(This page will be a Resource page containing a list of the books that I have found interesting. They are books generally about cruising, and about cruise ships and/or lines.)
First up must be a couple of books by Andrew Sassoli-Walker and Sharon Poole. Andrew is a skilled photographer whose work I’ve been able to use here. Sharon also photographs, blogs, and is also a ‘Host’ on the P&O forum on Cruise Critic. They’ve written several books, but here are my favourite two:
- P&O Cruises: Celebrating 175 years of heritage (ISBN 978-1445605968). I reviewed this book here when it was published in 2012.
- A Year in the life of the P&O Cruises fleet (ISBN 978-1445613604). I reviewed this one as well, here.
Another P&O book that I enjoyed was ‘P&O at 175’ by Bruce Peter and Philip Dawson. (I believe Bruce Peter was the photographer and Philip Dawson the writer.) This is in many ways a complement to Andrew & Sharon’s ‘P&O 175’ book: this one covers more of the history of the whole company and in modern times covers all its various offshoots, including ferries and docks. It’s very lavishly illustrated, in fact it’s a deluxe book altogether. (Bruce Peter was the co-author of another book I have, ‘cruise – identity design and culture’, which is a review of the history of cruising from a design perspective. Quite specialist, but interesting nonetheless.)
Now one for the Cunard fans: “The New Cunard Queens”, by Nils Schwerdtner. Despite its title it covers Queen Elizabeth II as well as Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria. But my version is the first edition; a second edition drops QEII but adds the new Queen Elizabeth. I keep meaning to get that new edition but haven’t yet. Anyway, thinking of the book I do have, it touches on the familiar ground of the history of the Cunard, includes the first Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth and then moves swiftly on to QEII and her story, followed by the first two of the recent additions. These are covered in great detail.
Back to P&O topics. There are a great many books about Canberra out there, and they all tell the same story. My favourite, mainly because of the wealth of colour illustrations, is ‘SS Canberra’ by William H Miller (ISBN 978 0752442112). Good text from a good maritime writer, and a lot of illustrations.
Now a book on cruise ships in general, and that’s ‘Giants of the Seas’, by Aaron Saunders. This book covers some 40 cruise ships of the modern era, arguing that each of them was significant in some way or other. I reviewed this book here.
Finally, there are now a number of (self-published?) books about the art of cruising from keen cruise passengers. I’m going to mention two of them. The first is ‘What time is the Midnight Buffet?’ by ‘chesterh’, which I gather is the author’s pseudonym on Cruise Critic. It covers the details of his and his wife’s first cruise on the former Celebrity ship Galaxy, and it’s very amusing. ISBN is 978-0595364275. And the very last book I’m going to recommend is one that I haven’t yet read, but which has garnered many positive reviews. It’s called ‘Sicknote Goes Cruising’, by Dennis Richards (ISBN 978-1495957499). It’s obviously about cruising, but the ‘Sicknote’ part of the title refers to the fact that while still young the author contracted a life-changing illness; his (and his wife’s) ventures into cruising were part of their efforts to build a new life for him. As I say I haven’t read it yet but those who have say they enjoyed it, and found it both funny and, at times, moving. The author posts on Cruise Critic and other forums under the pseudonym ‘Dennis-the-Menace’.