From Publishers Weekly
It's hard to imagine now, but when The Love Boat premiered in 1977, it was considered so sexually suggestive that Princess Cruises almost didn't allow the show to film on its ships because they were afraid it would give people the wrong image. Yet, in the long run, Garin points out, the series proved to be a critical factor in repositioning ocean cruises as an attractive luxury for middle-class consumers. Just a few years ago, Princess and three competitors accounted for almost 90 percent of the cruise industry's $13 billion annual revenues; when Princess began merger talks with Royal Caribbean, rival firm Carnival swooped in, made the deal themselves and wound up controlling more than half the market. Carnival's founder, the late Ted Arison, provides this lively industry history with one of its most engrossing narrative threads, from the running aground of his original flagship's maiden voyage to his emergence as one of the world's wealthiest individuals. But Garin's as interested in the ships themselves as he is in the boardrooms, and he turns up disturbing stories of corrupt labor practices and cover-ups of sexual assaults of passengers by crew members. The solid reporting ensures readers will come away with a healthy respect for Garin's work and for the very powerful industry he documents.
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It was the Love Boat
, an insipid television show, that actually launched the wildly successful and still-popular cruise ship as an affordable fantasy vacation for middle-class consumers. It also jumpstarted Carnival Corporation, which controls more than half of todays cruise ship market and constitutes this books primary subject. Garin, an investigative journalist, dives into the history of the industry, exploring the depths of the business and exposing (unfortunately, to a lesser degree) the grueling work of those who serve these flagship fantasies. Part investigation, part admiration, Devils
suffers from an identity crisis. Dont be seen with it anywhere near the Lido deck.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.