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Cruise ships as old age homes?

My husband and I have never been on a cruise nor have we been tempted to try one.

After seeing the photos and hearing the stories by passengers aboard the stranded Carnival Cruise in the Gulf of Mexico, we felt even more sure we'd never be tempted. Feces in the hallways? Onion sandwiches? Yuk.

So if more potential travlers feel the same, look for a dip in the cruise business.

However, there has been some buzz in various media about retired folks living full-time on cruise ships. Two years ago, financial writer Brian Jaeger wrote about the six good reasons to consider living on a cruise ship after retiring.

Socialization, travel, good meals, entertainment, etc.

After going on a cruise himself, he crunched some numbers and wrote:

Our cruise cost us roughly $76 a day per person for the cruise ticket, port fees, taxes, and an automatic gratuity. You may want to add in an additional $10 to $15 per day for miscellaneous expenses. That cost is significantly less than some full-service retirement communities, which can easily cost more than $100 per day. Extreme cruisers might be able to live on board for less than $30,000 per year

Would you ever live on cruise ships year-round?

(S-R photo archives)

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About this blog

Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

Ask a question: Catherine welcomes questions about aging issues and grief. Email her at

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