Nautical Senior Living: Does This Boat Really Float?

With the cost of Senior Housing and Long Term Care facilities being discussed and debated, why not consider living in 700 square feet on a major cruise line? A cruise that is a self-contained lifestyle community, complete with restaurants, theaters, fitness center, library and a new view every day…sound tempting? Shuffleboard, exercise classes, bridge, gambling, buffets, show tunes….sounds like a trip to beautiful Branson, Missouri or a television commercial for any number of senior communities in the United States. header

While the imagine of cruising the seven seas might sound romantic and adventurous, it can be a high priced luxury. The World (954-874-3399; set sail in 2002 with 165 residences (studios to three-bedroom apartments with kitchens, priced from just under $1 million to more than $7 million) and an average of 150 to 200 passengers at a time. In mid-2010, Magellan (480-497-8833; will make its debut. Much larger than The World, it offers 200 private residences, including 16 penthouses, and is expected to carry 1,000 passengers and 500 crew members. While units are being sold in two-week and one-month fractions, year-round ownership of a two-bedroom unit starts at about $3.48 million plus annual maintenance costs.

Would a fractional ownership make more sense for those boomers who want the luxury yachting lifestyle? Probably so. When looking at buying enough fractional ownership units to combine for an entire year (as is the case here), the economics usually get out of hand when factoring in the maintenance costs that would be incurred multiple times for the same unit but with different weeks. But for a cool $4 million, you could be hanging out with Captain Stubing and Gopher on the promenade deck 365 days a year.