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The Truth About Cruise Ships – A Cruise Ship Officer Survives the Work, Adventure, Alcohol, and Sex of Ship Life

3.2  ·  Rating details ·  383 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Chapter 1

I had been onboard my first ship for five days when I met a woman from Trinidad and Tobago in the crew bar. She was a black woman and she was overweight, maybe even a little flabby, but such a sweetheart.

“So do you have a girlfriend?” she asked, changing the subject.


“Have you been with anyone on the ship yet?”

“Nope. It’s actually been twelve years since
291 pages
Published (first published February 12th 2010)
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Jun 30, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book should have been entitled "The Author's Two Years of Debauchery as a Cruise Ship Employee." While Mr. Herring did paint a very vivid picture of what it is like to work on a cruise ship, he also included a lot of graphic detail about his own sexual escapades (and there are many). By the end of the book, I got his point that cruise ship employees live in a bubble unlike anywhere else in the world and engage in binge drinking and sex to pass the time -- a largely unhealthy environment -- ...more
T.R. Feather
Mar 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Although I would hardly call the IT manager on a cruise ship a "Senior Officer" I found the rest of the book to be a brutally honest insight into the life of a dirty man.

As someone that works on a cruise ship, I love reading books by others who have done it aswell and listen to their stories. I thought some of the stories were really interesting, and I envy his ability to weave some stories so well you feel like your with him and taking part in his ridiculous escapade. Some of the stories I've d
Simon Howard
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 tim
Dec 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, memoir
As an ex crew member, he captures why you would never ever ever ever want to go back on the ship. As another friend of mine said "well, I know I won't have to be homeless. i will always have a last resort." He also captures what happens to dudes on the ship, which is generally deeply upsetting and unsavory if you are a female used to guys who are fun and nice and good to talk to. Get ready for an uneasy, sleazy objectification catalog, which is totally real and gross. I once heard a cruise direc ...more
Alisa Kester
The author did warn his readers in the beginning about all the drinking that would happen during this book, so I can't really complain about that. I just wish there had been a little more to it, *besides* the drinking. And oh yeah, the sex. Made me think that when I finally go on a cruise, I'm going to check into the employee regulations first, and find one of the lines he spoke of that has stricter controls on their staff. Who wants to be stuck on a ship where all the staff is either drunk, sle ...more
Dee Renee  Chesnut
This book was recommended to me by another passenger on a cruise ship.
This starts as an interesting memoir by a 28-year old man who decides an 8-month contract with Carnival Cruises is a better option for someone with an I/S resume than continuing to live with his parents when he loses his job and has not found another on land. The culture of working where you live and being on-call even when you are drunk deteriorates into anecdotes that might begin with, "I was so wasted when..."
I recommend i
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
I am going to be on a cruise in a week so when I saw this book in my TBR pile, I just started reading it. I wish I could say that I learned a lot from it, factually, but I didn't. This book is more a memoir, but something in it felt not too personal, and on the "fact" side, I felt that a lot of the information were cut and paste from a Wikipedia page. I felt not an ounce of passion from his writing.
Jun 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
The author is intelligent, but his writing is plain and simple. He offers his honest thoughts on life as an employee living and working on a cruise ship. If you are curious about what he has to say, I highly recommend you check out this book.

Interspersed throughout you will find funny stories and interesting takes on events in his life. I laughed out loud at least a couple of times during each chapter.
Terri Sabol
Aug 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Fast and easy (just like the characters) read. As someone who likes to cruise, I found it fascinating, although the stories became very repetitive. He did try to give a little background to various behind the scene cruise topics (deck plans, excursions, meals, dry docks, etc)in addition to his personal escapades.
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: travel
The book gives a little insight into what goes on behind the scenes. The crew works about 8 months straight without a day off, then gets 4 months to recuperate. This book will not persuade, nor dissuade you from going on a cruise. The title pretty well sums up the content of the book.
Jan 02, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Any insight to be gained via the anecdotes in this book are not worth putting up with the jerk author's POV. I'm not sure he even had a professional editor, as there were several grammatical and spelling errors. To sum up- gross.
Jun 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
A behind-the-scene look at the life of cruise ship employees told by a real life jerk.
I saw him being interviewed earlier this year when the Carnival cruise ship broke down - his inner jerk was not present for the interview but was present throughout this awful book.
Apr 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Sorry, I can't help myself...

I'm not proud but I finished it. Some of the behind-the-scenes reporting was interesting but the author gave a little bit of TMI regarding his escapades with sex and drinking.
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some interesting insight, though not as in depth as I had hoped. Cruised once in my life, probably won't again though not because of this book, it just isn't my type of vacation.
Keith Rittenhouse
Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: vacation
This was an okay book. I expected to find more information about the cruise ship I could use in a practical manner. Entertaining though, it was a quick read.
Carol Bro
May 09, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
All I can say is he has a lot of growing up to do. They should change the title to THE TRUTH ABOUT JAY HERRING'S SEXCAPADES with maybe a chapter or two thrown in about cruise ships.
Mar 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy enjoyable read.
Malachi Jones
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Warts and all account of life on a US cruise ship. Not all glamour by any means and the insight into the behaviour of some of the passengers is truly eye-opening.
Star Johnson
Nov 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
It was interesting to get some behind the scenes glimpses of what goes on downstairs. Kind of schocking but not really surprising.
Scott Smith
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable

A great look into the life of working on s cruise ship. Sometimes numerous it was great at keeping you interested
Andrew Justilian
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a great book to read if someone would like to learn what goes on behind the scenes of cruise ships. this book is written by a former crew member.
Mary Moses
Feb 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
We love cruises and have heard stories about crew activities after hours. A very entertaining read but he dwells on some areas way to much.
Darci Van Deusen
rated it did not like it
Feb 01, 2015
Susan R. Suliburk
rated it it was ok
Aug 01, 2014
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Mar 25, 2017
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Apr 22, 2014
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Jun 12, 2016
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Feb 04, 2012
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Dec 21, 2014
Tom simplot
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May 22, 2016
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