Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Justaddvodka68

Who's spent a large number of days at sea in a year?

Recommended Posts

Our retirement bucket list is to sell our home, put everything in storage and spend an entire year traveling.  

 

We aren't RV'er or big on huge drives.  

 

Last year I did some research and found that I could spend about 40 weeks on the seas and the other 12, spread out through the year, on land in our time-shares and/or RCI last calls, etc and literally be homeless for a year and just travel for well under $40,000 for the both of us.  Considering 40 of those weeks will include food and sometimes drinks as well as other perks, this would be cheaper than living on land for the year. 

 

We do have family on land who we'll "live" with for mail purposes, etc.  

 

We'll need an annual travel insurance policy, of course, especially for medical reasons.  And will plan our time on-shore to get to our annual appointments and so forth. 

 

Anyone do anything like this?  Any tips, pointers or warnings? 

 

Looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was also wondering if you're allowed to disembark a cruise along the way?

 

For instance, if we took a 7 night cruise and on the 5th day, we were at an island we wanted to stay a week or at, can we just get off the ship and not return?  (Obviously, letting the crew know, so they didn't think we were just missing.) and arranging to be properly cleared to enter by the island.  Probably with return airfare pre-booked. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Early disembarkation requires advance notice to the cruise line. They need to arrange for Immigration and Customs . There would likely also be a fee for doing this, and your cruise fare would not be reduced for the remaining days where you aren't on board. 

 

BTW, I think your initial yearly estimate is grossly underestimated unless you're planning on living in an inside cabin on a bargain  basement ship, never do shore excursions other than walking around the port area, never buy a beverage on board,  and don't do anything impulsive like hopping off a ship to stay at a land resort and then need to fly "home" before boarding your next ship. And at that price, you would end up confining yourself to only one geographic area (Caribbean?), because your budget wouldn't allow for flights to distant embarkation ports).

 

I have to ask- How much cruising have you already done?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mom says said:

 

BTW, I think your initial yearly estimate is grossly underestimated unless you're planning on living in an inside cabin on a bargain  basement ship, never do shore excursions other than walking around the port area, never buy a beverage on board,  and don't do anything impulsive like hopping off a ship to stay at a land resort and then need to fly "home" before boarding your next ship. And at that price, you would end up confining yourself to only one geographic area (Caribbean?), because your budget wouldn't allow for flights to distant embarkation ports).

 

I have to ask- How much cruising have you already done?

 

I haven't updated my signature in a while.  I've done what's listed there plus four more.

 

No, I've actually mock booked, mostly NCL, using transatlantics to connect to some Mediterranean itineraries and a Panama canal cruise to get east to west or back.  You can actually go quite a few places with some planning without having to spend a lot on alternative transportation.  Our base would be Florida, so many would be Caribbean, which we love and many can be last minute cheap bookings.  Between all the lines you can find a cheap Caribbean cruise on a moments notice for a fraction of the full fare.  

 

We aren't fussy on our stateroom location.  OV or better is fine by us. 

 

As for excursions, we rarely do those now. Hop in a cab and go to our favorite beaches.  Some ports we don't bother to get off the ship, (Tortola for instance.) 

 

Sure, most weeks won't be exciting, but they'll be enjoyable.  As enjoyable or more as living in a condo on the beach and puttering around town, which is what we'd be doing on land. 

 

Of course I'm talking 40K (in today's dollars) for the cruise fares and condo maintenance fees.  We'd spend more than that on living, which might include the occasional purchased cocktail, (although I can't imagine needing more than free casino drinks and other freebies offered as various status rewards, which I'm sure we'd maximize by then,) activities in port, gambling and other things here and there. Rent or mortgage, taxes, condo fees, utilities, food and entertainment would easily add up to 40K a year, so by giving up the house for a year, I think we'd break about even. 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mom says said:

Early disembarkation requires advance notice to the cruise line. They need to arrange for Immigration and Customs . There would likely also be a fee for doing this, and your cruise fare would not be reduced for the remaining days where you aren't on board. 

 

Makes sense.  I've seen several southern Caribbean itineraries that include St. Martin as one of the last stops before the disembarkation. We have a time share there.  Was wondering if taking the cruise only that far would be an option.  Of course I wouldn't expect a refund of unused days. 

 

Right now we live in Buffalo, and the flight to St. Martin can be as expensive as a cruise.  

 

We did a repo a few years ago that left Manhattan &  ended in Puerto Rico and flew over to ST. Martin from there pretty cheap, then just had the one way flight home.  Made for a nice 16 day vacation with the couple days we spend in PR.  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/17/2019 at 11:55 AM, Justaddvodka68 said:

Our retirement bucket list is to sell our home, put everything in storage and spend an entire year traveling.  

 

We aren't RV'er or big on huge drives.  

 

Last year I did some research and found that I could spend about 40 weeks on the seas and the other 12, spread out through the year, on land in our time-shares and/or RCI last calls, etc and literally be homeless for a year and just travel for well under $40,000 for the both of us.  Considering 40 of those weeks will include food and sometimes drinks as well as other perks, this would be cheaper than living on land for the year. 

 

We do have family on land who we'll "live" with for mail purposes, etc.  

 

We'll need an annual travel insurance policy, of course, especially for medical reasons.  And will plan our time on-shore to get to our annual appointments and so forth. 

 

Anyone do anything like this?  Any tips, pointers or warnings? 

 

Looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts. 

 

We have been retired about 14 years and manage to travel (internationally) about 6 months a year.  There are a few cruisers that nearly live on ships (there is a couple on Princess and there used to be a lady on Cunard).  And there is also The World which is a cruise ship/condo vessel where folks own their own condos (very large multi-room cabins).  We do buy an annual medical policy but it is only good for the first 70 days of every trip....which keeps our trips to 10 weeks.  But that works well since we need to get home, from time to time, to see physicians, deal with our snail mail, etc.

 

As much as we love to cruise we have found that our limit seems to be about 120 days a year.  We want to keep in fresh and exciting so we cruise on many different lines (16 to date) and various itineraries all over the world.   RCI is no longer a line we enjoy and would never be our choice for longer cruises.  The long cruise market is somewhat different and many find themselves driven to lines like HAL, Oceania and Princess....all of whom have quite a few longer itineraries.  The advantage to being on a long cruise is that you get to know many members of the crew as well as form some great relationships with other passengers.  In our experience the people make the cruise.. 

 

Hank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Hlitner said:

RCI is no longer a line we enjoy and would never be our choice for longer cruises. 

 

Hank, I think he might have been referring to RCI the time share company, not the cruise line.  

 

On 9/17/2019 at 8:55 AM, Justaddvodka68 said:

Anyone do anything like this?  Any tips, pointers or warnings? 

 

Looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts. 

 

It would be nice if you could somehow reach out to Mario Salcedo (aka Super Mario).  He practically lives on Royal Caribbean ships.

 

You might be interested in this article.  It says he pays about $70k/yr for his cruises.  Although, I'm pretty sure he always books a Junior Suite.

 

https://www.thebillfold.com/2017/03/is-living-on-a-cruise-ship-less-expensive-than-living-on-land/

 

Good on you if you can swing it.  No way I could do it.  I get tired of the people, food and same-old routine after about 10 days.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a number of videos on YouTube in which Super Mario discusses the logistics and costs of living full time on cruise ships. They might be worth a watch. He does say that he's usually in inside cabins.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/20/2019 at 1:11 PM, Hlitner said:

We have been retired about 14 years and manage to travel (internationally) about 6 months a year.  There are a few cruisers that nearly live on ships (there is a couple on Princess and there used to be a lady on Cunard).  And there is also The World which is a cruise ship/condo vessel where folks own their own condos (very large multi-room cabins).  We do buy an annual medical policy but it is only good for the first 70 days of every trip....which keeps our trips to 10 weeks.  But that works well since we need to get home, from time to time, to see physicians, deal with our snail mail, etc.

 

As much as we love to cruise we have found that our limit seems to be about 120 days a year.  We want to keep in fresh and exciting so we cruise on many different lines (16 to date) and various itineraries all over the world.   RCI is no longer a line we enjoy and would never be our choice for longer cruises.  The long cruise market is somewhat different and many find themselves driven to lines like HAL, Oceania and Princess....all of whom have quite a few longer itineraries.  The advantage to being on a long cruise is that you get to know many members of the crew as well as form some great relationships with other passengers.  In our experience the people make the cruise.. 

 

Hank

 

 

Hi Hank, 

 

Good to know about the travel insurance limits.  That seems about right anyway, I figured 8-10 cruises, a couple weeks on land, then back to sea. 

 

I too plan to use various lines and travel all over the world with as few flights as possible, using TA, TP and Panama Canal trips. Mixing things up between longer voyages and some short ones. 

 

We'll also maximize our casino comps by upping our play on each line the year or two before so we have a bunch of really cheap weeks only having to pay upgrades and port fees, etc. If I can earn 12 cruises through comps, that'll cut a lot off the bill. That can be done easily. I know a guy now who averages one 7-14 day cruise a month all through casino comps on RCII. 

 

Anytime rates are too high, summer for instance and spring and Christmas break, we would spend in our time-shares or visiting family. We have enough RCI points a year to get at least 6 weeks, in a 1 bedroom or studio, often more, (off season)  for only about $3K in maintenance fees a year. For more weeks you can always get a condo within a couple hours drive from the Florida ports through RCI last chance for $250 a week, even in the busy season. 

 

I'm looking forward to this as a grand adventure with some time planned out in advance and some time being spontaneous and going with whatever fantastic opportunities come up! 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Justaddvodka68 said:

 

 

Hi Hank, 

 

Good to know about the travel insurance limits.  That seems about right anyway, I figured 8-10 cruises, a couple weeks on land, then back to sea. 

 

I too plan to use various lines and travel all over the world with as few flights as possible, using TA, TP and Panama Canal trips. Mixing things up between longer voyages and some short ones. 

 

We'll also maximize our casino comps by upping our play on each line the year or two before so we have a bunch of really cheap weeks only having to pay upgrades and port fees, etc. If I can earn 12 cruises through comps, that'll cut a lot off the bill. That can be done easily. I know a guy now who averages one 7-14 day cruise a month all through casino comps on RCII. 

 

Anytime rates are too high, summer for instance and spring and Christmas break, we would spend in our time-shares or visiting family. We have enough RCI points a year to get at least 6 weeks, in a 1 bedroom or studio, often more, (off season)  for only about $3K in maintenance fees a year. For more weeks you can always get a condo within a couple hours drive from the Florida ports through RCI last chance for $250 a week, even in the busy season. 

 

I'm looking forward to this as a grand adventure with some time planned out in advance and some time being spontaneous and going with whatever fantastic opportunities come up! 

 

 

 

 

The insurance we referenced is a pretty popular annual travel med policy issued by Geo-Blue (part of the Blue Cross-Blue Shield network).  That policy is available to residents of most (not all) States.  There are some other annual policies and each has their own rule.   This particular policy gives you $250,000 of medical coverage (drops to $100,000 at age 70) along with $500,000 of medical evacuation and usually costs about $550 per year (total cost to cover a married couple or certain partners).  Keep in mind this is a medical policy and does not cover trip cancelation, interruption, etc.

 

Hank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...