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Devils on the Deep Blue Sea: The Dreams, Schemes, and Showdowns That Built America's Cruise-Ship Empires Paperback – 27 Jun 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Plume Books; Reprint edition (27 Jun 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452287340
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452287341
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 844,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Language:Chinese.Paperback. Pub Date: 2006-6-1 Pages: 366 Publisher: Penguin In this terrifically entertaining history. Kristoffer A. Garinchronicles the cruise-ship industry. from its rise in the earlysixties. to its explosion in the seventies with the hit show TheLove Boat. to the current vicious consolidation wars and brazen taxdodges. Entrepreneurial genius and bare-knuckle capitalism matewith cultural kitsch as the cruise lines dodge US tax. labor. andenvironmental laws to make unimaginable profits while bringing theworld a new form of leisure. A colorful and compellingbehind-the-scenes narrative. Devils on the Deep Blue Sea is adefinitive look at the industry and its robber barons who createdfloating empires.

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Peter Laing on 25 July 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Overall this is an interesting business book about the personalities that have created the Miami based cruise business. Clearly written its a tale of personal battles and intrigue in the evolution to where we are today, concluding with the machinations that led to the Carnival/Princess merger. For fans of business books (Barbarians at the Gates et al) its an intriguing insight into how the cruise business has evolved
with sketches in vary degrees of unflatteringness of the key players.
For ship anoraks its a sore disappointment. It could have been about almost any business (apart from the legal/labour issues involved in running a cruise line) so little look in do ships get. The original Mardi Gras is dismissed as a 'rust bucket', the QE2 was painted Grey by HMG, not Cunard (sloppy). There is almost nothing on the ships that have been a critical part of the cruise businesses growth - no discussion of lines differing strategies as reflected in ship design - Princess 'affordable balconies' etc. New ships are described as 'new' or 'bigger' - why did RCCL do Voyager for example goes unasked and unaddressed. So depending on your interests this may or may not be one to consider.
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By Michel Louagie on 14 Oct 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Essential book for anyone who has an interest in the history of modern cruising. It explains why RCCL has Celebrity and why Carnival Corp has Holland America. It reads like a thriller.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 44 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
An even treatment with a fascinating storyline... 2 Sep 2006
By Thomas Duff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Being a vacationer who has been on numerous cruises, this book recommendation looked like a certain fit... Devils On The Deep Blue Sea by Kristoffer A. Garin. He does a very good job in revealing how the cruise industry works, and the forces that have shaped it along the way.

The story starts in the late 1950's, when the cruise industry was really nothing more than a way to transport passengers from one location to another. The rich often had a lavish experience, while the "steerage" passengers were cramped and confined to the lower decks with restrictions on where they could go and what they could do. But in both cases, it was still a case of traveling from point A to point B. The airline industry quickly made cruise ships obsolete for rapid travel, and the shipping lines were becoming a footnote in history. But a few people thought that cruising could become a destination in itself, a way to vacation, see other lands, and then return to where you started. But the appeal had to be broad, and the luxuries of first class had to extend to all the passengers. Thru visionaries, financial risks, and mergers, what we have today is a $13 billion dollar industry that is truly global in numerous aspects. But behind the glitter and glamour, there are some less appealing items of interest...

Garin talks about how the cruise industry is largely staffed by impoverished workers from third-world nations who sign on for low base wages and whatever tips come from passengers. To many of us, these base wages wouldn't even support poverty, but they are considerable in the countries where the workers come from. The hours and rules aboard ship are harsh, with 12 to 16 hour days with little time off the norm. The industry also pays little in the way of taxes due to their ship registration being out of country to take advantage of international treaties preventing retaliatory fees. The laws and rights of the United States are not always in play either, as the ship is actually foreign territory. And if that's not enough, many of the tourist destinations are unable to get additional fees from the industry to support their infrastructure, as the industry will threaten to pull out of the port and destroy their tourism. It can be capitalism at its worst...

Personally, this book was better than I expected. I thought it was going to be a muck-raking, "boycott cruises" diatribe, and one that I wouldn't necessarily agree with. But the balance between the story of the cruise lines and the less-savory parts of the industry was just about right. And even the "expose" part wasn't hypercritical. I came away understanding the abuses, but (in many cases) understanding both sides of the issues. And really, it's not much different than what most other industries would do in the same circumstances...

Yes, I'm still going to go on cruises, and I'll still enjoy them. But I'll be even more considerate of the staff that makes it all work, and more in awe of what it takes to pull off the experience, week after week after week...
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
One of the all-time best business case studies 3 Jan 2006
By Inquiring Mind - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I cannot say enough about the strong points of this book. Garin would have earned much praise for simply recounting the history of Carnival's extraordinarily rapid conquest of the global cruise industry -- earning founder Ted Arison at his death the title of 'world's richest Jew' and leaving son Micky at the helm of a company that took just over 25 years from its 1971 birth to reach annual profits of $1 billion. Beyond Garin's entertaining story of how the Arisons created both an industry and a fortune, there is so much more to this book: it's a wonderful social history of American vacationing and travel rituals and preferences; a tale of entrerpreneurial takeovers and strategizing every bit as intriguing as 'Barbarians at the Gate'; an investigation of corporate corner-cutting in the labor, environmental, tax, and other regulatory fields as eye-opening as 'Silent Spring'; WildWest-style episodes of mutinous crews and commando-led cruise-ship rescue operations; marketing coups and blunders; the impact of TV's 'LoveBoat' series; along with Caribbean cultural and economic lore from Bob Marley to CARICOM (the island nations' version of the EU). This massive reporting effort is wonderfully well-organized and unfailingly pleasurable to read.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Cruise Book 16 Aug 2005
By A. Rosen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As the owner of a travel agency, I found this book fascinating. It gives a great history of the 2 major cruise lines, Carnival & Royal Caribbean, and the history of their rivalry over the years. I am not sure that this book is for the everyday cruiser, but if you are involved with the cruise industry I would consider it a must read.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating 17 July 2005
By BMK - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have never been on a cruise nor had I seriously considered going on one. However, I found this book very well researched , fascinating,and at times truely exciting. It is extremely well written and flows like an engrossing novel.I not only learned about the cruise ship industry,specifically,but also about the world of big business,deal making,etc. This book really gave me a new,broader, understanding of what motivates successfull business leaders-and it left a lasting impression about cruising.

I may even take a cruise.I highly recommend this book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Insightful, thorough and beautifully written 21 Jan 2009
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book was a great surprise..I expected a fairly interesting read but it surpassed all expectations. From the beginnings of the US cruise industry to the state it is in today, you will cover a whole spectrum of events in chronological order.
The author is well-informed, to the point and fairly balanced in his assessment of the industry. A lot of authors who write about maritime events or stories are not very familiar with the correct terms and language used but this is not a problem for Kristoffer Garin who is well-versed in the subject matter.
A must read for anybody interested in this aspect of the travel industry or even the more experienced cruisers will take away a lot from this book.
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