Attention Pirates: Starbucks Takes to the High Seas

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I know how comforted you are by knowing that, at no time in your life, will you ever be more than fifty paces from a Starbucks. In every city, in every town, on islands, in shopping malls and on airplanes, there is no place man can go that Starbucks hasn't gone first.

Except one place, of course: the sea.

But no longer. Having covered and developed virtually every available land mass, it was announced yesterday that muffin-and-latte behemoth Starbucks will soon begin taking over the oceans.

In good news for caffeine-starved pirates everywhere, Royal Caribbean (the cruise ship operator) made two announcements yesterday. First, it was that the company would be unveiling the brand new Allure of the Seas--a 5,400 passenger monster of a ship and sister vessel to the Oasis of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship.

And second, that when Allure launched, it would do so with a Starbucks franchise aboard, in place of its own Mondo Cafe.

The Allure of the Seas already has everything necessary to convince a cruise ship passenger that they have never left dry land. There are parks and climbing walls, surfing simulators (irony included!), shopping venues and nose-picking weirdos dressed up like characters from the Shrek movies. There's a Johnny Rockets, a stage for musicals, the world's first GUESS store at sea (because, apparently, no longer being fashionable on land does not mean no longer being fashionable while floating), and now, frappucinos for all.

Starbucks executive Chris Carr was interviewed about the hilarity challenges of baristas working at sea, and he promised, "Quite frankly, there is a huge investment on our part to train the baristas at sea with the same degree that we train our baristas on land. We want that experience to be seamless."

Can't wait to see how they handle the storm swell, giant squid attacks and hordes of pirates. Pots full of steaming milk and pulling shots of espresso when the ocean gets uppity? That's tough. Doing the same while fighting off bloodthirsty buckaneers? That's going to be something to see.

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