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What do U.S. Navy cruise books contain?

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Quick Answer

U.S. Navy cruise books are yearbook-style unofficial logs that document the informal story of the ship and the people who served aboard the vessel. U.S. Navy cruise books are not officially sponsored by the U.S. Navy and are published by the crew of the ship to document a cruise or deployment, according to Naval History.

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Creating cruise books dates back to the late 18th century, when crews of ships began to document in personal logs all of the experiences they had on board the ship and the different places they visited. These original logs by crew members would span a two-year time period, which was once considered the common period for a standard deployment. It is estimated that over 10,000 cruise books now exist, with the numbers of collectors rising just as rapidly. Collection of these cruise books is hard due to only two-thirds of the ship's crew typically receiving any form of the publication, according to Navy Site.

Crew books are often personal to members aboard the ship, containing a variety of pictures taken by the ship's crew members, stories from specific sailors on the ship at a given time, and graphic artwork created by the crew, states Navy Boy.

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