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Cougar cruises help young guys hook up with older women

'The Love Boat' gets a Mrs. Robinson-style makeover.

By Kristin Wong Mar 11, 2013 7:38PM

The controversy continues over whether the term "cougar" is demeaning or empowering, but either way, it doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon.

In fact, cruise lines are taking advantage of the cougar craze by offering events dedicated to older women meeting younger guys.

"It is a very party-like atmosphere, and it serves a purpose for part of society that has been there all along and getting stronger and more prevalent," Ann Thomas, director of Singles Travel Company, told the Huffington Post.

Photo: Cougar cruises / Bloomberg/Getty ImagesMore on MSN Living: Readers share their funniest, cheesiest and best pickup lines

Thomas' company arranged the first International Cougar Cruise, which took place on a Carnival Cruise Lines ship. They've since held six more events, but amid some controversy, Carnival decided to, well, jump ship.

"They've got to do what they've got to do survive," said Richard Gosse, Singles Travel Company's spokesman. "…we're grateful they gave us the chance to start this."

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Carnival didn't say why they stopped offering the cougar cruise, but chances are, they wanted to go for a more wholesome image. (Of course, amid their recent nightmare, that may no longer be their top priority.)

But at any rate, Singles Travel Company now hosts their May-December romance excursions via Royal Caribbean. They're now planning their seventh cruise, expecting 60 to 80 vacationers.

The cougar cruises take place on a large, commercial ship among thousands of other non-cougar attendees. Activities are similar to those on a regular cruise—meals, Jacuzzi parties and comedy shows. Despite that fact, Royal Caribbean's decision to host the cruise wasn't without controversy. One travel writer called the cruise "sexually-charged," and pondered whether Royal Caribbean was the "new bad boy of the cruise industry."

"We have no reason to deny this group the opportunity to sail on our ship," Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez told USA Today.  "We assume this group will follow our guest conduct policy, just like any other guest.  We have no reason to think otherwise."

Want to get onboard? You seem to have two options—receive an invitation, or call Singles Travel to apply. Amy Luna Manderino—2011's Miss Cougar International, fell under the "invitation" category. She told the Huffington Post that she actually hit it off with a young man during her first night.

 “We ended up dating … and after the cruise he came to visit me," 47-year-old Manderino said. "Turns out he wanted to marry me, but I said no ... we didn’t share the same values and priorities.”

What do you think? Are 'cougar cruises' sexually-charged or harmlessly fun?

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Photo: Cougar cruises / Bloomberg/Getty Images

101Comments
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Wouldn't the young guy like a nice piece, a little closer to their age, instead of some old dried up hag?
Mar 12, 2013 4:31PM
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Old guys have been chasing young women for centuries, and nobody bats an eye. I say what's good for the gander is good for the goose.
Mar 12, 2013 4:31PM
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Where's the young hot babes older men cruise aka Gold Digger Excursions?
Mar 12, 2013 4:27PM
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Ms.Insecure and lonely---please meet Mr. superficial and Freudian.

 

 

Mar 12, 2013 4:24PM
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"sexually-charged or harmlessly fun" since when are these 2 things different for consenting adults??
Mar 12, 2013 4:21PM
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LMFAO!

A bunch of dried up, old broads blowing young losers who can't get a date with a young gal.  LOL!
Mar 12, 2013 4:19PM
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What we learn from lessons learned is we don't learn from lessons learned. 

Any Cougar or Cougar wannabe should learn from Demi Moore.  Cougers must also be prepared for mental pain, frustration, and insecurity.  Good luck! 

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