Retirement is a long-awaited phase in life when people envision enjoying life’s pleasures free from the constraints of work. For some, this means exploring the world, embracing new hobbies, or simply savoring the freedom that comes without the daily grind. In this article, we delve into the remarkable story of an Australian couple who have chosen an unconventional path for their retirement: embarking on 51 consecutive cruises. Marty and Jess Ansen, retirees from Australia, embarked on this unique journey and discovered that it offers more than just adventure; it’s also a cost-effective alternative to traditional retirement homes.
Setting Sail: The Ansen’s Remarkable Journey
Marty and Jess Ansen have been avid cruise enthusiasts for decades. However, like many others, their cruise adventures came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the opportunity finally arose in June 2022, the Ansens decided to make up for lost time by boarding the Coral Princess, a ship renowned for its indulgent buffets, entertainment options, and even table tennis matches. What started as a brief getaway evolved into a 500-day odyssey. Marty explained, “Eventually, I said to my agent, ‘Look, whatever comes, book it,’ and that’s how it got to be such a long cruise.” The couple ended up booking 51 back-to-back cruises, becoming the ship’s longest-staying passengers, surpassing even the captain.
A Unique Dedication
Onboard the Coral Princess, Jess and Marty Ansen have become legendary passengers. Ren van Rooyen, the hotel manager, shared, “We always joke that when I come back after a break, it’s like coming to see my family – my mum and dad again – they’re like my second mum and dad on board.” The Ansens enjoy the perks of their extended cruise, including all-inclusive meals and daily housekeeping in their cabin. They’ve formed strong bonds with the ship’s staff, making their experience akin to being part of a second family.
The Economics of Retirement at Sea
Jess and Marty Ansen’s unique lifestyle has led them to a surprising realization: their cruising lifestyle is more cost-effective than residing in a retirement home. This revelation challenges conventional retirement planning. With their daily needs taken care of on the ship, the couple has found an affordable and fulfilling alternative.
A Daily Routine of Adventure
While some travelers might tire of the sea after a week, Jess and Marty have developed a daily routine that keeps them healthy and entertained. They start each day with an hour of table tennis, adding fun and fitness to their adventure. Jess shared, “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 under their belts, Jess and Marty Ansen remain steadfast in their commitment to this remarkable way of life. Given the chance, they would continue their voyages for the rest of their lives. Their story stands as a testament to the idea that retirement can be an opportunity for living 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 is a testament to the possibilities that await those who dare to break from tradition and pursue their dreams, which, in their case, include endless horizons and the vast expanse of the open sea.
Watch the video below for more on their incredible journey.