Finally, a cruise for Mrs. Robinson, the older woman in the film "The Graduate" who seduced the much younger character played by Dustin Hoffman.
Much has changed since that film turned traditional relationships on their ear.
In fact, on Carnival Cruise Lines' three-night party cruise this December, the Mrs. Robinsons of the world -- or cougars, as their single counterparts are called -- aren't just welcomed, they're the centerpiece for the three-day sailing. Onboard, too, if all goes according to plan, will be lots of "cubs," cougar lingo for men who date older women.
Rich Gosse, chairman of the Society of Single Professionals and innovator of the Cougar Cruise idea, has partnered with Ann Thomas, executive director of the Singles Travel Co., to launch the first Cougar Cruise, a new label for an age-old dilemma: older women looking for younger men.
Apparently there are plenty of Mrs. Robinsons out there, but, for the most part, they have been left in the cold by a society biased against older women, Gosse said. "Supposedly every American male is only attracted to nubile 20-year-olds found in the centerfolds of men's magazines," he added. "The truth is that there are millions of American men who find older women attractive."
And, of course, vice versa.
The term for these hot-to-trot older women was codified by Valerie Gibson in her 2001 book, "Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men." According to Gibson, "a cougar is the new breed of single, older woman -- confident, sophisticated, desirable and sexy. She knows exactly what she wants. What she doesn't want is children, cohabitation or commitment."
Happily married to a younger woman, Gosse conceded that, in politer company, contemporary cubs once might have been called gigolos. However, he believes that today's cubs "frankly are more interested in sex than money." And the cougars are more like the foursome in "Sex and the City" than Mrs. Robinson.
Not since fortysomething Demi Moore hooked Ashton Kutcher, 19 years her junior, has cougar gone so mainstream. You can hardly keep pace with the rash of TV shows and films monopolizing the notion. Cougars even have won the coveted cover story in a recent Newsweek magazine proclaiming 2009 "The Year of the Cougar."
Cougars also have their own convention, and 42-year-old Gloria Navarro recently was crowned the first "Miss Cougar America." As reigning feline, she will preside over the Cougar Cruise.
This cruise should rock, Gosse said, adding, "If you can't make a connection on this cruise, you should take yourself directly to a monastery."
So, here's to you, Mrs. Robinson.
Fares for the cruise, on Carnival's 2,000-passenger Elation, Dec. 4 to 7 round trip from San Diego, begin at $125 per person, plus government fees and port taxes. That includes cocktail parties and Cougar Cruise events. For those wishing to avoid the dreaded singles supplement, the company will match you with a cabin mate. For more information, call 888-286-8687 or visit singlestravelcompany.com.
Majesty of the Seas - 10/03 & 02/07 & 11/08
Enchantment of the Seas - 10/04 & 10/11
Mariner of the Seas - 10/05
Vision of the Seas - 10/06 & 09/07
Carnival Liberty - 10/07
Adventure of the Seas - 9/08
Ruby Princess - 12/09
Voyager of the Seas - 9/10
Carnival Spirit - 11/10
Oasis of the Seas - 9/13
I saw some video footage of the cougar annual "convention". I hate to say it, but most of the women didn't look so much desperate to find a younger man as they just looked, well, just sorta plain desperate. It kind of looked like several of those cheesey glamour shop type photos came to life and gathered in a Holiday Inn convention room. Not too many of what most of us would picture Mrs. Robison to look like were there. Nothing at all wrong with older women hooking up with younger guys if that's what they like (and vise versa). But this gathering just had kind of a sad vibe to it to watch. Check it out on you tube.
Carnival Holiday (1999 ?)
RCI Sovereign of the Seas 2007
RCI Enchantment of the Seas 2009
On the older man thing, only the Hef can host that one(Playboy cruise maybe???). The man is a legend after all.
For my part, I see women not by their age, but by their inner and outer beauty. Younger, older, doesn't matter to me. I just am uninterested in b***hes. Women with a bad attitude just are not worth my very precious and limited time. Still, I would be very interested in getting "on board"(pun intended) with this cruise.