Retiring Abroad: Retiring on a Cruise Ship

Milestone Wealth Management Ltd. - Jun 05, 2024

We have all heard the story of the person who decides to sell everything and retire permanently onboard a cruise ship. As the story goes, after doing the math, it was cheaper to live on a cruise ship compared to a retirement home, not to mention the food being much better. But is this just an urban myth, or have people done this?

Actually, some people have made this their retirement choice. One person even wrote a book about her experiences entitled: ‘I May Be Homeless, But You Should See My Yacht’.

Also, the man known as “Super Mario” has been living almost continuously on various Royal Caribbean ships since the year 2000. Here is an interview called ‘Super Mario's Key to Living on Cruise Ships Successfully’.

Would living on a cruise ship be realistic for most people? Maybe not, but it might be fun to think about.

Here are some of the benefits:

  • Great meals
  • Never having to cook again
  • Room service, if you’d like
  • Personal room attendant to make up your room every day
  • Seeing the world, one port at a time, without having to fly to different destinations
  • Fitness centre and/or walking track
  • Entertainment in the evenings and activities during the day


​​​​​​​There are some disadvantages to this lifestyle, however:

  • Never having a place to call home
  • Always being away from kids, grandkids and other family
  • It would be difficult to have people come for a visit
  • Sticking to a diet would be pretty difficult
  • Travel health insurance could be quite expensive
  • Going ashore in the various ports would add to one’s cost of living


​​​​​​​Here are a couple of articles written on the topic:

Tips for Living on a Cruise Ship Year-Round

How to Retire on a Cruise Ship

In reality, retiring permanently on a cruise ship is probably not realistic for most people. But if you love the idea, there is always the option of doing cruise-style ‘snowbirding’ by stringing together a few longer cruises in the January to March timeframe. This could be a great way to cruise for a month or two, which would help to break up those long Canadian winters.