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Storylines

Has anyone contemplated buying in on the Storylines cruise ship to be launched in 2023? It's a residential ship that you can either buy into permanently or in 12 year increments. The first circumnavigation will take approximately 3.5 years and visit ports on six continents, often staying 3-5 days. Looks like a traveler's retirement dream.

Posted by
2449 posts

"Looks like a traveler's retirement dream."

Not right now it doesn't, with most of the world's ports closed to cruise ships. Who knows how things will look 2 years from now.

Posted by
1074 posts

I had a friend who worked for American Express on the QE2, now passed RIP, who told about a wealthy older gal who decided to live on the ship. She kept 2 suites so she could have family and friends visit as she cruised around the World. She said that it was actually less expensive than trying to keep homes big enough to live and entertain her guests at home; not including the travel which was a bonus. Plus having a Doctor readily available. He, himself kept 8 Tuxedos, and was a great Dancer in great demand in the Ballroom. He led private Shore Tours for the more demanding passengers; mostly a couple of single ladies who delighted in his charm and felt safe. He died from being stung by a poison Jelly Fish on the beach in Mexico. He was buried in his White Tux in a White Satin lined Coffin.

Posted by
15573 posts

Sounds like Timesharing for cruise ships, with all the upfront fees are basically the salesman's commission. Based on the number of TV ads I see for "We can get you out of your timeshare contract", I don't think I would "buy-in" on this one.

Posted by
5404 posts

Looks like a traveler's retirement dream.

Not in today’s post-Covid world, not to me at least. Caught on board during a pandemic (whatever the next one might be) with all your assets tied up in a cabin you can no longer live in? No thanks. We saw how the cruise industry dealt with Covid. And especially as an older person I.e. at retirement age you are moving into the more vulnerable category health wise.

Posted by
931 posts

I’ve seen this type of cruising several years ago so it’s not a new concept. I can’t imagine living entirely on a ship, even if I could fly home to the states anytime I wanted to. Nor would I want to rely on a ship’s medical for anything that might come up medically.
Heck, the way things are going with Covid, let alone NORO virus, who know when it would be safe to sail again.

Posted by
4207 posts

I see that the decor choices range "from contemporary to modern," which must be quite a gamut. And it's pandemic-proof because they use UV and other stuff for cleaning. Right. And no clarity on the website about who pays for meals or how itineraries are "curated."

I've heard about people who spend years on ships, occupying the same cabin at a daily cost less than the cruise fares would be. Never met one. There was a guy on our last cruise (thankfully ended early Feb) who had done 60+ of them with Norwegian, apparently traveling alone on this one, but he seemed to know everyone in the crew.

It all sounds appealing but I think it would get old after awhile, virus or no virus. I like having a land base, however humble.

Posted by
139 posts

Geez, guys. I was just asking if anyone had heard about it and if you would consider it. I didn’t say I was going or that I thought it was a good idea. I only said traveling around the world and taking your home with you sounds great. Maybe I should have added “in a perfect world”. Was it really necessary to make me feel stupid? Back off, OK?

Posted by
2702 posts

I know there have been similar for a few years. Whomever offers it, it caught my interest and with retirement in 18 months, I could dream about it again. I would more likely consider a shorter buy in time, however. There are people who just sail full time. I could do it for a while. Would have to budget in trips home to see family once in a while, but it would satisfy my wanderlust for a few years. I quite like not having to repack every city/country change....and boy, do I like dining room service and not having to cook for myself :-)

Posted by
23405 posts

I'm sorry you felt hurt.

I actually didn't see any nasty-to-make-you-feel-bad posts, just folks giving their honest feedback on the concept.

I wouldn't do it - couldn't afford it for one thing - but I certainly found hearing about it interesting and I did with the replies too.

Thanks for the post.

Posted by
20599 posts

On a smaller scale we do something similar. We have found it is cheaper to cruise than to rent a condo in Florida. For the past ten years or so each January we book a series of cruises in the Caribbean out of Ft Lauderdale. At this point we really don't care where the ship goes since we have been to nearly every Caribbean port several times. It is just sun, sand, and relaxing. We enjoy it, have met some wonderful and very interesting people, and keeps us out of Denver's winter in Jan and Feb. We return to Colorado in mid to late February just in time for spring skiing. However, next winter is a very big HOLD. Probably not going to happen. May actually have to spend January in Denver.

PS -- Meant to add. We often encounter other travelers doing exactly the same thing. There was a Canadian who booked 90 days on the same ship every year. We will change ships from time to time but we prefer a couple that we try to stay on each year. We have a preference for a room location. Far, far cheaper than when my mother was living in an assisted living facility. We don't see it as any different than a friend who has a two month time share (Jan and Feb) in Hawaii each year. Now we would find that to be boring.

Posted by
5 posts

I purchased a condo on Storylines about a year ago, and continue to be very excited about it as they work towards it's completion at the end of 2023. I think some of the people who have contributed to this subject on this forum don't understand the difference between a Cruise Ship and a Resident Ship, understandably so, since it's a new concept. I thought it would be helpful to explain. It is NOT a timeshare.
"The Narrative", the Storylines ship, is a Resident Ship. There is only 1 existing Resident ship in the world, called "The World". It is for the very wealthy, with a starting price for a studio stateroom being $2 million, and an average price of $5-8 million. Storylines is the first AFFORDABLE Resident ship. Although a Resident Ship has some similarities with a Cruise Ship, like pools, hot tubs, spa, exercise equipment, theater, bars, nightclub, tennis courts, beauty salon, barber, etc, the experience can't be compared with a Cruise ship where thousands of people are coming and going every week or two, and want to party. People live on a Resident Ship. This ship is designed to be more like a condo in a neighborhood, but it's floating, and moves to new scenery every 3 to 5 days. It doesn't have a community dining room like a cruise ship. It has 20 individual restaurants like a neighborhood. If you prefer, you can eat in your condo or on your balcony. Just call the restaurant and have them deliver....or go to the onboard market and grab a jar of peanut butter if that's what you want. Or barbecue outside on a grill. Like a neighborhood, it has a bank, an Imax theater, a dog park, a library, an ice cream parlor, a coffee bar, a juice bar, a running track, golf simulator...and a brewery, and hydroponic garden where they brew much of their own beer and grow much of their own produce. If you would enjoy helping in the brewery or the garden, you are encouraged to do that. This is your home. This is your ship. It has a Marine deck, level with the water, with platforms where you can jump into the water, or use their kayaks, sailboats or wave runners at no cost. Can't jump into the water on a Cruise ship! Weekly housekeeping and laundry are included, but if you prefer to do your own, you are welcome to, which is why they have some laundromats on board. There is a Pharmacy and Medical Center with equipment, doctor, nurses, physical therapists, and a helicopter to take you to a hospital in an emergency. Another amazing thing is that you can order anything on Amazon, and it will be waiting for you at one of your next ports. The ship will have an Historian onboard who will lecture about the history of each port. Learn while you travel, and educate yourself about the people of the world!
One of the most exciting things for me is the Community. I have met about 40 future residents through a couple of Storylines events. These are vibrant, exciting, like-minded people, from all over the world, and each with a story. We are keeping in touch, and many have already become friends. I will not live on the ship full time. Just a few months at a time, then, if I want, Storylines will rent my condo when I am not there, which will supplement my Maintenance fees. However, most of the people I have met will be full time. For some (depending, of course, on the part of the world they live in), it's less expensive than a land home because you don't pay property taxes, homeowners insurance, utilities, cable tv, gardener, housekeeper, repairs, etc.

I can leave the ship and come back anytime. If the ship docks in Athens, and I want to go to Santorini, I can pack a bag, get off in Athens, take the ferry to Santorini, and check into a hotel for as long as I want, then catch-up with the ship. What a luxurious way to live and an easy way to travel. BTW, it's not just for older people. I have met lots of young people that work from home, and even a family who will be home-schooling their teenage girls while they travel the world.

Posted by
6138 posts

. Storylines is the first AFFORDABLE Resident ship

"AFFORDABLE" now has a new meaning.

Lease at $70k per year, 12 yr minimum ( $863k upfront) PLUS $2100 a month per person fees based on 2 occupants ( ~$51k per year for a couple)

That gets you 571 sq ft. ( 53 sq meters) This is pretty much entry level if you want something bigger than the box your refrigerator came in.

If I could expense account it or had Warren Buffets wallet it looks like an interesting experience.

I will not be one of the 627 residents.

Posted by
5404 posts

I see that the decor choices range "from contemporary to modern," which must be quite a gamut.

Hahahaha excellent

Posted by
1419 posts

It sounds wonderful to me but out of our price range. My husband and I like cruising but have recently been researching smaller ships, with maybe 250 people, for the future. We are especially interested in cruising around Southern Asia.

Posted by
139 posts

"AFFORDABLE" is in the eye of the beholder. For some of us, it is. Stay tuned. I'm sure you'll be able to read all about it in "Tips and Trip Reports" in a couple of years.

Posted by
4131 posts

Suzie,
Thanks for your very informative post.
I will never buy a timeshare, including one on a cruise ship.
We love to cruise and have done 20 ocean and 4 river cruises. We prefer to live here in South Georgia on the coast and visit were we wish, when we wish.

Posted by
109 posts

I read above the owner has the ability to "sub-lease" their unit when they aren't using it. What rights does the owner have to sell their unit before the 12 years is up? Can they sell "at market" like any other brink-and-mortar house or are there strings? Can Storylines block / slow the sale?

Posted by
5 posts

To answer your question, Dovetraveler -

Yes a residence owner can sell at anytime just like a land based property. You OWN it. Once sailing this will be in the free and open market. Storylines doesn't get in the way of sales, they will be helpful in assisting in the transfer and sale to help you out of it if you want, or you can bring your own buyer.

Posted by
5 posts

To geovagriffith,

Storylines is NOT a timeshare, the residence is yours and yours only, just like a land based condo. Live in it, rent it out, keep it vacant or sell it.
It was kind of you to thank me for my "informative post". It did take me some time to write it, but I am passionate that this lifestyle for some will change their life for the better, and I didn't want anyone who would benefit from it to be dissuaded because of information that was not accurate. I was starting to feel that as I get older my life will be going downhill, and traveling can be so burdensome and tiring that I might have to give it up. Even planning a trip and worrying about it is becoming exhausting! And airports...OMG, and 17 hour flights! Storylines has changed that for me, and I want to pass that forward to others. Not everyone knows this opportunity of living a luxurious life and waking up to a new part of the world, and being surrounded by your friends, even exists.
Of course, just like everything in life, it's not for everyone, and not for you.

My best friend moved to Georgia a few years ago. She invites me to visit 3 x a year. I LOVE Georgia... especially the people. They're so nice! You live in a lovely place! In 3 years I will be inviting my friend to join me in my condo on the ship for a few weeks at a time. That's so exciting for me!

Posted by
5 posts

To Joe32F:
Your numbers seem way off and confused. There are just 2 amounts you need to consider
1. Purchase/Lease price - Which gives you the ability to reside on board in your chosen residence.
2. The Annual Fees/ HOA - These cover everything for an all-inclusive lifestyle: all food and drinks (including alcohol), salon, water craft, wellness programs, spa, housekeeping, laundry, wifi, tips, entertainment, etc, including vessel running costs like insurances, crew, port costs and fuels.

You own it. You can sell your residence when you are done cruising. The ship is brand new with a lifespan of 60 years. A year or two ago I looked into taking a 110-day world segment cruise. The cheapest I could find at that time was on Princess in an inside cabin for $25,000 per person, double occupancy. That's for 3-1/2 months, and then I would have to pay around $10 per person per day for tips ($20), and buy my own drinks...even a coke! And pay for WiFi. All of that is included with Storylines. Well, you say Storylines is asking you to pay $4,200 a month per person for 2 people ($50,000) for 12 months. Seems like a bargain to me. You do not pay the monthly Maintenance (HOA) fee if you are not using the residence and you are renting it. And Storylines will take care of renting it for you.

Please understand I am not trying to convince you to buy...it doesn't sound like it is the right fit for you. I just wanted anyone reading your post to know that your figures are not accurate, and to give a broader explanation.

Posted by
5 posts

Where else could you travel the globe, with a bunch of friends, new and old, without leaving your home, in 5-star luxury for this money?

Posted by
1962 posts

Honestly, it sounds like a better deal than some of the "independent living" senior housing projects that I see in my area. I'm a dog person, so it wouldn't work for me personally.

Posted by
6138 posts

https://www.storylines.com/availability?s=listings

1- "You own it" Only if you pay the ~$2.6 million

2-Your numbers seem way off and confused Suzie, Not sure what you mean, The cheapest 'buy in' is a 12 year lease at $860k+

A 24 year lease is available for $1.4million+

These figures from the sellers website ( above)

What kind of resale market might exist is unknown to me.

Posted by
11500 posts

A lot of rah-rah from a couple of new folks here for a thing that's still 3 years from completion?

Sure, it's good not to knock something until you tried it (if it's of interest and you can afford it, the price tag on a little room on this ship being well beyond most budgets) but how can one so enthusiastically recommend a lifestyle one has yet to live, in surroundings one has yet to set foot in?

There's also the NEW issue of not every one of every nationality being allowed into every country because of COVID. And if someone ON the ship test positive for COVID or a different, equally as infective, dangerous bug? What if the ship is then denied access to ports, as happened earlier this year with these vessels?

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/31/coronavirus-nine-cruise-ships-stranded-at-sea-while-ports-deny-entry.html

Editing to add: one of the aforementioned "new folk" has since been removed.

Posted by
2449 posts

Kathy, you voiced my reservations very well. Plus the topic seems ill suited to a site devoted primarily to land travel. Surely Cruise Critic would be more appropriate?

Posted by
11500 posts

LOL, it IS a topic on Cruise Critic, and appears to be one long, convoluted story! Blimey. 😳
A fan of the ship-to-be (with any luck) is a poster on that thread as well as this one.

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2640476-storylines-mv-narrative-cruise-condos/

But to answer your original question, Wanderlust58 - and please don't feel like anyone means to give you a hard time! - no, I wouldn't be tempted at all. There are just too many potential pitfalls to the scenario that I can think of to invest that amount of $$$. Then again, there are people affluent enough that the price is just a drop in the bucket so if it all falls apart...

Posted by
2449 posts

Hmm. Read another news article on this supposed new residential ship. Apparently they only hired a project manager 3 months or so ago, and don't even have a contract with a shipyard yet. What's the usual time line on a new ship build? Can it be done in 2 years, from design to inaugural cruuse?

Posted by
1 posts

My wife and I have also purchased a smaller cabin and we have crunched the numbers and it will cost us only about 60% of what we would pay staying home. If you missed the comparison earlier, if you were on a world circumnavigation for a year $90-150k for 2.
They won't really encourage you to get off and do more in depth visiting of a port, Storylines in port 5-7 days to get immersed and maybe longer in a port the majority of owners vote for
A longer stay. Anyone want to stay for the Cannes film festival? Yes the basic cabins are small compared to staying in a big house you have to maintain (do you just sit in one room at home everyday watching tv). BUT, there are plenty of places to go on the ship you'd drive to at home: restaurants, spa, gym, entertainment ,pools educational talks, water toys, library, card playing, hosting friends without buying additional food and drinks. AND no cleaning, laundry, cooking (unless you want to). What happens with the virus in 2 years. Nobody knows, but assuming the worst I'd rather be on the ship than stuck at home. I have no idea if my current neighbors have it, but I would on the ship! And then there is are group humanitarian interests. Some of the original buyers went the Philippines where we donated laptops and school supplies to a remote school, what a cool trip ♡ Storylines is not for snobs.
We are world explorers, looking for like community!
RICK we will make room for you on our shake down cruise ♧

Posted by
2412 posts

We look at condominiums on land at certain price points and we always leave asking ourselves would we really want to live with people only like this (as realtors always try to put a snob factor twist to the sell) or people only like us? And imagine a ship where you can't get away from people who are socio-economically the same... Boring and annoying to the 10th degree, IMO. Give me a neighborhood of as many mixes as possible. My other complaint would be that my family would be very far away, the majority of the time. I want to know my grandchildren.

I think I'd rather take around the world cruise(s) as the mix of people might be better and the excitement up more. It is also for much shorter ranges of time. This being said, I will probably never take a cruise as they don't appeal to me. IMO YMMV.