Living aboard a ship long term…More food photos…

When I asked to be served one avocado a day, they always bring this huge portion which I’ve shared with tablemates.

We hear story after story about seniors living aboard a ship rather than an assisted living facility when often the cost differential is minimal. Many of these stories appear to be “Internet legends” although there have been several actual reported cases.

Here’s a link to a USA Today news story I spotted online about a widow who’s lived on a cruise ship for the past several years. 

After perusing several articles we’ve come to the conclusion that living on a cruise ship permanently is impractical for most of those seniors who may be able to afford the US $5,000 to $15,000 a month cost (depending on the ship, the cabin choice, the itineraries and the cruise line). 

The realities of a long-term life aboard a ship are discouraging for most seniors primarily due to the lack of available appropriate medical care, insurance, and space limitations. Grandma can’t bring along her favorite recliner or special bed when “renting” a cabin on a ship.

The sauce under this delicious garlic and shallot encrusted lamb chops is a flour-less reduction sauce, the chef made for me.

There are a few ships worldwide that are permanent residences for those of all ages as shown at The World, a 165 “unit” residential ship that travels throughout the world with varying size and amenity cabins all with views to the passing world’s treasures. 

Prices aren’t listed at their site but some time ago, out of curiosity we investigated and most were priced well over US $1,000,000 depending on the size of the “condo” plus ancillary fees comparable to association dues one would pay in an upscale condo or townhouse.

What brought this topic to mind was an inquiry from a couple we met while in the Café al-Bacio who were curious if this type of life would appeal to us. Upon contemplative discussion, we have no interest in living permanently on a cruise ship. 

This is the entrée I ordered for the past four nights, seafood on a bed of cooked cabbage and vegetables.  Excellent!

Why not?  For several reasons, including the following in no special order:

1. Boredom: We love the variety in our lives of moving from location to location with a new (to us) property on each occasion. 
2.  Cost:  As much as many of these news stories and “legends” extol the virtues of living aboard a ship, the cost is actually much higher than one reads when all the ancillary expenses are included.
3.  The food:  There are only so many dishes a cruise ship prepares meal after meal. It would be easy to tire of them and plus, for my dietary needs, it would become cumbersome and repetitive.
4.  Exposure to illness: A cruise ship is a sailing petri dish. As seniors, our immune systems may not be as robust as in our youth and we can easily fall prey to many viruses and infections.
5.  Medical care: Many doctors choosing to work aboard a ship do not necessarily have specialties in more than one or two areas, leaving them unable and unequipped on a ship to handle more complicated illnesses beyond basic care. Most seriously ill passengers are airlifted to hospitals, at times to less than desirable hospitals and locations.

Of course, each cruise passenger would have their own list of reasons why long-term or permanent cruising may not work for them. For us, the novelty of cruising a few times each year remains interesting and fulfilling with the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful people in one easy setting along with the opportunity to see many parts of the world as the ship travels from port to port.

Neither of us has any interest in getting off the ship when it’s in port when we’re already scheduled to live in that country, or in ports we’ve already visited in the past. 

Cruising “our way” has many benefits. However, for us, the ultimate experience in cruising is the opportunity to interact with others from all over the world in a relaxed setting. Add, the aspect of “using cruising for transportation” avoiding the stress, commotion, and rush of airports, cruising total fulfills our preferences and expectations. 

Today, we’re attending a special lunch at noon with over 100 passengers in the main dining room. Tom just returned from watching the  Minnesota Viking’s lost game but we both look forward to another great day aboard the Celebrity Solstice on day 6 of the cruise with 8 days remaining until we reach Auckland New Zealand.  Baah…

Photo from one year ago today, January 11, 2015:

The clouds continued over the Big Island as we wound down our few final days on the island.  The family had long gone back to the mainland as we began packing and organizing our belongings for the upcoming short flight to the island of Kauai. For more details, please click here.