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When people sat down at Sarah Seldon’s blackjack game, they always wanted to talk about The Book. “Should I double down? Should I hit? Dealer, I know you’re a gambler; you could let me win if you wanted to. What does the book say?” She had never read this book, this mythical Bible for gamblers. The truth is there are 2256 books, each teaching its own foolproof winning system. But Sarah had been in the casino business long enough to think with a gambler’s mind. Gamblers knew they could follow all the rules of basic strategy, utilize money management and still lose if they weren’t dealt the right cards. The allure and curse of gambling was that there were no sure things. In the end it all came down to luck; gamblers prayed that Lady Luck would show up and that she would stick around for awhile.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

THE TOP TEN REASONS TO WORK ON A CRUISE SHIP



Before I wrote Cruise Quarters I wondered would people find my story interesting, after all it was just a story about two average people traveling around the world on a very big ship. But since the publication I have received so many e-mails from readers who obviously love to cruise or in some cases are just looking for love and what most of them say is, “I wish that I could do something like you did - just run away to sea.” So in this article I will give you my top ten reasons for working on a cruise ship.

Just before I decided to join cruise ships I was working as a systems analyst in Boston. I was commuting on Route 128 America’s technology highway.
Through rain, fog and snow, constantly in fear of crashing my compact into the rear of a tractor trailer, every day felt like a suicide mission. The rest of the time I was stuck in an office with the same twenty people, claustrophobia slowly settling in. I dated a lot, some of the candidates hailed from the finest institutions our country has to offer. I was dating more but enjoying it less, dates seemed more like job interviews.

But I always felt like I was missing out on something, the Germans have a word for it torschlusskpanik, literally the feeling that you are missing the boat. Then a friend who was working on a cruise ship came through town and while she was joining a ship in New Zealand, I had a four hour drive to Albany on my itinerary. Four months later I had cajoled and pleaded my way into a job on the Star Princess. My first port was beautiful Saint Martin where the sea glistened a deep shade of aquamarine. I always say that was the day my life went from black and white to Technicolor.

RAY AND I ENJOYING A DAY OFF IN THE CARRIBEAN
The point of my digression is this I was in my thirties when I changed my life but it is never too late to go for it. On the ships I worked as a blackjack dealer but there are many other jobs on a cruise ship. Are you a nurse or a doctor? All ships need one of those. Do you work with children? There is always a need for someone to coordinate children’s activities, are you good with accounting? The purser’s staff keeps track of passenger’s accounts and shipboard expenditures. Retail experiences on your resume? All cruise ships have shops. There are so many opportunities to work on a cruise ship and with a little research you just might find your niche.

  1. You will completely change your life.  Living on a cruise ship is like moving to a new country where the captain is the king. You will make new friends, travel to new places and most of all your life will be filled with new adventures. During my five years on ships I made friendships that still last to this day and I visited every continent on the globe except Antarctica.

  1. You live on a waterfront mansion and the best part is - it moves. Wherever you live on a ship you are only a few minutes away from a gorgeous ocean view. I never got tired of sitting on deck and watching the world go by. Sail-away from Venice is one of the most beautiful sights in the world and I had a front row seat every ten days.

  1. Every day the ship goes to beautiful ports because, ships don’t travel to ugly places. This means every day you get to wake up in a beautiful European city or a tropical island.

  1. Not only do you visit beautiful places, you get to come back every seven to ten days. If you spend a season in the Mediterranean your cruise might start in Barcelona and go to Venice with lots of great ports in between. Then it starts in Venice and returns to Barcelona, by the end of the season you feel like you know these ports and start feeling more like a local than a tourist.

  1. You don’t have to pay any rent; your room and board are taken care of by the cruise lines. As a dealer we had a great gig on the ships we were allowed to eat at any of the buffets, so every day I feasted. Imagine not having to write that rent check every month.

  1. There is no commute, that was the icing on the cake for me. For five years I would wake up each day and decide do I want to take the elevator to work or walk up the stairs. Now who wouldn’t like a commute like that?

  1. It is a great place to save money for all the reasons I have mentioned, free room and board. And I didn’t have to buy a car which meant no car payments. I know you are thinking that sight-seeing can be expensive but if you work on a ship you can always volunteer to help the tour guide by joining the tours and keeping an eye on the passengers. I left ships with the money to start a new life in Palm Springs.

  1. Another perk of ship life is meeting people from all over the world. The crew of a cruise ship is like a mini United Nations with crew members from across the globe all working together to meet the passengers every need. In my casino alone we had staff from Australia, Scotland, America and Canada, and since that time many Eastern Europeans have joined the casino staffs on many ships.

  1. Crew life is fun, although many of the crew work very hard, imagine being a waiter and you are expected to serve three meals, two buffets and a tea-time. So to let off a little steam there is a crew bar where all the crew meets for camaraderie and fun. We have so many crew activities; we danced under the stars, had a pizza party for Venice sail-away and played trivia. There was also crew talent show which just gave the Brits an excuse to dress in drag.

  1. You just might fall in love. For me that was the highlight of my time at sea. I left with a very special souvenir my husband Ray. He was from Scotland and I would have never met him if I hadn’t run away to sea. We met when we both worked on the Star Princess, my lucky ship, and were married four months later. In fact, I know so many couples that met on cruise ships and many ended up married. The majority I am happy to report are very happy.  Though there are no guarantees it just might happen to you and there is no better way to change your life than to fall in love.

So for all of you that have that feeling of torschlusskpanik, I just want you to know that you can change your life. Now hiring practices vary but there are big cruise lines like Carnival, to small lines like the exclusive Silver Seas. There are European lines, there are ships all over the world and in the last ten years river cruises like AMA have become popular, but I am sure that with a little work you can find out if cruise ships are a fit for you.

                                                                    Happy sails to you!

Cara Bertoia is the author of Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships. Her novel is really a travelogue, a narrative, a romance, a self-help manual for gambling and cruising, and a real-life story all rolled into one funny, obsessive, and entertaining story of two people whose separate life journeys meet at a crossroads. Kindle Fire Dept. says, "This novel is a gem that is nothing short of a vacation in a book!"She would be happy to Skype with any book club reading Cruise Quarters. Contact her at ray92262@yahoo.com.

Below is the links to Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

THE TOP TEN REASONS TO TRAVEL AROUND EUROPE ON A RIVER CRUISE



I was born in Charleston, South Carolina, a very old town on the east coast of The United States. My earliest memories are of my father driving all the kids to the beach at Sullivans Isle so that my mom could clean the house in peace. I loved standing at the edge of the shore and daydreaming about what lay on the other side of the very big ocean. Show me the child of six and I will show you the woman. Those days at the shore left me with wanderlust and freckles.

I love to travel, especially by boat, being on the water is my vision of being in heaven. So when I grew up it was no great surprise to anyone that I went to work on a cruise ship. I even wrote about my adventures in Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships. I have worked on some really big ships, and I loved it but then one day I heard about European River Cruises. I know river cruises have been around for a while but it seems like they have just taken off in the last ten years. In fact, the company that we cruised with, AMA River Cruises has only been around for 10 years, and they have already doubled the size or their fleet. One cruise in and I am a convert and now I would like to share with you my top ten reasons for traveling around Europe on a very long boat.

1. The scenery, Europe is gorgeous; the countryside is laced with beautiful forests, architectural gems and turreted castles sitting high on the hills. We booked a French balcony; most of the rooms on the ship were in this category. It meant that the cabin had floor to ceiling windows, which were perfect for river views. Our favorite thing was to wake up around six in the morning, open the curtains, and lie in bed watching the world go by on the river as the sun rose in the sky. It doesn't' end there, all day long wherever you are on the ship, you always have wonderful views of the shore which is always in sight and the traffic on the river to entertain you.
Watching the world go by from the comfort of the lounge

2. The river system is incredible. We traveled down the Danube passing through the Main-Danube Canal. The canal is 171 km/106miles long. This canal allows traffic to pass between the North Sea and the black sea. The canal has a total of 16 locks, each about 625 feet long, 40 feet wide and up to 81 feet deep. It is thrilling to watch as you are lowered into a lock and see that the ship is only inches away from the wall, or passing under bridges just inches above the ship. If you love the Panama Canal you will be amazed by this canal.

3. River cruising is so smooth. If I hadn't occasionally heard the sound of the engines I wouldn't even have known that the ship was moving. We traveled in winter, no matter what the weather, it was like we were gliding on the water.

4. It is intimate. The ship held only 180 passengers at full capacity. The crew staff were always available to help you. There were no lines for anything. The ship was new, and very cozy.
Me at the window catching some rays

5. You don't have to spend all your time working out how to travel from place to place. When I traveled by train so much of my time was spent figuring out the train schedules and I ended up spending many nights on trains and buses lugging heavy suitcases. The last time I went from Vienna to Budapest by train I was exhausted before I even arrived. This time I watched us sail in. I was refreshed, ready for a new adventure.

6. You only have to pack your bags once. When you visit a lot of countries in Europe by car or train, you always seem to be packing. Inevitably you leave a few things behind. But on a river cruise you unpack at the beginning of the cruise and pack the night before you go home no matter how many countries you visit. Even though the room on the ship wasn't huge it had been so well designed that there was plenty of storage for all our clothes and even our suitcases. We went with a couple who had only tried bus trips before and they said that this was a much more relaxing experience.

7. Almost everything is included. If you look at the cost of a river cruise as compared to a bus tour or a regular cruise it might seem expensive but when you break it down it is a bargain. On our ship all the tours were included. There were a few optional excursions available but I felt that the included tours were enough. All our meals were included even beer and wine at dinner. If any of you have ever traveled to Europe you know that restaurants can be very expensive.

8. The food was wonderful. Breakfast was a buffet with side dishes like eggs benedict cooked to order. I especially loved the array of breads and pastries. My favorite meal was lunch, local specialties were featured and the chef would cook pasta to order, and it was wonderful the way only pasta cooked in Europe is. Dinner also included local specialties, and so much great seafood, such as halibut which, is quite expensive in America. Wonderful salmon was available every day. But the bonus we most enjoyed was the local beer and wine that were included. It was great to sample all that the countries we visited had to offer.

9. Because you are on a smaller ship traveling down a river and not on the ocean you can visit small intimate ports. We especially loved the medieval city of Regensburg in Germany. It was so convenient. We just walked off the ship and the tour would begin. It was winter time and the romantic Christmas market at the Thurn and Taxis Palace was bustling. It was great to be able to explore the city on our own with only a short walk back to the ship.
Christmas Market in Vienna

10. Some of the tour options were quite inventive. We cooked Hungarian Goulash at the Hotel Sofitel in Budapest. It was a great experience and we got some tips on cooking with paprika. It wasn't just a demonstration we chopped and fried and even tasted our own creation served with heavy crusted bread. We left with aprons and tea towels, and we all agreed it was the best tour. Our AMA cruise manager told us that they are always looking for way to improve and make our experience more enjoyable.

There is something luxurious about traveling on a cruise ship whether it be an ocean cruise or river cruise. From the crystal chandeliers to the polished brass stair railing, ships exude elegance. It is great that as cruisers we have more options all the time. I am sold on river cruises, the next time I plan to travel in tulip time.  Maybe I'll see you there.

About the author:
Cara Bertoia is the author of Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships. Her novel is really a travelogue, a narrative, a romance, a self-help manual for gambling and cruising, and a real-life story all rolled into one funny, obsessive, and entertaining story of two people whose separate life journeys meet at a crossroads. Kindle Fire Dept. says, "This novel is a gem that is nothing short of a vacation in a book!"

Please check out her most popular posts at CaraBetoia.blogspot.com  to find more blogs about cruising, casinos and anything that catches her fancy.

Below are the links to Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships

Friday, April 6, 2012

THE BEST PART OF CRUISING - SAILING AWAY FROM IT ALL


People always ask me why I love cruising so much. What makes it so special? They ask me this because I once worked on a cruise ship. I love cruise ships because I love the ocean. But what make a cruise ship so special? Well my favorite thing about a cruise ship is the sail away. I know that you also sail into a port but that usually happens when you are fast asleep in your cabin encased in your soft, high thread count luxury sheets. But sail away is a time when most of the passengers gather on the deck to watch the ship leave a port, drink frou-frou drinks and wave at those unfortunates on the dock that won't be sailing with us. This week I will tell you about my favorite place to sail away from.

My number one place to leave is Venice, and not because I want to get away but because I love Venice so much. In fact much of the first chapter of my novel Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships is set in Venice. One of most memorable experiences was planning a pizza party on the crew deck. Earlier in the day I had bought cheap bottles of red wine in town but I didn't have to bring the pizzas because onboard an Italian head chef made sure that the pizza was thin and crispy with just a smattering of sauce and cheese that is hard to duplicate in American but can be found in any town in Italy.

The most beautiful sail away in the world - Venice, Italy

The sail away from Venice was set in the late afternoon for the greatest dramatic appeal. The whole city takes on a golden glow. It is a balmy summer day, with the movement of the ship creating a soft breeze on deck. The ship meanders past medieval houses and cathedrals painted in muted earth tone colors. The harbor is crowded with water taxis, gondolas, and boats moving produce and goods through the canals. Commerce moving as it has for thousands of years. While the ship meanders past all of this splendor all the casino staff are lounging on the crew deck, sipping local red wine and chewing on crispy hot, fresh pizza that has just been delivered from the kitchen.

And then we sail past St. Marks Square, if there is a more beautiful place on earth show it to me. Thousands of tourists are gawking at the Doge's Palace and the Basilica waiting for the The Moor to strike his bell. The music from the violinist playing in the square is barely discernable from the ship. The day is perfect, the chance for days like that are why I lived on ships for many years.

I know that some of you have been to Venice, some left by plane where long lines and customs awaited you. Some of you went by train and what a great way to see the countryside. But just for me I will always cherish those sail aways from Venice.

About the author:
Cara Bertoia is the author of Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships. Her novel is really a travelogue, a narrative, a romance, a self-help manual for gambling and cruising, and a real-life story all rolled into one funny, obsessive, and entertaining story of two people whose separate life journeys meet at a crossroads. Kindle Fire Dept. says, "This novel is a gem that is nothing short of a vacation in a book!"

Please check out her most popular posts at CaraBetoia.blogspot.com  to find more blogs about cruising, casinos and anything that catches her fancy.

Below are the links to Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships

Thursday, February 9, 2012

BOOKS TO MOVIES AT THE PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL


Sometimes the best vacation is one where you don't go anywhere at all, and although this blog is called Casinos and Cruise Ships I know that people who love to cruise are curious about the world. That is why I have included this post in my blog. For the last three years Ray and I have been spending a week in Palm Springs just like the other tourists going to the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Sonny Bono started the film festival 23 years ago and it keeps getting better every year.

The weather was warm and sunny, the relatives flew in from Florida to join us, and we got to do my two favorite things, go to the movies and eat out. As if that wasn't enough we got to see George Clooney. But this year he was just one of the stars who turned up. Brad and Angelina, Charilize Theron, Adrian Brody, Glen Close and Olivia Wilde to name a few all walked the red carpet. We even gawked as the limos pulled up depositing the stars at the convention center.

The picture my cousin Robert took of George Clooney
                                                                              

This is a great film festival because it features the best foreign films from across the globe and if you can't visit a country the best way to travel there is by watching a movie or reading a book. This blog is about great movies based on great novels.

All I had to do was go into the theatre, wait for the lights to dim and I was sitting in a cafe on a square in 1930' Belgrade. Montevideo, the Taste of a Dream is based on a novel by Vladimir Stankovic. This is a beautiful film, filmed with beautiful actors, which tells the story of a Belgrade soccer team trying to reach Montevideo to participate in the first World Soccer Cup. Some movies are so evocative of a time and a place. Slick and sexy the scene in a jazz club is one of the best I have ever seen.

We wrote our novel Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships after working aboard a luxury cruise ship. I loved the cruise to Scandinavia and Russia, so when I saw how many movies from that area of the world were showing, I bought tickets to many of them.

A great movie out of Norway is Headhunters. This movie is a thriller in every sense of the word. It is slick and sleek just what you would expect from a Scandinavian movie and the best thing is that the thrills and chills are created without the special effects of most Hollywood blockbusters. Even if you can't see the movie you can read the book. The movie is based on Jo Neb's novel, Headhunters.

The next movie on my list is Generation P out of Russia. There is a chapter in our novel devoted to Moscow; Ray worked there after the fall of communism, when it was just becoming the wild and wicked city featured in the film. This movie is a mixed bag. The first hour is one of the best examples of Russia's transition to capitalism through the eyes of a writer who gets a job in advertising. The second hour however is a bit of a mess. But maybe you just have to be Russian to get all the inside jokes and references, because this movie was a game changer in Russia. This book is based on the novel Generation P written by Victor Pelevin.

I much preferred My Father Baryshnikov which was centered on the school where the Bolshoi dancers are trained. It is a charming tale of a young man who doesn't know who his father is and so he pretends he is Baryshnikov. It was written about a time when all Russians lived in the same type of apartments, ate the same food and wore the same clothes. This movie is an uplifting tale that will make you see 1980's Russia in a new light. A Russian friend of mine agreed that the movie got it just right. Although it was based on the writers life there is no book.

A movie, like a book has the power to change your heart. I defy anyone to go see A Separation, and not come out of the theater with a new understanding of Iranian society. This is just a simple tale of two people going through a divorce, both with faults and problems, but the insights it gives us into modern day Iranian society are priceless.

I love my city and I hope all of you will one day have a chance to travel here during the festival. Where else in one week can you get the chance to see over 200 films from over 70 countries, and only have to pack your bags once?

About the author:
Cara Bertoia is the author of Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships. Her novel is really a travelogue, a narrative, a romance, a self-help manual for gambling and cruising, and a real-life story all rolled into one funny, obsessive, and entertaining story of two people whose separate life journeys meet at a crossroads. Kindle Fire Dept. says, "This novel is a gem that is nothing short of a vacation in a book!"

Please check out her most popular posts at CaraBetoia.blogspot.com  to find more blogs about cruising, casinos and anything that catches her fancy.

Below are the links to Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WHAT NOT TO DO IF YOUR CRUISE SHIP IS SINKING

Ray attending a lifeboat drill

Last Sunday night the Costa Concordia sank off the coast of the island of Giglio, enroute to Civitavecchia, a port I had visited many times working for Princess Cruises. I would like to say that in all my years at sea I never encountered a captain like Francesco Schettino. I considered all the captains kings of their ship, they were all very professional, attentive and if I have to admit it, a little bit scary.

While normally I am not one to comment on ship safety the lack of knowledge of some of the announcers made me feel I had to write this post. A newscaster was interviewing some passengers after they had made it back to safety in the US. They told him that when they realized that the ship was in trouble they were dressed in formal wear, an evening gown and high heels. Reasoning that this was not the proper attire for lifeboat travel, they returned to their cabins and changed their clothes.

The commentator congratulated them, "What clear thinking,"

NO, NO, NO, it was not clear thinking returning to their cabin. It was a horrible idea. It is never a good idea to return to your cabin when a ship is possibly sinking. There are just too many things that can go wrong, What if the ship is on fire? What if the electricity goes off? What if the ship tilts and you can't open the door to your cabin? When you hear any kind of alarm you should proceed to your muster station and if you don't know where it is then proceed to the highest open deck.

Even though international law states that a lifeboat drill has to be held at least 24 hours after a boat leaves port, every ship I ever worked on held an emergency drill as soon as the ship sailed. As a crew member I also attended many drills over the course of my career at sea. If you read my book Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships, I talk about the 'how to board a lifeboat drills', 'how to locate a bomb drills', 'how to crawl out of your cabin in case of a fire drills', and even a drill about the proper way to jump off the side of a ship without breaking your neck!

The following story perfectly illustrates my point.
Ray had been working on a Greek ship for three months and was very familiar with his surroundings. One day while the ship was docked in Patras he went out to lunch with a friend. When they returned to the ship they discovered the engine room was on fire and the ship had been evacuated. After a few hours the fire had been put out but the ship was declared out of service for repairs. They allowed the crew to board so that they could collect their belongings.

There was no power or lights working on the ship. When Ray left the ships entrance and headed to his cabin, he became disoriented walking down the pitch black corridor. He found his cabin by counting the doors. Once inside he relied on the light from the porthole as he gathered his belongings, but leaving the his cabin he found it very difficult to find his way back to the gangway. His walk was further complicated by the debris that had been dropped in the hallway, by the other crew in their scramble to get off the ship.

Our main point is that even in this situation when the ship was stable and upright and there was no immediate danger or rush and no crowd of panicking passengers, finding his way around the bowels of the ship was no easy task - and he was a crew member. So imagine the problems a passenger would have in the middle of an emergency situation.

Although ships are very safe and safety is taken very seriously on a cruise ship accidents can still happen. We hope this helps you if you ever find yourself on a sinking ship.

As an update to this article we are sorry to report that Sandor Feher the violinist on the Costa ship, helped children into their lifejackets and then left to return to his cabin to retrieve his violin and was never seen again.

About the author:
Cara Bertoia is the author of Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships. Her novel is really a travelogue, a narrative, a romance, a self-help manual for gambling and cruising, and a real-life story all rolled into one funny, obsessive, and entertaining story of two people whose separate life journeys meet at a crossroads. Kindle Fire Dept. says, "This novel is a gem that is nothing short of a vacation in a book!"

Please check out her most popular posts at CaraBetoia.blogspot.com  to find more blogs about cruising, casinos and anything that catches her fancy.

Below are the links to Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

WE HAVE CREATED A NEW ONLINE NEWSPAPER TO KEEP OUR READERS INFORMED ABOUT ALL THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN THE CASINO AND CRUISE SHIP INDUSTRY

If you are reading this blog post right now it is probably a good guess that your are interested in Casinos and Cruise Ships. So to keep our readers up to date and current with what is happening in both industries we have created a new online paper Casinos and Cruise Ships, and the best part is that the subscription is absolutely FREE. So keep yourself informed about the latest developments in the casino and cruise ship industry across the globe. You don't have to subscribe to check it out.

 TO CHECK OUT THE NEW ONLINE PAPER CASINOS AND CRUISE SHIPS CLICK THIS LINK


About the author:
Cara Bertoia is the author of Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships. Her novel is really a travelogue, a narrative, a romance, a self-help manual for gambling and cruising, and a real-life story all rolled into one funny, obsessive, and entertaining story of two people whose separate life journeys meet at a crossroads. Kindle Fire Dept. says, "This novel is a gem that is nothing short of a vacation in a book!"

Please check out her most popular posts at CaraBetoia.blogspot.com  to find more blogs about cruising, casinos and anything that catches her fancy.

Below are the links to Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships







Sunday, December 25, 2011

INTERVIEW OF CARA BERTOIA AT THE REVIEW GIRL


Today, I am thrilled to host Cara Bertoia, co-author of an amazing travel novel which is as much about romance as it is about travel (the novel is based on their real-life love story). So read on to find out more about the book “Cruise Quarters” and how she met the man of her dreams. You would not want to miss infectious laugh on her witty answers as a bonus! :)
I am just thrilled with the new interview at The Review Girl. Komal Mansoor thought up some wonderful questions that were a lot of fun to answer if you have a chance click this link to read the interview.
The Review Girl Interview of Cara Bertoia


About the author:
Cara Bertoia is the author of Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships. Her novel is really a travelogue, a narrative, a romance, a self-help manual for gambling and cruising, and a real-life story all rolled into one funny, obsessive, and entertaining story of two people whose separate life journeys meet at a crossroads. Kindle Fire Dept. says, "This novel is a gem that is nothing short of a vacation in a book!"

Please check out her most popular posts at CaraBetoia.blogspot.com  to find more blogs about cruising, casinos and anything that catches her fancy.

Below are the links to Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships