86 Year Old Spends $164,000 A Year To Live On Cruise Ship

living on a cruise ship
image: buzzfeed article

While I love traveling, cruises are definitely not my thing.

I’ve been on a cruise once in my life and it certainly didn’t leave me wanting to go back for more. Some things that I don’t like about cruises are that you are stuck for long periods of time onboard and when you do stop, you usually get a short visit wherever it might be. Also, the day seems to revolve around the meal schedule and (at least on our cruise) there weren’t enough lounge chairs by the pool.

I will add that the cruise we went on wasn’t one of those mega-ships. If I was to try a cruise again, I wouldn’t mind trying a river cruise. I’ve read positive things about them and I’m guessing it would be a very different experience.

Why am I writing about cruises if I don’t like them?

I came across a story from Buzzfeed about 86 year-old, Lee Wachsetter, a  woman who spends $164,000 per year to live on a cruise ship. She lives onboard the Crystal Serenity. The even more incredible or crazy part is that she’s been living on a cruise ship for 7 years! She’s also been on over 280 cruises since 1962.

So why did she choose to live aboard a ship?

living on a cruise ship According to the article, “My husband and I loved to cruise. Before he died in 1997, he told me not to stop cruising and so I didn’t… He did not like to dance so, for the past 15 years, dancing has become a great part of my life. When I cannot dance, I will probably stop cruising.”

Her $164,000 covers her stay in a single-occupancy, seventh deck stateroom, meals and ballroom dancing. She also attends other events like cocktail parties, movies and more.

Wachsetter says that the crew treats her so well that they are almost like family. She’s actually been onboard the boat since 2008,  longer than most of the crew.

While she has been to over 100 countries, these days Wachsetter rarely gets off the ship but she does love visiting Istanbul, especially the Grand Bazaar.

Find out more about her story here.

7 thoughts on “86 Year Old Spends $164,000 A Year To Live On Cruise Ship

  1. It’s Crystal Serenity – not Crystal Celebrity (which doesn’t exist!)
    It’s a 6 Star line so it’s not exactly slumming it

  2. I spent 3 weeks on that ship, service and quality are excellent, much better than the mainstream cruise lines.

    Although the 7th deck is the only one without rooms without the verandah which makes the room great. I ate nearly everyday at Nobu’s restaurant, Silk Road.

  3. Bodogodog- Thanks for letting me know about the mistake. Fixed! I wouldn’t consider living on any cruise shop slumming, especially not if it costs $164,000! I am sure there are a wide variety of star/ quality levels though.

    Arhthur H- Wow, even 3 weeks to me is a very long time to spend on a cruise ship. Did you run into our resident cruiser while onboard?

  4. I think that’s a great way to spend your retirement especially if you’re a widow! So awesome! Yes that ship is quite luxurious (definitely a level above royal caribbean, carnival, etc.)
    I’ve been on 4 cruises in my life and I found it a great way for family reunions especially if you have a large extended family. Back in 2000, my family celebrated my grandmother’s 80th bday on a cruise and so all my cousins/aunts/uncles came along with my grandmother and we had a blast for an entire week.
    Cruises also enable me to get a glimpse of a city — enough for me to determine whether I’d like to go back and explore the city further for a week or so or not to visit it again.

    1. Crystal is several levels above Royal Caribbean and Carnival. My 3 week trip was significantly more expensive than those other cruises, it was about $40k, although paid by my work.

  5. I’m sure we crossed paths while I was onboard, but it was several years ago. The 3 weeks went by quickly, but there was a long period at sea since we skipped Seychelles due to pirates.

  6. Joey- Cruises do sound like the ideal place for a reunion- keep everyone close with some choice of things to do to also try to make everyone happy! I feel like stopping at a place for 4-6 hours or even a day can be a tease… I agree though- this woman sounds like she is living it up!

    Arthur H- $40K for a 3 week cruise- wow. I’d love to know what you do for work to be given that perk! How were the stops your cruise made? Worthwhile or too quick?

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