We’d been talking about doing it since we arrived in Goa mid November. Last night we finally did it! Though neither of us were expecting to do it like this…Just before sunset a complimentary car arrived to whisk us off to the pier where we were escorted as VIPs to the tender boat that brought us out to the Casino Royale. There were assorted docks and ramps and stairs to navigate but Scott handled them all, perhaps buoyed as much by the thought of an authentic roulette wheel as he was by the able-bodied seamen that helped him transfer from boat to vessel to wheelchair.
Once inside, we were given a tour of the high roller suites, the lounge, the restaurant ballroom and the gaming rooms. This four and a half year old floating casino –open 24/7–is the creme de la creme of Goa’s gaming industry which draws tourists from all over the world. Although he is literally a low roller , Scott’s wheelchair was able to fit smoothly under one of the roulette tables so he could relax and enjoy the game fully. And boy, did he ever! The very first spin was a winner with Scott’s lucky number zero, giving us both a thrill and setting the tone for the entire evening. I don’t play but I had fun watching Scott’s happy face as he stacked his chips. We were served complimentary drinks and delicious Indian appetizers, too.
Awhile later, we were welcomed by a very tall elegant man. Mr. Punje is the director of Casino Royale and also happens to be Kekishe’s father. Kekishe is one of my favorite Guest Relations specialists at the Goa Marriott and it was no doubt her “insider connection” that got us the VIP treatment. Her dad not only greeted us warmly, he sat with us through dinner and we enjoyed our conversation with him immensely. The buffet was impressive and there was live entertainment scheduled for later that night though we did not stay to enjoy it. Scott was chilly in their super cool dining ballroom and they had shawls on hand which was a nice touch. We went back down to the casino to play more roulette before heading back to the Marriott. The dark water reflected the brightly colored neon billboards lining the river’s shoreline as we pulled into the dock. Fifteen minutes later, my winner was asleep in our comfortable bed.