He very kindly fixed up a visit to the casino ship Leisure World, owned by New Century Cruise Line, which spends most of her time at anchor off Singapore, alternately near the Indonesian and Malaysian coasts. To reach the ship from Singapore, one must take two fast ferries - but the trip is very worthwhile. The Leisure World was originally constructed in 1969 as the Skyward of Norwegian Caribbean Line, arguably the world's first purpose-built mass market cruise ship (if one discounts the Nazi Kraft durch Freude liners of the 1930s). During the past decade, she has been somewhat rebuilt to suit her current operation, with new casinos added in glassfibre deckhouses towards her stern. Inboard, she is a fascinating mix of 'first generation' Caribbean cruise ship and Asian casino vessel. Notwithstanding her quirky decoration, she remains in remarkably good condition - although it is obvious that she will never return to international service as a 'proper' cruise liner.
Approaching Leisure World on the fast ferry (left) and toilets with a view (right)
Heffalumps - do not touch the precious artwork!
Hallways - still largely intact from the NCL era
Show lounge and restaurant
The exclusive Tuna Suite
Captain's cabin and builder's plate
Things forbidden inside the casino - and a little shrine on deck
The Tropicana Deck
Jonathan - creature of moderation at all times - and karaoke in the (otherwise empty) Tropicana Lounge
The sort of joint my father warned me about (but that, hitherto, I've rarely found next to the funnels on a ship)
The shapely bridge and forward viewing deck
Leaving Leisure World, again by fast ferry