Since first stepping onboard a cruise ship 20 years ago, Mario Salcedo has spent more than 6,000 days at sea on nearly 1,000 voyages.
That’s why they call him Super Mario.
“When the opportunity came, I took my first cruise. My life was changed instantaneously. I came to the conclusion that cruising was not only the perfect vacation but the perfect lifestyle,” Mario says.
After a few years jumping between different lines and ships, Mario settled on Royal Caribbean.
The Miami native now spends months at a time on one ship, cruising around the Caribbean or on Transatlantic voyages. He always chooses an inside cabin (to save money) and books his cruises up to two years in advance so he doesn’t have to move rooms.
Mario estimates he spends around US$65,000 annually on cruising and only spends two weeks on land each year.
How does he afford it? As a member of the Pinnacle Club (Royal Caribbean’s highest loyalty program) he has unlimited internet access – so he has set up an ‘office’ onboard where he works as an investment manager.
He’s sailed on just about all the ships in the line and will travel around the world to join a new ship when it launches. He is particularly fond of Navigator of the Seas and says he felt homeless when she left Miami for good.
It also means he’s a bit of a Royal Caribbean celebrity.
One year he played Santa at Christmas onboard Majesty of the Seas and he went scuba diving in Belize with a group of officers on a ship rescue boat. He frequently socialises with the crew and makes friends among the new passengers that board.
Mario has no plans to come ashore any time soon. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute of every day on the ocean. And yet, it feels as though I’m just getting started…and I will continue on this amazing journey as long as the higher authority gives me good health and as long as I’m having fun.”
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