Paul Cosentino and Angela Nuran.
Angela Nuran and Paul Cosentino are cruise enthusiasts who chose to retire to a life at sea.
They sold their 6,000-square-foot Florida home for a 721-square-foot cabin on the Storylines MV Narrative.
The ship sets sail in 2025, but they have already sold their belongings in preparation.
This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with spouses Angela Nuran, 62, and Paul Cosentino, 72, about their decision to sell their home and purchase a cabin aboard the Storylines MV Narrative, a luxury residential cruise ship, where they will live full-time. The MV Narrative will set sail in 2025 and circumnavigate the earth once every three years continuously, with stops in ports across the globe.
Paul: We always thought it would be nice to live at sea, but we’ve had pets. We still have pets. So we stayed here in Florida. We always knew we would like to travel by ship. I saw on the news one day that this new ship would come out and my first question to them was, ‘Do you allow pets?’ And they said they did.
The more we found out, the more we said, “This is for us. This is exactly what we’re looking for.”
These days, plane travel is really aggravating, and as climate change happens, a ship rises with the water.
Angela: The experience of buying a cabin sight-unseen was scary, but exciting.
Paul: We laid out the floor plan in our house to see just how much space there would be. Once we did that, we upgraded to a slightly larger stateroom because we probably would like a little extra space. We’re going from a 6,000-square-foot house down to a 721-square-foot cabin.
We’re downsizing but when we’re in our state room, we’re either asleep, watching TV, or sitting on the balcony. How much room do we really need? We got the whole ship, and we’re going to be going ashore as much as we like.
The couple’s residence will have a similar layout to the one rendered here.
Angela: Our stateroom has a dedicated bedroom. We have the option of having two full baths or we can have one and a half baths with an extra closet.
Paul: A lot of the other residential cruise ships have kitchens in the cabins. The Narrative has 20 restaurants and bars, and most of the food is provided and cooked for you. Why would we want a full-blown kitchen that just takes up space in a stateroom when we’re not going to be in our stateroom cooking? The staterooms have a microwave and refrigerator. If we do have the occasion that we want to cook something, there’s a community kitchen on every floor.
Angela: Another cool thing about this ship is there’s going to be hydroponic gardening. I’m very interested in gardening.
They sold their house and went all-in on living at sea
Angela: We opted for the leasehold period of 24 years. Paul is 72 and I’m 62. We have no children. Therefore, we would have no one to leave the unit to anyway.
Paul: We’re in contract for about $2.5 million. I was in the food processing business. I sold my business many years ago and I did some real estate development. I retired basically for a little while. I have a few projects left and then I’ll be completely retired. That’s really what we’re gonna live off of. We just hope that all goes well.
Angela: And then we have to pay the living charges every quarter.
Paul: They’re about $135,000 a year and that includes food. The only thing not in there which is of concern is health insurance. They do provide medical care on the ship, but you never know what’s gonna happen. So I intend to keep my Medicare insurance in the US should I need to come back here. And my wife will do the same when she gets on it.
Angela: We already sold the house in Pompano. That was our primary home. We sold or donated everything.
Paul: We wanted to have flexibility to just get our toothbrush and get on a plane and go when the ship was ready. We didn’t want to have a house up for sale while we’re traveling and deal with hurricanes and all that if that situation were to develop.
Angela: We are now living temporarily in a home in Boca Raton, and we are trying to figure out what to do for the next two and a half years until the ship is ready.
We’re of retirement age, but we’re hearing that people are going to be working from the ship.
One of the ship’s resident lounges.
Paul: Any American citizen living anywhere and earning money, including interest and dividends, still has to pay taxes. You still file a tax return unless you were to give up your citizenship and become a citizen of another country. But we’re not going to do that. We’re going to remain American citizens.
If you’re getting Social Security payments, you could be in Timbuktu and you’ll still get paid. That’s your money cut that comes to you, but Uncle Sam wants his money and you pay that wherever you are.
The couple is already embracing the Storylines community
Paul: My wife was, at one time, a dance teacher. And I was a ballroom dancer myself, though not professional. We used to teach on cruise ships and we really enjoyed doing that. We said, someday we’d like to do this full time.
The couple are longtime cruise enthusiasts who have shared their love of ballroom dancing on different trips at sea.
Angela: There are those of us that have things that we can do to enhance the life experiences of the other people on board. We are all very eager to contribute what we can. I have already been approached by some of the other future residents about teaching on board, and I will gladly do that. It wouldn’t be a paid position. You just do it for the pure fun and enjoyment of it and to interact with our new neighbors, our new friends.
Paul: A lot of these people are really seasoned and pretty steady cruisers.
Storylines will be providing different types of entertainment venues on the ship, just not to the extent that one would expect on a commercial type of a ship. The Narrative will also have a 10,000-square-foot wellness center with all types of interactive classes, Zumba classes, weight rooms, spas, pickleball courts, and a golf simulator.
The Narrative is not going to be a party boat. It is a residence. So everyone that’s living on this ship, you’re not going to be having the carnival nights and the crazy college party ambiance. This will be everybody’s home, so that’s the kind of mentality that’s coming on board — people that love the experience of traveling, that love the experience of visiting new communities and new cultures.
Angela: On a regular ship, a shore excursion is only going to last the few hours that you’re in port. Well, the Narrative is not going to spend just one day at port, they’re going to spend three days, four days, five days depending on where you’re going. We’re really looking forward to having the convenience and the safety of being able to get off the ship and participate in some of these travel experiences under the umbrella of the Narrative.