Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cruising Confidential

I found out about Cruising Confidential: A Hit Below the Waterline by Brian David Bruns on the Cruise Critic message boards. For all you non-cruisers, this is a website devoted to all things cruising. There is a wealth of information there about various cruise lines, ships, ports, etc. If you have booked a cruise (like we just did!), you might venture over there yourself. I never post anything but it’s fun to read everyone’s questions and comments and glean tips for traveling. Anyhoo, this book was mentioned over there and I thought I’d check it out for myself. I was a bit leery, not wanting to read about anything gross that might happen on a ship. Kind of like how you wouldn’t want to read a health inspector’s review of your favorite restaurant. Rest assured, you won’t find that sordid information here. Cruising Confidential is a rollicking good time!

Bruns is purportedly the first American ever to survive working a full contract in the dining rooms of Carnival’s fleet of ships. He embarked on this voyage to follow the love of his life, Bianca. Though they were not together on the ships the whole time, they did spend a period of time working together (happily and unhappily). He recants tales of grueling tasks, never-ending days and weeks, hours and hours of working for very little pay and, of course, what life is like for the crew living in the depths of the ship. For those who think it might be neat to work on a cruise ship, Cruising Confidential will likely encourage you to select a department other than dining. At times, the workers are forced to work from breakfast right on through the midnight buffet with little or no break. Pass.

If you have cruised before, you will find this travel memoir extremely interesting. If you’re unfamiliar with the world of cruising, you might still find it a worthwhile read as Bruns has a very conversational style of writing and is a completely likeable author. Bonus points for me, I read this in one day! It’s not particularly short but I was so into it that I was determined to finish between errands on a lazy Sunday recently. I really enjoyed this one and I think you will too!

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