As the world becomes more connected, travel has become easier than ever. The internet has brought us closer to other cultures and people all over the world. However, this also means that travelers are exposed to more dangers than ever before.

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Few individuals would refuse a vacation at sea. Imagine cruising into the sunset on a beautiful cruise ship. It’s a luxurious way to vacation and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for anybody who wants to see the globe.  

While cruises are a fantastic way to travel, have you ever considered living aboard a cruise ship full time? Choosing to retire aboard a cruise ship or just call a cruise ship home and enjoy life at sea may be a rewarding and unforgettable experience. 

This tutorial is for you if this seems like something you’d be interested in. Continue reading to learn more about this once-in-a-lifetime chance, what it entails, and how to make it a reality.

What It’s Like to Be a Passenger on a Cruise Ship

Living aboard a cruise ship may seem like a dream come true for some of us, but there’s a lot more to retiring on a cruise ship than just packing your belongings and setting sail. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of living aboard a cruise ship that you should be aware of.

The Passenger Vessel Services Act: What Is It and How Does It Affect Cruises?

The Pros

One of the most appealing aspects of living aboard a cruise ship is the opportunity to travel the globe – literally. On a typical cruise, you’ll visit one or two countries.

As a permanent cruiser, on the other hand, you’ll be able to visit as many nations as you choose, allowing you to explore the whole globe during your retirement. What an experience!

Furthermore, once you get in port, you will have the option to engage in a variety of shore excursions. Long-term cruises often provide discounted or even complimentary shore excursions, making participation in unusual excursions much more feasible.

Cruise Shore ExcursionShore excursion aboard a cruise ship (photo credit: shorex.koss /

Aside from visiting new locations and having a taste of adventure, there are a few practical advantages to live aboard a cruise ship. Because you don’t have to worry about buying food, paying for gas, or covering other land-based costs, life on a cruise may actually save you money. 

On a cruise, the cost of the cruise includes all meals and entertainment. While you may spend a lot up front, you will save money in the long run by eliminating monthly vehicle payments, gas expenses, electricity bills, and food expenditures. 

The Cons

Onboard a cruise, however, it is not all sunshine and seashells. Living on a cruise has a few drawbacks, and being aware of them is essential for remaining comfortable and enjoying life at sea. 

One of the initial disadvantages is the high cost of living aboard a cruise ship. That doesn’t only apply to the expense of your living quarters. Tips, trips, medical treatment, and high-end eating choices may rapidly drain your bank account. 

Over Packed SuitcaseSuitcase Overflowing (Photo by Natalia Kostikova / Shutterstock)

When you opt to live aboard a cruise, you’ll also be putting a dent on your things. Because cruise ships have limited capacity, you won’t be able to carry all of your personal belongings with you. This may include downsizing or hiring storage space on property to keep your excess belongings. 

Finally, you will not have access to the same level of medical treatment as you would on land if you chose to reside aboard a cruise ship. While medical services are available aboard, they may not be able to help with some illnesses.

Before you join up to live or retire aboard a cruise ship, check with your doctor. This can help you avoid being ill on a trip and being stranded at sea without the medical assistance you need.

What It’s Like to Live on a Cruise Ship

There are many ways to make your dream of living aboard a cruise ship a reality. Knowing your choices is the first step toward abandoning your land-based existence and sailing for the foreseeable future.

Residents are snowbirds.

Snowbird cruises are a wonderful option if you want to live on a ship but aren’t ready to sell your house or move away from a land-based lifestyle. These voyages enable you to sail in the winter yet return to land in the spring and summer. 

Snowbird cruises may last anywhere from 58 to 116 days, giving you the flexibility to spend as much or as little time at sea as you choose. These cruises start at $16,000 per person and may cost as much as $250,000. These cruises, on the other hand, come with a slew of extra perks, including:

  • Up to $499 in free economy flights per guest
  • Gratuities up to $1,656 per visitor are free if paid in advance.
  • Packages of free beverages
  • A ship credit of up to $4,200 is available.
  • There are up to 42 complimentary shore excursions available.

While the initial cost may seem expensive, these additional benefits and credits may significantly reduce the expense of living at sea. They will also make it more pleasant!

Purchase a Cruise Home

A cruise home is another alternative for anybody searching for a permanent onboard dwelling. Private studios, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments are available on board ships like The World.

The World Cruise ShipThe Cruise Ship Around the World (Photo credit: Samoilov)

You may expect to spend anything from $352,000 to $36 million to call one of these ships home. Furthermore, residents are obliged to include annual maintenance costs in their budget. 

You may also search for ships that are specifically designed for your needs while selecting a cruise home. The World, for example, caters to seniors, while Storyline Cruises caters to digital nomads and working people looking for a place to call home.

Book several cruises in a row.

You may follow in Mario Salcedo’s footsteps and book back-to-back trips if you wish to adopt a more DIY approach to living on a ship. With this strategy, you’ll need to be ready to travel from port to port on occasion. 

Docked Miami Cruise ShipsPhoto credit: Mizioznikov

Most cruise companies publish itineraries up to two years in advance, so you’ll be able to plan your cruises well in advance of when you need to book your next one. 

In addition, most cruise lines give regular cruisers incentives and loyalty schemes. This makes it simpler for you to embark and set sail without incurring excessive expenses. 

Life aboard a Cruise Ship Recommendations

So, you’ve decided to go on a journey to live aboard a cruise ship? We’ve put up a few pointers to help you adjust to life on the high seas. Follow these tips to make the adjustment to your new lifestyle as easy as possible. 

Put it to the Test

Before deciding to live aboard a cruise ship, take a few voyages with various cruise lines. Setting sail on different cruise lines will not only allow you to determine whether or not you like this lifestyle, but it will also allow you to compare which cruise lines you prefer. 

You might take a world trip, a grand journey lasting more than a month, or just schedule a series of back-to-back voyages to determine whether full-time cruising is for you. This will help you determine whether or not living aboard a cruise ship is a feasible choice for you.  

Consult a financial planner.

It’s no secret that cruise ships are costly, and if you intend to live aboard for an extended period of time, you’ll need to budget for those additional costs. Meeting with a financial advisor may help you figure out how much you can spend and provide you budgeting advice for keeping your money in order while you’re on the water.

Budgeting for Living on a Cruise ShipBudgeting for a Cruise Ship Life (Photo credit: Shutterstock/ Natalia Danchenko)

Make sure to consider any monthly expenses you’ll still be liable for while at sea. Maybe you’ll have to pay a phone bill. You may also have an insurance policy that you must adhere to. 

Speaking with a financial advisor before of time can help you keep your land-based expenditures in check while at sea. Both of these methods will make it simpler for you to transition to a full-time cruise ship job. 

Speak with a representative.

It’s a good idea to talk with a travel agency after you’ve determined whether or not sailing full-time is a suitable financial decision for you. He or she will be able to assist you in creating a customized cruising experience that allows you to live the lifestyle you want while on board. 

Additionally, travel brokers may get you some great discounts. They may be able to save you money on your trip or provide you with enhancements while you’re on board. 

Plan Your Medical Care Ahead of Time

Remember how we mentioned cruise ship medical treatment might be a little sketchy? You should see your primary care physician before deciding to live aboard a cruise ship full-time. Before you board, he or she will be able to assist you in getting any necessary medications filled. 

It’s also worth noting that most typical US insurance policies don’t cover you at sea. If you intend to live aboard a cruise ship full-time, you’ll need specific insurance coverage. 

Onboard, stay social

It’s easy to feel lonely when you spend a year at sea. Because of the distant nature of life at sea, your friends and family are far away, and letters may be few and far between.

Cruise Passengers

If you intend to spend your whole vacation on a cruise ship, be sure to schedule time to interact with other passengers. At a card game event, team up with someone or ask a visitor to accompany you on a beach trip. Make sure to remain sociable while aboard, regardless of how you do it.

Make a Timetable

While going with the flow while cruising is definitely an option, it may quickly lead to a rut. Plus, if you’re working, staying focused and on task while cruising may be difficult. 

Creating a timetable may help you fit into the cruising lifestyle if you intend to live aboard a ship full-time. Attending the same events and interacting with the same group of people may also help you establish new acquaintances. 

Consider What You’re Eating

It’s no secret that cruises are a foodie’s dream, with a variety of unusual dining choices to whet cruisers’ appetites. If you’re not cautious, all that good dining and rich food can rapidly add inches to your waistline. 

If you want to live on a ship full-time, you’ll need to prioritize healthy diet. You may request sauces on the side or substitute a dish of salad for the fries. Whatever method you choose, it’s critical that you prioritize your health.

Take to the seas and live aboard a cruise ship.

Living aboard a cruise ship may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s the ideal way to travel the globe in comfort and elegance, while taking use of a variety of facilities that you wouldn’t find in an on-shore home.

Also see: Cruise Ship Terminology: Bow vs. Stern, Aft vs. Foward

Whether you want to retire on a cruise or just take a year-long trip, this book demonstrates that life on a ship is a possibility if you want it to be.

Living on a Cruise Ship

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