I have been to the new Ocean Jewel. The casino is very nice. You do not mention what games you are interested in. They have about 1000 machines, all new and TITO. They have about 16 BJ tables ($5,10,15, and 25), 2 craps tables, 2 roulette wheels, 2 3 card poker, and 2 Let it Ride (or CS, I forget which). They also have a nice poker room (with 3/6 Holdem). All of the BJ tables are Mindplay and bad rules. The video poker payout schedules are horrible. They have a restaurant and a niteclub (entertainment on weekend only). There is no cost to go on the ship. Only cost is $5 for the parking garage (no time limit). The ship is large and very unsmokey compared to the small, 5 hour cruise boats on the FL,GA,SC coasts.
I will be on the OJ today. Been there three times and always the positive expierience except for huge crowds, probably bcause of the holidays. Really scenic trip out to the boat with these high speed ferries flying under the Sunshine Skyway, past Fort Desoto, Egmont Key etc. The trip takes about an hour. Take the 9AM shuttle for some quiet craps, it'l fill up soon enough, one $5 and one $10 table usually. Actually have had better performances on The Majesty out of John's Pass, Madeira Beach, but that's just me. May you roll nothing but 6's and 8's!
Try the dog track in stead. Derby Lane is a very nice place. They have a large and a small poker room (I don't play, but I think it's called "limit" since the most you can wager on a hand is $32). But go for the live dog races. Just bet your birthdate for a $2 quinella in each of 14 races and relax. The most common quinella is the 1-8, so if you don't want to handi cap, just play the 1-8 Quinella each race and you're only in for $28 bucks with a good chance of cashing something. On the other hand, if you know what you're doing, bet your tail off and enjoy. Check out the various seating areas or restauarant. There's one nice bar where you can order the inexpensive evening special dinner and it's non-smoking (the bar, not the special), by FL law. Used to live there and went a lot...back when they had a live "orchestra" in the "outfield" that played the pre-race tune which is now played on a recording. Finally got to go after about 8 years. Went twice this year. Very nice. There are matinees on M-W-S-S I believe...double check. Evening races are M-Sat, not sure about Sun. They have simulcast dog, horse and Jai Lai as well. Good luck and have fun in the land of the newly wed and nearly dead!