Once Upon a Cruise

Once Upon a Cruise

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
464   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

Sky in the Deep
A 2018 Most Anticipated Young Adult book that is...
 
5.0
 
5.0 (1)
Devils Unto Dust
Keep together. Keep your eyes open. Keep your wits...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
All The Things We Lost
After her mother’s death, eighteen-year-old Katie finds herself in...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
White Rabbit
Caleb Roehrig, author of Last Seen Leaving, delivers another...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Worst Fairy Godmother Ever!
Q: What do you need to become a great fairy...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Drum Roll, Please
Find the confidence to rock out to your own beat...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ignite
Four strangers. Four powerful elements. To survive a ruthless...
 
3.5
 
5.0 (1)
Winter Glass (Spindle Fire #2)
A curse comes undone. A kingdom shatters. But some...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Everless (Everless #1)
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood,...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lifeline
Popular high school senior Eli Ross has the perfect life....
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Would you risk it all for love? A high-ranking official’s...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Kristen McDonald has dreamed of being crowned prom queen for...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
FRANKIE FRETINI has had a horrible year. And, just when...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jackson and Samantha live modestly in a small apartment in...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Traitor's Game
Jennifer A. Nielsen introduces us to an unforgettable new heroine...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
BetterThanThis_500.jpg
What can keep a dream alive? ...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

The Worst Fairy Godmother Ever!
 
4.0
"Isabelle is a fairy-godmother-in-training and is so nervous that she's going to wind up being terrible like her mother was...."
Drum Roll, Please
 
4.0
"Even though Melly was forced to go to Camp Rockaway, it's just the escape she needs. Her parents are getting..."
Sugar and Spice (Whatever After #10)
 
5.0
"Abby and Jonah take another trip through their magic mirror after being told their grounded from technology. This time, it..."
The Hall Monitors Are Fired!
 
5.0
"Sam is the hall monitor at Eerie Elementary, but his job requires more than watching out for students doing things..."
A Round of Robins
 
4.0
"This picture book sized poetry book follows Mama and Dad bird as they hatch a clutch of eggs, supervise raising..."
The Seismic Seven
 
4.0
"Kenzie, Brianna, Wyatt and Todd have all have won the opportunity to study with Dr. Grier in Yellowstone National Park,..."
The Slithery Shakedown: The Nocturnals (Grow & Read Early Reader, Level 2)
 
3.5
"In this sequel to The Midnight Meeting, we rejoin Bismark the sugar glider, Tobin the pangolin and Dawn the fox...."
Beat Bugs: In My Life (I Can Read Level 1)
 
4.0
"Illustrated with stills from the television program with light colored font, children will enjoy identifying the characters they know from..."
Scroll of Kings (The Lost Books #1)
 
4.0
"Alex is struggling as the apprentice to an elderly librarian at a castle filled with old, musty diaries and laundry..."
 
5.0
"Tristan's family decides to move from New York City to a small town after his father loses his job and..."
Sparks!
 
4.5
"Canine configuration engage! August, a cat, has created a robotic dog that his friend Charlie helps him run. With the..."
A Warp in Time (Horizon, Book 3)
 
4.0
"The children in the Killbots whose plane went down have suffered from having friends die, being stuck in all sorts..."
Marge in Charge and the Stolen Treasure (#2)
 
4.0
"Jemima and her little brother Jakey are being bedeviled by their baby cousin, Zara. Their Aunt Sally claims that her..."
Super Sweet Dreams (Puppy Princess #2)
 
4.0
"In this sequel to Party Time, Princess Rosie finds out that her best friend (and cat-in-waiting) Cleo's birthday is coming..."
How to Be a Supervillain: Born to Be Good (#2)
 
4.0
"Victor Spoil is back after defeating Dr. Deplorable in How to Be a Supervillian. He's still struggling with wanting to..."
The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl
 
4.0
"Lucy lives with her supportive grandmother, and frequently sees her uncle, who is young, fun, and a bit misguided. Lucy..."
Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring
 
5.0
"Paloma Marquez has to spend the summer in Mexico City with her mother, who has gotten a fellowship to study..."
The Parker Inheritance
 
4.0
"Candice's grandmother was a city official in the small town of Lambert before she fell into disrepute. She thought there..."
 
4.0
"In this level one beginning reader, Pete and his friends adventure into the back yard to look for bugs. They..."
My Weird School: Teamwork Trouble (I Can Read Level 2)
 
5.0
"This level two I Can Read book follows the exploits of Ryan, who loves all sports! He is on a..."