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Former guest reveals 'mischievous' behaviour of rich and famous onboard ultra-exclusive cruise ship

Peter Antonucci says it was like The Four Seasons 'on steroids'.

There are plenty of cruise ships boasting incredible amenities and activities for guests, like pools, casinos, karaoke, ice skating rinks, performances and so much more. But there is one cruise ship that sits above the rest and you’ll likely never set foot on it.

The World is arguably the most exclusive cruise ship on the planet because you need a hell of a lot of money just to get on. It doesn’t have rooms to rent but apartments you buy, and they’re larger and grander than anything you’d find on a traditional cruise liner.

Former resident Peter Antonucci has revealed to Yahoo Finance what it’s like to be on board.

Peter spent several years on The World cruise ship and he got to see a lot both on and off board. (Source: Peter Antonucci)
Peter spent several years on The World cruise ship and he got to see a lot both on and off board. (Source: Peter Antonucci)

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What happens on The World, stays on The World

“It's like the Four Seasons on steroids,” Antonucci said.

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Considering the cruise ship acts as a playground for the rich, it’s no surprise some “mischief” happens and he says there’s definitely a vibe of “what happens on The World, stays on The World”.

“You’ve got a bunch of wealthy people who are in this exclusive place, engaging in whatever behaviour they choose,” he said. “It could be the same in a country club, in a fraternity house, in any environment where you got a bunch of people together who have the resources to do what they'd like to do, and the ability to do it.”

Peter Antonucci standing in front of The World cruise ship
Peter revealed you need several million dollars in the bank if you want to step onto The World. (Source: Peter Antonucci)

Do you have a story to tell? Email me at stew.perrie@yahooinc.com

After working as a corporate litigator for nearly three decades, Antonucci wanted to do something fun. He found out about The World and kickstarted the process of getting onboard.

Applicants need to have a certain net worth to even be considered for a spot on the cruise ship. Not only that, but their application has to have the backing of two separate residents. You can jump aboard as a trial to see if you like it, which can help you drum up support for your application.

Once you get approved, you can then buy an apartment - as long as there’s a vacancy - and residents are free to hop on and off the ship as much as they like as the vessel continues to sail around the world.

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Antonucci said there was currently an apartment covering 3,000 square metres in size up for sale, which would set someone back roughly $20 million to own. He revealed that the smallest allotments on The World would be around the $2 million mark.

During the years the retired lawyer was on The World, he purchased four separate apartments. You can imagine, with prices that high, the service must be impeccable.

Inside apartments on The World cruise ship
The apartments on board cost more than $2 million each. (Source: aboardtheworld.com)

“Every crew member knows every resident so well,” Antonucci told Yahoo Finance. “It's not just your name and your face or where you come from. They know my kids' names. They know my family, they know everything about me. So it was very personal.”

Not only that, but the exclusivity of the cruise ship meant Antonucci rubbed shoulders with some of the wealthiest people on the planet.

“There were some very, very financially impressive multi-billionaires [onboard],” he said. “People you would know, that you have read or heard about.

“People didn't really care what your background was, or at least I didn't. If you were a nice guy and you liked what I liked, if you liked to play golf, then we were friends.”

The World cruise ship arrives into Sydney April 12, 2003
The World cruise ship arrives into Sydney in 2003 (Source: REUTERS/James D Morgan) (REUTERS / Reuters)

While many have stayed tight-lipped on what happens on The World, Antonucci has written a series of fictional books about a residential ship that sails around the planet. It was meant to just be stories for his kids to read, however, he ended up with thousands of pages and thought it would be good to have them published.

The stories are definitely separate from the former lawyer’s experiences on the cruise liner, and he hasn’t received any backlash from fellow residents. However, some have asked to be included in his next book.