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The Truth about Cruise Ships: A Cruise Ship Officer Survives the Work, Adventure, Alcohol, and Sex of Ship Life [Paperback]

Jay Herring
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
Price: 6.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Dec 2011
Author's hurricane and flooding video aired on national television by ABC's Nightline to 3.9 million people. A finalist in the Global eBook Awards, this is a behind-the-scenes look at cruise ships in a way that's never been done before. Some of the stories are shocking, some are enlightening, but most are just laugh-out-loud entertaining. This tour behind those "Crew Only" doors will reveal: - How romance on a cruise ship is unlike anywhere else - The insane things passengers do - Why alcohol is mandatory at sea - How nude cruises compare to Christian cruises - A first hand account of damage from getting caught in a hurricane Jay Herring was an American senior officer and one of the few who had physical access to the entire ship. He worked with every department and every senior officer, including the captain. His wife worked in the casino, and combined they worked for Carnival Cruise Lines for 10 years and sailed on over 503 cruises. If you've ever wondered what happens below deck on a cruise ship, then get ready to laugh through an experience unlike any other! . . Chapter 1 How Easy Is Romance on a Cruise Ship? I had been onboard my first ship for five days when I went to the crew bar and met a woman from Trinidad and Tobago. She was a black woman and she was overweight, maybe even a little flabby, but such a sweetheart. I saw her the next night in the crew bar and she looked upset so I went over and sat down. "What's wrong?" I asked. "I just had an argument with the chief purser," she said with her Caribbean accent. "That's too bad." "Yes, I do not get along with the pursers on this ship very well," she said, starting to tear up a little. "I do not have many friends onboard." Although I liked her, I could understand why others might shy away. She had slow, almost voodoo-like mannerisms that bordered on creepy. But she was so easy to talk to and, like me, perfectly content to sit and talk one on one. "So do you have a girlfriend?" she asked, changing the subject. "No." "Have you been with anyone on the ship yet?" "Nope. It's actually been twelve years since I slept with someone." "Come on now." "It's true." I said, and then told her why (more on that later). "Hmm. That's fascinating. You know, I used to sleep with a skinny white guy from England on my last ship. You remind me of him." "Oh, yeah?" "He and I had lots of fun, and I never left him unsatisfied. I may not look it, but I'm actually a really good lover." "You don't say." "I've been with lots of men in my day. I'm forty-one, after all. And in my years, I've learned exactly what men like and how to please them. And now"-she took a sip of her drink-"and now all the men I sleep with are extremely satisfied." I had always imagined athletic girls-especially flexible athletic girls-to be the best lovers. But this lady from Trinidad had me rethinking that assumption. Maybe it was just another one of the after effects of abstinence, but those voodoo mannerisms were now bordering on sensual. "Would you like to have sex with me?" she asked, taking another sip of her drink. "We could go to my cabin right now." Woodrow. I couldn't believe how quickly the opportunity had presented itself. "I might be interested in that." "Might?" "Yeah." "But not right now?" "Yeah, not just yet." "Okay, well, you think about it and I'll call you later this week." She got up and left me at the table, alone with my thoughts. My cabin phone rang at 8:00 p.m. two days later. "Hi, it's me," she said. "How are you?" "I'm good. How are you?" I responded. "Good, good. Are you ready to do what we talked about the other night?" she asked, wasting no time on idle chit-chat...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Salt Log Press (1 Dec 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981843611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981843612
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.3 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 547,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Morons Journey 26 April 2012
By Galstar
This book should be renamed 'Journey to supposed maturity by emotionally unintelligent condescending IT boy'

Supposed bits of wisdom highlighted by the author include 'sex feels better with no condom' and 'people with different accents use different intonatio'. Both these statements have enriched my life tremendously.

However the book is worth reading as the authors tales of his own ignorance will make you cringe. Look out for the one where he spoke to a European ships Captain in 'The same slow and friendly tone' while calling him Bruno. Then in the next chapter he has the brass neck to complain about stereotypes if Americans. You couldn't make it up!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly Dull 15 Dec 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was surprised to see that this book has been selling so well, yet no one on Amazon UK had reviewed it yet. Having now read it, I can only assume that it's because no one had a really strong reaction to it, either good or bad.

I must admit that I was disappointed. The subject matter of the book should offer a lot of entertainment and this is also promised by the title and the blurb.

Firstly, this is not a humorous book. I don't mean that the writer was trying to be funny and failed; I mean that it's just not written for laughs, although there should have been opportunity for some if the book had been written differently.

There is little in the way of revelations here that readers probably aren't aware of already - it's pretty much all given in the sub-title. The crew lives in cramped, uncomfortable conditions and survive through drinking themselves senseless and having lots of casual sex with one another and, occasionally, a passenger. That's pretty much all you're going to learn in the book, with occasional padding in terms of some facts and figures about cruise ships that you can get off Wikipedia.

There are some other details thrown in now and again, but does it really make fascinating reading to learn which ranks have how much waitress service and which don't?

In summary, this is a wasted opportunity. In the hands of a different writer, this could have been a really entertaining read. Instead, if you're looking for real humour about life at sea I would recommend Ocean Boulevard - Adventures On The High Seas: An Epic and Exhilarating Journey All the Way... from a Boy to a Man. If you are looking for juicy gossip and bed hopping adventures, try Air Babylon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre, flawed and obsessed with sex 20 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Herrring gives an account of working as an IT officer onboard a number of cruise ships. He talks a little about his job, though these sections quickly become repetitive as he describes the same processes on several ships. He tries a bit of amateur anthropology as well, drawing conclusions as earth-shattering as discovering that people from the same country tend to stick together, as do those with the same job. But, perhaps surprisingly, the bulk of this book is about his sex life.

In fact, he times a number of the sexual encounters and reports their length to the second. As someone reading to find out about what it's like to work on a cruise ship, I can honestly say that I have no interest in the fact that his sexual encounter with a youth counsellor from South Africa lasted only 91 seconds, nor that his encounter with a Lithuanian lasted two minutes and three seconds. Frankly, I'm amazed that anyone was interested enough to publish these sections!

There is also a frankly bizarre chapter on booking cruises which appears to have been sponsored by a cruise provider, but isn't clearly marked as such, which is a bit disappointing.

I don't want to give the impression that this book is all bad. I did make it to the end of the book. There are some revealing insights in there. There are a few moments of humour. But my overall impression was one of this being a deeply bizarre and flawed book. The content could probably be edited and re-worked into a reasonable feature for a Sunday newspaper magazine - but in its current form, I really don't feel able to recommend this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but self indulgent! 21 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
As a deck officer (on cruise ships) of 9 years, I like to think I know a thing or two about this industry, and I can't help but think that this should maybe have been titled 'The (stretched) Truth About Cruise Ships'. It's an entertaining enough book, but reads more like a fiction novel than anything else. The author has become infamous throughout the industry, posing as a supposed 'cruise ship expert' even with regards to safety etc. even though his background is soley in IT, and even though he spends roughly 80% of the book telling the reader how much he drank and how late he stayed up. It paints a horrible picture of cruise ship officers in general, portraying us all as unprofessional alcoholics.

I'm sure that most people who buy this book will have at some point worked on a cruise ship, and this sort of overly exaggerated storytelling may only serve to annoy those who know what they are talking about. The author seems to have forgotten this fact.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good read 1 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book as I was very slimmer to a program on the BBC on the life on a cruise ship.
Very entertaining. But didn't wont to make me stop what I'm doing and start work on board a ship. The life lead by people on a ship is far to hectic for me, but interesting none the less.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Ok reading
Published 6 days ago by molly
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read!
A brilliant, funny and often bittersweet insight into 'life below the waterline' on a cruise liner. Jay tells it how it is and for a self confessed cruiseaholic like me, its a must... Read more
Published 15 months ago by K J SOOSALU
2.0 out of 5 stars Book
Rather disappointing and did not even finish the book. Very borring !!!! Nothing more to be said about this book.
Published 19 months ago by Sandra Snow
3.0 out of 5 stars Cruising!
Interesting, but little detail, bit of tittleation, could have been better with thoughts on visits around the world, too much emphasis on drinking. Read more
Published on 2 Aug 2012 by Phil Tootill
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what you might expect
A story of how this American fell into a cushy job on cruise ships. He tells it as if it was 'Upstairs, Downstairs' with limitless bed-hopping but with no interest whatever. Read more
Published on 18 May 2012 by Kesh
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay account of life at sea
This book gives an honest if slightly repetitive account of life at sea. The writer is far from superb but the narrative is bolted together well enough. Read more
Published on 6 May 2012 by Lee Jones Jnr
3.0 out of 5 stars roaring it ain't!
As a first book, it doesn't suck completely, but wouldn't recommend it as anything highly interesting. Read more
Published on 4 May 2012 by V Sinha
4.0 out of 5 stars cruise chips
very good enjoyed it mainly because we have been on numerous cruises and it was a good example as to what happens to the crew
Published on 3 May 2012 by STARFIRE
2.0 out of 5 stars Little substance here
There was not a lot I learned by reading this book. It was not even funny/amusing, as I had hoped it was going to be and oh, the repetition to fill it out was horrendous. Read more
Published on 28 April 2012 by A. S. Murray
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