Once Upon a Cruise

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
1079 0
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

the book you'll enjoy on a cruise this summer
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
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.)
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

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

A Girl in Three Parts
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
I can split myself in two . . . something...
Honor Lost (The Honors, #3)
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Quick-thinking Leviathan pilot Zara Cole must stop a planet-eating monster...
If...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Take a fantastical journey through an inspiring world where anything...
Baby Up, Baby Down: A First Book of Opposites
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Handpicked by Amazon kids’ books editor, Seira Wilson, for Prime...
Be Our Guest!
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Join Gray Malin’s menagerie of wild animals for a stay...
Hat Tricks
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meet Hattie the magician―she’s a natural performer, and you’re invited...
Stanley's Toolbox
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
It’s another busy day with Stanley and friends! ...
Spring Is Here!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When spring arrives, baby animals come out to play with...
10 Things I Hate About Pinky
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The delightful follow-up to When Dimple Met Rishi and There’s...
The Child of Chaos
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
This is what fantasy fiction should be." --Piers Anthony, New...
Want to Read Rate this book 1 of 5 stars2 of 5 stars3 of 5 stars4 of 5 stars5 of 5 stars Preview Star-Spangled: The Story of a Flag, a Battle, and the American Anthem
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
“O say can you see” begins one of the most...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
July 20, 1969. It’s a day that has earned a...
Thurgood Marshall
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Thurgood Marshall—the great grandson of a slave—was born, African...
Down Under the Pier
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
There’s lots of fun to be had up on the...
Lali's Feather
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This endearing story of identification and values shows the rewards...

Latest Member Reviews

A Girl in Three Parts
 
4.0
"A GIRL IN THREE PARTS by Suzanne Daniel is a novel set in Sydney, Australia during the 1970’s. It follows..."
Goddess in the Machine (Goddess in the Machine, #1)
 
5.0
"Andra went into cryonic sleep for a hundred years for a trip across the universe to wake up as a..."
Honor Lost (The Honors, #3)
 
3.3
"HONORS LOST continues the Honors series as Zara, crew, and friends head out on a mission to stop the horrors..."
10 Things I Hate About Pinky
 
4.3
"10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT PINKY is a cute YA romance that features a fake-turned-real relationship and opposites-attract couple. Pinky..."
Not Another Love Song
 
5.0
"Different than I was expecting - and that’s a good thing! The story: All..."
Jo & Laurie
 
3.3
"Jo March is surprised at how well her novel LITTLE WOMEN has done. Now her publisher and readers want a..."
An Enchantment of Ravens
 
2.3
"I'm not very into reading fantasy (so I might not be the best person to review this). But I was..."
Cracked Up To Be
 
3.7
"Cracked up to be is an unsettling tale of a girl on the cusp of a mental breakdown for over..."
The Morning Flower (The Omte Origins, #2)
 
4.0
"THE MORNING FLOWER continues the OMTE ORIGINS story as Ulla continues to search for her heritage and for the missing..."
None of the Above
 
4.3
"This is one of those books that a reader can learn from. This is the first YA book that I..."
The Lost City (The Omte Origins, #1)
 
4.3
"THE LOST CITY is a highly engaging YA fantasy read about Ulla, a troll. Trolls are secretive creatures who live..."
Layoverland
 
5.0
"'Layoverland' by Gabby Noone, despite being about a teenager who has died, ironically creates a very inviting atmosphere for readers..."