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This Old Woman Has Lived On A Cruise Ship For 7 Years

This Old Woman Has Lived On A Cruise Ship For 7 Years

Would you want to travel the world every day of your life? That’s what 86-year-old widow Lee Wachtstetter has been doing for the last seven years. She calls the 1,070-passenger cruise ship Crystal Serenity her home. Mama Lee, as Wachtstetter is affectionally called by the crew, has been cruising since her husband died in 1997, but not before telling her, “Don’t stop cruising.”

Throughout their marriage, the Wachtstetters cruised the world. “My husband introduced me to cruising,” Mama Lee told USA Today. “Mason was a banker and real estate appraiser and taught me to love cruising. During our 50-year marriage, we did 89 cruises. I’ve done nearly a hundred more and 15 world cruises.”

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Dancing through life

After selling her Fort Lauderdale home that sat on 10 acres of property, Mama Lee had enough money to live on the high seas for years. High on her list of requirements for her permanent home was the entertainment available on the cruise ship. For Mama Lee, the only entertainment worthwhile on cruise ships is ballroom dancing with dance hosts. Mama Lee lived on a Holland America ship, part of a cruise line owned by Carnival, prior to living on Crystal Serenity. For three years, Mama Lee enjoyed her stay with Holland America. However, she soon had to leave.

“The day they announced they were stopping the dance host program was the day I decided to leave,” she said. Mama Lee decided to jump ship to Crystal Serenity. The luxury liner is one of two ships of Crystal Cruise Lines, a Japanese luxury cruise line consistently rated highly by Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure for 19 years. More importantly, they offer dance hosts for their passengers. Mama Lee told USA Today, “I enjoy dancing, and this was the best of the remaining ships that still use dance hosts. My husband didn’t dance, just didn’t like to, and encouraged me to dance with the hosts.”

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The cost of cruising

Being a permanent resident on Crystal Serenity is not cheap. This year, Mama Lee expects the high life on the high seas to cost her $164,000. That cost includes a single-occupancy stateroom on the seventh deck of the luxury liner, full board including the specialty restaurants on the ship, along with all of the ship’s services, amenities, and entertainment available. No mortgages, no groceries to think about, no other bills to pay. Isn’t that the life?

Been there, done that

Mama Lee has been to almost any country with a port, but rarely goes ashore nowadays. She just enjoys the quiet and solitude of having the ship all to herself when the rest of the passengers get off the ship to explore. That is, except when Crystal Serenity docks at Istanbul.

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“I can’t resist the Grand Bazaar,” Mama Lee said. “You can find gorgeously regal or glitzy outfits there, perfect for formal or casual wear and not terribly expensive. I have to restrain myself every time because of my limited cabin space.”

Whenever the ship docks in Miami, Mama Lee visits her sons and grandchildren and keeps in touch with them with her laptop. She remembers, “When my children were all young, I took them on cruises many times. Now they have families of their own and do what’s right for them.”

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Living it up

Mama Lee usually holds court in the Palm Court lounge doing her second love, needlepoint. She has been living on Crystal Serenity longer than most of the 655 crew members. The crew dotes on her, often accommodating her needs and wishes even if they’re not readily available on the ship. With her 87th birthday fast approaching, Mama Lee is looking forward to another great year on the ship.

“All the time I’ve been here I have never had a sick day,” she said. “I’m so spoiled I doubt that I would ever be able to readjust to the real world again.”

Mama Lee certainly has figured out how to live out the rest of her life, and on the seven seas to boot. Have you figured out how to live yours?

Featured photo credit: Cruise Ship – Celebrity Infinity/blmiers2 via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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