COST. Amusement World (AW) Cruise started advertising itself a couple of months back. It's docked somewhere in the international waters of the Singapore Strait. My wife and I visited it out of curiosity and stayed a night at their so-called deluxe triple cabin (with no TV; TV costs extra) which costs us RM80 - paid when we reached the ship. At the New Century counter at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, we paid the weekend single day price of S$38 each plus booking fee of S$1 (and we have to leave the next day by 2.30pm or pay a surcharge of S$20). This S$38 included the Batamfast ferry rides, the transfer ferry ride and all meals when we're there. We parked at the public car park (S$1.20/hr). We figured it's probably cheaper than taking a taxi/Grab two ways, and more convenient.
FERRY. We departed from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal via the Batamfast Ferry. 45min later, we reached Batam's Nongsapura Jetty where we had to transfer to another domestic ferry to bring us to AW. On the way to AW, this domestic ferry stopped at another popular gambling ship, Aegean Paradise, before finally reaching AW. Batam to AW about 30min.
CASINO. Most visitors are there to gamble - they use RM so it is more affordable. There are 2 small casinos (the main Pharaoh Chamber and smaller Bistro) with table games and slot machines; the latter are mostly older machines. Free beverages are served at the casinos. You need to "rent" a temp card for RM10 to play the slot machines (we don't know how to play table games so can't say anything aout that). The RM10 will be refunded when you leave the ship ... much poorer than when you came. They're rather strict about the rules there. No photo-taking, not even outside the casino. No backpacks, even small ones. You can deposit your backpack at the bag counter. However, the staff were polite and service was good.
CABIN. Amusement World is a very old ship (built in 1967) and it showed clearly. The cabin is pretty pathetic - it's a 51 year old ship so don't expect anything much. It's small - like most other cruise ship cabins of that size - but the furniture and fittings are all old. The toilet was the worst - it smelt very musty - I think the stench comes from the old sewage pipes. The night wasn't that bad; we closed the toilet door and the cabin was ok. But the morning was bad - the stench seeped into the room. Since we had to check out by 12pm, we decided not to kick a fuss or to change room. The towels were clean, so were the bed sheet and pillows cases. Hot water for shower was actually just warm. The aircon was pathetic and we had to use the wall fan - thank goodness there was one. My wife had a peek at the suite (RM150 on weekdays I think) and she said it was much better. Oh, you need to bring your own toiletries.
FOOD. For the price we paid, we really can't complain about the food. It's a basic buffet - with the main buffet of mostly Asian food, a corner for porridge, another for noodle soup, a dessert and fruits corner plus tea and coffee. They serve lunch, dinner, supper and breakfast. AW is not as popular as Aegean Paradise and so there were no crowds during meal times - that's a redeeming factor. You can eat your meals in peace. You can also pay for ala carte meals on the menu - reasonable prices.
ENTERTAINMENT. I think they have some live shows at night, probably for families who are there (but seriously I don't know what's there for the family). There's a movie room, a hair salon, a small souvenir/convenience shop, a massage service, a video game arcade, a bar and a restaurant. Best to check with the staff.
GETTING AROUND. You disembark at the casino level (Deck 2) and deposit your passport with the staff at the reception. Patricia Restaurant where we eat our meals is at Deck 5. You can either climb some very steep stairs up or take the very old elevator (3 pax at a time and you need their staff to operate it) to Deck 4 and walk up to Deck 5. Our cabin was at Deck 4. I think old people with weak legs shouldn't go there because of the stairs but then again, many are gamblers as I see quite a few elderly there.
IMO. Go there if you want to gamble in RM (and not S$) at the casino. For Singaporeans, I guess it beats paying the S$100 daily levy in mainland. For S$38 (S$28 on weekdays), you get some nice ferry rides (sitting out in the open deck with the sea wind blowing in your face is quite lovely), free meals and gamble cheap in RM. But it'll be a very boring place for non-gamblers. And again, it's a very old ship.
PS : A pity I can't post photos in this review - nowhere here to upload photos - strange.