LunarWolfspirit's 2011 Longjie Texas Hold'em Review and Guid

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LunarWolfspirit's 2011 Longjie Texas Hold'em Review and Guid

Postby LunarWolfspirit » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:21 pm

Hi Kakis,

I visited Longjie over CNY and I thought I'd share my thoughts and experiences with you guys again.

Unlike my previous Macau review however, I will go a little more in-depth and cover mutliple facets including how to go about booking and planning your trip for something like this. Hopefully this helps and will clear up any queries you guys might have.

My review will be split into the following sections:

1. Background
2. Pre-booking / Planning
3. Booking
4. Travelling
5. Casino
6. Amenities
7. Departure
8. Verdict

Reading everything in order is highly encouraged!

1. Background
Longjie is ran by Asian Cruises and is basically a floating casino. It is pretty much a stationary cruiseship that goes nowhere. Depending on the day of the week, you will have to take a small ferry out (like those you take to tekong) and board the cruiseship where the gambling can begin. If you happen to board the cruiseship directly (it sometimes docks at the terminal, I assume for refueling), I believe you have to wait until it sails out to international waters before you can start gambling.

2. Pre-booking / Planning
I first checked out the kaki forums and website for information. As it is during the CNY period, the website indicated that there will be a temporary change in schedule. However, the website didn't go as far as to list the new schedule and said to call their office.

I called the office and no one picks up, I get a message saying the lines were all busy.

3. Booking
Not to be disheartened, I headed down to Harbourfront Centre itself to get more information (that's where their booking office is located and where you will board the ferry from). The counter-staff were extremely rude and unhelpful... One of the staff actually rolled his eyes when the phone rang, kind of unprofessional. Only after some persistent questioning did they just hand me the new CNY schedule.

I made a stupid mistake and forgot to bring my passport. Sigh. On the bright side, Sunday was a better day to board the cruise as they had ferries going to Longjie in the wee hours of the morning and coming back on the late at night. I wanted to place a reservation but apparently that wasn't possible without a passport. I had to come back and hope that there were places left on the ferry.

**Tip: Double-check you brought your passport!

4. Travelling
I rescheduled my trip to Sunday as it had the best timetable, with ferries going out as early as 8:40am and leaving as late as 9:45pm that night. I woke up super early that day and got to Harbourfront centre at 7:30am. The ferry was scheduled for 8:40am and I had to check-in a hour earlier. The ticket prices were $25/pax (Holiday season + Weekend). The immigration process was fairly swift and I boarded the ferry at about 8:25am. The ferry sailed off at about 8:35am, 5 minutes ahead of time.

Here's what I didn't expect. The ferry rides took 2 hours in total, with a transit to another ferry at the hour mark. The first ferry was fairly stable and I stayed relatively healthy, but by the time I switched to the second ferry (which is a smaller model), I had pretty bad motion sickness.

**Tip: Bring some plum bits / candy -- The ferry doesn't serve up anything else but water and if you get motion sickness easily that may help.
**Tip2: Sleeping to avoid motion sickness helps. In general staring at a stationary object i.e. The TV on a moving vehicle makes you sick faster.

5. Casino
You get off the ferry and walk through a door at the side to enter the cruise ship. First thing you want to do is settle the stuff that needs booking, which in this case is the rooms and the departure ferry. I learned this the hard way, but more about that later. The layout is pretty well organized and the staff of the ship are much more helpful in contrast to the service staff at the counter. Just proceed to the Deck 6 where the casino area is.

It was about 11am and I immediately grabbed a hot drink first to try and get rid of the motion-sickness. I went over to the casino area and which wasn't too big, you could pretty much count the number of tables, but they offered a huge variety of games, including 3-card poker, carribean stud poker, progressive texas hold'em.

Over at the corner was a full ring poker table. My worst nightmare had come true, no one was even playing. And take note that this was during the CNY period AND on a weekend, where I expected a greater flow of gamblers. A manager was manning the table and told me there was only 1 other guy in line and offered to add me to the list and that he would call me if the table gets to at least four handed play.

Not actually wanting to play any other games, the next few hours was just spent doing nothing. I had lunch and then waited again, which I will cover later in the amenities section.

When I came by the poker table again, the manager was literally playing cards with the dealer at the table. How about spending his time and effort trying to get a game running? Jesus. It was only FOUR hours later (3pm) that there was a sudden spike and we were able to play... Four handed.

The stakes were 2/5 and chips were given out in 5 dollar denominations. Chips were clean and dealer was only fairly professional (this is overlooking the fact they were playing card games earlier). Once or twice during the game, he forgot to check if blinds were down, didn't announce when a player straddled etc, prompted the wrong player for action.

What really ticked me off was that there wasn't much of a cordoned off area while we were playing cards. It was extremely distracting to have people playing other casino games nearby talking loudly, I even had an old uncle rest his hand against the back of my seat and others try sneaking a peek at my cards. What drove me crazy was that the manager ended up resting his hand a the back of my seat also wtf.

The saving grace is that the manager got us drinks and was there to attend to our needs. But basically within an hour or so, the game dwindled down to 3-handed and no one wanted to play on.

6. Amenities
Longjie provides complimentary meals. I've been hearing stories about how cruises offer sumptious international buffets that are free entry and has no time restriction. Don't expect this from Longjie.

They have allocated meal timings in which people queue up for a "buffet" which is akin to the ol' National Service cookhouse. Only this selection, take it or leave it. And the food, nothing great. Heck, even their coffee and tea was bad.

**Tip: Take note that my iPhone was displaying the wrong time while on the ship. Apparently I was connected to a Malaysian telco and that messed up my timing, but Malaysia has the same time as us, so I don't understand... I went to my World Clock settings and it shows 3:30pm while the Singapore clock clearly shows 4:30pm...

7. Departure
I decided to stay for the free dinner but not at my own accord. I actually wanted to leave the cruise ship much earlier, as I got sick of waiting so long just for the game to open and have it close in under 2 hours. I ended up not being able to book the departure ferry at the time I wanted, so I was forced to stay back. Then another vomit-inducing 2 hour trip back.

8. Verdict (3/10)
By the time I arrived back at Harbourfront, I felt like total crap. I feel that Longjie came across so bad, that it actually justifies paying the $100 levy to enter the local IRs without any hassle. I'd give the overall experience a 3/10. Points for price and being nice enough to offer Texas Hold'em. But my advice to you is, save the time and money seriously.
LunarWolfspirit
ABC Poker Player
 
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:12 pm

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