Chicago Life and Style.

Your Home. Your Life. Your Style

Day: Monday, September 28th, 2009

Floating Real Estate

There are two immutable laws of real estate; 1) it’s intensely local, and 2) it’s immovable. Until now.  Now, you can own a piece of “The World” and your own slice of real estate that is in a constant circumnavigation of the globe.  Impossible you say? Not anymore.

Last night I watched a documentary on “The World” which is the first cruise ship of its kind. Its enormous. If we were talking about a regular vacation cruise liner, it would host about 1900 people. However, this isn’t Carnival, its isn’t even Norwegian or whatever a higher end version of the usual fare is.  This ship is built of condos, at capacity, about 350 guests. Individual, custom, single-owner residences that vary in size but are certainly comparable to our high end condos in Chicago. Full gourmet kitchen in each.  Real honest to goodness homes.

Now lets talk about the amenities on board.  The ship broadcasts its own TV and radio shows daily. For exercise, there is a golf and country club on board with a real grass putting green that weighs a few tons, the first floating full size tennis court and one side of the deck fold down when stopped to become a marina for all sort of water sports off the side of the ship.  For the more relaxed, there is an entire village below deck to go shopping for food, clothes, a full size library, you can take cooking lessons at one of many four star restaurants on board, visit the internet cafe (although your condo has uninterrupted internet service no matter where you are).  There are several lounges and bars on board including a cigar lounge with an ultra high tech humidor to keep the cuban cigars perfectly fresh, and I’m happy to say they stock my favorite, the Romeo & Julietta. Some of the crew even double as entertainment and provide live music and singing in the lounges.

How does all of this work?  Some things I never thought of. For instance, you cannot have open flame anywhere on the boat so all the cooking is done via induction heat. Because of the chance of rough seas and shifting items, the chefs have to wear chain mail aprons! How cool/hysterical is that?! There is a staff of 300 crew that keeps everything running smoothly and they have their own village that mirrors (although with slightly lower end amenities!) the owners’ village above. The ship itself has its own waste treatment plant and all waste is purified enough to pass as drinking water before it is disposed of. The ship also runs on diesel fuel which is substantially more earth friendly that the traditional tanker oil fuel. They have even thought of the golf balls–for those avid golfers that just cant resist hitting off the green into the water, they have special golf balls made of fish food that dissolve in the water.

Obviously, this lifestyle choice isn’t for everyone. And, let’s be honest, you have to be near obscenely rich to afford it. One of the shops in the village on board if Graff jewelers who carries an average inventory of $12 Million dollars of jewels at any given time.  One special broadcast on the ship network was about how to deal with the problems of the very rich–one of the residents coined the term “affluenza”. Um, ok, whatever.

Anyway, it was an awesome thing to see, a fairytale in the real world really.  The resident all get a vote on the upcoming years schedule so they can be sure not to miss any important/exciting event in the WORLD.  How about that for perspective?  I’m just happy to get my hands around what going on in my neighborhood!