86-year-old Lee Wachtstetter is known as Mama Lee aboard the cruise ship Crystal Serenity. It's only natural they have a pet name for their special and near-permanent passenger – after all, she’s been on the cruise ship for seven years now.
Though the passengers come and go, Mama Lee never does and the 655 crew members are just like a big family.
So how did it all start?
She started cruising with her husband Mason and for the 50 years of their marriage, they enjoyed scores of cruises. Just before he died of cancer her husband asked her never to give up on what they loved the most.
“The day before my husband died of cancer in 1997, he told me, ‘Don't stop cruising.’”
She sold her five-bedroom Fort Lauderdale home on 10 acres and did just that after his death.
“So here I am today living a stress-free, fairy-tale life,” she says.
Not only that, she completed more than 200 cruises – including 15 round-the-world trips – and traveled to more than 100 countries.
Wachtstetter doesn’t like going ashore much but she does visit her family when the cruise ship docks at Miami.
She also stays in touch with her three sons and seven grandchildren through the Internet while she is sailing.
The only thing that gets her off the ship apart from her family is Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar.
"You can find gorgeously regal or glitzy outfits there, perfect for formal or casual wear and not terribly expensive," she said.
"I have to restrain myself every time because of my limited cabin space," she adds.
Mama Lee loves dancing and her life aboard the Crystal Serenity ensures she gets her full of it.
“I dance every night for a couple hours after dinner,” she says.
Want to know more about her? Here’s a video:
Thumbnail Credits : Reuters