Woman Parts With $164K Every Year To Live On Luxury Cruise Ship


The pool area on a Crystal cruise ship. (Photo: Ian Schemper)

Luxury cruise ships might be expensive to live on as you travel for a whole year. But there’s one woman who hasn’t done that for a year or two, but for seven years. Lee Wachtstetter, a woman commonly known as Mama Lee on the cruise, pays for the cruise $ 164,000 every year. Traveling from one destination to another is not the only thing she does on the Crystal cruise ship but has also made it her home, hence her popular name on the ship ‘Mama Lee’.

Wachtstetter, the 86-year-old Florida widow, pays this entire amount for the passion she has for cruising. “My husband introduced me to cruising,” she said. “Mason was a banker and real estate appraiser and taught me to love cruising. During our 50-year marriage we did 89 cruises. I’ve done nearly a hundred more and 15 world cruises.” Wachtstetter explained.

When the husband died, the daughter thought her mum (Wachtstetter) would have a better if she lived on a cruise, moving from one destination to another. She then advised her mum to do so. Wachtstetter followed her daughter’s views and sold her five-bedroom Fort Lauderdale-area home on 10 acres. She then moved to live on the cruise.

Having lived on the cruise ship for seven years, she has gone to countless places. She only remembers counting up to 100, and stopped counting. So the number of places isn’t known. “I stopped counting after 100.” she recalled. “Just say I’ve been to almost any country that has a port.” She added. She has experienced interesting places, and top ones were nations in Asia since they differ from the American ones in so many ways.

She never thinks of going ashore since she has been to so many. So bothering herself to go to one might turn to be where she has already been. Although there’s a beautiful one which she has never stopped going to. Istanbul has been always sweet for her. “I can’t resist the Grand Bazaar,” Wachstetter said. “You can find gorgeously regal or glitzy outfits there, perfect for formal or casual wear and not terribly expensive. I have to restrain myself every time because of my limited cabin space.” She added.

What she pays every year to live on the Crystal cruise ship isn’t little for a common person except for the top rich. Any employee in the United States earning 50,000 annually will work for three years with a salary increment of 5% every year but at the end of the third year this employee won’t have earned as much as what Wachstetter spends in a year to live on the cruise. Passion to travel on cruise ship is all that makes her spend that.

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