A married couple has taken an unconventional approach to retirement by booking 51 consecutive cruises, convinced that life at sea is more economical than residing in a retirement home.
Marty and Jess Ansen embarked on this lengthy adventure in June last year when they boarded the Coral Princess. Over the past year and a half, they’ve filled their days with dancing, dining, forming lasting friendships, and exploring the world.
In a playful twist, they humorously mention that they “welcome the captains onboard” instead of vice versa. Hailing from Australia, Marty and Jess have become celebrities of sorts among their fellow passengers, as confirmed by manager Ren van Rooyen. Even travelers joining the ship for shorter cruises specifically request to meet the dynamic duo, whose inspiring story has captivated people back home for the past 455 days.
Marty suspects they may need to remain on a cruise ship for the foreseeable future because they’ve grown so accustomed to this maritime lifestyle that they’ve forgotten how to make a bed or prepare a meal – a humorous remark shared with A Current Affair.
Although they’ve been seasoned cruisers for many years, they decided to go full-time after the onset of the Covid pandemic. Feeling like they missed several years of enjoyment due to the strict Australian lockdown, they devised a plan to spend their days on holiday. “Eventually I said to my agent, ‘Look, whatever comes, book it,’ and that’s how it turned into such a lengthy cruise,” explained Marty. All their meals are included in the ticket price, and daily chores are a thing of the past, thanks to a team of onboard staff who maintain their room.
According to the couple, this lifestyle is more cost-effective than moving into a retirement home. Earlier this year, the ship’s crew, who have become like family to Marty and Jess, went above and beyond to help the great-grandmother celebrate her birthday.
To fully relish a cold beer on the deck and indulge in the ship’s buffet, Marty and Jess kickstart each day with an invigorating hour of ping pong. In the upcoming weeks, they’ll be sailing around Hawaii. However, they still have eight more months aboard the Coral Princess before disembarking briefly on dry land. The hiatus is short-lived because Jess and Marty are already planning a year-long cruise aboard the Crown Princess.
The Australian couple isn’t alone in choosing a life at sea over time on land. Meredith Shay has opted for an extraordinary 1,000-plus-day journey aboard the MV Lara, which will embark on the world’s first three-year-long cruise.
The former flight attendant has chosen to reside in one of the ship’s luxurious seventh-floor suites with a balcony, anticipating it will become a central gathering place for the friends she hopes to make along the way. Using half the proceeds from the sale of her home, the Floridian retiree will enjoy the cruise, which costs $29,999 (£24,700) annually for the most affordable cabins.
Readers, how do you feel about Marty and Jess Ansen’s unconventional decision to spend their retirement on a continuous series of cruises?
Source: A Current Affair.