Man who lived on luxury cruise ship for two decades shares the messed up thing about being back on dry land

Salcedo spent over 9,000 nights at sea.
  • Mario Salcedo has spent 9,000 nights at sea
  • He lives on various boats from the Royal Caribbean fleet
  • The lifestyle has had a permanent impact on his body

Published on Nov 16, 2023 at 4:08PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Dec 4, 2023 at 9:32PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Alessandro Renesis
Man can't walk on land after living on a cruise ship for 23 years
Royal Caribbean

Mario Salcedo got on a cruise ship 23 years ago and never got off.

All in all, Salcedo has spent over 9,000 nights on board luxury cruise ships.

While he loves the lifestyle he’s revealed that so much time at sea has had a weird impact on his body.

READ MORE: Couple live out dream life after selling home and buying $2.5 million cabin on cruise ship

In 1996, Mario Salcedo wanted to make a big change in his life.

He decided he wanted to live somewhere unusual and tried a cruise for the first time.

Taking the philosophy of ‘try before you buy’ very seriously, Salcedo took 150 cruises on 10 different cruise lines before settling on the one he liked best.

So by the time he was done, he had a pretty clear regarding what he wanted and what to expect.

When he saw the Voyager of the Seas he knew he’d found ‘The One’, so he left behind his corporate role as an international finance director at a multinational corporation on land in the US.

The ship is part of the Royal Caribbean fleet and boasts three stories dedicated just to entertainment.

It features water slides, a surf simulator, climbing walls and even an ice rink.

While this is his favourite ship to live on, he mixes it up with various options from Royal Caribbean.

The staff know him so well that he’s known as Super Mario.

There is even a section of the pool deck he’s allowed to use as his workstation called Super Mario’s Office.

It may seem crazy to be working while cruising on a luxury yacht.

But when you’re doing it as much as this guy, you need the cash.

Salcedo owns an investing management business to fund his lifestyle which costs $82,000 a year.

When not working on board he can be found scuba diving, ballroom dancing or smoking in the cigar lounge.

He owns a condo in Miami which he calls his ‘hotel’ as he spends so little time there.

And when he does head home, he feels so uncomfortable that he can’t wait to get back to the cruise ship.

Apart from some minor 15-day breaks per year and a 15-month hiatus during the coronavirus pandemic, he’s lived on the sea for 20 plus years.

After all those years, his body has amazingly adapted to the sensation of being at sea, and he now has a permanent set of sea legs.

“I’ve lost my land legs, so when I’m swaying so much I can’t walk in a straight line,” he says.

“I’m so used to being on ships that it feels more comfortable to me than being on land.”

At 72 years old, Salcedo doesn’t see himself learning to live on land again.

“I’ll die on a cruise ship,” he says.

Not a bad way to go.

author avatar
Andie Reeves
Andie is a content writer from South Africa with a background in broadcasting and journalism. Starting her career in the glossy pages of Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire, Andie has a broad portfolio, covering everything from sustainability solutions to celebrity car collections. When not at her laptop Andie can be found sewing, recording her podcast, taking board games too seriously or road-tripping in her bright green Kia.
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