The Frugal Shopper’s Guide to Luxury Living Onboard a Residential Cruise Ship

You have worked your entire life toward one goal, your retirement! Visions of traveling the world, seeing the places you have always dreamed of, and taking part in many exciting adventures fill your daydreams. However, many retirees find they are unable to afford active retirement living. The cost of airfare, hotels, meals, and other travel expenses, in addition to their usual cost of living, is simply out of reach. Luxury living aboard your own cruise ship can be affordable.

Can you afford to live full-time on a cruise ship? Probably not if you want to live on a conventional cruise ship, but probably so if you buy and own a cruise ship, along with other like minded individuals. The cost of living aboard a cruise ship is not much higher than the cost of living in a conventional home. Some things are more economical on a cruise ship, especially domestic help. Cruise ship crews are paid internationally competitive rates which are almost always lower than the minimum wages paid in the U.S.A. There is also economy in numbers.

A better question would be can you afford to NOT live full-time on a cruise ship? If you are currently a home owner, the odds are that your home will depreciate substantially during the second and third decades of this century. There is no doubt that the retiring baby-boomers will dramatically alter the economy. As they retire in greater numbers they will start drawing down their savings. I am not going to made predictions about the economy. There are plenty of others who can do a better job at that. It is sufficient to say that the housing price run-ups of the past thirty years or so are likely to be inverted for the next thirty years or so. If you have equity that you can cash-out now, you should take the money and run.

You can join with others who have similar concerns and interests and buy your own giant mega-yacht, such as a retired cruise ship or even a brand new cruise ship if you are not pinching pennies. I currently maintain a list of people who are interested in becoming part-owners of a cruise ship. For more specific information on how you can do this, please read my article titled: “You Can Be a Cruise Ship Owner Even If You Are Not Rich”

Advantages to living on your own cruise ship.

o No utility bills (except telephone)

o No property taxes

o All meals are included

o All cruises are included

o Large variety of spa treatments available

o Housekeeping is included

o Nightly entertainment included

o Onboard activities included

o Internet access is available onboard

o Internet access can be provided in your cabin at an additional fee

o Full-time medical doctor onboard

o Fully equipped medical clinic (including defibrillator and other emergency equipment)

o Assistance with keeping your prescriptions current

o Follow-up medical attention to your shore-side treatments

o Rent, loan, exchange or sell unused cruise time to make additional income

o Purchase live aboard accommodations with friends or family and share the cruise time

o Exchange your cruise time for shore side vacations

o Satellite television available in your cabin

Keep in mind there is no such thing as a free lunch. Everything costs, but many of the services on a cruise ship are more economical if they are shared. For example, you share common areas of the ship thus eliminating the need to maintain your own individual kitchen facilities. No fuss, no muss. You can also share the domestic help and spa staff.

Key Advantages to Buying Your Own Cruise Ship

o Low Purchase Price. Direct-sales means substantial savings to you. You would buy directly from the current ship owner. 1% ownership of a ten million dollar cruise ship would be $100,000. You would be the co-owner, not just a ‘renter.’

o Low Maintenance Fees. Maintenance fees encompass fuel, utilities (water & electricity), insurance, taxes, and routine maintenance, etc. There is no markup or profit involved in your maintenance fees. You simply pay your share of the actual operating costs.

o Economy. The key to the economy of operation is the global marketplace. Simply stated, if you own your own cruise ship you can buy goods, services, and labor from the best sources worldwide. There is economy in numbers. You may have heard the old adage that it is cheaper to feed two people than one person. The global marketplace and the advantage of volume buying power make this old adage even more true in this case. The global labor market is highly advantageous to you. The low cost of labor translates to five star service for you at one star prices. Again, there is no markup or profit involved so you receive the full benefits of these savings.

o Luxurious spa treatment. Spas are generally quite expensive. But if you own the spa, you determine what you will pay at your own spa for services. This would be a tremendous value to cabin owners. A spa can offer therapies for mental and physical relaxation. Such treatments include massage, facials, reflexology, beauty treatments, manicures, chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, Botox injections, etc. The international labor rates make these services a real bargain. The ship provides the facility, the costs for a spa would be only labor and supplies.

o Stay Fit. Most cruise ships already have a gym, sauna, steam room, hot tub, and pool. If the ship you choose is lacking in this department, it can be refurbished by either improving and expanding these facilities or adding such facilities if none exist currently.

o Special owners’ treatment. You’ll never get service on land like the service you experience on a cruise ship.

o Various locations. You will not become bored with the same vacation location every year. There is lots and lots to do, or nothing at all if you choose. You simply cannot get bored on a cruise ship. You can even trade your cabin time for various vacation timeshare resorts if you choose.

o Convenience. Everything’s right there. No looking for entertainment, hunting fun, seeking a decent restaurant. It’s all right there on your floating resort. You get to experience lots of places but you don’t have to pack because you are already home, in your floating condominium!

o Safety & Security. There is safety in numbers. This cruise ship is safer than a smaller private yacht because of the fact that there is safety in numbers. Also, there are far fewer incidents on a ship than on land. Where can a bad guy go? There is a doctor, nurse, and pharmacy onboard to look after you. Another safety factor is the mobility of a cruise ship. In the event of a trouble spot, we simply avoid that area. You would have a safety margin via mobility even in the worst case scenario, such as an all out nuclear world war. The trick is to be wherever the problems are not at. This is easier on a cruise ship than with any other possible residential options.

Earn Money. You can also carry on your business while on the ship via the Internet. Also, as an co-owner, you may also be able to convince the other owners that you are the best candidate for a particular shipboard position that interests you. However, the wages paid for these positions are not on the same scale as Western wages. For example, the ship’s medical doctor earns far less than a 16 year old kid working at McDonalds would earn in America. The shipboard wages are meager, but this option can help you pay your maintenance fees if you are on a tight budget.

Amenities & Activities

You’ll enjoy life’s finer pleasures. Lavish buffet meals, romantic and exciting ports of call, Las Vegas style entertainment and innumerable onboard activities complement every cruise. Step aboard and you’ll discover a cruise ship that seems to have come from another age. A more gracious time, when travelers sought the special beauty and tranquility that only a classic cruise vessel could provide. You’ll find services and amenities that seem somehow to be more accommodating and more personal. You’ll find a ship where everybody knows your name. And of course, you’ll find all the sensory pleasures you expect.

The wonderful thing about a cruise is the lack of effort required. You may want to read up on the ports of call you will be visiting. But as soon as you step on board the ship, your work is done. Your luggage will be brought to your cabin by a smiling steward. Your meals will be served in a sumptuous dining room. Your cabin will be kept spotless by a steward who never disturbs you but is always there when needed. Your time will be your own to do as you please, yet the days will fly by. No wonder some people don’t want to disembark at the end of their cruise. It is always a bit of a shock to step back into the real world, where you no longer enjoy the special status that comes with being a cruise passenger. But wait, it does not have to end!


Your dream vacation can be turned into a dream lifestyle. You can relax in the casual setting of the large saloon. Or you can pursue a more active vacation including fitness and special made to order health food. Here you’ll find a vast array of tempting favorites including everything from made-to- order omelets to our fabulous buffet! Imagine being pampered from sunup to sundown. Having every need and whim met, being treated as if you alone were the center of the universe. A cruise ship is a floating resort, and visiting fabulous destinations in themselves, offering everything you would expect in a great resort on land. But why rent when you can own? Yes you CAN own your own cruise ship! If you are willing to share the purchase price and ownership with other likeminded people you can be a co-owner for about the cost as a conventional home.

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