Would you ever live on a cruise ship full-time? It may seem like a strange idea, but it’s right up their alley for one Seattle couple. Angelyn Burk and her husband Richard have always loved exploring new places and being out on the open waters. After their vacations ended, they already felt excited for the next adventure awaiting them. They both decided that it made more sense to make cruise ships their permanent home one day. After all, with the cost of living rising every day, it seemed like a no-brainer.
Angelyn, a retired accountant, realized how much money they could save by hopping from one ocean liner to the next. While crunching some numbers at home, she determined that they could live on cruise ships for just $43 a day each.
Compared to living on land, this seemed like a drop in the bucket! Burk said that between their mortgage, internet, electricity, property taxes, and insurance, living in Seattle cost them around $3,500/month.
This didn’t even include transportation, food, and entertainment expenses. After comparing the costs of traditional and cruise ship life, it wasn’t hard for Burk to decide.
So, she talked with her husband about living on cruise ships permanently. They both enjoyed traveling to exotic places and had been on several cruises before. Angelyn immediately fell in love with the ocean after experiencing her first cruise in 1992 to the Caribbean.
Richard also loved visiting new places without dealing with the hassle of airplane travel. So, after Angelyn revealed her genius retirement plan, he wholeheartedly agreed to it. It certainly beats living on the land since the cruise ships don’t charge extra fees!
Seattle Couple Makes Cruise Ships Permanent Home
The couple calculated that they could live comfortably on about $100 a day with their retirement savings. So far, they have booked 86 cruise days that cost around $89/day for both of them, on average. Their retirement plan includes room, food, entertainment, transportation, port fees, taxes, and gratuity.
Burk noted that since they have taken so many cruises, they received significant discounts through loyalty programs. So, living on cruise ships might only appeal to those who already travel often.
Still, retiring at sea comes with plenty of perks you can’t get on land. Owning a home comes with its own set of worries, such as costs of repairs, insurance, a mortgage, and other fees. You can’t travel as often because of the high living costs in many locations.
However, you get an all-inclusive room, board, entertainment, and transportation by living on a cruise ship. Plus, moving out to sea offers another advantage: getting to travel while lounging by the pool or taking a nap! Having someone else do all the legwork while you get to relax seems like the perfect way to retire.
The Couple Gave Cruise Ship Life a Try
The couple decided to do a trial run of their retirement plan in 2021. While the pandemic temporarily devastated the cruise industry, it’s made quite a comeback in recent months. Last November, they began with a nine-day Carnival cruise from Miami to the Bahamas. After that, a seven-day Carnival cruise took them from Long Beach, California, to the Mexican Riviera.
Finally, the couple embarked on a 21-day Holland America cruise in mid-May. It sailed from Fort Lauderdale through the Panama Canal, taking them to Vancouver. The Burks plans to visit other locations this year, including Costa Rica, Alaska, Japan, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
They will board their next floating home in July, so they have decided to take a break until then. Currently, they’re visiting family in Seattle while anxiously awaiting the arrival of their fourth grandchild. Their son also graduated from the University of Washington in June, so they wanted to stick around to celebrate.
After that, they plan on cruising around the globe for about nine months. Of course, they will take a few breaks on land, crashing at Airbnbs, hotels, and friends’ houses. Luckily, they have plenty of credit card points saved up for accommodations on land. But, for the most part, these sea-loving adventurers will call the ocean home.
Other Benefits of Living on Cruise Ships
Some people might feel anxious about living permanently on cruise ships, especially if they’re prone to seasickness. However, the Burks says that motion sickness doesn’t affect them since they have traveled the oceans frequently.
Living in small cabins also doesn’t bother them because they come furnished with comfortable beds. And, they don’t spend much time in the houses aside from sleeping, anyway. They travel lightly, bringing only a backpack each on their cruises. The Burks say they prefer being minimalists since they don’t have to worry about extra luggage.
While they constantly have to sift through websites searching for good deals, it still beats working a full-time job! They usually book cruises through Holland America because of the entertainment options. That makes it easier to schedule their trips by going through one company.
Perhaps the best part of living on cruise ships, though, is the sheer relaxation. The Burks says it’s nice to have a beautiful dining area, living room, and a hot tub that doesn’t require maintenance.
Plus, you get to meet people from all over the world who become like family after a while. And you don’t have to listen to sirens, ambulances, or other stressful noises of modern life. It’s the “suite” life, indeed!
Final Thoughts on Retiring on Cruise Ships
Have you ever considered calling cruise ships your home after retirement? Many couples like the Burks have decided to sell their homes and explore alternative living arrangements in their golden years. As they explained earlier, it’s hard to beat an all-inclusive, permanent vacation worldwide!
You don’t have to worry about bills or maintenance fees when traveling on cruise ships. The stress of everyday life melts away as you bask in the sun and discover new horizons. If life seems monotonous and tiresome these days, perhaps you need a cruise to shift your perception! Does this retirement plan appeal to you? Let us know in the comments.