Sick of London rental costs: how about a permanent cruise?

Cruise ship is cheaper than London - and cheaper than retirement home

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Two balcony chairs overlook the ocean behind a cruise ship after a rain shower

An average month in London - including rent, bills, food and leisure, comes to £2,871.19 per person - or £97.71 a day. A new study has revealed that you'd be better off on a round-the-world cruise.

The figures, put together by CruiseDeals.co.uk, came up with the London figure by starting with monthly rent of £2,083, and adding in all the usual costs from council tax of £78.41 to transport of £128.40.

It highlighted that a 120 day full-board round-the-world cruise would set you back £10,623.75 - which works out as £88.53 a day. That includes a single person supplement - so if you travelled with a friend or partner you could cut costs by 25%.

For that money, not only do you have all your costs covered, but you could eat and drink what you like without worry, enjoy the ideal temperature without stressing about the thermostat, leave cleaning and gardening behind - plus of course stop off every so often in Australia, Mexico or Barbados.

Marketing Director, Ian Crawford commented: "It's easy to see why world cruises are an attractive option for travellers with a bit more disposable income and time on their hands. If you want to see the world in the height of luxury, this is the way to do it."

Retirement option?

If you have to live in London for work then the cruise ship is hardly a viable alternative. However, if you have retired, then it demonstrates that living on a cruise ship isn't a completely crazy idea.

A study at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 2004 found that the price of cruising over a 20-year-period was roughly similar to the cost of living in an assisted living centre, and that life on board was far more luxurious.

Over the years there have been some famous long-term cruise ship residents - all of whom were widowed women. One of the most famous resident is Lee Wachtstetter, an 87-year-old woman from Florida, who has been living on board cruise ships for the past eight years.

When her husband died, and looking after her home became a struggle, she decided to take to the seas. She recently told the Washington Post that she has been on board for so long now that she rarely goes ashore. Instead she just lives the life of luxury on a nice quiet ship. She admitted that life is now so pleasant that she'd struggle to adjust to normality again.

An endless life of luxury on a cruise ship is clearly the kind of retirement future we can all look forward to. However, it's worth pointing out that the long-term residents are all in excellent health, as an on-board doctor can only do so much. Likewise, they don't have particularly complex care needs, which they would struggle to meet on board. Anyone considering this kind of approach would have to consider what they would do if they suddenly needed more help.

Critics also highlight that you don't have long-term contact with family and friends if you opt for non-stop cruising, and that your acquaintances change every couple of weeks, leaving you with few meaningful bonds. Of course, whether this is a blessing or a curse will depend on your people skills.

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