Hey everyone! How d’ya like my frequent updates? 😀
I just got back from a very short getaway with my family. Our holiday lasted less than 24 hours on a cruise. It was a suggested idea by my Mom who is so hooked on deal sites like Groupon and Deal that we’ve been using dining coupons to pay for our meals nowadays. One day she saw an attractive travel deal on Deal and decided to coerce me into going as she wouldn’t go if I don’t. I refused at first because I never trusted such sites (gimmicks aplenty) and even more so for travel deals as I’ve seen too many poor feedback about it on forums. But seeing how eager my Mom was in addition to her not travelling for the past 2 decades, I agreed to tag along after reading through the terms and conditions for the umpteenth time.
The deal was $13 per person for an overnight stay on-board MV Leisure World. Included in the offer were World Cup Live Screening (big deal in Singapore coz we gotta pay to watch it) and meals, and if we purchased 3 tickets, we would also be entitled to a complimentary cabin (worth S$40) for 3. All these for just $13 nett. It’s no doubt a very tempting deal! Boyfriend wanted to go as well as he was enticed by the cheap foot reflexology (S$15 for 60 minutes WHUTTTT) there so I bought 6 tickets (for my family of 4 and himself, plus 1 extra to get one more free cabin – strategic) but his passport renewal application was rejected at the very last minute due to a very stupid reason so 2 tickets went to waste *sigh*
But deals being deals, there were some drawbacks to the seemingly good offer. We could not travel on Friday and Saturday. On top of that, we had to depart from Singapore via the last ferry (8.30pm) from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal and take any return ferry scheduled before 5pm on the following day lest we’d incur an extension fee of $20 per person. It says 2D1N on the header but the trip doesn’t even last a day! So do take note of such gimmicky ad text when buying travel coupons especially 🙂
Anyway after purchasing the coupons, I had people telling me that the ship (MV Leisure World) we were boarding was a GAMBLING SHIP (read news reports here). Argh, I should’ve checked thoroughly before purchasing. It was too late to regret now since such coupon sites don’t do refunds but I definitely lowered my expectations a lot.
Booking was done in a breeze via emailing and calling (to confirm receipt). Everything was done and confirmed within 2 days – 1 if not for the hiccup in boyfriend’s passport – even though the agency (New Century Tours) sounded like in a state of mess when I called (loud background noises that sounded like MRT announcements O_O so loud that I couldn’t hear the person on the other end of the line at times). But still, their efficiency and professionalism are commendable.
Our trip was just yesterday and we had to be there at least an hour before the stated departure time. We had light dinner even though we would be just in time for supper buffet when we arrived at the cruise.
Boarding gates opened at 7.30pm and the departure hall was PACKED with people of all ages and races! I was surprised coz I thought I saw somewhere on the terms and conditions that only people aged 18 years old and above are allowed on board, and that food served there are non-halal.. which left us only with a certain demographic group right?
The ferry from Tanah Merah was horrible. Everyone was like rushing to board because there were limited seats available. Be prepared to stand if you aren’t fast enough (we stood on our return journey). Upon arrival at Nongsapura Ferry Terminal, we transferred to our second ferry to MV Leisure World, a stationary cruisevessel near Batam. The entire journey took less than 1.5 hours.
Immediately after we alighted from our second ferry, we went to surrender our passports to the embarkation counter. The interior of the ship definitely didn’t look modern to me as everything was in dull shimmery gold.
While I queued for our cabin keys (super long queue omg), my parents went to the dining room on the fifth level to get supper.
Checked into our little cabin after we were done with supper. Can you imagine 4 grown-ups squeezing into this pigeonhole? Lol. Yes, this room is meant for 3 but slim people. I didn’t have a good night sleep because it was so cramped! So thankfully it was only AN OVERNIGHT stay!!
I slept with my Mom and sister while Dad slept on the wall-mounted bed. I’d get really paranoid about the bed giving way and falling onto our bed underneath when my Dad was up there (although he isn’t exactly fat) so I slept cross-legged HAHAHA The creaking sound of bed when he moved really put me off
If you think the sleeping area is small, wait til you see the toilet.
The door is so narrow that we didn’t even see it there at first (even mistook it for a wardrobe). It’s a restroom so tiny that even Chubs, my dog, would feel claustrophobic in. But yeah, having said so, it’s still possible to shower and do your businesses in there even though none of us showered during our stay 😀 But shower if you really, really need to!
Our phones were dying but we couldn’t charge them coz our powerhead pins weren’t compatible with the holes on their sockets -_- Forgot to bring international adapter. Didn’t expect it to be different anyway coz since Leisure World is home-ported in Singapore and everything sold there is in Singapore currency, I’d assume that they’d use our socket too right? -_-
And by the way, no Wi-Fi anywhere there. There is an internet station with 2 computers near the reception counter but it’s erm, too open? Like anyone could see what you’re doing on the big computer screen when they walk past. I know coz I saw someone trying to key in her PIN number on the DBS iBanking page -_-
After putting all our baggage in the room, we went out to explore other decks. I know Dad was more interested in watching the World Cup, but he still accompanied us to the karaoke lounge because that was the only activity available that hour besides playing jackpot. The microphones went from table to table and each table could only sing 2 songs at a time. We did a total of 6 English oldies! 😀 The lounge closes at 2.30am though, and above it was an open space for Mahjong. I seriously wonder how the players could hear one another when the karaoke music was so LOUD!!
The free live screening of the World Cup was at Treasure Cove sports bar but we didn’t go there at all. Dad caught a glimpse of the Belgium vs Russia match on a small TV at the karaoke lounge 🙂
After that we went to play the slot machine in one of the many casinos there. The minimum age to enter is 18 and there isn’t any entry levy but you’d need to pay a S$10 deposit (refundable) in order to get this prepaid gaming card for the slots. Even though there’s an attire for the casino, no one stopped me when I was in shorts
There were just too many slot machines there, probably the only thing they have in their casino. I didn’t see any proper gambling den. C’mon, how can a renowned gambling ship only have slot machines? O_O Did I miss anything??
Stopped playing after we lost our initial capital of S$20 HAHAHA. Gambling isn’t my thing, really… I can even get sick of playing Blackjack during CNY. And I like playing Mahjong without money involved! *good role model* Hahahaha!
Woke up at 8.30am the next day to have breakfast at the same dining room. It was alright but not much variety to choose from. They don’t really serve iced beverage I realised.. only plain water. It’s also the first breakfast buffet for me that served half-boiled eggs.
I went down to book our return ferry after I was done with my meal. I had 3 departure timing to choose from: 12.30pm, 2.45pm and 5.00pm. Any time after that would be considered as an extended stay which would be chargeable at S$20 per person. Initially we wanted to leave at 5pm but our cabin check-out time was 12pm and there was really nothing much to do there (as you can see), so we brought our departure time forward to 2.45pm. After we returned our keys, I kinda regretted not opting for the 12.30pm one
REALLY nothing to do there (unless you’re a heavy gambler) coz many facilities are closed in the day. I wanted to go for a 1-hour full body massage but there was only ONE masseuse available (the other was on leave) and all the slots before my departure were fully booked. Yes, you gotta make reservation for massage! Shucks, I agreed to go on the cruise because of the cheap massage leh!!! 😦 So no review on the massage if you’re expecting one..
What did I do then? I spent my next 1 hour sleeping on the restaurant’s dining table. Lol unglam max but no one knew me there so never mind.
We had our lunch there as well. Okay come to think of it, S$13 for 3 meals is not too bad. But I wasn’t really enjoying the food
All in all, the cruise isn’t as shady as I thought it would be and you’d probably find it acceptable with lowered expectations, seriously. It’s mai hiam buay pai, don’t expect much for just S$13. I can say for sure that my Mom liked it though. But that’s probably because she hadn’t travelled for a long time so she’d love anywhere she went. Another reason for not liking this cruise as much is because smokers are allowed to smoke anywhere. It’s heaven for my smoker Dad but hell for people like me who are allergic to cigarette smoke (I’m asthmatic). Plus, they stink my hair!! 😡
Service-wise, staff at the restaurant and casinos were exceptionally friendly and ever-willing to lend a helping hand when needed. But still, I wouldn’t want to stay for more than a night there due to the lack of entertainment for non-punters like myself which is understandable coz it’s a gambling ship after all.. But at least give me Wi-Fi man 😦 I could coop myself up in the pathetic cabin all day with that.
But if I HAVE to go there again, I’d blow my money on a full-day massage 😀 You can’t deny the affordability of the massage there. Teehee!
That’s all for this travelogue…. if you consider this as one. Hahaha.
Thanks for reading ❤
P/S: If anyone’s keen to purchase from me the extra pair of tickets, please drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org! They are valid until 14 July (last day of the World Cup). SOLD! Thanks everyone 🙂