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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Who needs an island when you can buy a home on a luxury, globe-trotting liner?

Ever wonder like many of us how to best spend your retirement years? Perhaps not, though that may change with this wonderful proposition for you to consider.  How does it sound to wake up every morning in your own glorious apartment -- which just happens to have a daily ocean-view some weeks the Indian Ocean, some months the Med.  Then daily making your way upstairs, past the library, to decide if you feel like  having breakfast or stopping for some rooftop golf ?
 When you are passionate of the work you do, each assignment may well seem to be the assignment of a lifetime, for me this time was aboard the one-of-a-kind ship “The World”-- the world's first residential ship.
 Like the modern day explorer I am, my anxiety at embarkation came perhaps from my dream not living up to the reality. At embarkation the early signs were promising, an elderly American couple on the launch out to the world exude the sort of over-monied opulence I imagined. The World, docked in Frederiksted, St. Croix, USVI where I joined in. "When ship pulled in--it is an impressive sight-- there weren’t the 2,000+ cruisers and even more 85 nationality crew members, I’m used to seeing trying to get off like your typical cruise ship, but between 75 and 125 people who own the ship.  Residents at under 200 and crew members at not much more than that. The crew to passenger ratio is 2:1, giving the vessel very exceptional service that can guarantee to beat the best in the industry these days.
My fear of my first tour of the $264 million vessel was that it would reveal a reality at odds with the superlatives on their WWW page.  Yet once aboard the look is understated elegance, with 55,000 sq. ft of luxurious public spaces, a grand thickly carpeted reception area that leads off to the lecture theatre and minimalist beauty that is often seen in Scandinavian ship design.
Described by many as "the first ocean-going luxury resort", this would become my new found home for the week.  My studio here was the ultimate address on board with a £1 million price tag.  Cruise ships are known for their luxury and amenities, but this one beats many ships when it comes to not only luxury but also privacy. This is a high end resort at sea--not to be compared with your average “fun ship”, and it is quite obvious they are selling a lifestyle and that's what people are buying quite different then cruising the high seas.
The name of the ship is exactly what they do best—they cruise the world.  Because of the work I do I have been quite fortunate to have visited over 82 ships and this ship is one of the best I’ve been on. I can't fault it." I wish like these residents I could set up home @sea upon retirement continuously circumnavigate the globe. "I think it's a fantastic idea" It allows like-minded people from around the world  to mix with a range of people, of all ages and occupations doing what they love most."  There goes another thought on a New Retirement Plan.

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