You are hereby invited to a cruise. Said cruise takes place on July 4th, 1988, and in attendance will be—among many others—a man who is, according to a Gallup poll of that year, the tenth-most admired man in America.
One year before, he had said “I believe that if I did run for President, I’d win.” Three decades later, he was proved absolutely right—but in 1988, Donald Trump was just a 42 year-old-guy with a brand new boat.
1988 was quite the year for the Trumps. The Donald’s first book, ‘The Art of the Deal’, was published in January, and Ivana became a naturalized American citizen. Mr Trump bought the Plaza Hotel ($407 million, since you ask), and installed Ivana as its Operations Manager (a role she declined to continue following their divorce four years later).
That, though, was just the start —Trump also bought his third Atlantic City Casino, the Taj Mahal, and spent a cool $1 billion bringing it up to scratch.
Also in 1988, Donald founded his own airline, Trump Shuttle, with a fleet of 21 aircraft. This was an expensive year.
And he bought this mega-yacht. 282-ft long, the boat had been built in 1980 for a Saudi billionaire. Trump bought it for $29 million, and while he was at it, renamed it the Trump Princess.
What did he get for his money? Five decks, a disco, a cinema, 11 suites, a helipad, and a pool. The boat required a crew of 48.
By early 1991, though, some cracks were beginning to show in Trump’s finances, and he parted company from Trump Princess, along with Trump Shuttle and—the following year—Ivana.
Oh, and in case you were wondering where you’d seen the Trump Princess before, it appeared in the Bond movie Never Say Never Again as the villain’s headquarters. No comments needed.