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Are these Olympics a little Jade-d?


The fun starts tomorrow, which on this side of the ocean may be today. The 17-day sports/political quadrennial known as the Olympic Games. People who go on cruise ships are surely among the assembled masses and there is at least one mass-market ship among the four "cruise ships" on the scene in Sochi, Russia: the Norwegian Jade.

It is one of the ships of Sochi. Some are there, like the Jade, to provide accommodation that is in such short supply. Some — private yachts — are there because that's what the richest and most famous people can do. Some are there as part of the massive security force that nobody hopes is required. And further out  in the Black Sea are warships, perhaps aircraft carriers, flying American flags and ready to evacuate American athletes, if called upon.

Yes, this is what the Olympics has become.

Jade-SochiThe Jade was known to be part of the flotilla, although it had never been widely known which Sochi visitors would be using it as their hotel. When you're as far from the scene as most of us are, it doesn't really matter why it's there, but cruisers who love the ship hope it will leave unscathed and in one piece.

Also docked near the Winter Olympics site is a superyacht owned by Seattle magnate Paul Allen. It's known as the Tatoosh and the first inclination is to think the man who also owns the Seattle Seahawks went straight from the Super Bowl to Sochi, and maybe he did. And while the Tatoosh is there for accommodation purposes (you can only imagine who's sleeping on this baby), this is a yacht that's been for sale since 2010, year of the last Winter Games.

If the Tatoosh is being showcased, it seems an unusual time and place to try and sell a yacht…for 125 million pounds yet, or $204,000, about twice what Allen paid for it.

But hey, this is the Olympics of the 21st century. As some might say, a "sign of the Apocolypse."

Carnival Glory
7 nights
March 2, 2014
Miami (return): Grand CaymanCozumelBelizeRoatan
Inside: $379
Cost per day: $84

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