama Canal is not going to benefit everyone. There are ports in South America which are going to suffer decreased business. There are ports in the US which are going to have to do major investment in infrastructure or become irrelevant. The shipyards and investors in the coming mega-ships are not the Western nations, drawing even more of the shipping industry into Chinese hands. Generalizations can always be a bit dangerous.