Monday, January 26, 2015

Retiring on a cruise ship

"Let the music take your mind. Just release, and you will find you're gonna fly away, glad you're going my way. I love it when we're cruisin' together." — Smokey Robinson

SOMETIME during our cruise, I overheard two women talking about retirees who had found that it was cheaper to live on a cruise ship than in a retirement home. When we got home, a Facebook friend pointed out an article about a woman who is doing just that.


Paul had such a good time on our cruise that his hair grew back in.

Woman Spends Over $140,00 Per Year To Live On A Cruise Ship
The Huffington Post UK 
Jan. 20, 2015
By Rachel Moss

The day before Lee Wachtstetter's husband died from cancer in 1997, he had one piece of key advice for her: "Don't stop cruising."

And she's certainly taken his words on board. (Excuse the pun.)

The 86-year-old from Florida has been living as a permanent resident on a luxury cruise ship for almost seven years.

Wachtstetter, who is known on the ship as Mama Lee, pays $164,000 (approximately £108,000) per year to live on the 1,070 passenger vessel Crystal Serenity.

"My husband introduced me to cruising," she said. "Mason was a banker and real estate appraiser and taught me to love cruising. During our 50-year marriage we did 89 cruises. I've done nearly a hundred more and 15 world cruises."

Wachtstetter sold her five bedroom home on 10 acres of land to raise the funds needed for her cruising. She said it was her late daughter who first gave her the idea to sell the property.

The rest of her family - three sons and seven grandchildren - are supportive of her decision to live aboard the ship.Although she sometimes misses her family, Wachtstetter has got to know the ship's 655 crew members well and stays in touch with those back home over the internet.

She sees her children whenever the ship docks in Miami, roughly five times a year.

"When my children were all young, I took them on cruises many times. Now they have families of their own and do what's right for them," she said.

The globe-trotter said she's lost count of how many countries she visited, but thinks she's probably been to almost every country that has a port.

She loves the glitz and glamour of life on the cruise and enjoys the dancing and decadent dinners the most. She has no intention to bed down on dry land anytime soon. We don't blame her.

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