Once Upon a Cruise

Once Upon a Cruise

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
396   0
Write Review
Once Upon a Cruise
Age Range
8+
Release Date
September 27, 2016
ISBN
978-0545879866
Buy This Book
      
Ainsley never wanted to spend her summer on a fairy tale cruise--especially since, instead of lounging by the pool, she's running around the ship doing favor after favor for her cruise director mom.

Things aren't all bad--it's good to see her mom acting confident again after the divorce, and she's learning a lot about obscure German fairy tales and how to fold towels into entertaining shapes for little kids (um, yay?). There's also a guy who's super cute, even in a dorky dwarf costume--if only Ainsley could get Prince Handsome to stop babbling about himself long enough for her to say more than 'hi' to the cute dwarf!

But once the cruise starts, things start to go wrong: the laundry turns pink, the kitchen runs out of food, the guy playing the Pig King is always in Ainsley's hair, and her mom expects her to be in a hundred places all at once. Is this fairy tale cruise under a wicked curse? Or can Ainsley stand up for herself and make the cruise end happily ever after?

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A  (0)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

the book you'll enjoy on a cruise this summer

What I Loved:
After Ainsley’s mom took a cruise director job aboard what is essentially a mockbuster Disney cruise, Ainsley gets to spend all summer onboard with her because she decided against staying with her dad. The recent divorce hit her mom hard and she wants to be there for her mom. Unfortunately, that leads to her mom taking advantage of her as a do-everything girl and leaning on her tween daughter when she should know better.

Kids whose parents have recently split up will recognize a lot of themselves in Ainsley, especially if they feel pressured to be the adult for their parents. It’s never fair to the kid in that situation, but it’s very real and Staniszewski writes it well, making you empathize with Ainsley. After her mom puts her in charge of the ship’s failing teen club and assigns her a million little tasks like watching over the ship’s kids at a towel-folding activity class, you’ll want to shake her mom down.

If you’ve ever been curious about what goes on behind the scenes of a cruise ship’s operations, Once Upon a Cruise will give you that in addition to Ainsley’s coming-of-age story. On this ship in particular, spies are always lurking around to make sure staff members are staying in character and Ainsley is always fighting with Ian, who plays the Pig King in the nightly stage show Fairy Tale Cruises puts on. Naturally, you’re gonna ship them. (A SHIPPING PUN HAD TO BE MADE, OKAY?)

Eventually, Ainsley is able to stand up for herself and say NO. No to her paralyzing stage fright, no to her mother, no to the dwarf she initially has a crush on only to find out he’s a jerk, and no to being walked all over. It takes causing a lot of problems to get there, like messing up the ship photographer’s shots by changing the camera settings and letting the kids she watches over run wild, but it’s so cathartic to see her realize she doesn’t have to be everyone’s Yes Girl.

What Left Me Wanting:
Once Upon a Cruise isn’t a very memorable book, however. Just to write this review, I had to get out my copy and flip back through the pages for basic things like character names and the ship’s name! I was reading this around the time one of my cats passed away and that naturally messed with my memory, but even then, an extraordinary amount of the book’s content fell right out of my head once I finished reading.

Final Verdict:
Once Upon a Cruise is the kind of book you’ll enjoy this summer, especially if you’re going on a cruise. Though my cat’s passing messed me up for a while, maybe it was fate I was reading such a sweet book during that difficult time. It gave me something happy to escape to when I missed my big old baby Kai and made me yearn for a cruise ship vacation. (Gotta finish the messy process of changing my name and get my new passport, though.)

Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Brightly Burning
Stella Ainsley leaves poverty behind when she quits her engineering...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
All's Faire in Middle School
Eleven-year-old Imogene (Impy) has grown up with two parents working...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
No Sad Songs
Following a family tragedy, 18-year-old Gabe LoScuda suddenly finds...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Blood Magic (Abnormals Underground #1)
Turned into a vampire at the age of two,...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
The 11:11 Wish
Megan Meyers has a foolproof plan to reinvent herself...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dragonkyn
Marc used to think he was pretty ordinary, but...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fragile Facade (Blind Barriers Trilogy #1)
The Brightest Smiles Hide the Darkest Secrets.... When Raven...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
This Tiny Perfect World
The big-hearted story of a small-town girl who discovers...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Silver Mask
A generation ago, Constantine Madden came close to achieving what...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Tombs
New York, 1882. A dark, forbidding city, and no place...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Children of Exile
Rosi must decide what she’s willing to risk to save...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Teeth of the Gods
Chained to an enemy general. Determined to be free....
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Vampire Trick (Dark World: The Vampire Wish 3)
In a kingdom full of secrets, no one can...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I Am Alfonso Jones
Alfonso Jones can't wait to play the role of...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Unearthed
From the New York Times best-selling author duo Amie...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Boyfriend Agreement
Fake boyfriends are hard work. When 16-year-old Bella’s dream...
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Brightly Burning
 
4.0
"Seventeen-year-old Stella Ainsley wants to leave the poverty of her spaceship behind. So she applies for a governess job on..."
No Sad Songs
 
4.0
"The first thing that popped into my mind when I read No Sad Song's synopsis was: this sounds familiar. It's..."
The 11:11 Wish
 
4.0
"'The 11:11 Wish' by Kim Tomsic basks in the power of the unthinkable, yet totally imaginable. Every young person (and..."
Without You
 
3.3
"'Without You' by Yesenia Vargas had many sweet moments. It told of a relationship between Ariana and Lucas, as well..."
The Silver Mask
 
5.0
"With Aaron gone, Call has trouble getting his feet back on the ground. He's torn up because he feels responsible..."
Dragonkyn
 
4.0
"When Marc hits puberty, something inside of him starts to change. The first thing he notices is that heat doesn't..."
Children of Exile
 
3.7
"Rosi is twelve-years-old and she and the other children of Fredtown were taken from an unsafe situation with their birth..."
I Am Alfonso Jones
 
5.0
"Alfonso Jones is a bright teen who is excited to try out for Hamlet at his school. When he and..."
Sword and Scion 01: Into the Dark Mountains
 
5.0
AmyAmy
"We read this book as a family and had a hard time putting it down. We looked forward to..."
Believarexic
 
3.3
"BELIEVAREXIC is the fictionalized memoir of author JJ Johnson's stay in an eating disorder unit (EDU) in the 80s. The..."
Graveyard Shakes
 
4.0
"All Victoria wants to do is fit in, but instead, her and her sister Katia are always being teased. It..."
The Vampire Fate (Dark World: The Vampire Wish 4)
 
5.0
"The plot twist at the end of the third book was epic and I was so excited to start this..."
Alicia and the Light Bulb People in Star Factory 13
 
4.5
"'Alicia and the Light Bulb People in Star Factory 13' by Barbara Roman, illustrated by Vladimir Cebu, is a sweet..."
This Tiny Perfect World
 
3.0
"Things that worked: The small town setting. Although it felt restrictive to the main character, a small town story often..."
The Boyfriend Agreement
 
4.8
"'The Boyfriend Agreement' by Seven Steps is definitely a hard one to put down! With a mix of romance, intrigue,..."
The Vampire Trick (Dark World: The Vampire Wish 3)
 
5.0
"I don't even know where to begin. This series is just so good and each book builds you up for..."
InterWorld (InterWorld #1)
 
3.5
"A solid sci-fi/urban fantasy adventure premise, ideally targeting the mid-to-upper Middle Grade demographic. It’s a quick read—overall fun and fast-paced...."
The Traitor Prince
 
4.3
"An adventurous, accessible YA fantasy—with likely appeal for fans of An Ember In The Ashes. Based loosely on an..."
You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone
 
5.0
"You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone was one of the last books I read in 2017 and I couldn't have..."
The Vampire Prince (Dark World: The Vampire Wish 2)
 
5.0
"When Annika discovers Geneva, she realizes that she's the only one who can help her take down the Vale. With..."