I have been a cruise before and it was a lot of fun. It was about 15 years ago. Today I am not so sure I would go on a cruise again. You read horror stories lately about things happening on them all the time. And after reading The Last Cruise, you may thing really hard about not going on one. That’s not to say all cruise ships/lines are bad. Things happen all the time. This story is when things bad happen.
The Queen Isabella is making it’s final voyage before retirement. The story follows a number of characters including Christine who is married to Ed and now lives and works on their farm in Maine and is a former journalist. Her friend Valerie, who is a journalist and invited her along. She is writing a book involving cruise ships. Mick one of the chef’s whose personal life is not all that good. He was suppose to be off but the company called and asked him to work because of an illness. And a quartet of musicians who have been playing the ship for many years.
Things are find at first. Each of the characters have their own issues. Mick is hoping to get laid and to work for the legendary Chef that is in charge of the kitchen. Christine is unhappy in her marriage, Valerie is all work and the band has personal and professional issues among itself. But what happens next makes all this seem irrelevant.
There is a fire and the ships engines breakdown, most of the crew walks off the job (they are all being fired after this cruise since the company is scaling back), people are getting sick with norovirus and a storm is approaching. Everyone now has to find a way to work together to survive or else die at sea on this boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean between Los Angeles and Hawaii as help is days away from arriving.
The story isn’t so much about the cruise (it does play a big part) but more of human emotions. It makes people take stock in their lives and what they want going forward. When tragedy strikes people can band together and try and help each other or take a me, me, me attitude. It’s a great look at the human spirit and what you would do in a crisis situation and there may be a love story or two along the way as well.
You can pick up The Last Cruise in stores on Tuesday, July 10th Doubleday.