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Just another day in paradise

Charlestown features all the perks of a cruise without ever leaving home

Created date

March 14th, 2018
Photo of an exercise class in session with a female instructor and four participants.

People who live at Charlestown enjoy nearby access to myriad activities and amenities—not to mention several dining venues—just like cruise ship passengers.


“Old man rhythm is in my shoes. It’s no use to sittin’ and a-singin’ the blues. So be my guest, you got nothin’ to lose. Won’t ya let me take you on a sea cruise?”

Last year 25.8 million people answered “yes” to that 1950s hit song and vacationed aboard a cruise ship. That number is expected to rise to 27.2 million passengers globally in 2018, according to Cruise Lines International Association.

The cruise industry is the fastest growing category in the leisure travel market. Since 1980, it has experienced an average annual passenger growth rate of approximately 7% annually. So what is keeping the cruise industry afloat?

Surveys show there are a few key factors that attract vacationers to the high seas. For starters, cruising is one of the most affordable ways to travel. Cruises combine all of the necessary components (lodging, food, and entertainment) into one all-inclusive price. Overall, you get more for your money.

There is also the convenience factor. Cruise ships are like floating cities with everything you need to enjoy a relaxing, fun-filled vacation all in one place.

While many are planning their next getaway at sea, Charlestown, an Erickson Living community in Catonsville, Md., is popular for many of the same reasons people love cruises.

Busy morning, noon, and night

Maintenance-free apartment homes leave Charlestown residents plenty of time to fill their schedules with things they enjoy without any of the worries that come with home ownership. With hundreds of resident-run clubs and activities like yoga classes, poker games, and book club meetings, all within the 110-acre campus, community members say they feel like they are on a cruise every day.

Whatever your interest, chances are Charlestown already has a club for it. Want to try your hand at woodworking? How about quilting, painting, acting, or model yacht racing? Everything from ballroom dancing to bocce and billiards is at your fingertips. And if a group representing your favorite hobbies and interests isn’t already established, it’s easy to start your own club. Community Resources Manager Mary Evans and her team are happy to facilitate whatever you need to accomplish your goals.

“With the constant influx of new folks, there is a rapid input of fresh, new ideas for clubs and groups,” says Evans. “We simply facilitate the process of groups and clubs being developed here in the community and then step back and let the residents run with it.”

Resort-style living all year long

Much like cruise ship passengers, Charlestown community members also enjoy the convenience of nearby amenities like an on-site bank, fitness center, hair salon, library, six restaurants, and a physician-staffed medical center.

However, there’s one unique difference: virtually everything at Charlestown is accessible via pedestrian-friendly, climate-controlled, enclosed walkways thanks to the community’s unique “everything under one roof” design. So whether it feels like the tropics or the tundra outside, you never have to postpone your plans because of the weather.

Similar to a cruise, where everything is rolled into one cost, at Charlestown your finances are also simplified with two primary costs that cover most expenses.

The onetime entrance fee secures your apartment home at the community and is 90% refundable to you or your heirs (carefuly read the Residence and Care Agreement for the conditions that must be satisfied before the provider is required to pay the entrance fee refund). The predictable monthly service package, which residents pay in a single monthly bill, covers most day-to-day expenses, including apartment home maintenance, property taxes, utilities, telephone, and trash collection.

Flexible dining plans, cable television, and 24-hour security and emergency first response services are also included, and because the monthly service package covers all major household repairs, there is never any fear that an expensive repair will throw off your monthly budget.

Services like professional landscaping and snow removal, which typically would be additional expenses when living in a house, are also part of the package.

“When you take a cruise, the voyage itself and the ship’s amenities are a part of the experience, as well as the different destinations along the way,” says Evans. “Erickson Living communities encourage the same experience for residents, affording them the opportunity to explore new interests, share their talents, and create meaningful social networks.”