Turns Out, All of Those 'Never-Ending' Cruises Might Come With a Big Catch — Now This Retiree Buyer Is Requesting a Refund on His $1 Million Condo Travelers eager to board long-term residential cruise ships are facing a common problem.
- A 70-year-old buyer has asked Storylines to refund his deposit for a $1 million condo on the MV Narrative.
- The startup has delayed the launch of its residential ship from 2019 to December 2026.
The dream of taking a cruise vacation indefinitely has become a nightmare for some who thought they'd be lounging poolside with a cocktail by now.
Two years ago, Mike Kasperzak, a 70-year-old retiree in the San Francisco Bay Area, was captivated by the idea of spending the next phase of his life in a $1 million condo aboard Storylines' residential cruise ship, the luxurious MV Narrative.
Now, he's asking for a refund, as Storylines has faced numerous delays in launching its condos-at-sea concept, pushing the date from 2019 to December 2026, Business Insider reported.
The cruise ship boasted an array of amenities, including a farmers market supplied by onboard hydroponic gardens and "anti-aging" services like bioidentical hormone-replacement therapies.
In 2021, Kasperzak eagerly placed a $10,000 deposit for a $1 million condo on the ship. He was not alone in his enthusiasm, as more than half of the ship's 530 cabins had been reserved as of July, according to Alister Punton, Storylines' co-founder and CEO.
Last month, Entrepreneur spoke with Martin Buggy and Melissa Edyvean, owners of Australian company Bondi Chai Latte and future residents of the MV Narrative's Storylines community, about their decision to lease an apartment on board. Although "there was no ship yet," the duo put down the $10,000 deposit anyway, "excited about the prospect of joining a brand-new venture that was, in some ways, able to be shaped by the participants."
But after two years of waiting without a ship in sight, Kasperzak's excitement began to wane, and he reached a point where he questioned if the project would ever come to fruition in his lifetime. In the early fall, Kasperzak finally decided to send Storylines a refund request for his deposit.
Storylines isn't the only residential cruise ship startup struggling to launch.
Life at Sea, the "never-ending cruise" originally slated to set sail on November 1 from Istanbul, has pushed back its start date twice after being unable to secure a vessel, CNN reported. It announced November 30 as the new departure date, but a spokesperson for the company told the outlet there is no confirmed embarkation date or location.