Victory Casino Cruises Bikini Contest 2013

Filed under: Entertainment,Orlando Charity Events |

Many people know that Cape Canaveral plays host to some of the leading cruise ships in the world but not so many people know that there is a unique smaller ship that calls Port Canaveral home. This ship also allows something that isn’t allowed in the whole State of Florida and it’s built up something of a cult following among residents and visitors to Florida. I’m talking about Victory Casino Cruises and their twice a day cruise schedule that allows up to 1200 passengers per voyage to sail three to four miles from the Florida coastline and to enjoy a flutter.

The ship offers more than 600 slot machines, sports betting, and casino table games such as craps, roulette, blackjack and 3-card poker and they open for business about 35 mins after the ship leaves the dock and Florida state waters. The ship also has a nightclub and a couple of dining options.

The ship itself was previously operated by SunCruz Casinos as the Surfside Princess, but that company stopped offering the so-called “cruises to nowhere” in December 2009 as it headed toward bankruptcy. Victory then acquired the ship to renovate it and to pass U.S. Coast Guard inspections.

Victory also operates a shuttle bus route from Central Florida to the coast and that has proved popular among residents who enjoy a few hours out in the open water to see if they can strike lucky. The company picks up from various places including Florida Mall, US 192, I-Drive & US27 and transports guests the short journey to the ship.

General boarding tickets for the ship cost $10 and advance dining tickets for . The price of an on-board buffet meal ranges from $15 to $20 depending on time of the day and day of the week you choose to sail.

Guests need to be 18 years of age to gamble, 21 years of age to consume alcohol and a valid Government I.D. is required prior to boarding the ship.

So, for a while I had been meaning to check out what attracts so many people to enjoy the cruise and yesterday I got my chance. October this year is breast cancer awareness month and I was invited by good friends Philip & Ann Marie Podskalan and Victory Casino Cruises to photograph the 2013 Bikini Contest that they had arranged together.

The drive out to Canaveral from vacation home land was very simple… a hop onto the Greenway (407) and then straight across 528 and I was at the ship in just anhour after leaving home. Parking was simple and in next to no time I was aboard the ship ready for the noon departure.

My first job was to acquaint myself with the ship and its four decks and this was a relatively simple task. Deck 1 hosts the Sports Book Lounge and the Atlantic Cafe, Deck 2 the High Limit Slots and the Main Casino, Deck 3 – the slot atrium and the main casino look over and Deck 4 the Dolphin Bar and Big Norm’s Club V.  That done and it was time to get some lunch prior to the afternoon’s activities.

The food on board Victory is simple but tasty. The buffet offers a salad bar, classic comfort foods as well as seafood and carved meats. There is also a variety of delicious a la carte items, from hand-tossed salads to the classic V Burger. of course, the food isn’t major cruise-line standard but it’s plenty good enough to fill a gap on the six hour voyage.

So duly fed and watered it was time to get to work and today’s task was going to prove extremely onerous. Shooting a swimsuit & bikini contest! I get all the hardest gigs!

First off, it was time to round up the nine contestants and head for a quick photo shoot at the bridge. This was a chance for each contestant to get their photograph at the helm of the ship but the star of the show was Ann Marie (pictured above lying on the floor!)  who showed that breast cancer was not going to interfere in any way with her plans to steer the ship and her guests to safe waters.

After the bridge visit we then popped into the casino and caused quite a stir among gamblers as the nine pretty girls took turns to pose on and around the craps & roulette tables as well as at the slot machines and in the sportsbook bar. It was then time for the grand event of the day as the Victory Casino Cruises Bikini Contest 2013 took place to benefit My Pink Ribbon Journey.

All the girls were terrific and it must have been a very difficult job for the three judges to make a final decision but at the end of the day, someone has to win. The winner this year was Heather (pictured above second right) with runner up spots going to Angelina (pictured above right of Ann Marie) and Kelly  (pictured above to right of Heather). In truth, every contestant was a winner and they all played a huge part in a successful event and helping to raise some good money in the fight against breast cancer.

Thanks to everyone involved… Ann Marie & Philip, all the contestants (Angelina, Holly, Heather, Kristina, Nicole, Kelly, Krystina, Emelie and Kayla) and the all the great people at Victory Casino Cruises particularly Pete and Nick.

More photos from the event at


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