Ante Up Poker Cruises Plans Five Sailings in 2014

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Ante Up Poker Cruises will feature a Mexican Riviera cruise from Los Angeles, a Transatlantic cruise from Ft. Lauderdale, a family-friendly Bahamas cruise from the Orlando area, a Western Caribbean cruise from the Houston area and a Western Caribbean cruise from Tampa in 2014, and still has a Bermuda cruise from the New York City area and a Western Caribbean cruise from Tampa to go in 2013.

Ante Up Cruise pro Lee Childs leads a training session aboard a recent cruise.

There is a cruise on this schedule for every poker player.

Ante Up Poker Cruises will embark on its most expansive schedule in 2014, with five cruises featuring two new departure ports, eight new ports of call and a 13-night Transatlantic cruise to England.

Ante Up Poker Cruises will depart from Los Angeles and Galveston, Texas, giving guests who live on the West Coast or in the Midwest closer ports from which to sail. Ante Up also will sail in the summer, giving families, who don’t want their children to miss school, an opportunity to enjoy a poker cruise and take in a few days at Orlando theme parks as well. And a 13-night Transatlantic cruise from Florida to England will get guests to Europe, while enjoying a tournament-heavy poker schedule that features several poker classes.

“We take great pride in talking in-depth with our guests while on-board and surveying them after each cruise, and we’re excited that this schedule answers quite a few of the requests we’ve received from them and other interested players,” said Scott Long, who with Christopher Cosenza owns Ante Up Poker Media LLC, which operates Ante Up Poker Cruises. “There is a cruise on this schedule for every poker player.”

Ante Up Poker Cruises transforms the conference centers aboard regularly scheduled major cruise line sailings into a professionally staffed and equipped poker room. Cash games and single-table tournaments are offered whenever the poker room is open, and each cruise features Ante Up Poker Tour multitable tournaments, poker classes and an open-bar cocktail party for guests.

Sponsorship opportunities are available, and Ante Up works with casinos, poker rooms and poker leagues to hold satellites or other cruise giveaways.

Here are details on all seven upcoming Ante Up Poker Cruises, including the final two on the 2013 schedule. All rates are per person, based on double occupancy, and include cruise fare, port charges and taxes and are guaranteed through the rate deadline or while supply lasts.

Bermuda (New York City metro area)
Dates: Oct. 20-27, 2013
Departure port: Bayonne, N.J.
Port of call: King’s Wharf, Bermuda
Ship: Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas
Rates: Start at $699 per person through Aug. 2, 2013
Highlights: The highlight of Ante Up’s first cruise from the New York City metro area and to Bermuda is the inaugural Ante Up Team Championship tournament. That event’s winning four-player team and their guests will appear on the cover of the December issue of Ante Up Magazine. Four other tournaments, including a $350 main event, are on the schedule for the seven-night cruise. Professional player Lee Childs will offer a intermediate strategy class and 15 additional advanced poker classes on board. The Explorer of the Seas docks overnight for two nights in Bermuda, giving guests a rare chance to enjoy a port in the evening.

Western Caribbean (Tampa)
Dates: Dec. 2-7, 2013
Departure port: Tampa, Fla.
Ports of call: George Town, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico
Ship: Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas
Rates: Start at $459 per person through Sept. 16, 2013
Highlights: The Brilliance of the Seas will be revitalized with Oasis-class features just before this sailing, giving guests additional dining and entertainment options when they’re not playing poker. In the poker room, three multitable tournaments are on the schedule, as well as additional single-table events, and Royal Caribbean’s Casino Royale will host private blackjack and slots tournaments for Ante Up’s guests.

Mexican Riviera (Los Angeles)
Dates: March 30-April 6, 2014
Departure port: Los Angeles, Calif.
Ports of call: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Mazatlan, Mexico; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Ship: NCL’s Star
Rates: Start at $799 per person through Jan. 7, 2014
Highlights: Ante Up welcomes NCL to its fleet for Ante Up’s first cruise on the West Coast. When not enjoying Mexico’s resort areas, Ante Up guests will enjoy a variety of cash games over 72 hours and four multitable tournaments, including at least one Open Face Chinese Poker shootout. Each Ante Up stateroom also gets a bottle of wine.

Transatlantic (Florida to England)
Dates: May 4-17, 2014
Departure port: Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Arrival port: Southampton, England
Ports of call: Nassau, Bahamas; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten
Ship: Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas
Rates: Start at $840 per person through March 28, 2014
Highlights: Why fly to Europe when you can sail there? With a staggering 155 hours of poker featuring 18 tournaments leading up to a $200 main event, there will be plenty of poker to keep guests busy as one of Royal Caribbean’s most modern ships leisurely crosses the Atlantic Ocean for 13 nights. Each afternoon, Ante Up will teach its guests a new poker variety, from Omaha to stud to draw games, keeping players’ minds sharp when they’re not at the tables.

Bahamas (Orlando metro area)
Dates: July 28-Aug. 1, 2014
Departure port: Port Canaveral, Fla.
Ports of call: CocoCay, Bahamas; Nassau, Bahamas
Ship: Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas
Rates: Start at $549 per person through May 22, 2014
Highlights: While poker players without children will have plenty of poker action, too, this cruise is tailor-made for families who want to enjoy a poker cruise without their children missing school. Tack on a few days on either end of the cruise to enjoy Orlando’s theme parks, and this will be a vacation everyone will enjoy. On board, Ante Up will feature two multitable tournaments and cash games over 40 hours on the recently updated Enchantment of the Seas.

Western Caribbean (Houston metro area)
Dates: Oct. 19-26, 2014
Departure port: Galveston, Texas
Ports of call: Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Cozumel, Mexico
Ship: Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas
Rates: Start at $684 per person through Aug. 4, 2014
Highlights: Making poker cruising more convenient for players in the South and Midwest, Ante Up’s first cruise out of Texas is also its first visiting Honduras and Belize City. When not in port, guests aboard the multi-featured Navigator will enjoy 76 hours of poker in the Ante Up Poker Room with four multitable tournaments, including survivor, bounty and Open Face Chinese events, in addition to a $350 main event.

Western Caribbean (Tampa)
Dates: Dec. 6-11, 2014
Departure port: Tampa, Fla.
Ports of call: George Town, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico
Ship: Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas
Rates: Start at $479 per person through Sept. 24, 2014
Highlights: Ante Up always enjoys sailing out of its homeport of Tampa because the price and location attract a large contingent of Ante Up Poker Cruise regulars who ensure poker action in the Ante Up Poker Room. The room is open more than 50 hours and features three multitable tournaments and two poker classes aboard the recently revitalized Brilliance of the Seas with expanded dining options.


Ante Up Poker Media LLC was founded in Clearwater, Florida, in June 2008 by Scott Long and Christopher Cosenza, two lifelong journalists and poker enthusiasts. The company's products include Ante Up Magazine, AnteUpMagazine.Com, Ante Up PokerCast, Ante Up Poker Cruises, Ante Up Poker Tour, Ante Up Television, Ante Up Poker Leagues and more.

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