So taking my first cruise was an eye opener about how the older set are spending their time and money . After stabilizing with the rocking of the boat ( it reminded me of soothing a colicky baby), I was quick to observe that over 90% of the passengers must have been 55+. The first morning walking the decks then later observing from a treadmill in the gym, I watched a parade of seniors some with canes doing their morning exercise. On the cruise there where so many brands of walking canes, sitting canes, walkers and scooters I felt like I should be reviewing them for customer satisfaction.
As the week went on I realized that I was on a floating retirement community complete with ample food, ready socialization opportunities ( happy to share a table at lunch?) with multiple activities and entertainment. The my zip lining group included an 80 year woman who said she was going to do sky diving next! There is your attentive room attendant who keeps everything spotless. Although I do not think they make those cute towel animals at the CCRC.
In talking to people I learned that many were from planned communities like the Villages in Florida and that they cruise multiple times a year! I was also surprised to find out that there was a woman on board who had been cruising for 3 months as she found it more fun and less expensive than assisted living. I met several brave widows carrying out plans traveling completely on their own. The structure of a cruise provides security and as much privacy or as much socializing that you could want.
Where am I going with this? Now I know people will point out the food is not as luxurious, the activities not as varied in traditional retirement community. Could this be a future option to age in place at sea? Add additional medical care and you could spend your last days swaying with the decks gazing at a rolling smooth glass ocean.
From my own perspective I much enjoyed seeing some more of the world and meeting many lovely people but I was homesick the third day. Your life is your life and it felt like a very pleasant diversion. But my finale will be on solid ground.