About 22 years ago, we were looking at condos, for my grandmother, in South Florida. We actually inquired about several assisted-living venues. Not that she needed it at the time. She just did not want to cook, clean, iron, bake or drive! Back THEN, assisted living facilities were ranging between $2,500 to over $5,000 a month, depending on location, size, amenities and more. Today, these rates have not lowered.
A couple of years ago, I became friendly with a couple (while part of a management team of a large-scale, active adult condo community) who said, “Jeff, when we are ready to leave this place, we are just going to live on a Carnival ship for the rest of our lives.” I thought she was kidding, and then I was introduced to other people who simply sail on cruise-after-cruise-after-cruise, and so on. In between sailings, they would stay with family or in a hotel, a week here…a week there. Then I started thinking…depending on the cruise line (and ship, of course), it certainly can be a cost-effective living solution, when compared to active adult community options.
Regardless of your age, it is quite a concept. Sure, there are items to consider, such as a primary care physician, a dentist and more, but, (almost) everything is done for you! And, you get to visit parts of the world while doing so! Restaurants and food galore, pools, lounges, entertainment, music, games, recreation, fitness center, salon, nightlife, education enrichment lectures, movies…it’s all there; it’s all on-board!
There already exists a long-term, living at sea option, and it is called “The World”, by ResidenSea. The major difference here is that she is for the wealthy, and like other condominiums, potential residents must go through a screening process. In fact, according to TravelTruth.com, owners on “The World” voted “to end their policies of allowing certain travel agencies to book room rentals,” and that “The World will not accept residents who do not meet our $10 million in assets requirements.” In addition, applications to sail must be approved by a committee consisted of owners! And I thought the $4,300 per month for my grandmother’s assisted living choice was steep!
So, cruise lines such as Carnival and MSC are offering consistent sailing rates averaging under $600 per week, per person. It makes me wonder if one was to approach a cruise line, and mention that you wish to sail with them every week for six months, if they would offer even more aggressive rates! Perhaps, one day, there will be a cruise line that offers affordable, long-term living at sea.
What do you think? Could you…would you….live on a cruise ship for extended periods of time? Do you think cruise ships can offer a legitimate option when choosing apartment-style living?