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In the Pursuit of Relaxing on Cruises

This being the week of National Relaxation Day — of course you knew it was August 15, didn't you? — Princess Cruises annually gets in the spirit of the occasion with a survey about what makes a vacation relaxing.

Well, it's sort of about relaxing. More like about things that accompany relaxing.

Like sex.

Now that we have your attention, here are some of the survey's results (a sampling of 1,008 American adults 18 and older between August 1 and August 4) that you might find, er, intriguing:

• The celebrity who women (40 per cent) would prefer to relax with is Ellen DeGeneres, while the men's preference is Taylor Swift or Scarlett Johansson.

• Parents prefer sleeping more on a vacation than non-parents. It gets better. Parents prefer getting more sleep on vacation than having more sex.

• More men (45 per cent) feel relaxed when they return home from a vacation while more women (43 per cent) feel they need a vacation from a vacation.

• One in four Millenials (18 to 31 years) pick "sleep" as the "activity" they enjoy more away from home while only one in seven Boomers (over 65) are eager to sleep more when on holidays.

• The favorite female and male celebrities to vacation with for Millenials are Scarlett Johansson and Ashton Kutcher while the favorites of Boomers are Ellen DeGeneres and Anderson Cooper.

• Women (25 per cent) would rather read more on vacation; men (34 per cent) would rather have more sex.

Princess Cruises is vitally interested in such a survey because its theme is to help customers "escape completely" on its ships but is not necessarily planning to implement results in its marketing (more sex?).

And there's something everybody needs to remember about this.

It's a survey, so…relax.

Carnival Glory
7 nights
January 5, 2014
Miami (return): Grand CaymanCozumelBelizeRoatan
Inside: $379
Cost per day: $54
www.carnival.com

Cruise Survey: A Couple of Puzzles

A recent survey about cruise customer satisfaction resulted in a couple of results and/or recommendations that, to us, were puzzling.

Puzzling result…

According to the survey, conducted by the respected firm J.D. Power, one in five cruise passengers experience a problem while on their cruise.

You think?

Put five people anywhere, doing anything, and it's a virtual guarantee one of them will "experience a problem" with something. Ever try and get five people to agree, completely, on anything short of what day it is. Ask 3,000 passengers on a cruise if they had any problem with anything in the areas of service, stateroom, food, getting on and off the ship, entertainment, cost or excursions while traveling for seven days…and finding that 600 had some kind of "problem" is not hard to imagine.

So maybe it just needs a little perspective…80 per cent were completely satisfied.

Is the glass 80 per cent full, or 20 per cent empty?

Puzzling recommendation…

Among the things J.D. Power suggested people do before booking a cruise was this one:

"If you are taking a cruise with numerous ports of call find out which cruise line ranks highest for embarking/debarking. The more organized and efficient the cruise line is with both of these metrics, the less stressful the experience may be when leaving and returning to the ship."

As you know, we've been on many cruises. Not once did it ever occur to us to check out how efficiently people get on and off a ship when visiting ports. And rarely, if ever, did we experience anything beyond a normal delay in the process when visiting ports. First of all, there's never much of a rush because the ship is going to be there for hours.

So while this can be an issue in getting on the ship to depart, or getting off the ship to go home, doing an efficiency embarkation/disembarkation check when visiting a port is, well…puzzling?

Is anybody puzzled by our views?

Coral Princess
11 nights
October 24, 2013
Fort Lauderdale (return): Aruba, Cartagena, Panama Canal, Colon, Puerto Limon, Grand Cayman
Inside: $899
Cost per day: $81
www.princess.com

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