Marjorie Cochran, world cruise passenger on the Rotterdam VI. Age: 82. Career path: I was born in Georgia but grew up in Tampa, Florida, where I have lived for 80 years. I am widowed and have my own penthouse there, and spend most of my time socialising. My first husband, a surgeon, passed away in 1970; I then married a friend of his and we had 23 wonderful years together. He contracted Alzheimer's disease, and died 14 months ago. I have three children and seven grandchildren. This is my first cruise, and all my friends and family thought it was an heroic thing for me to do at my age. Being on this ship has been so wonderful I wish I hadn't waited so long to do it. Margie's Day: This is a three-and-a-half month trip, and the maiden voyage for Rotterdam VI. We sailed from New York in mid-January and the cruise will end in New York on May 1. We have stopped in Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Honolulu, Fiji, Auckland, Sydney and Cairns. Before we reach a port we have briefings and lectures, and are offered excursions. Cairns was wonderful because I went snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. During our three days in Hong Kong I've been sightseeing and doing lots of shopping. Vietnam is the next stop. Every day on board is special. On the days we are at sea we have glamorous, formal evenings, when everybody gets dressed up and the food is even more wonderful than usual. I follow a routine: get up at 7 am and work out in the gym, walk for 30 minutes around the deck, then have a light breakfast, usually at pool-side. After lunch I might go and watch the movie of the day, play bridge, visit the casino or meet friends for high tea. I then have a bath and get dressed for dinner. There is so much to do I need to choose carefully or I would run myself ragged. No way am I just sitting in a deck chair, I'm really busy. When I want to relax I go to one of many lounges and listen to music. They have a very good string quartet which plays every evening, and after dinner there are shows which are out of this world. I've made a lot of friends and I'm having the time of my life; I feel sorry for my friends at home because they think they are too old for this. The only thing I didn't enjoy was being seasick because of bad weather when we sailed out of Los Angeles, but since then I've been very well. Ambition: To stay fit and keep travelling. Cost: It depends on the location and size of cabin, but for US$30,000 it is possible to be very comfortable. George Brailsford, cruise-ship passenger, Rotterdam VI. Age: 75. Career path: I'm retired and have the cruising bug. This is my fourth world cruise, and I have been on many other, shorter trips. I grew up in Los Angeles, went to university there and got a Master's Degree in Business. Then I lectured for 15 years before setting up a roofing company in Los Angeles. I retired in 1985 and now live at Lake San Marcos in Southern California, where many elderly people live. I attend courses that take my fancy, and travel or plan my next travel adventure, so I am definitely not bored. I never married. George's Day: I caught the travelling bug when I was teaching and had long summer holidays. When I was young I used to travel by air which was good, because I had a time to explore each destination. When you get older, cruising is a tidy way to travel. You pack and unpack once and have all the creature comforts, as well meeting interesting people and experiencing a beautiful ship. Having only a few days in each port doesn't worry me because they are repeat visits, and at some point I've had time to investigate. Contrary to what people might imagine about cruising it's a stimulating and busy kind of holiday. I get up at around 7 am and walk for two miles around the deck, then do a fitness programme in the gym. When we reach targets we get a prize, like a T-shirt or cap, which is an incentive to keep working out. I have breakfast outdoors on the lido by the pool, then I go to two consecutive aerobics classics. I usually attend two, one-hour lectures, and that brings me to noon, when I have lunch with friends. In the afternoon I attend dance classes, which offer all sorts of styles. I may then go to a movie or another lecture. There's so much on offer it's a job picking what to do. After a late afternoon tea I try to get half an hour's sleep before a big evening, when I wear formal dress for dinner. Getting dressed is a big thing and I enjoy it - dining on the ship means a gracious way of life that doesn't exist anywhere else any more. After dinner I enjoy a show: with the selection and quality it's like our own Broadway. I always take the shore excursions and usually do the basic city tour first, then I might go off on my own. Going home is a bit of an anti-climax after a voyage like this because it's back to the real world of doing things for yourself and finding your own entertainment. Ambition: Dreams are a thing of the past now. Cost: Being pampered like this can cost as much as US$100,000.