Other benefits to that cruise

In this new year, I’ve started to think about downsizing. It makes sense for me, especially since I’m now involved with the Conversation Project, which I’ve written about recently; it’s the great new effort — now gone nationwide — to make younger generations comfortable with asking their elders how they would like the ends of their lives to be. This should no longer be a taboo subject, and should make the thought of dying more comfortable and more palatable, if not more pleasant, than it has been in the past.
I’m inspired by my own sister’s recent downsizing from a spacious two-bedroom condo to a studio apartment in a senior residence facility. Her recent heart surgery has actually dictated this move, and she was unhappy about it until this flu epidemic hit. She’s now under quarantine, but very grateful now that she is where she’s taken care of; no need to worry about medication and doctors because they’re on hand, and no need to go shopping or prepare meals since they’re delivered three times a day. (It is taking her a while to get comfortable with the masked strangers who make the deliveries, pick up the trays afterward, and don’t say a word about anything…)
But I digress. A possibility I’ve learned about may be more pleasing than any senior residence, if one can stay well enough to choose it. This is something to consider: moving into a cruise ship cabin! There’s not much that’s smaller, but nothing can provide more overall living comfort. Read on, and even if you don’t find this serious, you’ll enjoy the fanciful logic of our favorite author, Anonymous. I’ve adapted his firsthand proposition here:
While on a Mediterranean cruise, this man noticed an elderly lady sitting in the main dining room alone, but the whole staff seemed to know her. The waiter told him she’d been on board for the ship’s last four cruises, back-to-back. When the man asked her about her recent travels, she said,.”It’s cheaper than a nursing home!”
Investigating at that time, the writer found average nursing home costs of $200 per day, but with long-term and senior discounts, cruise accommodations came in at only $135, and daily gratuities would use up only about $10 of the remaining $65 difference. He was stunned: “I could have as many as 10 restaurant meals a day, and even room service: Imagine! Breakfast in bed, all week long!”
On board: a swimming pool, workout room, free use of washers and dryers, entertainment every night. Free soap, shampoo, toothpaste… No monthly TV bills. Vacuuming and dusting, clean sheets and towels every day — all standard. Bed made by someone else when you leave the cabin, then turned down for you in the evening, maybe even with a candy left on your pillow. Need a light bulb changed? No problem!
So pick your first destination; whatever cruise line you choose should have a ship ready to go there. And after that — sail anywhere and everywhere. Your bonus: meeting new people every week or two.
(My own more recent reading of cruise ship literature shows somewhat higher prices than those quoted by Anonymous, but nursing home costs are up, too. I’ve also learned that those necessary but annoying lifeboat drills are things of the past on most lines. And even if you choose one that still requires a full-non-metal-jacket appearance on deck, you‘ll probably rate a “bye” after your first voyage. because, unless you fall and break a hip — when they’ll probably upgrade you to a suite — you’ve successfully downsized to your new permanent home!)
My daughter will cruise the Caribbean in March, so I’ll get an update afterward on whether the alleged facts above still “hold water,” as it were…But I especially resonate to the idea of meeting brand-new people every few weeks while having those who “serve” you already used to caring for your needs.
If Anonymous is correct, he may be on to something!

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