By PTW President, Irene Aviles
The World Residences at Sea, a 644-foot ship that looks like a cruise ship from the outside but is far from that on the inside. The experience is unlike anything else available. It is the largest privately owned residential yacht on earth. This exclusive community offers the ultimate combination of luxury travel with world-class dining, custom tours and enriching cultural events. It is the embodiment of a distinctive lifestyle experience. Some could describe it as an ultra-luxurious exclusive floating condo-hotel with unparalleled amenities. Home to only 165 Residences, with the average of 150 travelers on board at any time, it’s a very quaint feeling, akin to a small village, where you get to meet everyone and yet still have your privacy. The staff knows who you are and graciously attends to all your wants and needs. Homeowners and guests alike spend extensive time exploring the most exotic and well-traveled destinations, and return onboard to a lifestyle that exists nowhere else on earth.
I can tell you this from personal experience! Our family has traveled aboard the The World Residences at Sea to various locations since our kids were 5 and 7 years old. Although the ship is designed more for adults, our kids enjoy the experience today as teenagers just as much (if not more because they appreciate the uniqueness of the ship) as when they were small children.
The lifestyle aboard is relaxing and yet full of fun things to do. For starters, you can maintain your routine of workouts, Pilates and sports, (our family loves the only full size tennis court at sea and the golf simulator), just as you would at home, then enjoy fabulous dining experiences at any of the 6 Restaurants, which may even be celebrating a special themed food night. Indian night has been one of our classic favorites! Sometimes, I will cook a simple dinner (yes, sometimes cooking on vacation is easier than cooking at home!) in our apartment’s gourmet kitchen after going to the market onboard. This has been another favorite pastime of the kids, as going to the onboard market when we change ports is so exciting, because you can search for all the new additions brought onboard – ever changing delights! Evening activities can range from mom and dad going to one of the lounges for a drink, while the kids have fun in the game room playing pool or video games, to everyone enjoying a family night of karaoke! Other special events that can be enjoyed by the entire family are dress up Oscar Night, Academy Awards, New Years Ball or a casual fun college sports night. Other impromptu events that our kids have enjoyed were being able to get up and sing a song with the professional entertainers. Our kids would probably tell you one of the most endearing parts is being able to meet kids from around the world, go to the movies with them, sing together at karaoke night or play video games, and then years later see them again on the ship!
When at port, an adventure is always anticipated because land and water excursions are always planned for a variety of interest. We just returned from a voyage to Australia aboard The World Residences at Sea, where we were able to visit local beaches, koalas and kangaroo sanctuaries, kayak with dolphins (oh, and we saw schools of hundreds of dolphins while cruising at sea from our balcony – truly breathtaking and exhilarating!!), hiking the blue mountains, and taking a helicopter ride to see the famed Great Ocean Road and 12 Apostles just to name a few. In the past, some of the most memorable experiences for our kids have been going to a sand bar village island in the Philippines and eating lunch with locals, swimming and climbing trees with the kids, having a private BBQ dinner on uninhabited island in the Maldives and watching the most insane sunset, to visiting a penguin island never visited by humans and doing something a little crazy like taking the “Polar Plunge” into the arctic 26 degree waters in Antarctica!! (You can read more about our Antarctica Adventure aboard The World on my daughter’s blog, Teen Travel: Kat’s POV). The ship coordinated all these adventures to be safe and forever memorable!!
It’s a bucket list item for sure – any of the destination options are sure to provide a lasting memory forever!0