Man who spends 300 days a year on cruise shares secret to living on ship affordably

  • This man is making the transition from living on land to living at sea
  • He jokes he has 1,300 roommates on board his favorite Royal Caribbean cruise ship
  • If done correctly, cruising permanently can work out to be an affordable lifestyle

Published on Jun 06, 2024 at 6:59 PM (UTC+4)
by Andie Reeves

Last updated on Jun 06, 2024 at 6:59 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

Most would assume living on board a cruise ship is only an option for the very wealthy.

But Ryan Gutridge reckons it’s actually an affordable lifestyle.

He spends the majority of his year on board his favorite Royal Caribbean ship.

Now he’s sharing his tips on how to make this way of life cheaper than living on land.

READ MORE: Asia’s richest man charters one of the world’s largest cruise ships for the second pre-wedding bash of his son

More and more people choose to live unconventionally

Ryan Gutridge has joined a growing number of people choosing to live as permanent nomads.

Some are on an endless road trip in their motorhomes, and some are even less conventional, like the German teenager who lives on trains.

Others have found that paying ‘rent’ on a cruise ship can be less than or equal to what they were paying on land.

Plus, someone else does your laundry for you.

Gutridge has been working in IT from home for over ten years and, after the pandemic, wanted to shake up his WFH setup.

He followed the advice of the man who’s lived on cruise ships for 23 years and started small with a four-night cruise.

How does it all work?

Thanks to Starlink, most ships offer fast and free WiFi, and Gutridge was able to work as usual while onboard.

His ship of choice remains Freedom of the Seas, which has a surf simulator, arcade, mini golf, art gallery, and more.

Since his first cruise in 2021, he’s gone on a cruise pretty much every week, visiting the Bahamas over 70 times in just two years.

The ship does the same route, which can get boring but also helps him to develop the routine needed to make this a sustainable lifestyle.

Most importantly, it’s earned him crucial loyalty points.

“I recommend trying different brands because they all offer something different,” he says.

“But once you commit to one, you should stick to it so you reach those loyalty levels.”

How does he afford to live this lifestyle?

If he keeps going at this pace, he’ll reach Pinnacle status in two years, entitling him to special treatment, free cruises, and more.

To afford full-time cruising, Gutridge has a spreadsheet that automatically records his expenses to compare to his spending on land.

His research shows that staying on a ship for 300 nights was about the same as his Florida apartment’s annual rental fee.

Another tip is to ensure you have an up-to-date phone, as older models will struggle to access the free WiFi onboard.

To ensure he meets his work deadlines, he treats his weeks as if he were on land, not exploring further than the ship itself, not drinking alcohol, and exercising regularly.

Gutridge loves this lifestyle so much that he’s gearing up to sell his apartment.

He’ll buy a scooter and store it at a friend’s house to use when he’s back in town.

Ultimately, the incredible quality of life you can achieve on a ship is priceless to him.

“Most of the time, I’m so busy that I don’t even notice we’re at the same place,” he says.

“I just know I’m not in an apartment staring at the wall. I’m stress-free.”


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.