The Essential Little Cruise Book

Written by Jim West, this tiny book can easily fit into a pocket or suitcase corner. It's full of short, quick to read tips on every aspect of cruising.

You're not going to get a long, drawn out planner here. This is really about quick hints to help make your cruise more enjoyable. Much of it is common sense - pack light. Have a happy attitude. Don't sweat the small things. Plan ahead. Use sunblock, carry antacid.

A lot of the wisdom, though, is common sense earned by Jim after thousands of days at seas. He recommends lower floors for their more steady ride. He suggests arriving in port a day ahead of schedule so you're more than ready for departure. When you are leaving the vessel, also don't try to rush. Have a leisurely breakfast and do a crossword puzzle while the ship's crew do all of the docking and final departure preparations.

For those who have never been on a cruise, a lot of the information is invaluable. Always bring a carry-on, because your main luggage might not get to your room until late in the evening on the first day. You always want to do the reverse on the way off the ship - the crew will take your luggage the night before. You need to have a carry-on with you to carry your PJs and toiletries off the ship with you.

The price is relatively reasonable for such a tiny book full of nuggets of wisdom. It's well worth buying a copy and passing it along to each member of your party before you leave. You never know who will find which pieces of information to be critical!

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