Cruise in the Know With Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising

Complete-guide-to-cruising-berlitzBaby boomer travelers, will a book save you money on cruises? Reading the Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships 2010 might. This Berlitz travel reference book methodically provides details about the cruising industry so that you’ll save money when choosing your next cruise.

Author Douglas Ward spends 200-days-a-year at sea inspecting ships. The result? 271 in-depth cruise ship reviews. Using Berlitz’s rating system, Ward awards points for ship, accommodations, food, service, entertainment and cruise, resulting in a rating that’s unique for each ship. A detailed write-up describes the good and not so good as Ward and his team see it.

First-time cruisers will appreciate the front-of-the-book section describing the cruise experience. Ward discusses shipboard life, cruise cuisine, entertainment and spa options. Although the information is complete, I feel that it’s weighted more toward large main line cruises. So, if you’re looking for details on luxury or specialty cruises some of the information won’t apply, although later in the book there’s a less detailed section on small ship and luxury cruising.

The Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships 2010 includes route maps, advice on choosing excursions, plus cruise information for the physically challenged. Want to get married on-board ship? Ward provides the know-how. I checked out the section on river cruising while Alan turned to the freighter cruise pages (No we are not sailing on a freighter cruise. Remember, I’m a princess.)

Putting Ward’s information to the test, Alan and I perused the entries on Regent Seven Seas cruises, since we’ve experienced many journeys with the line. We checked out the review of Regent Seven Seas Mariner and agreed with Ward’s assessment with one exception. Ward states that open seating means that you have a different waiter each night, which limits the service staff from getting to know your preferences. If that’s important to you, here’s our suggestion: sit in the same waiter’s section each night. Believe us, your waiter will know your preferences by the end of the cruise.

The 2010 edition of Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships will definitely be taking it’s rightful place in our travel reference library. As Alan and I spread our wings to try other cruise lines, we’ll be turning to the pages of this book for advice and information. In fact, we’ve already read the section on Seabourn cruises; although Sojourn, our next cruise ship, is too new to be included in the 2010 edition.

What do other travel bloggers think about Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising?

Mom Most Traveled gives her views on the book.
Seatravel compares the Berlitz book to cruise guides by Stern and Frommer.

And, Andrea Rotondo of Luxury Cruise Bible offers excellent suggestions for comparing cruise ships. It’s not as simple as you might think.

Now for my favorite part. To win a copy of Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships 2010, tell me where you would like to cruise next. Enter the contest by leaving your comment at the end of this post. Please include your email address for contact purposes. Contest ends on Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 11:00 p.m. Arizona Mountain Standard Time. Winner will be announced as soon as possible. Remember, according to my general contest rules, the winner must be a U.S. resident and respond within 48 hours of receiving the notification email; or I chose another winner.

Berlitz provided the Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships 2010 for this review. The Amazon link that I’ve included is for your convenience. However My Itchy Travel Feet does receive a small percentage for purchases made at

UPDATE: March 4, 2010, 11:01 p.m.. This contest has expired. As soon as the winner acknowledges receipt of my email, I’ll make the announcement.

Scratch Those Itchy Travel Feet!

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