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.


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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