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Elderly Couple Sails For 500 Days, Finding Cruise Ships A Budget-Friendly Alternative To Retirement Home

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Marty and Jess Ansen have spent almost five hundred days on a cruise ship after booking fifty-one consecutive cruises. The retired couple took their first cruise in June 2022 and have yet to get off the 2,000-passenger Coral Princess ship since then.

The great-grandparents have no plans of leaving the ship anytime soon, either. They plan to stay aboard for up to two years despite being on longer than even the captain and crew. “Eventually, I said to my travel agent: ‘Look, whatever comes, just book it,’” Marty said.

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Elderly couple cruise retirement

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Marty and Jess told A Current Affair that staying at sea saves them more money than a retirement home. Aside from the cost, the couple enjoyed going on cruises decades before now. “It’s our lifestyle,” Jess said.

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They also love the perks that come with their choice— dancing to dinner, a maid to attend the room, and many fun activities to enjoy. “Where else can you go where you go for dinner, you go to a show, you go dancing? Through the day, you have all these activities,” she added.

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They prefer the ‘wonderful’ life

Marty and Jess start their day with ping pong, then they sit on the balcony to enjoy the view while drinking beer. They joked about not having to make their bed themselves since they are attended to every day. “We don’t know how to make a bed because we haven’t done it for so long, so now we have to stay on board just to stay alive,” Marty said.

While Jess enjoys the ballroom and hula dancing, Marty prefers to make friends onboard. “Everyone knows them around the ship, they’re basically celebrities onboard,” the hotel manager, Ren van Rooyen, said. The attention will continue for another eight months, after which they will hop on another cruise ship, likely the cruise line’s Crown Princess.

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Jess and Marty enjoy the best of both worlds as they spend time with family when they stop at ports near them. “It’s a wonderful life,” Marty exclaimed.

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