Looking for an adventure, we set out on a day-trip aboard the Emerald Princess II in Brunswick, GA.
We arrived about 20 minutes prior to boarding and went to the window to pick up our tickets. We had made reservations a few days earlier and they were expecting us. We presented our driver’s licenses for identification (a government issued I.D. is required to board) and our fare of $10.00 each and we were good to go.
The casino boat is within easy walking distance of the ticket window, or a golf cart can drop you off at the front of the boat. Because of Homeland Security regulations, passengers are not permitted to bring backpacks and all purses are subject to search. We were also scanned with a metal detector prior to boarding.
Crossing the gangplank, we were welcomed into the casino. Lunch was served in the lounge so we went upstairs to have something to eat and wait for departure. Turkey, stuffing, salad, pork loin, carrots, and rolls were served along with beverages. A singer kept us entertained while we ate. He reminded me a lot of Kenny Rogers. After we finished, we headed topside to check out the views.
There is a deck on top of the boat with a few tables so you can watch the sea on the trip out to international waters. The route goes in between Jekyll and Saint Simon’s islands and there are some pretty views. We did not see any dolphins on this trip, but we saw hundreds of dragonflies!
Next, we headed down to the casino to stake out our slot machine and wait until we reached international waters three miles offshore. My father chose some quarter slots while my mother had chosen a nickel slot machine that would let you bet by the penny. I had brought a little bit of cash to play with just for fun so I sat down at the machine next to my mother.
When we reached the 3-mile buoys the machines came to life. The sound of bells and whistles and coins dropping was all around us. I put $2.00 into my nickel machine and started spinning the wheels. I won a little and lost a little and kept on spinning until my $2.00 was gone. My mother was still playing so I watched her. I didn’t want to break any larger bills, so I dug in my purse for quarters. I found two and dropped them into the slot. With only 10 credits, I was unable to place the max bet so I played by the line for a little while until I had enough to spin the max bet of 75 credits. I was doing pretty well and had won over 500 credits a couple of times. My mom was still playing after putting more money in her machine. I was having fun watching her game as well. Finally, I realized that when she won 500 credits, she was winning $5.00 because she was playing pennies, but when I did that, I was actually winning $25.00. I kept playing. In a few more spins, I hit on the right combination to win $50.00! I decided to cash out at that point with $58.25 on the machine. Not a bad deal for my 50 cent investment! The attendant brought my cash and I put $50.00 in my pocket and saved the remaining $8.25 to try out some different games.
We went up to the deck a few times and then went back to the lounge for a snack on the way back. They served a hamburger and chips as we turned the boat around and headed back to the dock. All in all, the food was good and the afternoon adventure was well worth the cost of admission. This was especially true for me since I left with more cash in my pocket than when I arrived!
The Emerald Princess II is located at the foot of the Sidney Lanier Bridge. From Fernandina, take I-95 to Exit 29. Make a right onto US-17 North and follow for 5.4 miles. Make a right onto Jekyll Causeway (GA-520 East) and an immediate left onto Gisco Point Drive and follow into the Emerald Princess II Casino parking lot. Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-842-0115.