I put my crisp Jackson into a slot machine with spinning cherries and bars. A few minutes later, I'm up to $36.40 and decide it's time to cash out. At the cashier's cage, I bump into a group of 20-something men who are also cashing out.

"You win tonight?" one of the guys asks me.

Yep!

Kok Thay Lim, chairman of Genting Group, celebrates his birthday aboard the Bimini SuperFast.
Kate Maier
Kok Thay Lim, chairman of Genting Group, celebrates his birthday aboard the Bimini SuperFast.

The guy is counting hundred-dollar bills. "So did I!"

3 a.m.

I've finally visited each of the four bars aboard the ship (where drinks range from $6 to $12), and after one too many Singapore slings, I'm feeling sleepy. My shipmate has to work at 8 a.m., so she decides to retire, but I wait it out for the chairman. Suddenly, I see the lights of Bimini and look down to notice that the ship is no longer churning the pitch-black ocean water. We've anchored.

After the awkward "Happy Birthday" and toast, Kok Thay Lim quickly disappears with barely a word. Once again, I look down to see black ocean water being pushed away from the ship and the lights of Bimini gone. The SuperFast had stopped for a total of 15 minutes.

4:30 a.m.

After breakfast (a free basic breakfast is served on deck ten, or passengers can pay $25 for omelets and bacon in Ponce de Leon), around 5 a.m., my phone chimes, letting me know I'm back in U.S. waters.

7 a.m.

I'm lucky to be in the first group of people let off the ship to go through customs. Since we didn't disembark at Bimini, there are no traffic jams of officers looking for duty-free alcohol. An agent looks at my passport and waves me through. In a sleep-deprived haze, I lower my sunglasses to fend off the Miami sun. The voyage might not have gone off without a hitch, but it seems like nothing Genting's leaders have done in South Florida has gone according to plan. Still, if they were able to race the SuperFast to Bimini in time to celebrate the chairman's birthday, who's to say they won't race to transform Miami into a gambler's paradise?

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19 comments
Xarisha
Xarisha

I wish Irish Ferries could have got the Superfast VI, real sassy ferry company that knows how to run real FERRIES. this is a waste of an incredible ship. And, Irish Ferries is in desperate need of a shakeup, and a new ship. SF VI would have given them both.

octaviadenisebell
octaviadenisebell

THIS WAS THE WORSE CURISE I'VE BEEN ON AND FOR 12 DAYS I STILL HAVEN'T GOTTEN MY MONEY BACK FROM THIS COMPANY......NO ONE NEVER ANSWER'S THE PHONE OR CALL'S YOU BACK FROM LEAVING A MESSAGE

OffTheTour
OffTheTour

It seems like much hasn't changed thus far on the Bimini Superfast. I went back in August and it was disastrous both in the evening and day cruises.  Heres what happened to us 

RuffHouse
RuffHouse

I wonder if these reviewers are friends of superfast....

-I have done the seaEscape when it ran. (freeport).  there was about $30 in taxes on top of the 40 fare they don't mention. 

but maybe that's avoided by not leaving the ship (article didn't cover getting off).

 I also wonder how the hotel and marina will support the water and sewage needed when it opens.

I think the delays in boarding and getting off are typical   I remember getting to the terminal at 7am, but not leaving until 9am.

and another hour to get off the boat.  customs was actually fast (2 min) once you make it to the officer.






stinkyfoote
stinkyfoote

I used to work at the Port of Miami for a major cruise line so when there was a delay on my first trip on the Superfast, I didn’t get upset at all.From my experience, delays come with the process of getting people on board, no matter what ship it is.But the delay at departure didn’t dampen my enjoyment of the ride.I love the Superfast.It is beautifully decked out and the stewards were gracious and helpful.The food was good. (I opted to dine in the Ponce de Leon.)Still, the prices were very affordable and it was a nice change of pace from my usual visits to land based casinos

JessieW
JessieW

I liked your review of the SuperFast.I was thinking about booking a night cruise. Thanks for reminding me that the night cruise is full of 20-somethings.They’re entitled to a good time. : ) My friend and I took a getaway cruise.We’re both retired and have no deadlines to meet.We had a good time on board and once we were in Bimini, we spent two days of touring around Alice Town and relaxing on the beach. The casino is amazing, too.I had a little luck at roulette.We had fun at the kind of relaxed pace we like at our age.

luiscsosa
luiscsosa

This shit is whack. Huge waiting time to get on the boat. if you notice the video on top it is empty, 3 hours to get off the ship. Rsident don't like the cruise since they only bring business for those with in there group and the owners Bimini Bay like the new owner. If you been there before you can tell the huge difference. Place looks abandon. Bimini was way better before they turned it into a cheap vacation location.

rodkuntzman
rodkuntzman

Well, I didn't take the night cruise which seems adapted for youngsters. Staying up all night is no longer my idea of fun. The day cruise was spectacular. For those of you who need a cruise ship fix every so often, this is your ticket. For under $100 you can get the same thrill as you might in a 10 day cruise all in one day. This is a perfect excursion to amplify any out-of-towner's trip to Miami because you can squeeze in an actual visit to a foreign country during your domestic vacation. I would fully recommend it to anyone who seeks fun on a budget and enjoys gambling. 

miltonbershefsky
miltonbershefsky

What a tremendous ride. My wife and I can't believe you could get so much value for so little money. You cross the Gulf Stream effortlessly and before you know it you are in an exotic foreign country with warm Caribbean breezes and crystal blue azure waters. It was a shame to have to leave but that's what this cruise is about. It's fast. The casino experience is first rate and the food is good. We will go again.

jjjohn2920
jjjohn2920

I also went and had a great time for my anniversary.  I had no problems with customs or anything else.  We had a grew time.  Bimini was much larger than I thought it would be but it's easy to get around.  I hired a car with a driver for only $20 for the entire day.  We drove around the island and stopped at all of the best beaches.  I'LL BE BACK.

vicequeenmaria
vicequeenmaria

Great piece, José!  ANd also, here goes the neighborhood ... 

HarryTheHandyman
HarryTheHandyman topcommenter

@OffTheTour Did you post up review on any review sites?  Was it removed?

HarryTheHandyman
HarryTheHandyman topcommenter

@RuffHouse Genting or someone hired by Genting has been on a rampage suppressing negative reviews and posting fake ones.  They're also posting favorable comments in news articles and even on forums.

OffTheTour
OffTheTour

@HarryTheHandyman I have seen the negative reviews flagged in Yelp so that they don't come up unless you go to "filtered" review. I only posted the review on my own blog site as I figured it would be fruitless on Yelp.


henry_wilkerson
henry_wilkerson

@HarryTheHandyman @RuffHouse The people in the video New Times posted look like they're having a pretty good time to me. Have you actually been on this trip or are you just a conspiracy theorist?

 
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