This book is about modern pirates: those who sail huge cruise ships from one port to another, offloading thousands of visitors a day. While the industry rakes in billions of dollars a year, paying virtually no income tax, the ports that ships visit are left with relatively few crumbs. It exploits workers onboard ships; uses graft from its deep war chests to shape political decisions and influence media; and bullies administrations into accepting, for example, that Carnival's 50%-plus market dominance is not anti-competitive, or that its abysmal environmental and health practices are responsible. It represents capitalism at its worst. A detailed and alarming expose of the injustices of cruise tourism, the book's concluding chapter examines social and political action that has been directed toward the cruise industry, identifies key organisations and groups that have been effective and that have maintained their integrity, and calls on readers to help contain the industry through grassroots activism so that it becomes environmentally, socially, economically, and politically viable.
Ross Klein has taken more than 30 cruises in all parts of the world, comprising over 300 days. An Associate Professor of Social Work at Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland, he has written widely on the cruise industry and his previous book, Cruise Ship Blues, caused waves in the industry.