Life Travel

Retiring on a Cruise Ship

Would you give up plans for a retirement residence in favor of living on a cruise ship?

It’s possible that most of us have heard of a few intrepid seniors who have chosen to live their retirement years on a cruise ship.  After I did a little research, I believe there is more than a few of these seafaring seniors.

I met one of these seafaring seniors about 10 years ago when I took a  cruise around the Mediterranean. It was a 12 days cruise that started in Venice and followed down the Adriatic sea along the coast of Albania connecting to the Ionian sea at the foot of Italy. From there we went on to the Greek Islands, touch down in Sicily, continued along the coast of N. Africa, on to Portugal, Spain, the Island of Sardinia, then up north on the Mediterranean and finally ending the trip by San Remo.

After boarding, as I got to my cabin, I noticed an older lady standing in the doorway of her own cabin, right across from mine; I smiled at her, she smiled back saying: “It’s going to be a marvelous cruise!” She had a German accent. I asked her if she if she had done this cruise before, she said; “Oh yes, many times before…”. Later that evening we found ourselves at the same dinner table and started to get to know each other better. She told me that 5 years earlier she decided that she would spend her retirement years cruising the Mediterranean and the  European rivers instead of in a retirement home. I was intrigued and asked her how expensive such a lifestyle would be. She explained that she had a long-term discount with the cruise company and that she had figured out that, all inclusive, the daily charges were only slightly higher on the cruise ship compared to an average retirement residence.  She also told me that her husband left her very well off financially when he died, and had a condo in Switzerland where she spent 2 months out of the year.

I was impressed by her adventurous spirit and guts and really intrigued by the thought of living out retirement on a luxurious cruise ship.

Who could not imagine living on a cruise ship?

Just think of living out your twilight years on a cruise ship where a staff caters to your every whim while you sail you sail on a beautiful cruise ship with room service, meals cooked for you any time of the day or night, and medical center aboard if you should get sick at any time. Cruising has excitement, community. activities, and entertainment. There is always something to do, something to see, new people and new places,,, And who couldn’t enjoy an early sunrise or late sunset on a balcony in the middle of the ocean?

Of course, the travel aspect is the biggest upside of a cruise retirement lifestyle especially for those who miss not having done much traveling in their younger years.

It’s hard to put a price on the opportunity to explore bustling Asian cities, soak up some sun in the Caribbean, spent winter in the balmy tropics, sail along the European rivers, and tour the historic highlights of the Mediterranean.

Can you seriously consider retirement at sea?

The good thing about cruising is you can find out beforehand if you would like cruising by taking a cruise! It is likely that you could be happy retiring onto a  ship, in that case, keep in mind the following:

  • 5 Things to consider before retiring on a cruise ship

  • 1- Can you afford it? Cruise experts say while cost varies wildly, it is reasonable to figure an average of $ 150  a day to cruise including lodging, transportation from port to port, food, and entertainment. Think about $4000 to $5000 a month total, this isn’t too bad comparing it to what it cost to live in a retirement home.

  • 2- Would you miss your family? Of course, you could return to shore whenever you need to, and many seafaring retirees do keep a ”home” at shore, or just a ”landing” place near family.

  • 3- Do you have a favorite cruise liner? If you are seriously considering retirement at sea, you will need to do a little research into the cruise line which would best suit you.

  • 4 -Are you ok with a bit of upheaval? This is not the lifestyle for those who like to be completely settled. You might need to change ship, stay in a hotel between sailings, and live out of suitcases occasionally.

  • 5-Can you handle cruising on stormy seas occasionally? There are those who don’t mind the waves much, they anchor down in their cabin and read a book…or write a book until the weather improves.

Pioneering the lifestyle of cruise ship retirement

Spending the golden years traveling the world on a cruise ship is not just the stuff of legend, there are retirees who have already opted to live their retirement years permanently on the high seas and, from what I understand, floating townships are already in the works for future retirees..or anyone who would choose that lifestyle.

Would you retire on a cruise ship?

Tell us what you think.


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