+
upworthy
Joy

Retired couple have spent almost 500 days at sea after booking 51 back-to-back cruises

"They're basically celebrities onboard."

retirement, princess cruises, retiring on a cruise, living on cruise ship
Canva

Marty and Jess Ansen have spent nearly 500 days onboard Princess Cruise Lines

For many, if not most of us, the purpose of retirement is to sit back and enjoy life. A chance to see the world, take up new hobbies, explore what it means to simply exist without having to clock in.

So it’s almost no wonder that more and more retirees are finding themselves on cruise ships, where relaxation, adventure (and having someone else do your chores) are the name of the game.

Retired Australian couple Marty and Jess Ansen can certainly attest to this—having spent close to 500 days sailing around the world on their 51 back-to-back cruises.

That’s right. 51 cruises. Back. To. Back.


The great-grandparents told A Current Affair that they were cruise fanatics long before calling one home, and were eager to catch on the cruising they missed during Australia’s strict COVID-19 lockdowns.

Plus, their plan to spend two years onboard became a no-brainer after realizing it would be cheaper than a nursing home. Marty told their travel agent “whatever comes, just book it,” and they’ve been living it up ever since.

In addition to enjoying the perks of their morning ping-pong matches and sipping beer while basking in breathtaking views, the Ansens particularly enjoy ballroom and hula dancing.

“Where else can you go where you go for dinner, you go to a show, you go dancing?” Jess gushed. “Through the day, you have all these activities.”

At this point, Jess and Marty are pretty much beloved fixtures of the cruise itself, dubbed by the hotel managers as the “celebrities onboard.” And the duo takes their status seriously—making sure to welcome every new captain aboard.

One might wonder if there are ever bittersweet feelings about being so far away from home and family, but the couple attests that no such feelings arise.

“They’re all busy,” Jess shared, regarding their other family members. “And we’re in a place in our lives where we just want to enjoy it.”

So, aside from the occasional reunion when they touch down in a nearby port, the cruising couple are focused on having fun with each other. It’s a journey with no end in sight, for as soon as they finish touring with their current vessel, a Princess Cruises’ 2,000-passenger Coral Princess, they plan to hop onto an even bigger ship, the Crown Princess, for another year. Then..who knows…

And according to Jess and Marty, “it’s a wonderful life.”

Curious about how to make permanent cruising a reality in your own life? You might find some helpful tips here

.

All GIFs and images via Exposure Labs.


Photographer James Balog and his crew were hanging out near a glacier when their camera captured something extraordinary.

They were in Greenland, gathering footage from the time-lapse they'd positioned all around the Arctic Circle for the last several years.

Keep ReadingShow less

Norm was only in his 30s?

Ever look at your parents' high school yearbooks and think people looked so much older back then? All of the teenagers look like they’re in their mid-30s and the teachers who are 50 look like they’re 80.

When we watch older movies, even those from the 1980s, the teenagers appear to be a lot older as well.

Why is it that they looked so much older? Was life harder? Did people act more mature? Did they spend more time outdoors and less time playing video games? Is it their sense of fashion? Were they all smokers?

Keep ReadingShow less

Jimmy Carter at the COmmonwealth Club.

Jimmy Carter, 99, was the 39th president of the United States (1977 to 1981). Looking back on his achievements both in and out of office, it’s easy to say that he was a man ahead of his time. He was far ahead of the mainstream when it came to advocating for social justice, human rights, and the environment.

Carter famously installed solar panels on the White House in 1979, only to have them removed by Ronald Reagan.

The former peanut farmer and Navy Lieutenant from Plains, Georgia, was also far ahead of his time when supporting gay rights. In 1976, while running for president, he said he would sign the Equality Act, an amendment to the 1964 Civil Rights Act that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. “I will certainly sign it, because I don’t think it’s right to single out homosexuals for special abuse or special harassment,” he said.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

75-year-old ‘hip-hop granny’ impresses and inspires with her dance moves

Ms. Stephanie didn’t even start formal dance lessons until she was almost 30.

Ms. Stephanie bringing it at her hip-hop class.

Stephanie Walsh isn't your average hip-hop dancer. At 75, "Ms. Stephanie" is still able to hold her own on the dance floor, popping and locking with people a third her age, and she loves it.

When you see her dance—and her enviable muscle tone—you might think she'd been a trained dancer all her life. But she actually didn't take any formal dance lessons until she was almost 30.

Walsh told Growing Bolder that she had wanted her daughter to dance when she was little, so she got her ballet lessons, which the daughter hated. Realizing that dancing was her dream and not her daughter's, Walsh took her kiddo out of ballet and started classes herself right away.

She had always loved to dance and developing her skills only led to more and more dancing.

Keep ReadingShow less

Using the FORD method to make small talk.

There are many reasons why people are nervous about entering social situations where they have to make small talk, such as a work event, a party where they don’t know many people, or at school.

Some people don’t enjoy small talk because they get frustrated talking about seemingly unimportant topics. At the same time, others are shy and afraid they’ll say the wrong thing or run out of topics of conversation.

Psychologists suggest those who are uncomfortable knowing what to say should use the FORD method. It’s an acronym that’s an easy way to remember four different topics of conversation that work with just about anyone.

Keep ReadingShow less

15 things Europeans really like about America.

Even though European countries and America are roughly on the same level regarding development, there are still some stark differences in their ways of life. Americans may look to Europe and feel a bit jealous over their free healthcare systems and more laid-back approach to their professional lives.

But Europeans who visit America are also in awe of some of the everyday things that Americans take for granted, which seem to be luxuries.

A Reddit user named Prof_XdR asked Europeans on the AskReddit subforum to share the everyday American things that they believe are luxuries, and the question received nearly 13,000 responses.

Keep ReadingShow less