Retirement is a time eagerly awaited by many, a phase where life’s pleasures can be savored without the shackles of work. Some choose to explore the world, pick up new hobbies, or simply relish the freedom from the daily grind. In this article, we delve into the extraordinary journey of an Australian couple who took an unconventional route to retirement – 51 consecutive cruises. Marty and Jess Ansen, a retired Australian couple, embarked on this unique adventure and discovered that it offered not only excitement but also a cost-effective alternative to traditional retirement homes.
Setting Sail: The Remarkable Journey of the Ansens
Marty and Jess Ansen have been passionate about cruise holidays for decades. However, like many others, their cruise plans were abruptly halted by the COVID-19 pandemic. When the opportunity finally arose in June 2022, the Ansens decided to make up for lost time. They boarded the Coral Princess, a ship known for its lavish buffets, entertainment, and even table tennis matches.
What began as a short getaway transformed into a 500-day odyssey. Marty explained, “Eventually, I said to my agent, ‘Look, whatever comes, book it,’ and that’s how it became such a lengthy cruise.” The couple booked 51 consecutive cruises, becoming the longest-staying passengers on the ship, even surpassing the captain.
A Unique Dedication
Onboard the Coral Princess, Jess and Marty Ansen became legendary passengers. Ren van Rooyen, the hotel manager, humorously said, “I go away, and when I come back, it’s like visiting my family – my second mum and dad.” They have developed close relationships with the ship’s staff, making their experience feel like being part of a second family.
The Ansens enjoy the perks of their extended cruise, including all-inclusive meals and daily housekeeping in their cabin.
The Economics of Retirement at Sea
Jess and Marty Ansen’s unique lifestyle led them to a fascinating realization – their cruising lifestyle is more cost-effective than residing in a retirement home. This revelation challenges traditional retirement planning. With their daily needs taken care of on the ship, they have found an affordable and fulfilling alternative.
A Daily Routine of Adventure
While some travelers may grow weary of the sea after a week, Jess and Marty have established a daily routine to keep themselves healthy and entertained. They begin each day with an hour of table tennis, adding fun and fitness to their adventure. Jess remarked, “We do it together, and we have a lot of fun.” These games serve as the perfect warm-up for indulging in the cruise’s sumptuous buffets.
With over 450 days of continuous cruising, Jess and Marty Ansen remain committed to this remarkable way of life. If given the opportunity, they would continue their voyages for the rest of their lives. Their story is a testament to the idea that retirement can be an opportunity to live one’s dreams to the fullest.
In the twilight years of life, Marty and Jess Ansen have discovered an unconventional yet rewarding path to retirement. Their story showcases the possibilities that await those who dare to break from tradition and pursue their dreams. In their case, that dream includes endless horizons and the vast expanse of the open sea.