While the first ever "Cougar Cruise" sailed aboard Carnival Elation last month, Carnival Cruise Lines has said no thanks to a singles travel group's request to book a second cougar-themed sailing.
If you aren't familiar with the trend, cougars—generally woman over 40, but not over the hill—sexually pursue younger men, or cubs—who are typically more than eight years their junior. Think Madonna and her penchant for "boy toys" and you'll get the idea. Although the origin of cougar terminology is debatable, it may have first appeared in print on a Canadian dating website and has been used in TV series, advertising, and film. You might have seen the relatively new television show, Cougar Town, which takes a humorous look at the difficulty and stigmatization of many so-called "Cougars."
The singles travel group that sponsored the cruise aboard Carnival Elation told the Associated Press that the ban by Carnival is unfounded. They point to their first cruise that drew about 300 cougars and cubs as a success. Even Carnival says there were no problems with last month's sailing and it's just a business decision. With their focus on families and fun, they have no room for groups with that "theme."
Cougar cruise planners haven't been lost at sea, though. It appears the travel group has had no trouble booking future love boats with Carnival's rivals, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean.