Widow is living the rest of her life on cruise ships

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Widow Living Out The Rest Of Her Life On Luxury Cruise Line

A retired Florida widow is living the rest of her life on a luxury cruise.

As the Asbury Park Press reports, after her husband died in 1997, 86-year-old Lee Wachtsetter sold their five-bedroom Fort Lauderdale-area home (which sat on ten acres of land), and set out for a life on the sea.

Now, for more than a $160,000 a year, she lives aboard the Crystal Serenity.

Mama Lee (as she's called on the ship) told the paper, "The day before my husband died of cancer in 1997, he told me, 'Don't stop cruising.' So here I am today living a stress-free, fairy-tale life."

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Widow is living the rest of her life on cruise ships
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Widow is living the rest of her life on cruise ships
PALAMóS, CATALONIA, SPAIN - 2013/11/07: Crystal Serenity cruise ship preparing to leave port. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A view of the brand new 'Crystal Serenity' cruise ship a few hours before it is delivered to its Japanese owner, the Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) 01 July 2003, at the Saint Nazaire's Atlantic dockyards. AFP PHOTO FRANK PERRY (Photo credit should read FRANK PERRY/AFP/Getty Images)
PORT HERCULE, MONACO - 2013/11/05: Crystal Serenity cruise ship in port. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Crystal Cruises Crystal Serenity Cruise Ship Pool
SPAIN - 2013/11/07: Crystal Serenity cruise ship detail. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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First, she lived on a Holland America cruise liner, but after they cancelled her favorite dance program, she jumped ship. Since then she's lived on the Serenity. In fact, she's lived on the boat longer than most of the 655 crew members.

At this point, she's lost count of the number of countries she's visited and rarely steps off the boat. When most passengers leave, she feels as if she has the entire ocean liner to herself.

However, a life on the sea does have a cost. Mama Lee says she misses her family and, with all the readily available food, she's put on 25 lbs.

"I do love to eat and regularly dine at a table for eight," she says. "You meet interesting passengers, and I've made lots of new friends that way."

Wachtsetter is looking forward to her 87th birthday, and her seventh year aboard the Serenity.

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