Woman spends $164K a year living on a cruise ship

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

86-year-old woman lives full-time on luxury cruise ship.

Lee Wachstetter, 86, embarked on her nautical adventure at her daughter’s advice after her husband died of cancer in 1997 – selling her five-bedroom home on 10 acres near Fort Lauderdale area, USA Today reported. “Mason was a banker and real estate appraiser and taught me to love cruising. An 86-year-old Florida widow has chosen to spend the rest of her golden years aboard a opulent cruise ship — and she’s willing to pay upwards of $164,000 a year to do it. Lee Wachtstetter has been living year-round on a luxury vessel for almost seven years, longer than most of its nearly 700-person crew, according to Asbury Park Press.

He died in 1997 and since then she has just about tripled that number and has gone on 15 world cruises. “That’ll cover costs of her single-occupancy seventh deck stateroom, regular and specialty restaurant meals with available lunch and dinner beverages, gratuities, nightly ballroom dancing with dance hosts and Broadway-caliber entertainment — as well as the captain’s frequent cocktail parties, movies, lectures, plus other scheduled daily activities.” (Source: APP.com) I’ve done nearly a hundred more and 15 world cruises.” Her accommodations are no bargain – she estimates she will pony up about $164,000 this year alone. That will pay for her single-occupancy cabin, meals, ballroom dancing, entertainment, movies, lectures and other activities. “I enjoy dancing, and this was the best of the remaining ships that still use dance hosts,” Mama Lee said. “My husband didn’t dance, just didn’t like to, and encouraged me to dance with the hosts.” “All the time I’ve been here I have never had a sick day,” she said. “I’m so spoiled I doubt that I would ever be able to readjust to the real world again.” I have to restrain myself every time because of my limited cabin space.” What she misses most is her family, but manages to keep in touch with her three sons and seven grandchildren with her laptop computer. “I hear from one of them every day, and visit with them whenever we dock in Miami.

But she makes an exception for Istanbul, and “can’t resist the Grand Bazaar.” At night, Wachtstetter dines in the main dining room, and says she enjoys meeting new people. Add council tax, gas, water and electricity bills, and groceries, and it’s not hard to see why some opt for a life afloat. “It’s not so unusual for men, women or couples who love cruising to take up residence on their favourite ship,” said Jane Archer, Telegraph Travel’s cruise expert. “Princess Cruises once told me there were more than 100 passengers living on their ships. “I can see the attraction. You meet interesting passengers, and I’ve made lots of new friends that way.” She’s put on 25 pounds since coming on board, she confides, and has been on a fruit and vegetable liquid diet, trying to shed them. “I’m happy to say I have only 10 more pounds to lose.” she said, laughing. “It’s my second love, have been doing it for 50 years.

Plus you get to travel.” “It certainly beats being in a care home, but of course there could be problems for people if their health starts to deteriorate and they need a lot of medical attention.” Douglas Ward, author of the Berlitz guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships, adds: “It’s a safe, comfortable environment, the crew become your new friends, and medical facilities, should you need them, are close by. So, why not, particularly if you have no immediate family ties?” “My priorities on this ship are ballroom dancing, playing duplicate bridge, and trying not to eat – not necessarily in that order. I like all kinds of dancing, but right now I’m not dancing sambas or the cha cha – I don’t want to jump on my new hip just yet,” she told Telegraph Travel back in 2006.

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