What some might call the ideal retirement others can only imagine the horrors of a perpetual buffet line.
A startup company in New York, Storylines, is selling cabins on a 584-foot luxury cruise ship to retirees who want to ply the oceans. There are only 302 cabins so you’ll have to act fast. Not.
For someone like me who considers being trapped on a cruise ship to be a complete and total nightmare, this all seems like a terrible idea. But I have no doubt it will be a success.
Cruise ship condominium owners may rent out their cabins much like the Airbnb model in order to defray monthly fees that range from $4,770 to $9,600. Yes, you read that right. The condo cabins start at $225,000 for purchase and the monthly fees are on top of that initial purchase price. One can only imagine that it’s the cost of 24 hour buffet service that’s pushing the monthly fees into stratospheric levels. Storylines officials say that the fees cover alcohol, housekeeping and other amenities.
Hopefully the “other amenities” include a ship’s doctor and medical staff. Somehow I can’t get the mental picture of a floating germ factory out of my head. It seems like at least once or twice a year there’s a cruise ship health disaster in the news. You know, the ones where the ship has to return to port after some sort of virus infects more than half the passengers who can only projectile vomit over the railing until the ship docks. Well who wouldn’t want to pay nine grand a month for a shot at that scenario.
Baby boomers have a multitude of options for how to occupy themselves in retirement and while cruising is very popular (27 million international passengers are projected for 2018), not everyone has the stomach for it. Literally.
Oh, and one more thing. Your ownership is actually a lease that is tied to the “seaworthy life of the vessel.” If the ship runs aground, so does your investment. No amount of life jackets will save you from drowning in debt if that happens. On the bright side, maybe the buffet will continue service.
Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. His mystery novel, Head Above Water, is available on Amazon and Kindle. You can also visit his author page here.