Elderly couple book 51 cruises because it’s cheaper than living in care home

An elderly couple booked 51 back-to-back cruises after discovering it would be cheaper for them to keep on sailing around the world than paying for a retirement home.

Marty and Jess Ansen have been living out at sea since June 16, 2022 and have spent 450 days so far on board Princess Cruises’s Coral Princess – more than most of the crew, including the ship’s captains.

The couple set off after two years of strict lockdowns in Australia and after the gruelling experience, they decided to spend their days on vacation.

Marty said: “Eventually, I said to my agent, ‘Look, whatever comes, book it’ and that’s how it got to be such a long cruise.”

Jess said they had long enjoyed cruises before retirement and after planning a couple more vacations they concluded it would be more convenient for them to live on board for two years than pay for a care home.

“It’s our lifestyle,” she said as she noted they always have something to do, whether it’s dancing or exploring new cities. And they don’t have to worry about cleaning their cabin as they have a maid to worry about that.

She added: “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.”

While Jess has been spending her days hula dancing, Marty has instead spent his time making “lifelong friends” out of the other passengers.

Speaking to A Current Affair, he said: “Now, we don’t have to wash up anymore, or make the bed.

“We don’t know how to make a because we haven’t done it for so long, so now we have to stay on board just to stay alive.”

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He added: “It’s a wonderful life.”

The Australian couple have embraced a new routine of starting their days playing ping pong before enjoying some beers on their private balcony to better enjoy the view.

Hotel manager Ren van Rooyen noted the pair have slowly become celebrities among the crew – and even those who only join the Coral Princess for one trip venture out to say hi.

“Everyone knows them around the ship, they’re basically celebrities onboard,” van Rooyen said.

While the couple has another eight months on board the Coral Princess to look forward to, Jess and Marty have already set sight on the next leg of their worldwide adventure.

At the end of their 51-cruise booking, they will embark on another year-long trip on the company’s Crown Princess, a bigger ship boasting 1,531 cabins, more than 10 restaurants, a casino and a cinema theater.

The couple doesn’t even have to worry about not seeing their families a lot, as they catch up whenever the ship docks near their homes.

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