Last year for our anniversary, my wife and I went on a cruise through the western Mediterranean. It was a very big and fancy ship named the Royal Princess. We were told it was one of the largest ships in the fleet. At dinner on our first night, we noticed an elderly lady sitting alone in the main dining room with the best view the restaurant could offer.
I also noticed that all the staff, waiters, ships officers, and the busboys all seemed very familiar with this elderly lady. So I asked our waiter who the lady was, expecting to be told she owned the cruise liner, but he said he only knew that she had been on board for the last five cruises, back to back.
As we were leaving the dining room one evening I caught her eye and stopped to say hello. We chatted and I said, “I understand you’ve been on this ship for the last five cruises.” She replied, “Yes sir, that’s true.” I stated, “Oh my goodness, I don’t understand… why the same cruise? ” and she replied, without a pause, “It’s cheaper than a nursing home.”
So, there will be no nursing home in my future. When I get old, I am going to get on a Princess Cruise Ship. The average cost for a nursing home is right around $200 per day. I have checked on reservations at Princess and I can get a long term discount and senior discount price of $135 per day. That leaves $65 a day for:
1. Gratuities which will only be $15 per day.
2. I will have as many as 8 meals a day (of amazing food, not institutional food) if I can wobble to the one of the many restaurant, or I can have room service (which means I can have breakfast in bed every day of the week).
3. They have free toothpaste and razors, and free soap and shampoo.
4. The Princess fleet has as many as four swimming pools, a workout room, free washers and dryers, and shows and entertainment every night, And don’t forget Bingo every day by poolside.
5. They will even treat you like a customer, not a patient. An extra $5 worth of tips will have the entire staff scrambling to help you.
6. I will get to meet new people every 7 or 14 days! And almost everyone is happy because they are on vacation.
7. Light bulb need changing? TV broken? Need to have the mattress replaced? No problem! They will fix everything and apologize for your inconvenience.
8. Maid service, clean sheets and towels every day, and you don’t even have to ask for them.
9. If you fall in the nursing home and break a hip you are on Medicare; if you fall and break a hip on the Princess ship they will upgrade you to a suite with a balcony for the rest of your life.
10. There is always a doctor on board.
Now wait for the best part! Do you want to see South America, the Panama Canal, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, or name where you want to go? There is a ship ready to go. So don’t look for me in a nursing home, just call shore to ship.
PS: And don’t forget, when you pass, they just dump you over the side at no charge.