I must disagree with the author of "Ship Island Sucks" elsewhere in this section. Ship Island is a wonderful national treasure and one to be seen and enjoyed anytime you're in the local Biloxi/Gulfport area.
The ferry ride is a bit pricey at $22, but you're buying an hour long (each way) relaxing ride in the calm waters of the Gulf. Enjoy the playful dophins--I've seen them on every one of my 20 rides out to the island. Talk to the National Park Service volunteer on board--they are a wealth of knowledge about the historical significance of the island and the natural wonders that are found there today.
Yes, you'll need some sunscreen, and yes you'll get some exercise walking from the ferry boat pier to the south side of the island. But, open your eyes and ears for the entire time you are there and see the birds, alligators, and extraordinary marine life clearly visible in the water. If you don't enjoy Ship Island I am sad for your loss of a wonderful experience. Everything in life is, "You get out of something what you put into it." With minimum effort you can gain a lot from Ship Island.
Maybe I'll see you out there next time you go. I'll be glad to walk with you a mile along the beach and point out the rays, black tip sharks, sheephead/black drum fish, ribbonfish and the incredibly fast swimming mackrel that love to eat them. Maybe you'll pick up one of hundreds of hermit crabs and get an up close and personal look at those interesting creatures. Offer him a new shell, be patient, and you might even see him move to a new "house".
Take time to smell the roses and enjoy Ship Island.
Unique Suggestions: See above.
Fun Alternatives: Make friends with the dozens of folks who bring their own boats to Ship Island. They might offer you a ride to/from the island next time you visit and you can avoid the hike to the beach.
And, if you're into the clothing optional sunning scene, many of these folks come to Ship Island for that very reason.
It's ridiculously expensive - $22 for the boat out there, $10 for a beach umbrella once you get there (there is NO SHADE on the island). Aside from the historic fort (which is interesting, albeit for about 45 minutes) and the beach, there is nothing to do out there.
Unique Suggestions: Take a beach umbrella, coat yourself in no less than three layers of sunscreen, and prepare to get burned anyway.
Fun Alternatives: Go to the Alabama coast. Same kinds of beaches, except they're cheaper and more accessible.
A security guard intervened in a dispute with the Island View Casino Resort, In January 2007 he intervened when the Casino said the worst possible thing about a gamer -- that he is a liar and a cheat. While floor man "Brian" claimed investigation of the surveillance tapes, he failed to note while my back was turned from a slot, while I was looking for highly absent waitresses, the guard stated, "I believe you. I really do. There are people here who do these things." I knew this snafu was totally my fault for which the Casino was in no way responsible, and I just wanted to report there was a petty thief there. The previous security folks I spoke to (before my first drink) interviewed me and a very arrogant young floor man mamed Brian insisted to me the Casino reviewed the surveillance tapes and determined when I walled away from that machine, when I had my back turned to it for 15 seconds, all remaining credits had been played out. While this arrogant young floor man Brian was careful never to use the words "liar" or "cheat", he was stating the worst possible thing you can call someone in gaming. I did not care much about the $45 taken out of the machine I turned my back on, due to my own negligence. I never asked the Casino for any compensation or anything else -- I just wanted to do my civic duty and report a crime on the gaming floor. Apparently this is a frequent occurrence at Island View.. Subsequently, a man whom video showed gave Brian and the honcho floor man eyewitness testimony that after I left my chair, the person sitting to the direct right of me slid over and proceeded to play out my credits. The approximate $45 I had in this machine I did not care about. They ruined ny stay at their kitchy resort, Then Brian followed me up the aisle and advised me the Casino was going to exercise its option to toss me from the premises. I begged him not to, assured him that I would drop the matter, that I was a guest at their hotel, and ending up begging this stupid bully for mercy.
Unique Suggestions: Don't turn your back on a slot for more than a seond, The security at Island View is poor and does little to nab petty thiefs rampant on the casino floor attempting to steal purses, slot tickets, chips off gaming tables, etc. I went there for the day and had a $45 ticket wiped off a slot while turning my back and looking up two or three aisles for a waitress, who are few and far between. I did not ask for my money back or comps, but they turned this into a two-hour ordeal for me while an arrogant young floor man punk named Brian insisted the video tapes showed when I walked away, the machine was cashed out. ***! The guy in the next chair left to me playing Wheel of Fortune gave eywitness testimony a guy sitting to the right of me slid into my seat the few seconds I was gone -- they lied when they said they reviewed the tapes and called me a liar and a cheat. I have played at Monte Carlo, San Remo, and the top American casinos -- this is definitely not one of them. I just wanted to do my civic duty by reporting a petty thief on the floor whose face obviously was captured by the sky eyes, but they lied when they said that they checked. I intended to spend 5 minutes reporting this ordeal, but Island View turned it into a 2-hour ordeal, totally ruining my one-day vacation drive and stay at their hotel -- from which the PUNK floor manager Brian followed me up an aisle and avised me the Casino was going to exercise its right to toss me from the premises. I begged him not to, as a friend booked me a room there overnight and it was very cold outside. I have filed a formal complaint against "Brian" with the Mississippi Gaming Commission, which obvioudly does little to regulate this tourist trap. During my 2 hour interrogation, I repeatedly was told I was a liar. Brian is a PUNK who deserrves never to work in the gaming industry again. DO NOT GO TO THE ISLAND VIEW CASINO RESORT -- they declined my $2,000.00 cash bet to let me see the tapes to prove that I was not a liar and that they were wrong.
Fun Alternatives: Go to Beau Rivage in Biloxi, the finest, most honest vand courteous casino on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Stay clear of Gulfport -- with one sole excepton, a security manager at Island View who after two hours of unwanted interrogation told me, "I believe you, this happens here all the time," as a long time investigator during an 8-hou period I found Island View's floors swarming with petty thiefs stealin purses, attempting to steal in-play slot tickets, and palming chips off crap tables. The security there sucks, there are no safes in the roooms, there are dangerous scum crackheads wandering around asking if they can use your cell phone, etc. This is the very worst casino I have ever seen in my life anywhere inb the world. Don't place yourself in danger by gambling there or staying at their hotel -- my advice, go to Beau Rivage i Biloxi, still the jewel of Mississippi Gulf Coast gaming.