Published at Monday, May 14th 2018. by noah seihan in Cruise Ship Cabins.
My wife and I were in a standard stateroom with a balcony (one of the Category B staterooms on the ship). Upon entering the stateroom we had two initial impressions. First of all the curved walls gave the room a very unique look (unlike typical cruise ship staterooms which are almost always rectangular with straight walls). The second thing we noticed is that the stateroom didn`t have a bathroom... well at least not in the traditional sense. You entered the stateroom through a door between a shower stall and a toilet stall (each with a heavily frosted enclosure). A curtain separated these areas from the main part of the stateroom which among other things included the bed a couch storage closets / cabinets and a sink. The advantage of having the sink outside of the toilet and shower area is that one occupant can use the sink while another is using the shower or toilet (a convenience that you don`t often find in traditional cruise ship staterooms). In addition the unique design of the stateroom provided much more storage space than is typically found in a conventional stateroom of similar dimensions. However despite that I found the stateroom to be very tight (particularly in the cabins that have the bed nearer to the entrance door than to the balcony door) and overall I must admit that I would have preferred a more conventionally designed stateroom configuration or one of the larger deluxe balcony (Category D) staterooms on the Epic).
The first obvious benefit of shared ownership is acquisition cost. There are many cruise ships on the market in all price ranges sizes ages and conditions. There are many smaller and older cruise ships available for less than one million dollars. At the lower end some smaller cruise ships in fair condition can be acquired for about $250000. At the highest end the biggest new mega cruise ships now cost about $500 million to build.
If you are retired or otherwise have a stable income from a dependable source you probably can afford to be a cruise ship co-owner and live full-time onboard a cruise ship. If you work in a field where you can work from home online then you too can probably afford to become a co-owner of a cruise ship. Most modern ships have satellite Internet service available 24-7.
On paper it seems to make good sense to man the ship with a Philippine crew. I love the Philippines. I have been there several times. English is still widely spoken and usually spoken quite well. The people are usually friendly and happy to see foreign tourists. A large percentage of ships worldwide are manned by crews from the Philippines. The Philippine government has a pretty good structure and system to facilitate the export of Philippine labor. In spite of how attractive it seems on paper I would recommend NOT hiring a crew from the Philippines. Philippine workers tend to be envious of others and especially of everybody else`s wages. They tend to think they are getting the raw end of the deal. It is rare to find a Filipino who is happy with his employment. While I am sure there are many good employees from the Philippines there are more who are dissatisfied than satisfied with their employment. There seems to be a cultural anomaly in the Philippines where people feel that employers are bad guys. I would hesitate to recommend a crew from the Philippines in spite of the apparent advantages on paper.
Let`s look at the numbers on this ship. 100% of the acquisition cost would have been $500000. 1% thus = $5000. One hundred buyers could own one percent each. There are 120 cabins so each co-owner could have a private cabin with 20 cabins left over. However these cabins are a bit on the small side. Every cabin does have a bath and shower but the size is just too small to be comfortable for most people especially if the owners intend to live onboard full time. On a ship this size I would recommend that there be no more than 60 joint owners so each can have two cabins and will have the option of converting those two cabins into a two room suite. To keep the numbers simple lets say that this ship has 50 buyers who each buy 2% of the ship. Buy in cost per owner would then be $10000. If there were only ten buyers then the acquisition cost per buyer would be $50000. $50000 will not buy much of a house on land but on this ship it would buy 10% of a ship like the Vergina Sky and twelve cabins that could be converted into a fairly large home.
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