The book has text only, no photos. Below you will find photo essays that tell the same story in pictures. Each part is a pdf file. Be patient, they might take a minute or two to download.

Part I: Embarkation
Part II: Leaving Port
Part III: Ports of Call
Part IV: Let You Entertain Me
Part V: Sea Daze
Part VI: Decks and Pools
Part VII: Running the Ship
Part VIII: Ship's Interior

CRUISE OF THE HEART

Reviews:

This is an excellent example of how good, even inspired, writing can take a fairly ordinary event and make it (into) a completely delightful read. And as all good books do, it delights, informs, inspires, and creates a wonderful space where you feel like you want to do something, to have a similar experience. . ..
(From CreateSpace Preview)

The author’s opinions and viewpoints have clearly been shaped by his unique, divergent experiences including his monastic, creative lifestyle and his unique artistic career as a master labyrinth designer. He shares many intimate and often traumatic moments of his life as his stream of consciousness style of writing wanders from vivid descriptions of each meal aboard the ship to his life’s joys as well as his bête noir experiences. His subtle humor is whimsical and entertaining.
On its face, the author provides readers with an insightful look at ocean cruises through his experience as a newlywed senior citizen who, with his wife, plan their frugal, retired lifestyle with affordable ocean cruise opportunities. I especially love his insightful, detailed descriptions of various ports of call that remind me of Rick Steves’ passionate narratives describing local history, art, and culture. He provides the kind of detail that really inspires you to take in the sites he shares.

(From Amazon review)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

First Cruise, First Kiss
Embarkation and Departure
Our First Sea Day
Majorca
A Bit of History
Cartagena
Shipboard
Madeira
Canary Islands
Interview
Health and Safety
Immigration
Ship's Tour
Priests and Pirates
The Other Side of Paradise
Commodores and Casinos
Nassau
Technical Stuff
Last Day at Sea
Debarkation
Postscript
Bibliography

DEAR READER,

At the end of a stellar career as a well-known labyrinth artist, I found my life in shambles. My wife Ruth had lost her battle with breast cancer and my own health was shattered. Resigned to a life of gloom, two events turned my life around. I met Linda Ricketts and she introduced me to cruise ships. Married in 2010 (honeymoon on Queen Mary 2), Linda and I have crossed the Atlantic five times the old fashioned way

, by ship.

We both especially love sea days, watching the endless mysterious sea pass by relentlessly for weeks. One of those cruises, from Italy to Galveston, Texas, I documented in great detail, leading to this book. Besides describing the daily life onboard a huge cruise ship during a seventeen-day transatlantic voyage, it's also a memoir and a love story.

I have plans for a second volume, filled with all of the fascinating facts and history I have researched, for which there was no room in this book. (Maybe I should title it Cruise of the Head.) We divide our time between home in San Antonio, Texas, visiting grandkids in the San Juan Islands, and the high seas.

Robert D. Ferre

Find it here on Amazon: Cruise of the Heart (not a buy button).

 


I have had some good reviews and some bad ones. In the latter case, they seem to have wanted a book just about cruising, not realizing this is a memoir and contains commentary on my life. Below is one of the good ones, which I appreciate.

 

This entertaining, easy-to-read adventure book reads like a personal diary describing the author’s daily experiences from morning to night while on a cruise ship. His journeys and personal encounters are a penned tapestry of his introspection about cruising, people he meets, and life in general. The author’s opinions and viewpoints have clearly been shaped by his unique, divergent experiences including his monastic, creative lifestyle and his unique artistic career as a master labyrinth designer. He shares many intimate and often traumatic moments of his life as his stream of consciousness style of writing wanders from vivid descriptions of each meal aboard the ship to his life’s joys as well as his bête noir experiences. His subtle humor is whimsical and entertaining.

On its face, the author provides readers with an insightful look at ocean cruises through his experience as a newlywed senior citizen who, with his wife, plan their frugal, retired lifestyle with affordable ocean cruise opportunities. I especially love his insightful, detailed descriptions of various ports of call that remind me of Rick Steves’ passionate narratives describing local history, art, and culture. He provides the kind of detail that really inspires you to take in the sites he shares.

The author’s port visits try to avoid the gaggle of cruise ship tourists that sign up for the formal guided bus tours, preferring local strolls on his own. I only wish there were more ports described in his book, but this first volume is more centered on the time he spends on a transatlantic re-positioning cruise. Future books by this author may focus on additional trips and land excursions.

Clearly, the author cannot say enough about his love and his passionate adoration for his current wife. His previous marriages did not bring the kind of joy he now embraces – quite literally. Each day of his diary revisits his deep devotion and elation for her. So, it’s clear to the reader, that they nurture their love for one another through the adventurous enchantment they find in their style of taking cruises. I find it inspiring and more aligned to my interests in cruising. Although he and his wife try out some events like cha-cha dancing lessons and BINGO games, my wife and I are even more likely to avoid most group events to find quiet time that we can share, including dinner for two.
Somehow, you feel Robert D. Ferre is your new, good friend after you read his insightful, humorous and intimate book about the affordable adventure that cruising offers couples of any age. I look forward to reading his next cruise book when it’s published.