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A former resident of The World cruise ship spent 6 years onboard, says it's not unlike 'The White Lotus'

The World's ship sailing along a coastline away from a port city.
A photo shows The World residential cruise ship sailing.The World
  • A retired lawyer compared living on The World, a residential cruise ship, to 'The White Lotus.'

  • During his six-year residence, he told CNN Travel he saw people getting drunk and having affairs.

  • His experiences inspired him to write three novels about scandalous behavior on the high seas.

A former resident of The World, an exclusive private residential ship with a strict invite-only policy, said living on board was not unlike HBO's "The White Lotus."

Peter Antonucci, a retired lawyer who lived on the cruise ship for six years, told CNN Travel that it was full of wealthy people "doing playful things, sometimes naughty things, sometimes scandalous things."

In fact, Antonucci told CNN Travel that it was not dissimilar to the popular HBO series, which has won 15 Primetime Emmy Awards. The dark comedy features affluent characters vacationing in luxury locations, engaging in hedonism, extramarital affairs, and sometimes harboring dark secrets.

"I'm not saying that everything that happened on 'The White Lotus' has happened on The World, but I think, in large measure, the comparison is not inaccurate," Antonucci said.

Describing the ship as a "country club meets sorority house," Antonucci told CNN Travel that there was "drinking and carousing" and infidelity on board.

"There are married people, married couples on the ship, who are not always sleeping with their spouse," he said.

According to Antonucci, his experience on The World inspired him to write novels about sinning and scandal on the high seas.

Though Antonucci told CNN Travel that people begged him not to write about them, guests later asked him why they weren't featured.

He told the news outlet that his three novels are fictional and do not include real people.

A spokesperson for The World told BI in an email statement that it had been in touch with Antonucci, "who has assured us in writing that his works are unrelated to The World or its residents, and that his publications are fictional works of art about a fictional ship."

The spokesperson said The World wishes him well in his "creative works of fiction." 

Antonucci said he first booked a taster voyage with his wife on the ship, which launched in 2002, after hearing about it in a Wall Street Journal article in around 2012.

At first, he told CNN Travel, he was shocked by how expensive everything was, but by the second day he asked how he could sign up.

He said he was enticed by the crew's ability to anticipate residents' needs and offer exclusive experiences.

Antonucci said he and his wife purchased their first cruise ship condo in 2014.

He couldn't recall exactly how much it cost, but said he believes he spent around $1.6 million.

Over the years, Antonucci said he owned four separate apartments on board, with the price tags rising to about $4 million.

The World's 165 condos cost between $2 million and $15 million, excluding the annual ownership fees, with only about a dozen being resold annually, Business Insider previously reported.

In 2019, Antonucci decided to sell up, telling CNN Travel: "Once you've circumnavigated the globe a few times, you've seen it. I had seen what I wanted to see, I was ready to do something new."

The World travels to over 100 destinations a year, with the itinerary decided years in advance.

Read the original article on Business Insider