MiscellaneousMan Asks Lady Why She Is Alone on a Cruise Ship, Her...

Man Asks Lady Why She Is Alone on a Cruise Ship, Her Response Shocks Him

A little something on the lighter side of cruising

Last year for our 25th wedding anniversary, my wife and I went on a cruise to the Mediterranean. It was a very big and fancy ship named the Regal 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.

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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 ten 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 ten 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 for less than $135 per day.

1. Gratuities which will only be $12 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.

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.

Author: Unknown and according to Snopes, variations of this story have been floating around the internet since 2005.  However, we got a kick out of reading it and thought our readers would also enjoy it.

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
MiscellaneousMan Asks Lady Why She Is Alone on a Cruise Ship, Her...


    • Tamara, once you go on your first cruise you will be hooked forever. I went on my first two earlier this year and would like to go on another 7-day one before Christmas. My first was last JAN 26 and the weather was absolutely beautiful not too hot but I still got sun burn on ship and on shore days. After returning, had two snowstorms in Northeast Texas. In the first one it was inside cabin to see if I would like being on ship for that period of time and when arriving at the inside room was a little disappointed but after about two hours of activity on deck you realize you are hardly ever in the rooms except to change clothes for dinner if you choose to eat at one of the two nice restaurants or you can just stay in you deck clothes and eat at one of the many different restaurants with different foods. If you drink get the drink option, I believe it’s 15 drink limit for close to 50-60.00 per day and you have to buy the entire cruise duration amount of days. My problem is I like to go more than my friends do but they make it expensive somewhat for one person in a room. Once onboard you meet many people. Your entire attitude changes onboard and I just love it. Cruising out of Galveston or New Orleans is about the same for me and each port offers different ships to try. Good luck on your first of many cruises and let me know how you liked it. One more hint, don’t buy souvenirs when getting off ship much more expensive than when you are walking to get onto the ship cause they know they won’t see you again and you can get better deals.

  1. I hope that I work for this wonderful ships and I am working on ships and this is what I hope in my life

  2. My goodness, it’s just a story. Something fictional & creatively written. People take the light-heartedness out of everything.

  3. This is an amusing story and a fantasy. Just because someone is old doesn’t mean they are in a nursing home. People in nursing homes are there because they need medical care and assistance with just about everything. You are not going to get that on a cruise ship. If you are elderly and well enough to cruise you would still be living in your own home, which costs nothing if you have paid off your house.

  4. I worked on a cruise ship for over a decade. I’ve never spent a day in a nursing home, but spent some time visiting my father and father-in-law in one! My father-in-law was in a nursing home for about 4 years! Fortunately, my dad lasted less than two weeks before passing away, Trust me, he preferred the shorter stay! Don’t know why Rachel (see comment above) has her panties in such a twist! Bottom line….Give me a cruise ship any day!!!!

  5. There is a lot of truth to this! I am not dissing nursing homes, assisted living places etc.
    I was on a cruise a few years ago and a man was doing just that: living on cruise ships for about 48 weeks of the year with a personal aide. He visits family for the other 4 weeks. Since then, I have met many older people that are spending more than half year on cruises, the rest with family. It certainly wouldn’t work for all, but it definitely appeals to me!!!!

  6. Ben,
    Have you ever been in a nursing home or worked in a nursing home? I’m going to guess probably not. I understand so of the things you are saying about visiting beautiful destinations and the room cost being maybe less than 135 a night, and the endless possibilities of food choices, but that’s about it! I work in a nursing home and am truly disgusted with your comment about maid service and fixing broken things. I take care of my RESIDENTS( oh did you catch that they are residents not patients) with respect, love, and kindness and treat them as if they were my own family. I understand that people have bad expierences, and there are bad nurses and nurse aides, just like I assume there are bad writers. Is that what you do? Some nursing homes may not look like a palace or have a Las Vegas buffet available every hour of the day but please do not insult what we as caregivers do. Many people need extra care and that’s why they are put in a nursing home. Also did you know that many nursing homes pick up the extra cost after Medicare? So many meds and services that people may not be able to afford are covered! Wow! And I would love to fall and break my hip and be upgraded to a better room! Who needs therapy or wants to walk again?? No need to walk on a cruise ship! Rooms are cleaned daily, beds are always made, and linens are left in rooms 3 times a day! Ohh and to further push for my cause, I don’t make tips! I set and roll hair for free just to see a smile. I also do nails and help with make up. Take residents to parties and listen to stories! By the way all of those things I mentioned I don’t have to do, I want to do. I hope when you need extra help one day you are fortunate enough to be loved and cared for like you are family even when your not.

    • Bravo to your answer! Why do people think the only alternative for an old person is a nursing home? I’ve worked in one for 14 years and also volunteered in another for 20 years. I can’t think of a single instance where there was someone there that didn’t really need to be there. It stinks to be old, frail and sick (and nursing homes don’t just have old people, as you know) but it happens! I actually feel bad for this lady–traveling alone for weeks on end! For much less than $130 a night, if she is able to take care of her basic needs, she could be living in a lovely 55+ retirement village, and have friends that don’t leave after just seven days! This cruise thing might be fun for awhile–but living out the rest of your life, surrounded by people who just come and go, would be kind of depressing after awhile–even if you are visiting exotic places!

  7. this is a wonderful idea. Something to look forward to. Would like to know the cost of an on board Dr. Or does the ship spend a day in dock that will allow for an old person to take care of personal/ medical concerns?

  8. While some of the items attributed here are not quite correct, the story’s main thrust is true that cruising is less costly than a respectable nursing home. Have cruised Princess and Celebrity A LOT and would more likely choose the latter. The points about meeting new people regularly, and seeing new places regularly are intriguing, but as with anything there are disadvantages as well which I won’t discuss here. But the overall idea of spending long periods of time on modern cruise ships merits serious consideration for older persons who have the “joie de vivre” to keep moving along. My thought is that the environment in which you live has at least some influence on how long and how well you live.

  9. well that is all fine and dandy; if you have to see the doctor and need medication that will cost you BIG bucks! A simple blood pressure check is $75 on any cruise ship. If you need anything beyond that you will have to be transported to a local hospital and my understanding it’s never less than $ 2k!!!

  10. I have always said this! It’s true cruising back to back to back is cheaper than nursing home bill at $8000.00 a month.

  11. Ben,
    Great thinking outside the box story! What I like best, however, is your Snopes disclaimer at the end. Kudos. #savedmeaclick #notchabovetherest

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