Man Who's Lived On Cruise Ships For More Than 20 Years Can No Longer Walk Straight On Land
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A man who has lived on cruise ships for more than 20 years can no longer walk in a straight line on land.
Mario Salcedo – known in the cruise community as Super Mario – has been moving between Royal Caribbean ships for more than two decades, claiming he is the 'happiest guy in the world'.
He used to work in finance for a multi-national corporation, but he sacked it in age 47 and began a new life at sea.
He's now spent more than 9,000 nights on cruise ships and he said the lifestyle 'never gets old' – it's just his rare returns to land which can be tricky.
"I've lost my land legs, so when I'm swaying so much I can't walk in a straight line," he told Condé Nast Traveller in 2016.
To live this lifestyle, he budgets around $60-70,000 per year, booking his cruises two years in advance and opting for basic cabins, while also bringing in funds by managing investment portfolios for private clients from on board the ships.
Meanwhile, on port days – when most passengers get off for excursions – he usually stays put on the ship, only stepping foot on land for around 15 days a year.
"People come here for vacation, I don't, I come here to live my life," he told The New York Times, which joined him on board a cruise in 2017 to make a short documentary about his life, published the following year.
He continued: "Adopting cruise ship life is simply escaping from reality.
"You're basically exiting the world as you know it on land and saying I don't want to be a part of that anymore."
While for some, this way of life might sound like hell, for Mario, it is perfection.
He explained: "I don't have to take out the garbage, I don't have to clean, I don't have to do laundry.
"I've eliminated all those non-value activities and have all the time in the world to enjoy what I like to do."
Of course, Mario's world fell apart when Covid-19 hit, and he was forced to live on land like the rest of us. And it seems this experience has only reaffirmed his commitment to the cruise life.
He told All Things Cruise last November: “I didn't cruise for 15 months. It was miserable not knowing when ships would cruise again.
"My first cruise back was 2 July this year on Freedom of the Seas. Perfect name – Freedom."