Cruise Ships: A Different Way to Retire
Cheaper than nursing homes—and much more entertaining
A growing number of folks are talking about retiring with sea legs instead of land legs. Choosing cruise ships over soil isn’t a new concept. The Orlando Sentinel noted that as far back as 1963, a woman lived full-time in a small cabin on the original Queen Elizabeth.
Another woman, Rosemarie Roberts, lodged for about 12 years on ships of the Royal Viking Line. Irma Morgan spent all but two weeks of 2004 and all of 2005 aboard Crystal Harmony. Clair MacBeth lived on a cruise ship for 14 years.
Bea Muller, 89, was a permanent resident on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2 from January 2000 until it was retired in November 2008. And Lorraine Artz, 81, spends around 10 months a year aboard Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess liner.
Lest you think professionals haven’t explored the idea of retiring on a cruise ship, note that in 2004, physicians Lee A. Lindquist and Robert M. Golub published "Cruise Ship Care: A Proposed Alternative to Assisted Living Facilities" in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society.
They observed that, considering the limited options for seniors who can no longer remain independent—and who have to pay many expenses out-of-pocket anyway—traveling for extended periods might be an option.
“For those patients who have the means to afford assisted living centers or nursing homes, ‘cruise ship care’ is proposed,” according to the abstract. “Cruise ships are similar to assisted living centers in the amenities provided, costs per month, and many other areas.”