(ex SKYWARD, SHANGRI-LA WORLD, ASEAN WORLD, FANTASY WORLD, CONTINENTAL WORLD) Decked!, Part Three: Rainbow Deck to Caribbean Deck
528 feet long 74 feet wide 15,853 gross tons Built by AG Weser (hull number 942) 942 passengers 250 crew Powered by MAN Diesels that produce 17,380 bhp twin screw 16 knot service speed
All Photos by and copyright Peter Knego 2012 unless otherwise noted.
Rainbow Deck (6th Floor)
Retaining its original NCL name, Rainbow Deck begins with the Paradise Lounge, the ship’s showroom. Slightly terraced, thanks to pronounced sheer in this part of the ship, the room has full-length windows that are usually obscured by thick curtains.
Furnishing in the Paradise Lounge may be left over from the NCL era but some of the soft fittings appear to have been added in recent years.
During our visit, the Paradise Lounge afternoon show consisted of a life jacket demonstration and a band that backed three young singers who performed Chinese pop songs.
Quite possibly the most elegant work of art on the ship is the etched glass panel of a caravelle dating from the SKYWARD era, located at the starboard entrance to the Paradise Lounge. It is signed by Knut Yran, E. Andersen and T. Gustavsen.
An information desk for New Century Cruise Line’s high rollers is located in the forward Rainbow Deck foyer. A large slot room follows in what was originally the SKYWARD’s Pot O’Gold Casino.
LEISURE WORLD’s Restaurant, an original SKYWARD venue, is located adjacent to the galley at the aft end of Rainbow Deck. Chinese buffets are available for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a nominal charge with stations located in the forward and center parts of the room.
The LEISURE WORLD’s simple but pleasant restaurant features picture windows on either side.
The chef prepared a wonderful lunch for us, beginning with fresh-squeezed orange juice…
…and a massive plate of crispy garlic bread.
The chicken and fresh vegetable soup was piping hot and delicious.
Our main course was a lavishly presented combination of fish, potatoes, lobster, shrimp, almonds, scallops and baby squid.
In addition to a plate of fresh fruits, we were able to select some baked goods from the buffet for our dessert.
Atlantic Deck (5th Floor)
Atlantic Deck is devoted to standard outside and inside cabins for overnight guests who can purchase a room for a nominal fee. The Reception area is adjacent to the forward stairtower.
The Gift Shop follows Reception, featuring clothing and sundries on the starboard side and snacks, coffee and soft drinks on the port side. Atlantic Deck continues aft with a video arcade and standard cabin accommodation.
Biscayne Deck (4th Floor)
Biscayne Deck is largely devoted to passenger accommodation. SKYWARD’s cabins were relatively compact by today’s standards but perfectly adequate for the ship’s current role.
Tiled cabin bathrooms feature sink, toilet and a small shower.
And here is a very basic inside cabin.
On the aft/port side of Biscayne Deck, there is a small gymnasium that is predominantly used by the ship’s crew.
Caribbean Deck (3rd Floor)
Caribbean Deck features more standard cabins, the embarkation lobby and a slot machine room.
After lunch, we had a couple hours to meander the non-casino areas, before taking a brief siesta in the comfort of Tropicana Deck.
At 5:00, we gathered our passports from the Caribbean Deck foyer and bid good-bye to the former SKYWARD.
Astonishingly, a local vendor selling soft drinks on the ferry collected passengers’ empties only to hurtle them over the side of the vessel. This would appear to be in direct conflict with New Century’s environmental policies.
After a short wait, the ferry sped off at a brisk pace for Batam, providing the perfect parting shot of the LEISURE WORLD.
When we arrived in the small harbor, the tide had receded, exposing Batam’s intertidal zone.
Just over an hour after departing LEISURE WORLD, the next ferry had returned us to Singapore.
End of LEISURE WORLD Decked!
Special thanks: Marek Amielanczyk, Jonathan Boonzaier, Martin Cox, Captain Igor, Michael Masino
Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea. With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications. Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India. He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."