Suzanne from California is a single resident who has found her community in the friends and neighbors she will be sharing the Storylines ship with.
"The biggest fear I have as a single woman is losing that sense of community that drives our lives. It gives us meaning and purpose and good health. These ‘blue zones’ in the world where people live a long time have a ‘village’, a group of people that you are close to, which increases longevity. It's vital. It's essential for mental health. Humans have always been a safety net for each other. The light of the human spirit will always find a way to burn brightly. People are finding clever ways to nurture community, and I have found mine in Storylines."
Profession: Retired boutique hotels owner
Current Location: Northern California
Favorite Destination: Maui, Hawaii
Last Vacation: 34-day South Pacific cruise
#1 Bucket List Location: Santorini, Greece
Favorite Part of the Ship: Marina deck
Why? There is no other cruise ship that I know of where it is possible to jump into the water.
"The world you desire can be won. It exists... it is real... it is possible... it’s yours.” ~Ayn Rand
How did you come to the decision to purchase a Storylines residence?
I was on a vacation on a cruise ship that was docked next to a ship that looked strange to me because each deck had different furniture and even plants. I googled its name, ‘The World’, and discovered it was a Resident Ship. That was my first introduction to this new concept. My hopes were deflated after discovering that I needed $8 million to even talk to them (now $10M). Shortly after that, at the end of 2018, I received a flyer in the mail from Storylines and said to myself, 'OMG, this is my dream come true!' I couldn't dial the number fast enough. It so happened that one of the founders, Alister Punton, was flying into San Francisco from Australia so I offered to pick him up from the airport. We had lunch and I discovered the Founding Principles were just what I was looking for in my independent, retired years. At that time, they were planning on renovating an older ship but because of new maritime environmental laws, they fortunately decided on a newbuild. Their plan in 2018 has evolved for the better.
How do you envision your new lifestyle?
Healthier. I walk out my door and I have direct access to exercise equipment, fitness classes, water aerobics, healthy delicious food that I don't have to cook, morning walks around the track with friends, and a stop at the juice bar. I’m also looking forward to just enjoying the views, chatting with other residents and reading a good book in a quiet corner while breathing in the fresh sea air.
How will that differ from cruises you have taken?
A cruise ship is made up of thousands of people ready to party, coming on and off the ship every week or two, or month or two. A residential ship is made up of people that live there, so it’s a more controlled and safer environment of like-minded people that you come to know and love. A community. Storylines has achieved the feeling of a neighborhood, very different from a cruise ship. There is no tipping, no paying for wi-fi and incidentals. You can't jump into the water from a cruise ship, but on this ship you can enjoy swimming, kayaking, and wave runners from the marine platforms.
What additional info might be helpful for other singles who may or may not have considered living on a ship?
I plan on staying on the ship for a few months, then flying home to see my family for a few months; or my family can come see me on the ship. I can't wait to take my granddaughter to Italy. One of the families living onboard has already offered their teenage daughters to babysit!
It’s important to know that if you rent your ship residence out when you're not using it, the rental income can help pay for the annual maintenance fees. The fees cover all of the food, alcohol, housekeeping, laundry, entertainment, spa, gym, ship expenses, and TRAVEL!
The difficult part for me will be staying away that long, though. For now I plan on renting out my home in California when I'm not using it. That will provide some extra income, too. This life of luxury is very affordable for those on a fixed income, especially if you decide to live full time onboard. No property taxes, no water bill, cable tv, utilities, house maintenance, car, etc.
Tell us more about being a solo traveler
The biggest fear I have as a single woman is losing that sense of community that drives our lives. It gives us meaning and purpose and good health. These ‘blue zones’ in the world where people live a long time has taught us that having a ‘village’ (a group of people that you are close to) increases longevity. It's vital. It's essential. It's important for mental health. Humans have always been a safety net for each other. The light of the human spirit will always find a way to burn brightly. People are finding clever ways to nurture community, and I have found mine in Storylines.
Thanks for contributing Suzanne! We are looking forward to welcoming you on board.