Options for retirement have expanded significantly in the last few decades. The days of retiring to the golf course communities in Florida and Arizona aren’t necessarily over, but there are more options to consider. Today’s retirees are choosing to take advantage of foreign exchange rates and retire abroad, using house sitting gigs to travel for free, and moving into tiny homes and RVs full-time. You can even retire in luxury in Portugal, or Costa Rica, which have both become new retirement destinations in recent years. Another popular and affordable option is to retire on a cruise ship. If you’re currently exploring your options and planning your retirement, here are a few things you should know.
Why Retire on a Cruise Ship?
A cruise ship offers the same amenities a retirement community does, but you are able to travel while enjoying them. You get lodging, dining, and scheduled activities bundled into one price, plus get to explore places you have never been.
A retirement facility may have staff to help out, but cruises cater to their guests every whim making it an incredible experience. Whether it’s your next meal or something fun to do, your desire is a request away – and there will always be plenty of options. Every cruise line is known for different things so you can choose one that has 4 star dining and even Michelin chef award winning food, one that has the best nightlife and entertainment, or one that is geared toward a 55+ demographic and no children aboard.
Most people spend their entire lives working with only a few weeks of vacation a year. Spending at least part of your retirement on a cruise ship means you’ll see the parts of the world you always wished you had time to travel to and you can even do it at a pretty reasonable price.
Cruising Away: The Cost
The total yearly cost of spending your retirement at sea depends largely on the cruise line and the accommodations you choose. Looking at the cost of standard rooms for each company will give you an indication of how much you can expect to pay.
Certain cruise lines have rooms designed for full-time living with six month and yearly lease options. Others simply allow you to book out a room for a specified period of time. Certain cruise lines have special programs for retirees. Oceania Cruises offer “around the world in 180 day” cruises for around $41,600 per person and their cruises for 2023 were sold out in a single day.
The average cost of retirement facilities ranges from $3,500 to $10,500 a month, with an average of around $3,700. The average cost of a month at sea is comparable to this at around $3,000 a month for a standard room on a cruise ship. Keep in mind that this cost however, doesn’t include things like shore excursions, specialty restaurants, drinks, or gratuity (although some packages include these items).
On the other hand, the standard cruise traveler pays about $214* a day (this cost can be reduced to less than $100 with good planning depending on the ship, dates, cabin type, and length of stay). Keep in mind that this cost includes all your living expenses including most on-board food and entertainment.