Staying in a retirement home can be expensive so an elderly couple found a way to save money while still enjoying their retirement. They fell in love with cruising and decided it would be their full-time living situation.
Australian couple Marty and Jess Ansen had been going on cruises for decades but only last June 2022 did they realize that cruising could be the perfect lifestyle for them.
At first, they just wanted to catch up on cruising after two long years of Covid lockdown. However, when they found out that cruising would be cheaper than a retirement home, they made up their minds in a heartbeat and booked 51 back-to-back cruises with the Princess Cruises.
The Perks of Cruising
A lot of people cruise to visit new destinations at an affordable price but it has way more perks than one can imagine. The Ansens know about this more than anyone, being on board the Coral Princess for 500 days.
They learned that cruising is not just a way to save money on rent but it is also very convenient. For one, they don’t need to do any chores and they also get to enjoy good food.
We don’t know how to wash up anymore,” said Marty. “We don’t know how to make a bed, because we haven’t done it for so long, so now we have to stay on board just to stay alive,” he joked. There are also many activities that the couple enjoys such as hula dancing and ballroom dancing.
“It’s a lifestyle. Where else can you go for dinner, you go to a show, you go dancing, throughout the day? You have all these activities,” said Jess. They start their day playing table tennis for an hour at 5:30 in the morning.
Instead of sitting all day at the retirement home getting bored, they chose to make the most of their retirement days by doing different activities on the cruise ship.
‘Celebrities’ On Board
Because the couple has been on board for hundreds of days, the members of the crew have grown to love them. In fact, they cruise more than the captains and other staff of the Coral Princess.
“Everyone knows them around the ship, they’re basically celebrities onboard,” shared Ren van Rooyen, the ship’s hotel manager. “It’s like seeing my mom and dad onboard, they’re like a family to me.”
As they cruise, the couple gets to meet many people and make memories with them. “This was the perfect answer really, go cruising, get to see the world, meet these people, and make lifelong friends and you know it’s a wonderful life,” Marty said.
The only downside to this, according to him, is saying goodbye to the people they’ve met.
When asked if they miss their family, Jess said they don’t because they are all busy but they always talk to them and email them. “We’re at a stage of our lives where we just want to enjoy ourselves,” she said.
The couple doesn’t take too many pictures of them on the cruise but they said it’s all in their head. Cruising has done a lot of good things for them and has given them a different perspective on retirement.” I would do this for the rest of my life,” concluded Marty.
Cruising as a Retirement Option
Marty and Jess Ansen are not the only retirees who opted to live on a cruise over a retirement home. Another retired couple, Nancy and Robert Houchens also live on a cruise ship. They sold most of their estates and did a lot of downsizing to enjoy a simpler and more peaceful life.
The Huchens have been onboard for over 1,000 days and have been enjoying all the exciting activities on the cruise, just like the Ansens.
Watch the Ansens’ cruise experience in the video below: