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I spent 6 years living on The World, a cruise ship for millionaires. It was like the Four Seasons on steroids — readjusting to reality was tough.

Peter Antonucci in front of The World.
Peter Antonucci in front of The World.Courtesy of Peter Antonucci
  • Retired lawyer Peter Antonucci lived on The World, a luxurious residential ship, for six years.

  • It's extremely exclusive. The World's 165 condos cost between $2 million and $15 million each.

  • Antonucci told BI that it was as luxurious as it gets, making adjusting back to the real world hard.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with retired lawyer Peter Antonucci, who spent six years living on The World — a residential ship for millionaires. Antonucci has written three novels about scandals on the high seas.

The following has been edited for length and clarity.

You can't really explain The World in a sound bite. There's not an elevator pitch. It's not something you can do in 30 words or less.

People often ask me to compare it to a cruise ship. It's not a cruise ship, it's so much more than that.

Firstly, there are no cabins; there are apartments. Like a condo anywhere else in the world, they come in all sizes.

A photo of one of The World's condos.
A photo shows a living room in one of The World's condos.Courtesy of Peter Antonucci

Obviously, the ship can only sail on water. So when you go to Russia and dock in St. Petersburg, if you want a tour of the Kremlin, they'll get a plane to take you there.

You'd stay at a gorgeous hotel and have guards and guides take you around.

Peter Antonucci on an expedition during his time living on The World.
Peter Antonucci on an expedition during his time living on The World.Courtesy of Peter Antonucci

The concierges were the same as you would find in a five-star resort, except they got to know you as people.

The crew is what made The World so special — beyond professional, respectful, charming, charismatic, and fun. Their service is what made it the Four Seasons on steroids.

My preference was always to have a cold glass of water next to my bed. They would find out where I was eating at night and if I was going to one of the bars or something afterwards so that when I got back to my room, there was an icy glass of water waiting for me.

Some people liked a cup of coffee next to their bed. They would get to their apartment and that coffee was always steaming hot.

Peter Antonucci holding a bottle of Champagne while on The World.
Peter Antonucci holding a bottle of Champagne while on The World.Courtesy of Peter Antonucci

Onboard, people competed to throw big parties. The crew loved working with you to throw them.

They'd ask you for the theme; your wife's birthday, St Patrick's Day, Australia Day, or the Fourth of July.

When my first book was released while we were on the ship, they threw a launch party, and it blew me away.

The whole table was done nautically, with ropes on the walls as you would have on a ship. Even the salt and pepper shakers were little sailboats.

I don't know where this stuff came from, it was like a costume room from a Broadway theater they had hidden away.

Peter Antonucci and his wife at the party to celebrate the launch of his first novel.
Peter Antonucci and his wife at the party to celebrate the launch of his first novel.Courtesy of Peter Antonucci

And the wine — the ship has one of the greatest wine lists you'll ever see.

You're not going to find many bottles under $100. Drinking an $800 bottle of wine at dinner was not unusual.

The crew was so special because they knew us; nobody can make you feel as comfortable as somebody who knows you.

Peter Antonucci in front of The World.
Peter Antonucci in front of The World.Courtesy of Peter Antonucci

You had a list of preferences: food, drink, and housekeeping.

Some people's preferences were maybe eight bullet points, others were literally 10 pages.

I had a few. For example, there's a certain iced tea that I like. I was introduced to it by the wonderful sommelier.

Then, I once saw a large beer stein when we were in Germany. I said, "What beautiful glass."

Little did I know a crew member would order a dozen of those steins, and they would follow me on the ship.

Anywhere I had a reservation, or anytime I sat down for lunch anywhere, that iced tea was in front of me in that big stein with three ice cubes in it.

When you sat at a table, you'd have all the things you expected to be there.

This made going to a regular restaurant on land, where you have to yell for somebody to give you a glass of water, funny to get used to again.

After spending six or seven months at a time on The World, I did sometimes struggle to adjust to the real world.

For example, on The World, you'd go to your meal, enjoy yourself, and get up to leave. It would get billed to your apartment and come in a folio at the end of the month.

I grew so accustomed to it that once I'd returned home, it wasn't uncommon for me to go to a restaurant, get up, and start walking out, only to say, "Oh my god, I didn't pay."

I imagine others had the same issue.

Having sold up in 2019, do I miss some of the luxury and pomp? Yes, it was glorious.

You get some of that in a luxury property but you're not going to get the same crew.

Read the original article on Business Insider