Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships 2012 Paperback – Oct 19 2011
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“The newest edition of the Berlitz Guide To Ocean Cruises is now available in bookstores and online. Like a vintage bottle of wine that only improves with age, the Berlitz Guide keeps improving with each new edition: graphics, ease of navigating through the various sections, lots of photos, and a slew of informational text boxes inserted throughout the book.”
(from Ships and Cruises.com)
“Anyone who loves to cruise will love this book. The Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships is one of the best "general" cruise guides you can buy. The author Douglas Ward provides an in-depth review of 285 cruise ships in this cruise guidebook, now in its 26th year of publication. Mr. Ward is certainly a cruise expert--he has spent 5600 days at sea! The guide book has exceptional information on ships of sizes and prices. Like me, Mr. Ward believes there is a cruise ship to suit everyone's taste.”
(from About.com - Linda Garrison)
About the Author
Douglas Ward, the world's top authority on cruising and cruise ships, is president of the Maritime Evaluations Group, an independent international agency that rates cruise ships worldwide. With more than 40 years' experience, he spends up to 200 days a year aboard cruise ships, meticulously inspecting and evaluating their facilities.
Top Customer Reviews
There's nothing wrong with the book itself, I just didn't require it.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The second part is a most detailed look at of all the currently available cruise vessels giving both technical information, details of accommodation, food, facilities etc., and importantly a quality rating of up to 5 stars.
This book is worth every penny of it's price because it covers just about everything anybody needs to know about the world of cruising thus enabling an informed choice to be made.
i work in the cruise ship industry as free lance performer, and the details in this book are most useful.
for the casual traveler or industry professionals...my highest recommendation!
The remaining two-thirds of the book gives detailed reviews on almost 300 individual ships. Each review starts with a silhouette of the ship, followed by the ship's specifications (builder, when entered service, tonnage, length, number of passenger decks, etc). Two interesting specs are passenger/space ratio and crew/passenger ratio. Other useful spec's include whether or not the ship has self-serve laundrey facilities, a library, etc.
Following this, there's is a detailed narrative divided into: Overview, The Ship, Accommodations, Cuisine, Entertainment, and Spa/fitness. The overview is important because it tells you whether this ship is best suited for young adults, families, seniors, adventurous souls, those seeking luxury, what languages are spoken, etc. You can also look back in the first section of the book, under "Compare the Major Cruise Lines" and "The Appeal of Smaller Operations", which talk in detail about the characteristics of each cruise company. Often, the character of a given ship will be similar to that for the company as a whole.
Each ship gets rated in six categories: ship, accommodations, food, service, entertainment, and cuisine. Then, the ship gets an overall rating. I would not pay too much attention to the EXACT score, because some ships, such as an expedition ship, will often have a slightly lower score since it's intended purpose does not usually include luxury.
At the very end of the book are a few final, but important, sections on booking and budgeting, don't leave home without, what to expect, and what to do if.
Overall, I believe this book is the best source for planning a cruise, especially when used in conjunction with websites such as "cruise critic". It is also an excellent source for those that are simply interested in ships and maritime affairs.