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Voyages: The Romance of Cruising

A Book Review

by Alan Walker

Book CoverOutstanding is the word I'd use to describe this 284 page coffee table book, especially its photos of ports and cruise ships by award-winning photojournalist, Harvey Lloyd.

The subtitle of this October, 1999 book is "The World's 100 Most Fascinating Ports of Call, Selected by the World's Leading Travel Writers," and those writers include veteran cruise ship reporters John Maxtone-Graham and Bill Miller, as well as the book's editor, Jay Clarke, travel editor of the Miami Herald.

As Jay Clarke says in his introduction "Dividing the world into eleven regions, expert essayists then paint a vivid picture of each destination as well as the cruising experience. We follow them as they venture beyond the water's edge into the streets and surroundings of a hundred ports of call."

The editors polled more than 100 travel journalists for their views on the top 100 ports, broken down into the categories of excitement, cuisine, adventure, entertainment, romance and shopping. Some surprises for me in the top one hundred included Charleston, Martinique, Casablanca, Mombassa and Bombay.

Only four ports managed to be rated in the top ten in five out of the six categories, and those were Hong Kong, San Francisco and Venice - and to my surprise, New York. The Big Apple, in fact, had the highest overall rating, and only missed out in the top ten under the Romance category.

The essays are interesting, and the side-bars on each port are effective in capturing the essence of each port in a few words. But above all, Harvey Lloyd's photographs make this a treasured book.

Not that it diminishes the stature of the book, but it's clear that Carnival Corporation had a financial hand in the book's publication, with ALL of the ship photos being ships of the Carnival brand of World's Leading Cruise Lines. There are even cruise credit vouchers at the back of the book for each of the Carnival family of cruise lines (the vouchers expire December 31, 2000).

So... if you have a friend or spouse who loves cruising (or is thinking about taking that first cruise), you'll make a bit hit buying Voyages for him or her. The current price at Amazon.com is only $32 - a bargain I thought for a book this size.

Book Voyages: The Romance of Cruising

Written/Edited by Jay Clarke, photographed by Harvey Lloyd. Published by DK Publishing (Tehabi Books).

Current Amazon.com price is $32.00.
ORDER NOW by clicking on the link above.


Alan WalkerOriginally from Australia, Alan has for some time been permanently settled in Vancouver where he is a practicing Attorney. He has been a SeaLetter columnist, reviewer and our resident humorist for some time now.

To find all of Alan's SeaLetter columns, featured and humorous articles, and cruise and port reviews, use the SeaLetter Search Engine entering Alan Walker as your search phrase.

Alan loves email, and can be reached at: Alan@sealetter.com.

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