Over the past forty-one years, I have had the pleasure of experiencing some marvelous vacations and unforgettable moments aboard cruise ships. I have seen the cruise industry grow from a formal haven for the very rich to a fun-filled, exciting, bargain holiday for a broad cross section of our population. Every year, greater numbers of travelers are wisely spending their vacation dollars on a cruise. It has been estimated that the cruise-passenger market has increased 1,800 percent since 1970, when half a million people took a cruise. In 2013, over fourteen million North Americans are expected to enjoy a cruise vacation. Since 2000, nearly 115 new ships have joined the cruise market, and plans to build numerous additional vessels over the next few years have been announced by various cruise lines. Seventy percent of today's cruisers are between the ages of twenty-five and fifty-nine and include singles, couples of all ages, families with children, honeymooners, and groups. Undoubtedly, cruising is the most popular and fastest-growing segment of the travel industry.
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Steven B. Stern is the ultimate authority on luxury travel, especially cruise vacations. Whether readers are sailing the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the South Seas, Alaska, Southeast Asia, or the waterways of Europe, this is the most comprehensive guide available, with details on all aspects of cruise-ship travel. Updated annually, this edition lists descriptive information for all major cruise ships, including each vessel's history, vital statistics, appearance, itineraries, price range, and sport, dining, and medical facilities. Stern evaluates every detail by bestowing overall Star Awards as well as ratings in eleven specifi c categories. More than two hundred photographs of ships, decks, and interiors are included, along with actual shipboard menus and daily activity programs for each featured cruise line. This valuable guide assists you in selecting the ship best suited to your taste, advises you on how to prepare for your cruise, and explains what to expect once you are onboard. Stern discusses every major port of call worldwide, listing details on attractions, beaches, hotels, restaurants, shopping, sports, and other recreation. He also includes guidelines on how to make the most of an eight-hour stay in port.Review:
"One of the most noticeable (and useful) things about the Stern guide is that it publishes at least one menu and one daily program for each major cruise line in order to give a taste of the experience and what goes on aboard ship."
"It is well worth adding to your cruise book collection. Steve has sailed on more than 750 ships, so you can be sure he knows what he's talking about."
-World of Cruising
"People who've never cruised before-or those who have, but find themselves faced with a confusing onslaught of new ships-need to know a great deal, and this book goes a long way in providing it."
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