Multi-genre, multi-volume author Paul Thornton introduces us to his third volume about cruising, “The Joy of Cruising Again”:
The Joy of Cruising was published in March 2019 shortly after a wonderful family cruise over Christmas 2018 which was briefly discussed in the culminating chapter, "Holidays." However, The Joy of Cruising was not about me and my family's cruising adventures but rather is a paean to the legion of passionate ocean cruisers worldwide. It just happened to be conceived of and written coinciding with the planning of my family's Christmas reunion cruise on the Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas. Nor is it a cruising guide—rather, a compendium of fun, informative cruising narratives, and profiles of cruisers who are passionate, have interesting stories and perspectives and embody the joy of cruising. Some are well-known, even celebrities—a Grammy Winner, TV Star, UK's first non-Royal, non-star performer Cruise Ship Godmother, a Poker Hall of Fame—many are "ordinary cruisers with extraordinary stories."
I long to cruise as much as these people, or to the amazing locales, or on the unique vessels as the fascinating individuals, couples, and entrepreneurs I wrote about in The Joy of Cruising. In the meantime, I got to experience cruising vicariously through them by telling their stories. I found the experience both exhilarating and humbling, and incredibly fun. Coupled with the encouragement from reader feedback, I set out to write a follow-up, More Joy of Cruising. By March 2020, interviews of another group of amazing cruisers had been done and research and writing for More Joy of Cruising was half complete when the world changed and cruising came to a virtual sudden stop. The COVID-19 pandemic was upon us, and the cruise lockdown began. Writing More Joy of Cruising was halted; joy of any kind was in short supply in early 2020 as people were stricken, and died, and COVID-19 overwhelmed healthcare systems.
After several months I restarted what had been More Joy of Cruising, renaming it Cruising Interrupted. Interspersed among the stories of fascinating cruisers were a few sagas involving cruisers who were on the ocean at the time the lockdown began; their cruise ships were directly impacted by COVID-19, and their return home was long-delayed and dramatic. "A ghost ship," said one. Cruising Interrupted was published in January 2021 at the height of the global cruising lockdown.
The Joy of Cruising Again celebrates the return of cruising from the brink. It is the end of a trilogy that marvels at the spirit of people worldwide who enjoy this wonderful pastime and persevered in the face of the pandemic that threatened to steal the collective joy of the cruise community.
I have never been on a cruise but after reading this I am ready!
Paul makes it seem so easy and fun. Though, during the Covid shutdown cruising was not happening for a long time!
Paul does an excellent job of addressing the Covid-elephant in the room and how many avid cruisers and cruise employees survived as they held their collective breath during the shutdown.
So many great stories, Paul has done an excellent job of translating the stories into an interesting narrative intermixed with insightful interviews with people in the industry and those who blog about cruising.
The Joy of Cruising Again gets 4.8 stars.
You should read this especially if you have never been on a cruise. Who knew there were so many different types of cruising?
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I reviewed the first book here: https://www.wordrefiner.com/book-reviews/the-joy-of-cruising
I reviewed the second book here: https://www.wordrefiner.com/book-reviews/cruising-interrupted
Copyright © 2023 Mark L. Schultz except for the author’s introduction
Who am I?
An avid reader, typobuster, and the Hyper-Speller. I am a husband, father, and grandfather.
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