So, I saw this on the Discovery channel a few years ago, probably on one of their many "The Scientific Fun of Cruise Ships" or some other infomercial-style malarkey. It was about a ship called, "The Freedom Ship," which is a massive scale of mobile home never attempted before. In a nutshell, it's a huge floating barge nearly a mile long that slowly drifts around the world. The concept is that you live on this platform, which is a self-contained city complete with schools, a library, a hospital, and so on, and the ports of the world come to you... in relative terms.
You circle the world every 3 years. Yeah, "slow boat to China" indeed, but I don't think I'd want it to be faster. You hug the shoreline of all the continents, from as far north at Alaska and Norway, and as far south as Melbourne or Tierra del Fuego. It goes as deep into Europe as the Turkish coastline of the Mediterranean.
The idea seems romantic. And they cover some of the facts like what laws you would be under, how travel to the shore would work, and so on. But...
There are a few things I wonder about. Like hurricanes. How fast can this ship get out of the way? Cruise ships can usually get out of the way in a day, but will this giant manatee of a city be snappy enough? How about other natural disasters, like tidal waves (I don't know how close to the coast they get - this may be moot), methane pockets,
What about pirates? I am not kidding, not the "I dress in sailors clothing for the Renn Fest" pirates, but sneaky, experienced, cutthroat people with speedboats, machine guns, and a "dash and grab" mentality.
The could could sneak on board, do whatever, and be gone. I am not sure how policing that would be done without an army.
Shipping material goods might also be hard to work with. Can you imagine the strange exceptions a company like, say FedEx, would have to route shipping to that city? "They are In Boston... no wait, New York. A shipping delay? Shit, what month is it? Okay, maybe Miami. No, we don't ship to Havana. You'll have to route it to Cancun and let it sit for a bit." Yes, they have a small runway that can accommodate 30-40 passenger planes on the top deck, but I would imagine a bulk of material transport would be done via boat in whatever port they are near. This would also determine what kind of good you could get to market on the cheap. The site disagrees with their map as far as routes and time of travel, but the map states that 70% of the time would be standing still off the coast of a major city, so maybe it wouldn't be that hard. But with no locally made goods, I bet many things would be very expensive to get (like most island nations), or you'd have to wait until you were close to the country that made them.
"We're near Japan! Stock up on Pocky!"
I wonder if a trading system could be established? You load up on Pocky, and then resell it to anime junkies San Fransisco a month later for some rainbow flags, which you then later sell to San Salvador for some festival? I would also make today's fresh fruit interesting.
I'd also worry about Internet access. It would be by satellite, of course, which is still kind of dodgy, and how will the dish deal with a moving target? I would imagine TV would all be done locally for the same reason. yeah, you could argue, "Who wants TV and Internet when you have a different port twice a month?" but I would image after a while, the day-to-day realities of the lifestyle would get a little stale.
I imagine condo fees would be annoying. "Due to a recent series of attacks by giant squid, we're raising our rates to take care of the constant repainting of the lower decks."
And speaking of the condos, I noticed the cheaper homes are "hallway facing," which means no window (unless it faces a public hallway). That kind of sucks. Even Corbin Dallas had a window in his meat popsicle apartment.