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Paperback Cruise Confidential: A Hit Below the Waterline: Where the Crew Lives, Eats, Wars, and Parties -- One Crazy Year Working on Book

ISBN: 193236160X

ISBN13: 9781932361605

Cruise Confidential: A Hit Below the Waterline: Where the Crew Lives, Eats, Wars, and Parties -- One Crazy Year Working on

(Book #1 in the Cruise Confidential Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

In Cruise Confidential, Brian David Bruns spills the dirt -- or in this case, the dirty water -- on those romantic, fun-filled vacations at sea. His hilarious chronicle of the year he spent working for Carnival Cruise Lines takes readers down into the areas where the crew works and lives, leaving readers gasping with laughter as they're assaulted nonstop with events that range from the absurd to the utterly bizarre. Stewards fighting over food. Cutlery...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


Was entertaining most of the way through, but I felt the end was rushed and forced. Seems this was done intentionally and you were left hanging so he could sell his next book to continue the story with some unfinished business.

Great, informative book--and very funny

If you've cruised before, are booked on a cruise, thinking about booking a cruise, or just wondered what it would be like to work on a cruise ship, please read this book. It's an easy read and very entertaining--but sad in a way. I couldn't help but focus on the lives of people who work under the described conditions. It certainly makes you stop and think how lucky we Americans are, no matter where we are on the social ladder. Brian's description of the work days, policies and politics on board made me shiver. I give him and everyone else credit for working under such conditions while giving such incredible service to the cruise guests, some of whom can be very obnoxious. I've always been a good tipper, but, boy, will I be a better one after reading this book. And, I've always enjoyed the smiles and great service of the crew, but now I'll realize how hard it is for them to do it. Only Brian could bring all of the hardships to life in such a funny, entertaining way! You laugh your way through the pages while you read, and then feel sad for the employees when you put the book down and think about it. Read it for the sheer joy of a good laugh and tip away when you get on that cruise!

A Sam and Bex Inc. review...

Great book, had many laughs at the hysterical account of life as a cruise ship employee provides and in depth, eye opening revelation of what the workers are doing on their down time, what they really think of the customer, and the hardships they face. The author uses comedy to illustrate most of his points. While reading this book you'll be introduced to some very memorable characters that you will come to love, hate, and genuinely care about. Reading this book was almost as satisfying as eating warm chocolate melting cake from a carnival cruise ship dining room.

An entertaining and accurate look behind the scenes

Having spent three years as a cruise ship employee myself, I was impressed by the accuracy and insight of Bruns' story. Not many people get to really know or understand the bizarre combination of intensely hard regimented work mixed with bawdy exuberant celebration that makes up the lives of cruise ship employees. Cruise Confidential gives an accurate and entertaining peek into their world. The stories in the book made me nostalgic for the amazing beaches, parties, beautiful people, and powerful (if necessarily superficial) friendships that Bruns experienced every cruise, yet made me cringe at the memories of coast guard drills, health inspections, virus scares, and security checks around every corner. His illustrations of the racism he experienced from his fellow crew members as an American may be surprising to some, but in my experience, not exaggerated. That he generally manages to keep a positive attitude about this or his harder-than-average work routine is very impressive indeed. Bruns comes off a genuinely nice guy that you'd be glad to have on your ship. If you've ever been on a cruise, learning what really goes on behind the "crew only" door will probably surprise you. If you've ever worked on a cruise, this book will definitely hit home. If you're planning to go on a cruise in the future, this book will not only be an enjoyable read, but it will also give you some insight into the men and women who will be there at every minute to make sure you enjoy yourself. (Hopefully it will also help you to not behave like some of the passengers in the book!) Bon voyage.


I don't intend to write a review rehashing the storyline or details; the official commentary on this site is pretty accurate. Cruise Confidential is a bit of an expose', but, unlike Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, I did not infer any personal malice towards the industry nor its people. Enyoyable for most everyone, but anyone who has ever been on a cruise will best appreciate Bruns' story, not only of the long hours and hard work, but of the nature of relationships in the very special community made up of service workers on a large cruise liner. This book does deserve special comment, because I am pretty sure that it is largely nonfiction, and it will fill an heretofore vacant niche in travel literature. In my mind, a good book must satisfy three criteria. First it must be easy to read, second it must be a good story, and lastly it must somehow leave you changed for the better. Cruise Confidential hits the mark on all three criteria. First, Bruns' writing style is natural and unstrained. I have read too many books during which I feel as if I am working at cross currents to the writing just to get at the story. Here the writing carries you easily along, and you can relax and float (this is about ships after all) along through the challenges, tribulations, and victories of his first year working in service for Carnival. Second, it is certainly a good story, written in the first person. I started this book and stayed up much later than I should have to finish it. I haven't done that in a long time, and that speaks for all those qualities of writing and subject that combine keep you from setting it aside to finish later. Lastly, though not a philosophical treatise, if you have ever cruised a large ship, ever plan to do so, or perhaps if you just watch cruising on the Travel Channel, this will substantially change how you view the service staff that appear, seemingly from nowhere, to take care of the customers' needs and otherwise are completely invisible for the rest of the cruise. I was feeling a bit down as I came to the final pages, wanting the story to continue to his next career phase, but on that very last page Bruns suggest that more of this adventure may follow.
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