These recent retirees are accustomed to living a minimalist lifestyle. They are now transitioning from their land-based life to the ultimate retirement at sea.
"We live quite frugally...But in looking more closely at how all-inclusive the maintenance fees are, we determined it was financially possible for us"
- Profession: Kathy was a computer engineer/software architect and Fred was a computer numerics specialist
- Current Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
- Favorite Destination: New Zealand or any safari
- Last Vacation: Snorkeling in Raja Ampat
- #1 Bucket List Location: Egypt and Petra
- Favorite Part of Ship: Kathy is looking forward to kayaking off the marina deck and Fred is looking forward to the food diversity in the restaurants
- Favorite Quote: “Savers sleep well, investors eat well, spenders work forever.”
- Full-time or Part-time? Full time except for "vacations" to see family, especially grandchildren. We’ll also be leaving the ship for longer side trips from ports.
Why did you decide to purchase a Storylines residence?
We love to travel, both on cruises and independent travel on land. Fred and I both loved the idea of cruising the world, leaving the ship as we please to explore places in more depth. Living on a boat or ship has intrigued me for a long time. I periodically searched the web for residential ships but there was nothing in our price range until now. The cost seemed shocking at first since we live quite frugally (except for our travels). But, in looking more closely at how all-inclusive the maintenance fees are, we determined it was financially possible for us.
How do you envision your new lifestyle?
On the travel side, we love the idea of multiple days in a port and weeks in a region to explore and experience new places in some depth. We expect to plan side trips from the ports we visit, rejoining the ship weeks or months later. We experienced this on a 'Semester at Sea' college student voyage and loved it.
On board, I'm looking forward to a level of luxury that will spoil me for good. It seems like a wonderful reward for all our years of working and saving. Fred and I are used to living in small spaces, so the cabin size doesn't matter much to us. We like the idea of minimizing what we own, and have already begun downsizing.
How will this differ from vacation cruises you have taken?
Most cruises that we take are in a port for less than a day, forcing us to make a choice between all the interesting possibilities in the area.
Another big difference for me is the ability to cook for myself. Today most cruise ships will try to cater to different diets, but not with the more interesting dishes that I would cook for myself. I think having a kitchen to use is critical to my long term happiness and wellbeing.
Finally, cruise ships generally lead to casual, temporary friendships. MV Narrative will be a community, just like a neighborhood or clubs at home. We expect to form lasting friendships and enjoy exploring the world with likeminded people.
What additional info would be helpful for other cruisers who may or may not have considered living on a ship?
It's amazing how little you need once you consider everything that Storylines provides. We made a list of everything we would need when living on the ship, then I calculated needed storage from that. You should need little or no kitchen items, no linens, no cleaning supplies, no tools, no photocopier, no printer, etc. Sports equipment and watercraft are supplied too. The biggest storage requirement is likely to be for clothes and shoes. Fred and I are going all digital for photos, e-books, music, paperwork, and bill paying. We also considered what furnishings we really need in our cabin, while keeping in mind all the common areas of the ship. That's how we determined what size cabin we needed.
I also like the idea of not owning and maintaining a car. We'll be walking to our gym, our pool, the theatre, restaurants, and activities. On shore, we'll generally take taxis or public transport with an occasional car rental. This saves money compared to a land-based life as well.
A big thanks to Kathy and Fred for sharing with us. From all of us at Storylines, we look forward to welcoming you on board.