Couple take 51 cruises because 'it's cheaper than a retirement home'
A Current Affair
An Australian couple have been making the most out of their retirement after spending the past 500 days at sea on 51 cruises, apparently a cheaper alternative to a nursing home.
After being unable to travel due to Covid lockdowns in Australia, Marty and Jess Ansen first set sail on June 16 from Brisbane last year and never looked back.
In total, the couple has spent over 450 days on board the Coral Princess and are set to remain on the ship for the next year.
This extended vacation means that the great-grandparents have been on board longer than some of the cruise crew and captains - "We welcome the different captains on board!" Jess said to A Current Affair.
“Eventually, I said to my [travel] agent: ‘Look, whatever comes, just book it and that's how it got to be such a long cruise," Marty explained.
The happy couple love sailing around the worldYouTube/A Current Affair
Living on a cruise ship also has the added benefits of the couple's meals being covered, and not having to clean their room themselves, not forgetting the endless amount of entertainment.
“It's a lifestyle - where else can you go where you go for dinner, you go to a show, you go dancing?” Jess said. “Through the day, you have all these activities.”
Some of the highlights of the cruise include the hula and ballroom dancing for Jess and for Marty, it's all about "seeing the world" and making lifelong friends.
Meanwhile, the ship’s hotel manager, Ren van Rooyen who has been on board for less time than the pair described Marty and Jess as like his "second mum and dad".
"Everyone knows them around the ship, they’re basically celebrities onboard," he added.
Jess did note that one of the only downsides of their cruising lifestyle is "saying goodbye to the people you've met".
Though Marty chimed in: “Now, we don’t have to wash up anymore or make the bed."
“We don’t know how to make a because we haven’t done it for so long, so now we have to stay on board just to stay alive."
When it comes to family, Jess says she doesn't miss them as they're "busy" but that they are also only a phone call or email away and they meet up when they sail past their ports.
"We're at the stage of our lives where we just want to enjoy ourselves," she concluded, while Marty described the set-up as a "wonderful life".