The Olympic Challenger: Luxury Cruise Ships

By ,   July 27, 2016 ,   Cruise Industry

The 2016 Summer Olympics have not even started yet, but the athletes are already upset about the living conditions.

Athletes from Sweden, Belarus, Australia and others say that the Olympic Village, where competitors are housed during the games, is in complete disarray. Some have reported dirty bathrooms, clogged toilets, exposed wires and other problems.

"I have never experienced, this is my fifth Olympic game, a village in this state — or lack of state — of readiness at this point and time," Kitty Chiller, head of Australian delegation, told reporters.

But some athletes won't have to stay there.

The U.S. men's and women's basketball teams are actually staying on luxury cruise ships in Rio de Janeiro.

"This is not a rarity. It's actually business as usual, but it is only the second time they've elected to keep everybody on a cruise ship offshore," ESPN's Amin Elhassan said.

See, moving to a cruise ship can help teams with, one, not having to deal with a pop-up village and the problems that come with it, and, two, being able to control their own security team.

It's not a total rarity for the basketball squads to stay away from the village since players are so high profile (and because a 6-foot-10-inch person is pretty easy to spot). The U.S. basketball teams haven't stayed in the Olympic villages since 1992.


The U.S. team will reportedly be using Silversea Cruises, while another one, Norwegian Cruise Line, is also reportedly sending a ship to the area for other athletes.

"This is just unreal. This water is black," a CBS reporter said.

But it's not all great news for those staying on cruise liners. The ships are expected to dock in the polluted Guanabara Bay — the same bay hosting Olympic sailing competitions.

Rio officials said they'd clean it up but, so far, that doesn't seem to have happened.

The Olympic opening ceremony begins Friday, Aug. 5.