Retiring on high seas: More living out golden years aboard cruise ships

Are you thinking of retiring but cannot settle on where? Maybe you want to spend your time traveling the world

Now you can turn this dream into a reality. 

With home prices skyrocketing and cruising increasing in popularity, more people are looking to live out their golden years out on the open seas. 

"It actually is something that's been transitioning over the years," said Colleen McDaniel, editor and chief of Cruise Critic.

Cruising was once seen many decades ago as a little bit stuffy, but there are so many options these days when it comes to cruise ships that there's so much to do on board. And it actually might be a cost-efficient way to retire at sea.


"It's actually not as expensive as you might think. You can probably do a cruise on one of those big, beautiful ships in the Caribbean, for example, for less than $1,000 a week," McDaniel said.

Now, if you compare that with what you might spend, say, in a retirement community, it suddenly adds up, because cruising is very inclusive as well.

"So meals and entertainment, plus that travel aspect, it's such a terrific value," McDaniel said.

Onboard the Spectrum of the Seas Cruise Liner

The deck is seen from the NorthStar capsule on The Spectrum of the Seas cruise ship on May 21, 2019. (Photographer: Bryan van der Beek/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

And the typical thing that's on the top of people's list when they retire is going someplace where the weather is comfortable and warm.

"One of the best things about cruising is actually that you can go where the weather is great. You're not stuck at any one spot. So even if it gets a little cooler in an environment, well, the cruise ship moves and you can go somewhere else," McDaniel said.

And if you are looking to spice up your life cruise ships offer a lot to explore. Plus, you meet new people every week. 


"You're staying in place, but more people are coming on and coming off the ship. So you're making hundreds or thousands of new friends each week," McDaniel said.

Add in the entertainment, gourmet dining and traveling to new spots that you might never have seen, and your golden years begin to shine on the high seas. 

If someone's considering this option for retirement, they really need to do a cost evaluation. 

"If you are comparing it to what you're doing on land, make sure that you have that in your budget to do it at sea," McDaniel said.


Also, understand that even if you want to stay on the same ship all year round, that might not necessarily be possible because ships might be chartered or taken out of service to be refurbished.

"Maybe pick a cruise line and stick with ships within that cruise line. That way, the loyalty that you earn for staying with that same cruise line transfers from ship to ship," McDaniel said.

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And don’t worry about switching cabins, most cruise line will usually allow you to stay in the same room, but that could change if somebody has booked it way in advance.

"And even if you're booking a year at a time, somebody might have that cabin, so you might have to move," McDaniel said.

So if Monday meatloaf is getting boring, this retirement community is a float away.

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