Cougar Cruise: Older Love on the High Seas

"I'm looking forward to getting dolled up in the evenings and going to the parties," Navarro said.

So what makes these cubs so appealing?

Navarro said they have a sense of adventure and have fewer issues than older men.

"I always say: Men are the same at every age whether they're in their 20s, 30s, 40s or 50s. They just accumulate more baggage along the way," she said. "For myself, I believe that the cougar-cub relationship is one of mutual understanding and respect."

And why are the cubs attracted to the cougars, usually women in the 40s and 50s?

"The younger men get the advantage of being with an experienced woman, who according to the cubs, know what they want. There's no game playing," Gosse said.

Navarro met a cub shortly after getting divorced two years ago, and "I've never looked back," she said. Right now, she is casually dating a 37-year-old who is "a little older than my typical cub." But she's open to meeting someone else on the cruise.

Ken Heit is director of sales for World Wide Cruises, American Express affiliated travel agency that has specialized in cruises for more than 20 years.

He said that while he has heard of singles cruises before, he had not seen any other cougar cruises. But it doesn't surprise him. There are niche cruises for music groups, art groups, churches -- even nudists.

"This should be interesting," he said.

Cruises Hurt by Recession

Like the rest of the travel industry, the cruise business has been hurt by the recession. Ships aren't going out to sea empty, but cruise companies have had to severely discount prices to fill rooms.

"Prices are starting to recover in the last couple of months. We've seen a little move back up but still not nearly up to where they were at this time last year," Heit said.

Heit said this the cougar cruise is "an usual concept," but added that a hip is a logical place to have such an event.

"It's a closed environment. There's no place to run or to hide," Heit said. "It's easy to meet people. It's kind of conducive for people to meet. It's not like at a hotel where you can say, 'I'm tired of this. I'm driving away.' There's no place for you to go. You're on a ship."

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