Above: Mariner of the Seas

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

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


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)


First Cruise, First Kiss
Embarkation and Departure
Our First Sea Day
A Bit of History
Canary Islands
Health and Safety
Ship's Tour
Priests and Pirates
The Other Side of Paradise
Commodores and Casinos
Technical Stuff
Last Day at Sea


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

Buy Cruise of the Heart on Amazon by CLICKING HERE.
Now on kindle: CLICK HERE


I just discovered that the kindle version of the book has only one review, and it is by someone who did not like the book (one star). He wanted more about the cruise and less personal material. Maybe he missed the part about being a MEMOIR. This is very likely to discourage possible buyers and readers. If you have read the book and liked it, please go to the Kindle review page and leave a review. Thanks for your help. Find it here on Amazon: Cruise of the Heart


Related websites:
Robert's personal website: www.robertferre.com

Robert's personal blog: www.robertferre.com/blog.html
The publisher (and information about labyrinths): www.labyrinth-enterprises.com
Robert and Linda's other cruises: www.retiredgonecruising.com

Click here for Contact Information

Update: In the fall of 2016, I was treated for prostate cancer using proton beam therapy, a revolutionary noninvasive painless modality. I was so impressed that I wrote a book about it. It's not about cruising, but here it is.

Click the book to go to Amazon.com (not a buy button).

Robert created three websites related to proton therapy:

www.protontherapybook.com (about the book)

www.proton-beam-therapy.com (a proton therapy blog)

www.proton-therapy-centers.com (a list of proton treatment centers)