Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Retirement on a Cruise Ship Combines Adventure with Convenience - REMEMBER TO CONSIDER A PRIVATE YACHT

If you are the kind of person who likes adventure and convenience – two goals that are usually incompatible – retirement on a cruise ship might be for you. It’s easy to see why many folks like cruises – you arrive at the dock, have your picture taken and come on board for a glass of the bubbly. Meanwhile your luggage finds your room (tipping is usually already included). You stow your clothes away (once) and then contemplate which restaurant merits your dinner reservation. After a busy night at the shows or rolling the dice, you awake to find your new home arriving in a new and exotic port. You check out those sights, then back to the ship where you …. rinse and repeat! And until it’s time to go home,your job is to enjoy hassle-free travel from your moving base.
Many retirees go on cruises when they first retire. Usually they like them so much they keep on taking them, discovering new destinations with different cruise lines. The choices are many, from budget operators like Carnival and Voyages of Discover to mid-priced lines like Princess to the super-extravagant like Seabourn and Crystal. Your editor, who was anti-cruising before he went on one, has really enjoyed cruising on the smaller boat experience provided by Windstar and Princess lines. Photos below are from our Ocean Princess stateroom looking at Nice (France) and Sorrento (Italy) this September.

Some folks like it so much they decide to pretty much live on board, and we can’t blame them. Princess is just one cruise line that offers multi-month cruises. The Pacific Princess has a 97 night cruise around the world, while the Seven Seas Voyager (Regent) offers a 145 nighter. Here is a link to a dozen more “super-long cruises“.
But why stop there? Many folks actually take up residence on board a cruise ship built for long-term living. You typically own your apartment and pay your share of the communal expenses. On the more affordable end of that scale, you can read Jan Cullinane’s article about what it’s like to live on the Alegria, a cruise ship converted to permanent apartments.
But if you want to step up to the ultimate in permanent cruising, you might want to check out The World. Your Topretirements editor was fortunate enough to have enjoyed lunch and a tour on this beautiful ship when it recently visited Newport, RI. To say that it is luxurious would be a serious understatement. This boat is for the very wealthy, and my, what a life they can live. From the tennis court, resort pool, and mini-golf course on the top deck to the indoor swimming pool and dance floor on the rear deck – and everywhere in between – no possible luxury has been spared. The spa was the single most luxurious facility we have ever seen. There are at least 5 luxurious restaurants plus more casual dining options, and at least 2 are open at any time of day or night. Residents vote on each year’s itinerary and share management of the ship. They pay handsomely for the privilege, too. Apartments range from studios to multi-bedroom penthouses and range from about $600,000 to multi-million dollars. Monthly expenses start at about $20,000/month (but do include a dining allowance!). But, as was pointed out to us, compared to the cost of owning a yacht and cruising the world with your own captain and crew – The World is a bargain! Please enjoy the photos of the World below (large photo of the ship is courtesy of Wikipedia and VirtualSteve. See also Residential Cruise Liners.

What do you think?
 Would residential cruising be for you? Would you also have another base somewhere else. What happens when you become elderly. Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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