The best books to take on a cruise

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When you’re packing for a cruise, most people like to pack a book or two to read by the pool. But which are the best books to take on a cruise?

Well, books that are set on cruise ships or are about cruising are always good options. And there are plenty of those to choose from on Amazon.

You can choose from paperback versions, kindle versions (did you know that kindles are waterproof now?) or audiobooks.

If you’ve never tried an audiobook, then now’s a great time to give it a go as you can get many cruise-related audiobooks for free when you take a free 30-day trial of Amazon Audible.

Here are my top picks for the best books to read on a cruise:

Best fiction: The Woman in Cabin 10

Best non-fiction: Cruise confidential

Best cruise guide book: Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2021

Best river cruise guide book: Berlitz River Cruising in Europe & the USA

Fiction books set on cruise ships

A cruise ship makes a great setting for a novel, and you’ll find scores of these available.

If you like murder-mystery ‘whodunnit’-type books, then you’ll have plenty to choose from. It seems that going overboard is a common occurrence in cruise ship fiction, thankfully much more so than in real life!

In ‘The Woman in Cabin 10‘, a journalist witnesses a woman being thrown over the side of a cruise ship. But bizarrely, all passengers are accounted for and the cruise continues as if nothing has happened. This intense page-turner has won several awards and has topped many a bestseller list.

If you like to be kept guessing until the end, other cruise mystery books you might like include the ‘Cruise Ship Cozy Mysteries‘ by Hope Callaghan. This bumper series of 19 books contain no bad language, sex or violence so would be ideal for teens to enjoy too.

Of course, not all cruise-themed fiction involves murders! There are some good romance, comedy and historical books to enjoy as well.

See the full list of recommended cruise ship fiction books here

Non-fiction books about the cruise industry

True life tales of what happens on cruise ships can be just as page-turning as fiction. In fact, most cruisers will admit to being at least a little bit intrigued about what the crew get up to once their daily shift finishes.

Once book which dishes plenty of dirt on what goes on behind the scenes is ‘Cruise Confidential‘ by Brian David Bruns. In fact, so much dirt is there, that the author has released not one but four books in his series on this topic.

If you like to hear real anecdotes about life as cruise ship crew, then these books are sure to leave you howling with laughter.

But, it’s not just the crew that have tales to tell as they cruise around the world. The Joy of Cruising is a compendium of stories from all kinds of cruisers, both famous names and ordinary people.

You’ll also find several books from cruisers who were quarantined on-board ship such as the Diamond Princess in February of 2020.

See the full list of recommended non-fiction cruise books here

Cruise travel guides

You’d be forgiven for thinking that a cruise travel guide would be something that you’d read before your cruise, but some of these can actually be great to take away with you too.

In this genre, you’ll find cruise guide books for families, for wheelchair users and for particular cruise lines, such as Disney.

If you’re looking for a general cruise guide book, then Fodor’s travel guides are excellent. As well as helping you to work out what kind of cruise is right for you, they have detailed reviews and gradings of every ship. There’s a cruise version and a river cruise version to choose from.

When it comes to going ashore, planning ahead is definitely recommended. Whilst you can step of the ship and wander, if you want to see all the highlights of each port city, then a cruise port guide can be invaluable.

See the full list of recommended cruise travel guides here

Want to know how to cruise for less?

Another way to learn about cruising, aside from reading books and cruise blogs, is to watch videos on the matter.

If you’re short on time and like concise, useful information that’s all in one place, then I recommend that you take a look at the How To Cruise For Less course by Emma Cruises.

Emma is a cruise expert whose valulable advice can help you to not only choose the best cruise for you, but also pay a lot less than everyone else for it.

Click here to see Emma’s course and, if you’d like to save 10% on the price, you’re welcome to use my discount code: ‘CRUISEMUMMY’.

If you have any specific questions about cruising with kids, you can also send me a DM on Instagram and I’ll be happy to chat!

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