CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Gary Bannerman.

Toronto, Collins, c1982.
256pp, cloth, $19.95.
ISBN 0-00-216837-5.

Reviewed by David J. Young.

Volume 11 Number 3.
1983 May.

This book could have been subtitled "Everything you always wanted to know about cruise ships but wouldn't have thought to ask." Bannerman has compiled an impressive amount of information, both technical and anecdotal, and presented it in readable prose. He has apparently spent years cruising and interviewed scores of people, and this handbook for veterans and for beginners is a fascinating and enjoyable book.

He includes a short history of passenger cruising, describes every ship now afloat that takes passengers on cruises, from the luxurious ones to the freighters, gives a fictionalized account of a day in the life of a cruise vessel, tells what can be found and had aboard ship, from food, to shopping, to sex, to gambling, to health clubs, to movies, covers all the functions of the crew, discusses the value of tipping well, and includes a chapter on The Love Boat TV show, which has been largely responsible for turning the industry around. He tells who sits at the Captain's table, how to arrange private parties, and when to pick your dining room table and what goes on below in crew's quarters, a different world from that of the paying passengers, how to choose a cruise and what to wear.

One of Bannerman's most important pieces of advice is that travel agents ought to know a great deal about cruising because most lines offer low rates to agents as well as masses of information. He suggests prospective cruise holidayers do their own research and not settle for a poorly-informed agent. You do not pay more for an informed one, and if you end up on the wrong type of cruise for you, you will be angry at the waste of money.

Bannerman's information is easy to digest, and there are other reference sources included. However, his book would be essential for anyone considering a cruise holiday. It is also such a good read that I now want to go on a cruise although I had never considered it before. According to Bannerman only five per cent of the vacationing public has ever taken a cruise and eighty per cent of the people who do are cruise repeaters. If more people read this book, those percentages would change.

David J. Young, Vancouver, BC.
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