This 86 Year-Old Didn’t Like The Idea Of A Nursing Home…So She Spends $164,000 A Year On This!

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No one loves being on the high seas like Lee Wachtsetter. The 86-year-old retiree has lived in a luxury cruise ship for the last seven years and she has no intentions of stopping.

Currently, Wachtsetter travels with Crystal Serenity, a 1,070 passenger liner. Prior to Crystal, she lived with the Holland America liner for three years. However, the Holland discontinued their dance program which is when Wachtsetter jumped ship to Crystal.

The rent for her yearly voyage is $164,000. The cost covers her single occupancy, meals, beverages, entertainment, scheduled daily activities, ballroom dancing at night, and movies.

Wachtsetter, called Mama Lee as a term of endearment by the crew, sold her house in Fort Lauderdale when her husband Mason died in 1997. The couple completed 89 cruises together, they were married for 50 years.

One of her husband’s request prior to passing was that she continue her passion of travelling. She has done so with such vigor that she has stopped counting the number of countries visited once she hit 100.

The mother of three sons and seven grandchildren admits “I am today living a stress-free, fairy-tale life.” Her family visits her whenever she ports in Florida. Her adopted family, the crew, “bend over backwards to keep me happy.”

Mama Lee enjoys her stress-free lifestyle traveling the seas.

Penny Haw


$164,000 a year covers meals, daily activities, and her rent aboard the Crystal Serenity.


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