Monday, June 8, 2009

Book Review Mondays

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Cruise confidential: A hit below the waterline
by Brian David Bruns

Book Review by Richard L. Weaver II, PhD.

In this 370-page book, Burns truly takes you behind the glitter and glamour of cruising. Having taken nine cruises (including our River Cruise of the Great Rivers of Europe, which does not qualify as a large-ship cruise) it was easy to understand and identify with Burns, an American, who signed on as a crew member on Carnival Cruise Lines. If you have ever cruised before, you know immediately how unusual this is. Major cruise lines hire their crew from as many as 80 different foreign countries; however, for crew members, you will find very few from the U.S. After reading this book, you will understand why. For many crew members from other countries, especially countries less developed than our own, work for a cruise line pays substantially better than anything they can find in their own country. On most of the cruises we have taken, Filipinos, Indonesians, and Romanians predominated. Burns writes about the internal politics that occur, who gets promotions and why, and who does not. He points out, with specific examples, that his superiors were prejudiced when it came to promoting him, and he noted that one reason was that he was an American. From the hard work crew members endured, to the lack of sleep (often 3-4 hours per night because of heavy shifts piled on top of one another), to the romantic relationships developed, and to the stealing that occurred between dining stewards (those who arrived at the dining room first would stock their station by taking whatever they needed from another person’s station), this book was truly an eye opener. I loved every minute of it, and if you have cruised, you will too. You'll probably like it as well even if you haven't cruised. Burns writes well and tell a good story.


Through our reading, researching, and writing, And Then Some Publishing (and our extended family of readers) mine volumes of books representing a wide variety of tastes. We use the books in our writing, test and try suggested techniques, and we read for enjoyment as well. We wouldn't spend the time reviewing the books if we didn't get something out of it. Read more reviews on other fantastic books at our BookWorks website.

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