Fun 21 Casino Hire

The QE2 docked in Port

The Best Job Ever?

The Best Job Ever? 

My 5-year-old daughter Leila often talks about “the best day ever”, “the best party ever”, “the best Pizza ever”. Inspired by her enthusiasm, I wanted to write a post about what felt like “the best job ever.”
 
Back in 1999, my life was a mess. I worked unsatisfying office jobs, and spent long periods unemployed. I missed out on an opportunity to train as a Microsoft-certified programmer because I was unable to find a placement. I had aspirations to do something fun and exciting with my life, but nothing really seemed to happen for me.

A lucky Break

By December of 1999, I probably hit my lowest point, I was out of work, not much money, and dreading Christmas when an unexpected opportunity arose for me to work in a casino. I’d always been fascinated by card games from watching the glitz and glamour of casinos in James Bond movies. Dissatisfied with life in Northern Ireland, at the age of just 20, I packed a couple of suitcases and ended up going to the Isle of Man to train as a croupier (casino dealer) in January 2000. 18 months later I was working on my first cruise ship, and 18 months after that I was boarding the QE2 (the most famous ship of them all) to do a world cruise.

A roulette table

For a young man from a housing estate in Antrim, this was beyond even my wildest dreams. On a ferry from Belfast to Liverpool in 1997, I’d once seen a pontoon table and croupier and dreamt what it may be to work as a casino dealer on the high seas.
Everything aboard the QE2 was as you would expect, starting with Captain Ron Warwick, who looked exactly what the captain of the QE2 should look like (Google the name if you don’t believe me).

Passenger facing crew were immaculate in their appearance. I could probably have shaved with the crease on my pressed tuxedo shirts, and on a number of occassions when I had been sunburnt in port, I could feel the creases cutting into my tender skin as I dealt the cards that evening in the casino.

A photo of me in 2003
Back in 2003

A Privileged Role 

The role in the casino was not about taking passengers’ money like in a land-based casino, it was about providing them with fun and entertainment. The passengers were friendly and pleasant, many of them being extremely successful people (I understand the lowest cabin cost for a world cruise on the QE2 was about $50,000 in 2003). A lot of the passengers had never played in a casino and were fascinated to learn and experience the one onboard. Just getting to know some of these people was an experience in itself, and a large part of the role in the casino was simply to entertain them whilst they were in the casino.

QE2 casino photo
The QE2 Casino Pit area

There were also celebrity passengers. We would finish work and go to the crew/members bar where we would have guest entertainers like the late Des O’Connor and the magician, the late Paul Daniels down to have a drink. God bless them both.

QE2 sea day in the casino
A Sea day inside the Casino

The great thing for croupiers on cruise ships is that they only work when the ship is in international waters. 

In port, the casino had to close, and casino staff were free to do pretty much whatever they wanted. Casino staff have a cabin steward who cleans their cabin, and takes away their dirty laundry, and brings it back fresh each day. We did a 103-day world cruise which included stops in places like Hong Kong, Sydney, Hawaii, Seychelles, Nagasaki, Tahiti, and Singapore to name a few. 

Quad-biking in the Namibian desert

I managed to do some amazing excursions like diving in the great barrier reef, quad biking in the Namibian desert, and dining in all sorts of fine restaurants, trying delicacies like Springbok, Kangaroo, Crocodile, and Kobe beef. 

We made stops in 5 continents, crossed the equator, and even experienced living a Tuesday in consecutive days when we crossed the world timeline. Imagine that, you go to bed on Tuesday night, wake up the following morning and it’s Tuesday again, but this was far from Groundhog Day.

Casino Staff at Cape Point in South Africa
Casino Staff at Cape Point

Reflection on the best job ever

Was my job onboard the QE2 the best job ever? 

Maybe not for everyone, but it was beyond even my wildest dreams and the 6 month experience on the ship, as well as the amazing people I met will be something I treasure forever. I was very lucky to have lived this experience and will always be incredibly grateful for it.

Many years have passed since then and I’d always missed the buzz of casinos which is how Fun 21 Casino Hire was created in 2021. My celebrities now are anyone who hires the No Money Fun Casino that we provide for parties, weddings, corporate events, and celebrations, and we aim to give the same experience that you would expect onboard the QE2.

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1 thought on “The Best Job Ever?”

  1. Megan O'Neill

    Love this!!! Great to see your story 🙌 keep up the great work my friend. Sending lots of love and positivity your way!

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