Seniors and Cruising: Motivations and Satisfactions
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Millions of vacationers are taking a cruise each year and nearly one-third are senior tourists. There is little attention to this sector in the literature. This qualitative study reveals some of the motivations and satisfactions of ten retired seniors who were recently on a cruise. The interviews were transcribed to capture precise wordings of their motivations and satisfactions and then analyzed by phrases. These were open, then axially coded according to a conceptual theory, into three stages: a pre-cruise stage of planning and expectations, the experiences on board a cruise ship through activities and excursions, and the post-cruise stage of satisfaction. The phrases were selective coded into three themes. The findings reveal that the most important feature of a cruise is interaction within them, with their companions, and with others they may meet. Friends, relatives, and the ship's crew add to this interaction. Second, there is a balance of opportunities and constraints incurred while achieving the goal of a cruise. Third, it was found that there are multiple sources of satisfaction from a cruise. This study provides insight into what cruising means to seniors, the effect of interaction with others, and their internal interactions. The experience of a cruise becomes an event that leaves a memorable impression for years to come.