Posted September 12th, 2013, 12:43 AM
I wanted to share my experience on the world as a renter.
I went on an "expedition" trip on the World a few years ago when I was 24, travelling with my father.
The accommodations, food, and facilities were all top notch. The service is AMAZING.
But the people were a mixed bag. Some were welcoming, some were downright hostile. A few notes:
- we had a half dozen research scientists we had aboard with us giving lectures, which was fantastic. However, one told me they were forbidden to discuss climate change because the owners had taken a vote and decided they didn't believe in it. It seemed extremely odd to instruct scientists on what is and is not true, but oh well - they own the ship, so their rules.
- some owners were just flat-out terrible to me. once when i was sitting in a common space writing email quietly, a lady walked up to me, slammed my laptop shut on my fingers, and chewed me out for typing in a common space. Apparently the keys made a noise that was bothering her. I don't understand why she had to be violent instead of just asking me to go elsewhere... as others mention, it's a big ship. I guess my presence "in her home" (her words) was so aggravating that she couldn't control her actions.
- different areas of the ship have different dress codes, but on expedition these are all somewhat relaxed because of the need to wear serious gear all day. the restaurant staff all knew about this and were fine with my lack of black tie attire (wearing a simple, modest dress instead), but some of the residents took it upon themselves to try to send me "back to change" before dinner because I didn't meet the usual non-expedition dress code. (I only had what I brought, and I packed for the expedition dress code communicated by the ship.)
- Overall I felt like many of the older residents felt it was ok to discipline me as if I was their 5 year old, which became very stressful. I'm a successful professional in my own right, and I'm not loud or crude... it hurt, and added to my sense of social isolation.
- There was an amazing group of people my age from all over the world onboard, serving as staff and crew. However, they were banned from interacting with residents and guests. I managed to hang out a few times for short periods of time and they were friendly and interested in talking, but they were always worried about being punished. I wasn't allowed to go below decks to their common areas, which would have been such a respite from the stodgy, cranky folks above.
- Not everyone was stodgy or cranky. We made friends with some other renters and ate meals together, and a few owners were quite welcoming. But overall, it was a very strange social experience. I wouldn't rent again.