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Could you save $$ by living on a cruise ship?
Old 07-01-2007, 12:38 AM   #1
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Could you save $$ by living on a cruise ship?

I recently heard a story (don't know if it's true) about a widowed elderly lady who has chosen to live all of her retirement aboard cruise ships because it was cheaper than living in a seniors home. Crazy right?

The person who told me the story explained that this lady would find bargain priced cruises, and then live aboard each ship in a lower end room. Her laundry and cleaning was looked after, she always had medical care close by, and the food is of good quality and variety, and all of this is included with the ticket.

The extra bonus is that she could constantly meet interesting new people, activities were always being planned for her, and of course the fresh air and travel.

Please bear in mind that I've never been aboard a cruise ship, and have no clue how much assisted living costs. With that said, what a cool concept!
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:10 AM   #2
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I've been on 2 cruises, and I don't remember any option to take care of laundry and cleaning. I wouldn't consider ships' doctors a replacement for a family physician, but if you're healthy enough and just need someone around for an emergency, I suppose it works. I'd think you'd need family or friends in the port city in case you had to take a week off due to sickness, to catch up on things, missed a ship, etc. My understanding is that the best discounts are the last minute walkups, and you can't 100% count on one.

I enjoyed both cruises but was more than ready to get off the ship both times. I wouldn't have wanted to get back on another one the same day.
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Old 07-01-2007, 08:31 AM   #3
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It is an Urban Myth!


I have been on many cruises. I see cruising on a vacation cruise ship a novelty. They are fun, for sure... but after about a week or two, I am ready to get off the ship. Most of the rooms are cramped. IMHO... it would be impractical to live there permanently.
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Old 07-01-2007, 08:45 AM   #4
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When I was a child, back in the early to middle 1950's, we went on long transoceanic cruises each summer. We met several millionaires who were spending their last years entirely aboard cruise ships. They weren't traveling cabin class, though - - they had top notch accommodations.

I talked to one and she had always loved traveling and the sea, and had been widowed with a fortune and not many years in which to spend it.

And yes, in those days they washed and folded your laundry.
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Old 07-01-2007, 09:40 AM   #5
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Do a search for The Godmother of Princess cruises, she is 80 and has lived on a ship since her husband died around 60, there was a article in USA Today a couple of days ago.

I also have a friend who manages a nursing home, and she told me it was cheaper to live on a cruise ship also, as rates at her nursing home run around 150-200+ dollars per day for care
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Old 07-01-2007, 09:48 AM   #6
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I recently heard a story (don't know if it's true) about a widowed elderly lady who has chosen to live all of her retirement aboard cruise ships because it was cheaper than living in a seniors home. Crazy right?
The person who told me the story explained that this lady would find bargain priced cruises, and then live aboard each ship in a lower end room. Her laundry and cleaning was looked after, she always had medical care close by, and the food is of good quality and variety, and all of this is included with the ticket.
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It is an Urban Myth!
Actually the urban legends website has validated that this is NOT an urban legend: Urban Legends Reference Pages: My Retirement Plan

Cunard has at least two full-time passengers.

IMO the cruise industry has overbuilt and is scrambling for passengers wherever they can get them. (Most elderly passengers are an unexpected bonus.) In a decision of supreme irony, NCL has pulled the "Pride of Hawaii" out of the islands to scrabble for enough money in Europe while raising local fares waiting for the Hawaii market to recover. It's all too easy to get a one-week interisland cruise, especially from a last-minute consolidator, for under $1000/person. (Including fees, taxes, & tips.) Try finding a Hawaii vacation, with food & entertainment included, for that price! It's quite possible to cruise full-time for under $75K/year, although laundry costs extra.

If you like to pontificate teach then you can do even better. On our last cruise we met a retired United pilot who cruised with her husband. Over the course of the week they gave a five-hour talk (in one-hour segments) on the history & technology of navigation. She did the talking, he ran the PowerPoint presentation (with great photography). In addition to free accomodations they were paid $50/day. The cruise industry has grown so large that this couple actually had a booking agent to negotiate among the various lines and they'd been underway for 35 of the last 40 weeks with "layovers" in various ports.

My parents in law know at least one Elderhostel veteran who hasn't been home in over eight years. He just goes from one to the next, keeping an eye on bookings in his current area and hopscotching across the nation. He's usually able to string together 30-40 one-week courses year-round.
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Old 07-01-2007, 10:38 AM   #7
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If you didn't die of Legionnaire's disease, the obesity would get you.
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Old 07-01-2007, 11:01 AM   #8
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If you didn't die of Legionnaire's disease, the obesity would get you.
Well, yeah, although every week there's a fresh crop of newbies to be entertained by and to pontificate with.

There's a frightening number of similarities between cruise ships and discussion boards. I'm going to have to work up some material about this...
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Old 07-01-2007, 11:17 AM   #9
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Tell them about the beta test cruises, Nords.
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Old 07-01-2007, 11:37 AM   #10
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Here's the Snopes.Com data on this:
Urban Legends Reference Pages: My Retirement Plan
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Old 07-01-2007, 02:12 PM   #11
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when we had to remove mom from her house and put her in alzheimer's unit of nursing home we inadvertantly & apparently unavoidably induced a bit of psychosis which lasted about 30-60 days before we got mom back with the help of psychotropics to what was then normal for her in her condition.

fortunately, the weekend we put mom in the nursing home they were throwing a cruise ship-themed party for the residents. so for most of mom's psychotic break she thought she was on vacation on a cruise ship. if yer gonna be delusional, what better way to go.
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Old 07-01-2007, 03:40 PM   #12
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Actually the urban legends website has validated that this is NOT an urban legend: Urban Legends Reference Pages: My Retirement Plan

It looks like she was also in a CBS new piece. I stand corrected. It appears that it actually happened.
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Old 07-01-2007, 04:18 PM   #13
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It looks like she was also in a CBS new piece. I stand corrected. It appears that it actually happened.
Yes... there are a few that do it all the time.....

BUT, is it cheaper And do you get the same service?? I don't think so... if you are spending money to be taken care of in the nursing home, then you will not be a good candidate for the ship... You must be in good health and mobile to do it... and all that takes is a seniors apartment which is much cheaper than cruising..
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Old 07-01-2007, 05:20 PM   #14
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I think I'd rather the assisted living .At least I wouldn't have to show up for a lifeboat drill ! But if I could talk the crew into occasionaly taking me for tequila shots at Carlos & Charlie's I might consider it .
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Old 07-01-2007, 05:33 PM   #15
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Cruising has been booming for years now. At some point it may peak and decline. Don't be surprised if some cruise ships will be converted into elderships with reduced service and costs, and marketed to you and me.

IDEA 1: let's get together and see if we can negotiate a discount!
IDEA 2: let's pool our savings and buy a ship!

We could all travel the world together.....
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:09 PM   #16
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Cruising has been booming for years now. At some point it may peak and decline. Don't be surprised if some cruise ships will be converted into elderships with reduced service and costs, and marketed to you and me.

IDEA 1: let's get together and see if we can negotiate a discount!
IDEA 2: let's pool our savings and buy a ship!

We could all travel the world together.....
Hum if a thousand of us all chiped in a million, that is billion, I think we could buy a use cruise ship for that.
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Old 07-01-2007, 08:35 PM   #17
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Hum if a thousand of us all chiped in a million, that is billion, I think we could buy a use cruise ship for that.
I may join the passenger list, but I ain't standin' no watches...
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Old 07-01-2007, 08:42 PM   #18
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Just keep that Norwalk (or whatever its name is) virus away ....

Sounds a little like the story that went around the Web about someone saying they wanted to retire to the Holiday Inn. Many of the same reasons, too.
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Old 07-01-2007, 09:43 PM   #19
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I may join the passenger list, but I ain't standin' no watches...
Reminds me of a chorus I heard from my son and his now-wife when they graduated from Cal Maritime:

Me: Did you apply at any of the cruse ship lines?

They: No way, we don't want cargo that talks back!
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Old 07-02-2007, 09:32 AM   #20
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I recently heard a story (don't know if it's true) about a widowed elderly lady who has chosen to live all of her retirement aboard cruise ships because it was cheaper than living in a seniors home. Crazy right?

The person who told me the story explained that this lady would find bargain priced cruises, and then live aboard each ship in a lower end room. Her laundry and cleaning was looked after, she always had medical care close by, and the food is of good quality and variety, and all of this is included with the ticket.

The extra bonus is that she could constantly meet interesting new people, activities were always being planned for her, and of course the fresh air and travel.

Please bear in mind that I've never been aboard a cruise ship, and have no clue how much assisted living costs. With that said, what a cool concept!
I have heard of a "round the world" cruise which takes 180-200 days, I think. I think the price tag is around 40k.

A cool thing to do once. Cuts expenses for that year down considerably (insurance on car, utilities) go to Zero.
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