US Basketball Teams Opt for Luxury Cruise Ship Over Olympic Village

Team USA’s men’s and women’s basketball stars will be living a life of luxury during this month’s 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

While many American athletes will be staying at the oft-criticized Olympic Village this summer, America’s best ballers will be laying their heads inside of Silversea Cruises’ Silver Cloud cruise ship.

The Chicago Tribune reported the players arrived on the 296-guest ship Wednesday.

The Silver Cloud, which is the oldest ship in Silversea’s main fleet, is anchored at Rio’s Pier Maua in the Guanabara Bay.

Inside the ship, highlights include generous-sized beds (ideal for basketball players), a spa, a pool, multiple dining options and even a cigar lounge.

Outside, security will be extremely tight. According to the Daily Mail, there’s only one entrance to the ship and it will be manned by security equipped with a scanner. Bulletproof glass will surround the ship and police boats will patrol the nearby waters.

READ MORE: Norwegian Getaway to Become Floating Hotel for 2016 Olympics in Rio

The reason for booking the Silver Cloud is simple, according to USA Basketball spokesman Craig Miller, who told the Associated Press earlier this year that “we don’t stay in the village because we don’t feel it’s the best way to prepare for competition.”

“The players have a long professional season, and they want to spend as much time as possible with family and friends,” added Miller.

While staying outside of the Olympic Village is nothing new for USA Basketball — the last time being the 1988 Summer Games — this summer will be the first time in 12 years that the teams have stayed on a cruise ship.

The teams stayed on the Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.

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