Is it cheaper to live on a cruise ship?

During retirement, there may come a time when maintaining your current household just becomes too difficult. When the garden work and house cleaning become too much, or when you begin to struggle to get meals on the table, the obvious option many seniors consider is assisted living.

Living on a cruise ship is a way for seniors to take advantage of similar amenities to those provided by assisted living facilities, like all-you-can eat meals, a swimming pool for low-impact exercise, regular companionship and entertainment, and even access to on-board doctors.

UK Care Homes have a weekly average of around £704, but a 7-day cruise can be around £1,500.

Depending on where you live, nursing care on average is £4,000 a month. That round-the-world cruise is looking more appealing and

better value by the moment. You can bet your local care home doesn’t offer casinos or midnight buffets, but your average cruise ship does offer round-the-clock service and a fully stocked medical centre and on board doctor!

Doctors, another big reason for this shift may be access to healthcare. Most assisted living facilities don't have doctors available 24/7. But cruise ships

have health facilities with doctors and nurses who live on board. They're capable of handling any medical emergencies.

Although a cruise ship wouldn't be an ideal place for someone with severe or chronic health problems, it can work well for many healthy seniors.

The logistics of living permanently on a cruise ship seem more than a little impractical. First of all, you can’t bring much more than a suitcase worth of possessions on a cruise due to luggage allowances. You can forget about packing your favourite sitting chair or a painting. That issue aside, it’s not as if we could just move on to a cruise ship and live happily ever after. Passengers must disembark when the cruise ends, and make arrangements while the ship is at the port. Keeping these temporary arrangements month after month would be more than burdensome.

Another consideration is that seniors who move to assisted living facilities and nursing homes require help with activities of daily living such as bathing, toileting, dressing, and grooming. Yes, you may be able to get breakfast delivered to your room on a cruise ship or hotel, but the staff are not prepared or able to help provide hands-on personal care.

Life in a Care Home also provides a sense of home which you may not get on a cruise ship where you may have to keep moving every few weeks. Care homes provide comfort and friendship within the other residents and staff where you know exactly which faces you’ll see each day which is helpful with early on-set dementia. Of course, any elderly individuals with health concerns can be well looked after around the clock in an assisted facility where medication is monitored and distributed appropriately.

So what would you choose?


Cruise ship or care home?