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The Truth About Cruise Ships - A Cruise Ship Officer Survives the Work, Adventure, Alcohol, and Sex of Ship Life by [Herring, Jay]
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The Truth About Cruise Ships - A Cruise Ship Officer Survives the Work, Adventure, Alcohol, and Sex of Ship Life Kindle Edition

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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 I slept with someone.”

“Come on now.”

“It’s true.” I said, and then told her why (more on that later).

“Hmm. That’s fascinating. You know, I used to sleep with a skinny white guy from England on my last ship. You remind me of him.”

“Oh, yeah?”

“He and I had lots of fun, and I never left him unsatisfied. I may not look it, but I’m actually a really good lover.”

“You don’t say.”

“I’ve been with lots of men in my day. I’m forty-one, after all. And in my years, I’ve learned exactly what men like and how to please them. And now”—she took a sip of her drink—“and now all the men I sleep with are extremely satisfied.”

I had always imagined athletic girls—especially flexible athletic girls—to be the best lovers. But this lady from Trinidad had me rethinking that assumption. Maybe it was just another one of the after effects of abstinence, but her voodoo mannerisms were now bordering on sensual.

“Would you like to have sex with me?” she asked, taking another sip of her drink. “We could go to my cabin right now.”


I couldn’t believe how quickly the opportunity had presented itself. “I might be interested in that.”



“But not right now?”

“Yeah, not just yet.”

“Okay, well, you think about it and I’ll call you later this week.” She got up and left me at the table, alone with my thoughts.

My cabin phone rang at 8:00 p.m. two days later.

“Hi, it’s me,” she said. “How are you?”

“I’m good. How are you?” I responded.

“Good, good. Are you ready to do what we talked about the other night?” she asked, wasting no time on idle chit-chat...


A finalist in the Global eBook Awards, this is a behind-the-scenes look at cruise ships in a way that's never been done before. Some of the stories are shocking, some are enlightening, but most are just laugh-out-loud entertaining. This tour behind those "Crew Only" doors will reveal:

- How romance on a cruise ship is unlike anywhere else
- The insane things passengers do
- Why alcohol is mandatory at sea
- How nude cruises compare to Christian cruises
- A first-hand account of damage from getting caught in a hurricane

Jay Herring was an American senior officer and one of the few who had physical access to the entire ship.

He's appeared on: The O'Reilly Factor, USA Today, Anderson Cooper 360, CNN, CNN International, Fox News, CNBC, CTV, The Associated Press, The Washington Post, ABC's Nightline, CBS This Morning, Geraldo Rivera, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, and Frommers.

He worked with every department and every senior officer, including the captain. His wife worked in the casino, and combined they worked for Carnival Cruise Lines for 10 years and sailed on over 503 cruises.

If you've ever wondered what happens below deck on a cruise ship, then get ready to laugh through an experience unlike any other!

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3369 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Publisher: SaltLog Press; 3 edition (Jan. 10 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0038BRIR6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #199,762 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9e488480) out of 5 stars 158 reviews
56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0587084) out of 5 stars Fascinating but sad, too Sept. 12 2011
By Cruisecrazy - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book, because the author's personal experience brought a great deal of authenticity to the story. On the other hand, it was really disturbing to learn just how seriously cruise line employees are exploited and even mistreated. I absolutely love to cruise, and I don't think I will ever feel the same about it after reading this book. I knew that crew members work 12 to 14 hour days for up to 8 months without a real day off, but it was truly eye-opening to learn about the horrendous conditions endured by those who live below the public decks. Things like windowless rooms, continuous vibration from engines and thrusters, bleak living spaces that sound more like shared closets than rooms, serious overcrowding, and a complete lack of personal space or privacy are the norm in this former Officer's experience. Much of the book is about sexual liaisons, however temporary, and a mind-boggling amount of excessive drinking. It's as if the ship's employees swing desperately between trying to make meaningful human connections by hooking up sexually with willing shipmates, yet on the other hand, trying to block out the realities of their situation by becoming blotto with alcohol every non-working hour. As someone who works in the Human Resources field in real life, I found these working conditions truly disturbing.

For those who love to cruise, though, or even for those who have never been on a cruise but are thinking of trying it, this book is an excellent resource. The author meets his goal of providing an excellent insider's guide to all aspects of shipboard life. Embedded in the paragraphs are dozens of insider tips on how to get the most from your cruise and how not to be the jerk of a passenger that the crew loves to hate. It's a good read, and very informative as well. The author also offers the bonus of a free on-line tip sheet that is well worth looking up for those who are new to cruising. I recommend this book for the cruise crowd.
70 of 80 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa05872d0) out of 5 stars Completely inaccurate, biased, and self-edifying drivel on the part of the author.. Oct. 14 2012
By ginger_88 - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a cruise ship crew member, I was excited to read something telling stories about our unique lifestyle and experience. This "book" was a ridiculous waste of text, a narcissist bigot trying to fluff his feathers acting as though he was a well educated Casanova. He is most definitely the person we would have been continually asking when he was getting off the ship.

There is drinking and sex on ships, just as there is in any workplace on land. If he hadn't been exposed to social interaction outside of his parents' house before his first contract, that is to his disservice. At the same time, there is far more to the lives of all well-adjusted crew members. Sex and alcohol are prevalent on ships, although if you go into the experience looking to be a man whore, than that is what you will be. As a girl and member of the entertainment staff, he is not someone that would be seen as anything more, which is why he had the experiences he did, and was unable to maintain a real relationship so far into his career.

He is completely unprepared to maturely interact with people of different cultures, and is a large part of why Americans traveling abroad have such a terrible reputation, although it is now heartbreaking that he has published this trash. "And after working in ships, it never offended me when foreigners spoke their language in front of me."

Leaving aside the fact that he started a sentence with the word, "and", his arrogance, while on a ship, and none of the cruise ships are registered as American, in the Bahamas, to refer to non-Americans as foreigners is disgusting. Not only that, how dare he be so arrogant as to be offended by people, bi-lingual and likely better educated, exercising their invaluable language skills, while such a small population of Americans can claim a second language.

He continually refers to his skill of understanding different accents as being bi-lingual. No, it means you've finally expanded your world view beyond Texas and thinking that accents belong to people who cook your food and mow your lawn.

In his story of his friend attempting to buy train tickets in Europe and asking the author to "translate", who then used his "trained ear and slow, simple sentences", to communicate, which is certainly just as efficient as speaking the local language.

If you want an accurate view of life on a cruise ship, build a relationship with a crew member, and ask them honest questions. Not how many chicks have you bagged, but Is it hard being away from your family for months on end? What is it like having limited freedoms and giving up privacy? What ports do you like? What do you do when you're not on ships?

People are people, just give them credit for intelligence and treat them with respect.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0587294) out of 5 stars Absolute crap Oct. 26 2011
By League-Fan - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book should have been called come read about my sex life. This was NOT a book about working on Cruise ships. This was a book about how the author managed to sleep with around 20 women while incidentally working on a cruise ship. Buy Cruise Confidential instead. You'll be much happier.
60 of 74 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0587588) out of 5 stars He's not an Officer Feb. 3 2012
By Cruzercapt - Published on
Format: Paperback
First of all let's understand that Mr. Herring is, and always has, presented himself to be much more of an expert than he really is.
On passenger ship there are three categories. Officers, staff, and crew.

An officer on a ship needs to have a license issued by a recognized national authority in order to hold their position onboard, namely deck officers, engineering and electrical officers, radio officers (a dying breed) and medical officers. Most have attended specialized training, colleges or universities in order to pass the examination requirements to receive their license.

Mr. Herring was an IT technician. A staff member. No marine training, no license. And even as the IT Manager, he wouldn't have been considered a "Senior" anything onboard any ship I sailed on.

Yes, I too sailed on passengers ships. Twelve years. As a real officer. Five years as Master.

For the majority of staff, live onboard is a big party. Work some, party more. It isn't a career, just a few years having fun on a giant "summer camp" at sea, trying to see how much of the seven deadly sins you can survive and still manage to work when you must.

Mr. Herring is typical of self promoting staff members who parade themselves as Officers because they get to wear a uniform similar to the uniform of the officers. It's like the difference between a police officer and a security guard. Kind of look the same, but vastly different in the training, authority and position.

So when you read his books, blogs, articles and see his "expert" appearances on television, remember, he was in charge of the Geek Squad on the ship, nothing more. His expertise is computers and networks, not ship safety or ship operations.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By Natalie R. Lynch - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am not much of a reader but I could not put this book down. The author is an interesting and hilarious character. When you put that interesting character in absurd situations, you get the kind of stories you cannot make up. I actually laughed until I cried at certain points. In between all that, you actually learn about cruising and I am a much better cruise consumer now.