If you enjoyed cruising during your vacation, it may be worth thinking about settling on board permanently when you retire. Cruising has become increasingly accessible over the past decade and continues to provide a somewhat leisurely mode for exploring the world. While the idea of setting sail and enjoying a plethora of amenities might be appealing, there are logistics to consider before signing up for a long-term cruise.
To investigate retirement on a cruise ship, you will need to:
- Understand what is involved in the lifestyle.
- Review your finances and set a budget.
- Review the options for the services you need.
- Think about the impact this will have on your social life.
- Describe your priorities and talk to your family about them.
Use the following information as a starting point to help you decide if you should spend your retirement years on a cruise ship.
How to retire on a cruise ship
Living as a pensioner at sea is not as simple as buying a ticket and getting on board. There are many different routes, travel times, price points and vessel sizes to consider. If you’ve never been on a cruise before, you can try several to see if you like the pace and are comfortable at sea. For weekend or week-long trips, it might be beneficial to try a three-month cruise to see if an extended trip is still enjoyable.
Cruise Ship Retirement Options
You could aim to spend all of your time sailing on a single ship, or you could move around. Some cruise lines offer cabins for sale, allowing you to own your place at sea. Other ships accommodate extended voyages, such as 180 days or more.
You also need to decide what to do with your current housing situation. You can rent your home while on board or split your time between cruising and living ashore. While it’s possible to sell your residence and commit to the cruise life permanently, you’ll want to think about long-term options, like what you’ll do if you’re going on a cruise for a year and want to then settle elsewhere.
Cruise Ship Retirement Costs
How much you spend on the cruise will depend on where you want to travel and what amenities you want. “Fares are negotiated based on duration, cabin type and past passenger status,” says Annie Scrivanich, senior vice president of Seattle-based Cruise Specialists. The average amount each passenger spends on a cruise is $214.25 per day, which includes ticket price and onboard expenses, according to data from Cruise Market Watch. If you stay longer on a ship, you may be eligible for a reduced rate. You can also call the cruise line or work with a travel site to ask about services for long-term guests, such as arranging for family and friends to join you occasionally or allowing you to fly home. you for a special event and then join the ship.
Benefits of Retiring on a Cruise Ship
If you enjoy discovering new places, cruising gives you the opportunity to see the world, especially areas where you might not otherwise venture. “With longer-term cruises, especially trips that last weeks or months, you can visit faraway places that can’t be reached on shorter cruises,” says Tanner Callais, founder and editor-in-chief of Cruzely.com, based in Austin, Texas. “There are world cruises that last for months and can take you to Asia, Europe, South America and everything in between.”
You could develop new and unique relationships on board. Over time, you will likely become familiar with the ship’s crew and perhaps feel a sense of belonging. Due to your extended presence, “you will receive extra care and attention aboard the ship,” says Scrivanich. “You will be able to enjoy resort style living surrounded by other like-minded travelers.” Easily available entertainment and excursions could provide opportunities to socialize and stay active.
The carefree lifestyle in retirement could also be appealing. “There’s no house maintenance, meals to cook, house to clean, or other day-to-day chores that take up so much time,” Callais says.
Disadvantages of Retiring on a Cruise Ship
Staying close to family and watching grandchildren grow up can be difficult when you’re at sea for months or years at a time. You might also grow weary of frequent cruise ship stops, as well as your lack of control over time spent in port. For example, you might want to visit a city for a full week, but the ship might only stop for two days. With unlimited food and drink, it can be difficult to maintain a goal weight.
If you’re interested in a side job during retirement, the opportunities for in-person work might be limited. You may be able to work remotely if a stable Wi-Fi connection is available.
There are also medical considerations to keep in mind. “A future retiree on board a ship must be in good health, as cruise lines are certainly not equipped to operate as an assisted living facility,” says David Yeskel, a travel journalist known as The Cruise. Los Angeles-based Guru. Medicare coverage is limited outside the United States and will not pay for healthcare services provided when the ship is more than six hours from a US port. You may need to purchase private health insurance that will cover you during your travels. Although there are basic medical services on board cruise ships, they tend to focus on emergency care, which could make regular checkups difficult to schedule.