Retirement Home Vs Life At Sea On A Cruise Ship

Last updated on January 22nd, 2024 at 06:06 pm

Living on a cruise ship in lieu of a retirement home offers a distinctive and intriguing lifestyle that presents a multitude of advantages for seniors seeking an alternative way to spend their retirement years.
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Would You Prefer?


Photo of Coral Princess from Princess Cruise Line

For this couple, it was a no-brainer. Cruise the world or sit in a retirement home? This Australian couple, Jess and Marty Ansen, feel that they made the right choice when they set forth on the high seas after booking 51 consecutive cruises.

These great-grandparents have, at this point, spent over 500 days at sea and hope to spend 500 more on the open waters. Choosing the Coral Princess as their means of transportation, the Ansen’s have surpassed both the crew and the captain in terms of time on board the ship.

Cruises Are Once Again On The Rise

The number of cruise passengers is on a steady increase according to Statista. Ever since the world has emerged from a pandemic, people are eager to resume their travels.

Passengers in 2022 totaled about 20 million, but 2023 is forecasted to reach 31.5 million and will surpass the pre-pandamic levels in 2019. Joining those passengers eager to travel, the Ansen’s left on their cruise on June 16, 2022, and have reported that they have been living a “wonderful life” ever since.

Check out their interview here: A Current Affair


Mart and Jess Ansen

Advantages Of Cruising Instead of Snoozing

While both retirement homes and cruise ships cater to the needs of older adults, the experience, environment, and benefits differ significantly. Exploring the advantages of living on a cruise ship compared to a retirement home reveals a unique perspective on comfort, social engagement, healthcare, amenities, and the overall quality of life for retirees.


Marty Ansen in his home at sea courtesy of Dexerto

Never A Dull Moment On A Cruise

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One of the most prominent advantages of choosing a cruise ship over a retirement home is the ever-changing backdrop and the sense of adventure. Cruise ships offer the opportunity to wake up to new destinations regularly, providing a continuous change of scenery and cultural experiences.

For retirees who have an adventurous spirit and a desire to explore different parts of the world without the hassle of planning or packing and unpacking constantly, a cruise ship offers an ideal solution.

The ability to visit numerous destinations without the need to organize travel logistics provides a level of convenience that traditional retirement homes can’t match.

High Level Of Social Interaction

Moreover, the social environment on a cruise ship is incredibly vibrant. These floating communities offer an extensive range of social activities, fostering a lively atmosphere that encourages social interaction among passengers.

From organized events, classes, entertainment, and communal dining experiences, cruise ships provide ample opportunities for seniors to build friendships and create lasting bonds with like-minded individuals.

Unlike many retirement homes, which might have a more limited social circle, the cruise ship environment allows for a broader and more diverse social network, promoting a sense of community and reducing the likelihood of isolation.

Meeting A Wide Variety Of Different People

The Ansen’s feel a very strong sense of community on the ship. They meet a wide variety of people from all walks of life and areas of the world. They have formed strong bonds with their fellow passengers and enjoy this aspect of cruising immensely.

They are also able to keep in touch with their children and grandchildren via phone and email. They also meet up with them at the various port stops along the way, so they have never had a sense of isolation or of missing out on their families life. On board, the Ansen’s have become a little bit like celebrities as other passengers recognize them.

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In the interview with A Current Affair, Marty has said that he would like to cruise for the rest of his life.

The Amenitites Are Attractive To Retirees

Cruise ships also boast an array of amenities that are not typically available in retirement homes. From fitness centers, spas, pools, theaters, libraries, and various dining options, these floating resorts offer a level of luxury and entertainment that can enhance the retirement experience.

The variety of activities available onboard caters to a wide range of interests and hobbies, ensuring there is always something for everyone.

Healthcare On A Ship Is A Plus

Healthcare facilities and services on cruise ships have improved significantly in recent years. Most modern cruise ships are equipped with medical centers staffed by qualified medical professionals to attend to passengers’ health needs.

While retirement homes might provide more personalized healthcare, cruise ships offer the advantage of having medical assistance available on-site in case of emergencies, ensuring a level of security and immediate care that could be crucial for seniors with health concerns.

The Benefits Can Outweigh The Cost

Financially, living on a cruise ship might present a more predictable budget compared to some high-end retirement homes. With a clear understanding of the costs and a largely all-inclusive approach to living expenses, including accommodation, meals, entertainment, and transportation, cruise ship living can offer a more straightforward and predictable financial model.

Additionally, the overall ambiance and service on a cruise ship tend to be more focused on leisure and luxury. The constant attention to service and hospitality creates an environment that feels more like a prolonged vacation rather than a traditional retirement setting.

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The level of service and the overall experience of being pampered can significantly enhance the quality of life for seniors.

Things To Consider

However, living on a cruise ship is not without its drawbacks. There might be limitations in terms of space and personal belongings. The cabins are generally smaller compared to typical retirement homes, which might pose a challenge for individuals who prefer more space or have specific needs. Moreover, the lack of continuity and familiar surroundings might be unsettling for some seniors who prefer a more stable and predictable living environment.

Final Thoughts

Living on a cruise ship offers a unique and adventurous alternative to traditional retirement homes. The ever-changing scenery, vibrant social environment, extensive amenities, and improved healthcare services create an attractive option for seniors seeking an unconventional and lively retirement lifestyle.

While there are certain limitations, the advantages of cruise ship living cater to a specific demographic looking for a dynamic and socially engaging way to spend their retirement years. Ultimately, the decision between living on a cruise ship or in a retirement home depends on individual preferences, health considerations, and the lifestyle desired during the golden years of life.



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About Jonathon Hyjek

Jonathon is the tech guy behind When he's not stuck in front of his computer, Jonathon enjoys travel & cruising (even after being on a cruise ship that caught fire - a story for another day!)


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