The World, already a luxurious floating home to at least 80 families, sailed into Palma yesterday and hosted a gala cocktail reception last night. There amongst the guests was Mrs Josie Battersby from Cala San Vicente who is the first person from Majorca to have booked a cruise on the ship. She has only been on a cruise once, round the Greek Islands, and does not describe herself as a cruise fan, but she is all set for her holiday of a lifetime which starts on September 17 when she will set sail from Montreal on a 16-day cruise to New York, enjoying all the colours and experiences of the East Coast of America. Last night Mrs Battersby and her daughter went aboard for dinner and to look around the floating palace which already has become an ocean-going community. Many of the guests on board are not only overwhelmed by the comfort and style, but also the great sense of friendliness and warmth. What one forgets is that The World is not a cruise ship, she is home for the residents on board who have chosen to see the world from the comfort of their own luxury apartment. The average age of the residents is 55 and most are self-made millionaires who have built up their own businesses. Each apartment has its own post box outside and many of the residents pop down to the delicatessen in the morning to buy their fresh bread, the daily papers if they have been ordered, and then return “home” for breakfast on their terrace, all of which have their own jacuzzis. The apartments are of four styles and have all the latest facilities, including fully equipped kitchens. Although there are five restaurants, including the Deli, most people prefer to cook at home, as they would if they were on dry land. It is a strange concept to get a grip of at first, but the community plays an important role in the operations of the ship. The residents, via their meetings and associations, decide on The World's routes round the globe. They are currently working on destinations for 2004, while next year The World will be spending most of her time in the Far East and Australasia, returning to Europe after Christmas and New Year in South Africa. From a cigar room to a fully equipped library, spa and beauty centre to a tennis court and golf driving range, one can play a round of 18 holes in about two hours as The World sails round the globe - the ship boats every imaginable facility and services, and if she has not got what you want - the crew will get it. If you fancy a luxury life on the ocean waves see tomorrow's Bulletin for a full tour and interview with the captain. One last thing, the apartments start at two million pounds.

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