It was about 30 years ago that I met a couple in their early 80’s who lived on a cruise ship, Crystal Cruises, to be exact. They had one cabin for themselves, and one for their luggage. At the time, I thought it was so glamorous. No one from my neighborhood growing up could afford that.
It was one of the first cruises I was ever on. Eliot and Whitney were with me. Coincidentally, the couple were the parents of my client Norman Olson of AudioSource. His father was a pioneer in the retail tech business. His company was Olson Electronics, headquartered in Akron, Ohio.
I couldn’t get my eyes off of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Olson all week. I watched them enjoy the best meals, the best entertainment, the best accommodations, the best spas, and the best gym facilities available. What caught my eyes the most, was the way the staff treated the Olson’s. They knew them by their first names, their needs, and their wants. They were well attended to, better than in most other shelters.
The Olson’s never got off the ship at ports. They have seen it all over the years. All they wanted to do was sail and lead a healthy and comfortable existence. It was beautiful to watch.
That kind of life was only available to the wealthy. Today it’s much more affordable. There are a number of startups that are aiming to help baby boomers retire in the same fashion as the Olson’s. I don’t know all of the companies trying to do this, but Storylines was the one that has been in the news lately. From what I read, Storylines has just started selling 302 cabins on a 584-foot luxury cruise ship. Price, $255,000.The fees cover food, alcohol, housekeeping, etc. However, monthly fees are quite high.
The tech industry is calling this new concept the Airbnb of the seas. Storylines will allow owners to rent out their apartments to cover the monthly expenses.