I first fell in love with ships when, in 1965, I worked Cunard Line’s 83,673-ton ocean liner RMS Queen Elizabeth – then the world’s largest passenger ship. Over the next 17 years, I worked for eight companies, lastly as cruise director.

    To date, I have completed over 5,600 days at sea, participating in more than 1,000 cruises, 155 transatlantic crossings and countless Panama Canal transits, plus many shipyard visits, ship naming ceremonies and maiden voyages.

    The first edition of this book, reviewing, testing and evaluating 120 ships, appeared in 1985, when cruising seemed to most people an expensive, rarefied experience. Today, the book is the most highly regarded source of comparative information not only for cruise purchasers, but also for cruise industry executives, crew members, and travel agents.

    The international cruise industry consists of around 75 ocean-going cruise ship operators carrying over 20 million passengers a year. It can provide safe and hassle-free vacations but offers an almost overwhelming choice. So how do you identify the “X-factor,” that special quality that makes a ship stand out from the rest? What this book will  do is help you choose the right ship, for the right reasons, and will leave you as well-informed as most specialists in the industry.



    If you would like to contact Douglas Ward, please email shipratings@hotmail.com.