Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Woman Spends $164K a Year Living On a Cruise Ship

This takes Harry Shultz's perpetual traveler concept to an entirely new level.

NyPo reports:
A Florida widow has been sailing the seven seas for almost seven years aboard the cruise liner Crystal Serenity, where she is a permanent resident.
Lee Wachstetter, 86, embarked on her nautical adventure at her daughter’s advice after her husband died of cancer in 1997 – selling her five-bedroom home on 10 acres near Fort Lauderdale area, USA Today reported.
“My husband introduced me to cruising,” said Wachstetter, who is known as Mama Lee on the 1,070-passenger ship.”
“Mason was a banker and real estate appraiser and taught me to love cruising. During our 50-year marriage we did 89 cruises. I’ve done nearly a hundred more and 15 world cruises.”
Mama Lee, who said she stopped counting the countries she’s visited after 100, rarely bothers going ashore anymore.
“And when most everybody goes ashore it’s so quiet, and I have almost the whole ship for myself,” she said.
Mama Lee keeps in touch with her three sons and seven grandkids using her laptop.
“I hear from one of them every day, and visit with them whenever we dock in Miami. Last year we docked in Miami five times,” she said.
Her accommodations are no bargain – she estimates she will pony up about $164,000 this year alone. That will pay for her single-occupancy cabin, meals, ballroom dancing, entertainment, movies, lectures and other activities.
“I enjoy dancing, and this was the best of the remaining ships that still use dance hosts,” Mama Lee said. “My husband didn’t dance, just didn’t like to, and encouraged me to dance with the hosts.”
Before casting off on the Serenity, she lived on a Holland America ship for three years.
“The day they announced they were stopping the dance host program was the day I decided to leave,” she said.


  1. You'd have to pay me to get on one of those things. A floating apartment? I'll pass.

  2. That's my plan. Living on a cruise ship for retirement.