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Cruise Ship SOS: The Life-saving Adventures of a Doctor at Sea [Paperback]

Neil Simpson , Ben Macfarlane
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
Price: £7.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

26 May 2011

Who gets the call if it all goes wrong at sea?

Meet Dr Ben MacFarlane. After spending a year as a repatriation doctor, he's heading around the world as a ship's doctor - and with 3,000 passengers and crew to look after he's in for the most exciting trip of his life.

On one dramatic voyage he deals with broken bones and broken hearts, and picks up the pieces after fights in the crew bar and freak accidents on shore leave.

So join Ben and his colleagues and find out why ship's doctors think bar stools should carry health warnings, why the casino can be safer than the sick bay in a storm and why no amount of sharks, pirates or tidal waves will ever be as dangerous as the midnight buffet.

Frequently Bought Together

Cruise Ship SOS: The Life-saving Adventures of a Doctor at Sea + Cruise Confidential: A Hit Below the Waterline - Where the Crew Lives, Eats, Wars and Parties - One Crazy Year Working on Cruise Ships (Travelers' Tales) + What Time Is the Midnight Buffet?: Tales from the Cruise Adventure of a Lifetime
Price For All Three: £20.98

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (26 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340919787
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340919781
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 356,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


PRAISE FOR HOLIDAY SOS: 'Sun, sea and surgery - it's a potent mix. It deserves to succeed.' (The Independent on HOLIDAY SOS)

A mixture of shocking, moving and at times very funny stories ...and eye-opener for any holidaymaker. (Now Magazine on HOLIDAY SOS)

Will have you engrossed (Sunday Herald on HOLIDAY SOS)

This book is packed with tales of derring-do ... a riveting read. (The Independent on HOLIDAY SOS)

Book Description

With all the drama and excitement of popular medical dramas like Holby City and Casualty, these incredible true stories are told with warmth and humour.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Intrepid Dr Ben Strikes Again! 17 Jun 2010
I have nearly gone pop waiting for this to be published! After reading Holiday SOS last summer I couldn't wait to hear about Ben becoming a ships Dr and sailing the 7 seas.

This was as entertaining as the last one and had some terrific characters with interesting stories (all with names changed for obvious reasons - Ben is a Dr after all) but what I found equally as fascinating is how a cruise ship actually works and what is going below decks.

I don't want to give too many specific examples as I am mindful of giving too much away and spoiling it for some people, but I loved the senior Dr on the ship - Edward Marlborough, what a lovely guy the sounded like :) Also the wonderful Mrs Philip and Mr Baxter who was determined to make it to Singapore - you will have to read the book to find out why of course.

This would be a terrific holiday/beach/airport read (I was supposed to be taking mine on holiday on the 1st July but they published it early and I just couldn't contain myself! I read it in less than 24 hours!)

Oh and Dr Ben, if you happen to read this, maybe it would be worth considering staying out of Egypt?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars lovely cararaderie at sea! 12 July 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just loved this book! really loved the easy, friendly camaraderie between the two doctors and the three nurses. I've worked with a man very like the older doctor, someone who is ready to retire, but who has enjoyed his career so much he is not sure if he really wants to. And it's very clear why this job would be such a hard one to give up. I also loved how the old timers joked with Ben about how quickly he would get hooked on cruise ship life - and how right they were! It was also really nice to read about how different passengers and crew all helped each other and pulled together when required. lots of very heartwarming stories all the way through - but I laughed quite a lot as well. I don't want to give any of the funny stories away - but the italian waiter in particular is hilarious!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant 20 Aug 2010
By T-bone
I loved this book.

It chronicles the real life adventures and incidents seen by a cruise ship doctor on a round the world cruise.
The writing syle is very easy and pleaant to read, and incidents are told in such a way as to give enough information without becoming grisly or gruesome. Some parts will make you smile while others may bring a tear to your eye. The narrative flows well and never becomes tedious.

Ben Macfarlanes first book, holiday sos was also hugely enjoyable and I think this one was even better. You get a real feel for the cruise ship life, from the passengers in huge suites through to life in the crew areas below the passenger decks. We meet characters who are hilarious and ridiculous, to others who you wish you could track down in real life and give them a hug - and one or two less pleasant ones also.

This was such an easy to read book as the authors "voice" is so friendly. I read this book cover to cover in one sitting and was dissapointed when I came to the end. I sincerely hope that Ben Macfarlane will continue to write about his medical adventures.

A very good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great holiday read 3 Oct 2010
I bought this book after reading an interview with Ben MacFarlane in Sabado magazine and loved it. After coming back from a cruise earlier this year I was intrigued by how the crew lived and what went on on the other decks that passengers didn't get to see. This book was a real eye-opener and I loved reading about the different workers, their cabins, their lives and their jobs. There is so much on a big cruise ship that we don't see. Thankfully we didn't end up in a medical centre ourselves - but it's good to know what we might have expected if we had! Loved some of the funny stories of the waiters and so on - loved the fact that the book was a real mix of happy and sad. great read if you travel a lot or are going on a cruise anytime soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cruise Ship SOS 29 Sep 2010
From the first paragraph to the last this book had me hooked. It is such a roller coaster ride of edge of the seat incidents. Superbly written, I got a really good sense of Dr Ben Macfarlane and his colleagues who just came to life on the page. I have an interest in all things medical and enjoyed trying to second guess some of the conditions and problems the cruise ship passengers and crew presented poor Dr Macfarlane with. But even if you are not a medical person this book is simply an exciting mix of people, travel, faraway places, work, relationships and play. What more can you ask for?
Read it and enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Medical matters on a cruise ship 17 Jan 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Have you ever wondered what happens to passengers on a cruise if they are taken ill for any reason? This book tells the story from the point of view of the medical staff on a cruise liner. Doctor Ben Macfarlane, who has also worked as a doctor accompanying patients home when they are taken ill abroad, describes some of the problems he had to deal with on a round the world cruise. You may enjoy his previous book Holiday SOS

There are incidents both funny and sad as well as heart warming and not everyone survives to the end of the cruise. I was surprised at the variety of ailments which were presented to the medical staff. From DTs to Cirrhosis of the liver and severe sunburn which could have resulted in the patient's death as well as people simply forgetting the medication they normally take. Then there were crew members exaggerating their ailments to get a few days off work and patients simulating claustrophobia in order to get an upgrade to a cabin with a window.

I think one of the incidents which stuck in my mind was the man who had gone on the cruise in order to visit Singapore for the first time since the war and pay his respects to his comrades who didn't make it home. He was terminally ill and the medical staff did their best to keep him alive long enough to do what he wanted. I was also touched by the many friendships which were made on board and how willing many people were to help their fellow passengers.

This is an interesting to read though it may prove to be an expensive purchase for me as I would now like to go on a cruise!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very entertaining.
Published 2 months ago by juergen sierks
4.0 out of 5 stars Behind the scenes
This is an interesting book, especially for anyone who has been on a cruise or is thinking about it. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Dr Cath
3.0 out of 5 stars cruise sos
Readable but not as good as his previous book about being a repatriation doctor, which was funny fast paste and excellant.
Published 12 months ago by hollypolly
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent light-hearted read
Really well-written and enjoyable book about life as a doctor on a cruise ship. Gives a really interesting insight into the exciting life that others lead!
Published 14 months ago by GM
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
This is with out a doubt one of the best books I have ever read. As a nurse it makes me want to leave everything behind and go and work on a cruise ship.
Published 18 months ago by Paul Jones-King
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab
Another gem from Dr Ben. A great read - I hope he writes more. A great insight into life on board a cruise ship.
Published 18 months ago by Gillian Cameron
5.0 out of 5 stars revealing and fascinating
An unexpected delight made more enjoyable as reading it whilst on a cruise. Interesting to discover and comforting to know how complete medical facilities are on modern cruise... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Paul Kendall
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
I thought Holiday SOS was great, but this was even better. I've never had any inclination to go cruising and still don't, but I so enjoyed cruising around the world with Ben. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Sweet Chestnut
4.0 out of 5 stars cruise ship sos
Enjoyed this book but not as much as the first one by Dr Ben. IMO, he concentrated too much on the staff in the medical centre on the ship rather than the patients. Read more
Published on 7 Sep 2012 by Dolly
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Read
This book is a well written and entertaining account of a side of life onboard a cruise ship that I have never really seen, either whilst working onboard or as a passenger. Read more
Published on 17 May 2012 by Lee Jones Jnr
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