Man lives on cruise ship because his bills are much cheaper than renting

Man lives on cruise ship because his bills are much cheaper than renting

If you are on the house hunt right now, you’ll know all about how expensive the renting market is.

One particular man doesn’t have to go through all that faff as he lives on a cruise ship for 300 days, which is somehow cheaper than renting.

Ryan Gutridge started staying on Royal Caribbean cruise ships back in 2021, having realised he could work remotely from the seas.

I think a lot of us are guilty of associating cruise ships with retired people who do not have work commitments back home, and are able to be away for long periods of time.

But for Gutridge, he sees it as a great, cost-effective way of living if you have the privilege of being able to work no matter where you are.

Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas. Credit: Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas. Credit: Royal Caribbean

Speaking to Insider, he said: « I work in IT as a cloud-solution engineer for a cloud-solution provider and started working from home in 2012.

“But because of the pandemic, my team was able to work from home and access the data they needed from anywhere.

“At that time, cruise lines hadn’t announced when or if they were coming back. I thought that if they returned, I’d want to try taking my job with me on a short cruise. I wanted to see how the WiFi would work and if I could access some elements of my job with heavy security.”

In the summer of 2021, Gutridge booked two four-night cruises on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas, and went on both in September.

It went extremely well, but Gutridge knew he needed to do a bit more research if he was to embark on nomadic life aboard a cruise ship.

While crunching the numbers, Gutridge realised that the cost of living at sea for 300 nights as ‘almost neck-and-neck’ with what he was paying for his apartment back home.

However, living on the cruise ship came with many added perks, including free WiFi (very important for work) and free drinks.

This meant Gutridge was saving money on other bills and expenses he would typically have to pay back at home.

He said: « I have a spreadsheet that automatically records all my expenses, which helps. I also set a budget every year.

« This year, my base fare budget is about $30,000 (£24,000), and last year when I started really looking at the numbers and evaluating how much base fare I paid to be on a ship for 300 nights, I found it was almost neck-and-neck with what I paid for rent and trash service for an apartment in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Ryan Gutridge lives on a cruise ship for 300 days a year. Credit: Ryan Gutridge
Ryan Gutridge lives on a cruise ship for 300 days a year. Credit: Ryan Gutridge

« My drinks and internet are free. If people are going to do something like what I do, I recommend trying different brands because they all offer something different. But once you commit to one, you should stick to it so you reach those loyalty levels.

« I found that Royal Caribbean has, by far, the most valuable benefits to me – discounts, free internet, and free drinks. »

Gutridge did not discuss food, but according to the Royal Caribbean website, the price of cruise tickets includes ‘most meals onboard’.

His new way of living is good for social life too, as Gutridge is able to use lunchtimes to socialise or meet people at the gym.

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