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on 15 December 2011
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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on 20 July 2012
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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on 21 August 2012
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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on 4 May 2012
As a first book, it doesn't suck completely, but wouldn't recommend it as anything highly interesting. It gives the reader an idea about cruise ship life etc, but it could've been executed much better at the pen of a more experienced writer. He has all the material to turn this into a highly entertaining, funny and naughty number, but instead gives us something thoroughly mediocre. The funniest part in the book was when he was explaining how europeans messed up english grammar, and managed to mess up his very next sentence with a typo.
I do believe in the author however, and I am sure he will write better books in the near future.
Min fakty, vic hovno Pan Herring na srandovnejsi knizku
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on 18 May 2012
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. Even advertising it as 'Adventure, Alcohol and Sex' it is still as boring as a ten year old copy of Woman's Weekly!
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on 28 April 2012
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. I'd give it a miss if I were you!
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on 17 April 2012
Having been fortunate enough to have been cruising for the last 10 years, I looked forward to reading this book which I hoped would be humorous, enlighting and informative. Unfortunately it failed on all points. Nothing new revealed. Most disappointed.
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on 26 April 2012
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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on 10 August 2015
1st off he is not, ever was, nor probably will ever be an officer. Stating otherwise does not make it so.

Officers take years of training to earn that title.

I won't even bother with anything else because I have up after only a few chapters...
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on 22 December 2011
i thought the book was brilliant. very easy reading and light hearted. i was telling a friend of mine about the book as he recently been on a cruise and he just kept laughing as he could relate. i would recommend this to anyone and will
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