Updated December 26th, 2023 at 18:05 IST

This couple sold everything to live on a cruise ship for the rest of their lives

In 2020, John and Melody Hennessee sold their Florida home, business and most of their belongings to embark on global travel.

Manasvi Asthana
Cruise ship.
The couple who 'sold everything' to live on cruise ships for the rest of their lives. | Image:Unsplash

In 2020, John and Melody Hennessee sold their Florida home, business and most of their belongings to embark on global travel. Currently, they aspire to make a long-term home on the high seas. Initially opting to explore the United States in a motorhome, the couple eventually grew weary of constant travel. Yet, the Hennessees weren't prepared to return to a settled life.

How did they come to know about it?

John encountered a Facebook advertisement for a 274-day cruise with Royal Caribbean and promptly enrolled in the nine-month journey.

Places they have covered so far

Subsequently, the Hennessees have journeyed to Australia, New Zealand, various parts of the South Pacific and are presently navigating around the Dominican Republic.

Their current lifestyle is more thrilling and cost-effective.


“We now have a telephone bill, a ship bill and a few credit card bills for when we go ashore, but that’s it,” John told Sky News.

“We no longer have a mortgage or the expense of homes. We no longer have vehicle insurance, property insurance, or utility bills. The list goes on,” he added.


Typically, the couple docks at their destination and explores for three to five days at a time, asserting that traveling the world by sea is both economical and enjoyable.

“We are certain cruising is cheaper,” said John.


The Hennessees have their schedule booked until December 2024 and will soon embark on the Villa Vie residential cruise ship, where they have purchased a cabin.

“We wanted to buy a cabin so we can design it how we want. It’s going to be home for us, for probably a minimum of 15 years on the ship,” Melody added.


Villa Vie, an all-inclusive cruise ships

Villa Vie is among the pioneering all-inclusive cruise ships providing permanent residences, with approximately 30% of passengers becoming full-time inhabitants and 85% of occupants being American.


The ship is currently under construction, with inside cabins beginning at $99,000 and balcony villas providing ocean views priced at approximately $249,000, plus the nearly $8,000 monthly fee.

Cabins will be equipped with a kitchenette and pull-down beds in the living rooms for guests. Residents will also have the option to bring their families onto the ship for free after covering the port fees, and a set number of cabins will be reserved for them.


The Hennessees have already lined up several individuals who have scheduled visits to secure rooms on their block.

Mikael Petterson, the founder and CEO of Villa Vie, stated that nearly half of the cabins are designed for singles, with a third accommodating business owners and remote workers who will utilize the ship's business center and private offices.


While aboard, the Hennessees do not intend to work. Instead, they acknowledge their main challenge on the ship is "overindulging," prompting them to make a conscious effort to walk as much as possible to maintain their health, as per reports.

Facilities available in the cruise ship

To ensure the well-being of the Hennessees and all other residents on board with an average age of around 60, there is access to a dentist and doctor for routine procedures. Additionally, the plans include a hospital and a two-person morgue to prepare for worst-case scenarios.




Published December 26th, 2023 at 18:05 IST

Your Voice. Now Direct.

Send us your views, we’ll publish them. This section is moderated.

Whatsapp logo