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“It's cheaper than staying on the mainland.”

“It's cheaper than staying on the mainland.”

John and Melody Hennessy sold everything: their Florida home, their business, and most of their possessions in 2020. Their goal is to travel the world in…

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John and Melody Hennessy have sold everything: their home FloridaTheir businesses and most of their possessions in 2020. The goal is to travel the world in Sea trip. Now they are trying to stay on the high seas for a long time. The couple initially planned to explore the United States in an RV, but eventually tired of driving. At that point, John came across a Facebook ad for a 274-day cruise with Royal Caribbean and immediately signed up for the nine-month cruise.

On a lifelong cruise, history

Since then, the Hennis has traveled to Australia, New Zealand and other parts of the South Pacific, and is currently sailing around the Dominican Republic. Their lives are now more exciting and less expensive. Now we have a phone bill, a ship bill, and some credit card bills when we get to shore, but that's about it», John told Sky News. We no longer have mortgage or housing costs. We no longer have car insurance, property insurance, or utility bills. The list could go on almost endlessly».

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They sell their house and buy a cabin on a cruise ship: “We are 80 years old and still have little time to travel the world”

The couple usually dock at their destination and explore for three to five days at a time, insisting that traveling the world by sea is fun. We're sure the cruise is cheaper, John said. Our expenses are now probably close to half what they were when we lived on the mainland». The Hennesses have booked the extended cruise until December 2024 and will soon board the residential cruise ship Villa Vie, on which they have purchased a cabin. We wanted our own cabin so we could design it the way we wanted. It will be our home, probably for at least 15 years on board»Melody added. Villa Vie is one of the first all-inclusive cruise ships to offer permanent accommodations: approximately 30% of the passengers on board will be full-time residents and 85% of the passengers will be Americans.

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The ship is still under construction, with interior staterooms starting at $99,000, and villas with balconies overlooking the ocean costing about $249,000, plus a monthly rent of about $8,000. The cabins will have kitchenettes and pull-out beds in guest living rooms. Residents will also be able to bring their families on board for free, once they pay port taxes, and a certain number of cabins will be reserved for them. The Haines already have several people planned trips with them, including friends and relatives. Villa Vie founder and CEO Mikael Petersson said nearly half of the chalets were booked by individuals, while a third were business owners and remote workers who would work from the business center and private offices. The Hennis have no plans to work while they are away. Instead, they said their biggest problem on the ship was “excess,” so they forced themselves to walk as much as possible to stay healthy.

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To make sure the Hennis family and everyone on board (the average age of most residents is around 60) is doing well, a dentist and doctor are on hand to perform routine procedures. A hospital and a two-person morgue are also included in the plans to prepare for the worst-case scenarios.

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