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Friday, Oct 19, 2018 | Home

Milk, eggs, butter, bread. Let's think of this section of the ICW Planning Guide as your cruise-planning supermarket. Just as there are certain staples you know you'll want to keep in your galley, so there are some staples you'll need to plan your cruise-and to take along with you as you go. These are resources that you'll want in order to make your cruise planning easier; resources that will make your cruise more relaxing and enriching. Some of them, like cruise guides and charts, are pretty obvious, while others, like using crowd-sourced information and the federal government's many free publications and websites, are less so.

The book is divided into six categories of resources: cruise guides, charts, government publications, smartphone and tablet apps, crowd-sourced information and books to take along. Consider this last category the beer on your shopping list, or maybe dessert. It's the category you may need the least, but may enjoy the most. To continue our shopping metaphor just a little bit longer, let's think of the six segments of Part II as six long aisles in the grocery store, each devoted to a single staple, each stocked top to bottom with a dizzying number of brands and varieties.

Let's consider the cruise guide aisle, for example. There are new guides, old tried-and-true guides, short guides, fat guides, regional guides, anchor guides and marina guides. Whew! Which one do you choose? That's where we come in. We've read them. We've tried them out. We've cruised with them. (Hey, some research is tougher than others!) Finally, we've chosen some of the best, laid them out for you in size and scope and style and told you how to get them. We've even given you our opinion of many of them and pointed out a few of our favorites.

And we've done the same thing with charts and the crowded field of apps in all of the main categories you'll need-navigation apps, weather apps, safety apps, and so forth. For crowd sourced and government resources, we've pointed you in the direction of some very useful information you otherwise might overlook. Finally, the beer aisle. Here we've given you a small library's worth of books, some of them written by people over the years about just the cruising you are about to do. Books that have stood the test of time. We also give you books for reference, like Chapmans, and books for fun, like birdwatching and fishing.

To order the ICW Planning Guide click here or call 877-804-8624.