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Retirement Living on a Cruise Ship: Is It Right for You?

Retirement Living on a Cruise Ship: Is It Right for You?

May 23, 2024

You might have heard that some people retire on a cruise ship. It certainly sounds like a lot of fun! But how does it work? And could it be possible for you?

Retirement often unfolds in three stages: the active independent phase, the phase where some assistance with daily tasks is needed, and the phase requiring a higher level of care. While cruise retirement aligns well with the independent stage, it also bears a resemblance to assisted living on land.

Cruise ships and retirement communities share commonalities, providing food, lodging, utilities, housekeeping, and social activities. Cruise living offers added benefits like travel opportunities without the hassle of flights and hotels, making it an attractive retirement option.

But how does one embark on such a retirement journey? While any travel agent can book a year's worth of cruises, there's no guidebook detailing the cost and feasibility of living on a cruise ship.

So, what's the financial investment? A year aboard a luxury cruise line like Seabourn can cost over $200,000 per person. In contrast, assisted living facilities on land start at around $60,000 per year per person. To determine if cruise living matches or surpasses land-based options, a thorough comparison is essential.

For instance, booking 52 back-to-back seven-night Caribbean cruises on Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Celebration could cost around $43,000 per person in an inside cabin, or about $118 per night. Additional expenses include flights between ports, hotel stays, and tips for staff.

Ownership of a cabin on a luxury residential ship like The World or Storylines' MV Narrative offers an alternative. Purchasing a cabin for the ship's lifespan averages $1 million, with monthly living fees ranging from $2,586 to $62,064. While ownership may reduce nightly costs, considerations include future healthcare needs and logistical challenges.

Living on a cruise ship presents various benefits, including travel opportunities, freedom from household chores, and a vibrant social environment. However, challenges such as limited living space, fleeting relationships, and healthcare complexities may deter some retirees.

To plan a cruise ship retirement, take extended cruises to test the waters, boost loyalty status for perks, and consult with a financial advisor. Plan ahead for logistical adjustments, downsizing possessions, and managing health care. With careful preparation, cruise retirement can be a fulfilling and enriching chapter of life.

If the idea of retirement on a cruise ship intrigues you, consult with your financial advisor to explore your options and create a retirement plan tailored to your preferences and needs. Let’s discuss your retirement dreams at our next appointment, and together we can chart a course for the future.