I've never been on a cruise. I most likely will never be on a cruise. Why? It's that whole Titanic affair.

Besides fearing for my survival, there's another concern -- getting seasick. That certainly can't be a picnic. So although my chances of sailing into an iceberg are most likely relatively slim, there's the all-too-relevant phobia of constantly turning green and clutching my stomach for days on end. (Plus, I don't want to get lost on some weird island that isn't owned by Gilligan.)

Still, my reluctance to take up residence on a floating vacation spot doesn't mean that I can't check out the industry group every now and then. In fact, I recently read about Royal Caribbean's (NYSE:RCL) interesting new attempt at enhancing the experience of passengers who are parents. Royal Caribbean will call upon Mattel's (NYSE:MAT) Fisher-Price division to conjure up some entertainment for kids under three. Special programs from Fisher-Price's Play Laboratory will be offered, using toys made by the company to encourage building self-confidence and other positive attributes. There also will be something called Fisher-Price TV, which will broadcast shows based on Fisher-Price properties such as Little People in the cabins.

After reading about this idea, I realized that keeping very young kids engaged cannot be taken lightly; parents must go nuts sometimes on these long voyages. So anything that Royal Caribbean -- or competitor Carnival (NYSE:CCL) -- can do to make things more comfortable for family guests must really stretch the worth of the tickets. Of course, I'd imagine that Disney (NYSE:DIS) has never had a problem in this area with its ships (at least, I'd hope the company wouldn't).

For investors, this sector of leisure has been the beneficiary of a long-term thesis that baby boomers will be retiring more and more, and looking for ways to travel and relax. I agree that the stocks in this group show promise for years, and innovative ideas such as this one from Royal Caribbean also point to an industry that's not just complacently waiting for customers -- or investors -- to come aboard.

Cruise some of these finer vessels:

Mattel is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. To find out Philip Durell's thinking on Mattel and its prospects, take a free, no-obligation trial today.

Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Disney but none of the other companies mentioned.