Cruise Confidential: A Hit Below the Waterline is a best-selling 2008 travelogue by author Brian David Bruns. In October 2011, Cruise Confidential spent 16 days on Amazon.com's national bestseller list. It has won two national book awards, both presented at the 2009 Book Expo America in New York City; Gold Medal Humor Book of the Year from ForeWord Magazine and the Benjamin Franklin Awards Humor Book of the Year. It was also a finalist in the 2008 New England Book Festival. The book is the first in a series. Ship for Brains (2011, World Waters) and Unsinkable Mister Brown (2012, World Waters). The fourth and final book in the series, High Seas Drifter, is scheduled for 2013 release.
Cruise Confidential describes the contract Bruns worked with Carnival Cruise Lines in their restaurants. He was the first American waiter in 30 years to complete a full contract without quitting. In the book Bruns describes the harsh working conditions for crew on various cruise ships, including the world’s largest (at the time) Carnival Conquest. Despite the hardships of racism, managerial abuses of power, and the unrealistic expectations of the industry, he meets a host of bizarre characters and manages to achieve his goals.
In his thirteen months at sea, he shares cabins with a Thai waiter, an insomniac Indian Reborn Christian, as well as a host of sex-craved men from all over the earth; he discovers waiters are required to steal supplies and even food to serve their guests, and endures belligerent kitchen antics he refers to as “pancake Darwinism” – “survival of the fittest.” He witnessed emotional breakdowns by crew members denied adequate medical care, as well as promotions courtesy of sexual favors. Eventually Bruns worked an average of one hundred hours a week for less than minimum wage on Carnival Legend.
Ultimately Bruns realized he was singled out because of his nationality, discovering that America’s role in the world is largely misunderstood in the United States. Bruns challenges American complacency toward its role in the world through having to endure numerous forms of retaliation from the international community that makes the cruise industry stay afloat.
Critical acclaim on the book jacket includes New York Times best-seller J. Maarten Troost The Sex Lives of Cannibals, Doug Lansky (Discovery and Travel Channel host), Jennifer Leo, and Peter Mandel.
Cruise Confidential is being developed for a cable television series by Ole Entertainment, a division of Furst Films.
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