The Last Cruise

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 24 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

Going on a vacation cruise? Be sure to attend the lifeboat drill, because you never know. And wait until you return home to read Kate Christensen’s new novel “The Last Cruise,’’ because you don’t want to know.
Certainly, the 400-plus passengers and crew aboard the luxury liner Queen Isabella for her final voyage before the salvage yard are looking forward to their retro Fifties cruise to Hawaii. Fine dining, classic cocktails, sophisticated entertainment. Yes to smoking and dancing, no to kids and cell phones.
Christine Thorne, a former journalist, is enjoying a getaway from her Maine farm and husband, some time spent with her reporter friend Valerie. Down in the galley, Mick Szabo, a...

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I loved this book. There is great character development, and once the crisis begins, there is no longer a barrier between guests and crew.  An examination of what life was in mid 2oth century and what life is now. There is lots of intrigue, mystery and a shocking ending.
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Traveling is a strange experience. Travelers are between places. They’re in a pause. Their lives will begin again when they get to where they’re going. At least, it feels that way when you’re a traveler. For the people who work in airports, hotels, and on cruise ships, however, this is their day job. Nothing has paused for them. In The Last Cruise, by Kate Christensen, we get to see people who’ve put their lives on pause for a little while and people who are working as hard as they can. And then we get to see what happens when they’re thrown together when everything goes wrong and all the boundaries between passenger and employee break down.

Christine arrives at the Queen Isabella at the...

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This one comes out in July so add it to your TO READ list! The Last Cruise by Kate Christensen caught my attention right away. It’s about a cruise so as someone who loves to cruise and travel, I knew I’d have to read it.

While not a historical novel, the story does revolve around a 1950’s ocean liner and includes classic food from the 50s plus no wifi, tv, you know, like it was in the olden days.

Here’s the plot:

The 1950s vintage ocean liner Queen Isabella is making her final voyage before heading to the scrapyard. For the guests on board, among them Christine Thorne, a former journalist turned Maine farmer, it’s a chance to experience the bygone mid-20th century era of decadent luxury...

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This is the first book I've read by Kate Christensen. The Queen Isabella is a vintage ocean liner that is about to be retired after one last cruise. The book focuses on three of the characters on the cruise. Christine a former journalist turned Maine farmer who is accompanying one of her friends on the cruise, Mick a Hungarian sous-chef, and Miriam an Israeli violinist. The start of the book was a little slow, and I didn't really like the characters at first (particularly Mick). However, as the book went on and the characters developed I really liked them and was rooting for them. All along I was expecting one outcome, until close to the end when it was plain to see that...

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This was a surprisingly good novel. I felt very engaged with the characters, and while I kept waiting for some crazy twist to happen, it never really did. There are many characters in this adventurous novel, and not one felt more or less important or necessary than another.
It's the last cruise for the elegant Queen Isabella and the crew and guests assembled are a fascinating and diverse group, from a quartet of elderly Israeli string players, to a Hungarian chef desperate to feel some success and control in his life. All sorts of people that would normally never encounter one another in "real life" are hurled together by the events of the ship's last trip from...

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Some people love cruises with absolute passion. They can think of no greater vacation than sailing the seas, enjoying all of the creature comforts of the ship (including endless parades of food), and exploring the different ports of call. I have many friends and family members who would take a cruise as often as possible if cost and time were not an issue.

I've never been on a cruise, and to be honest, I've stayed away because of all of the horror stories I've seen in the media—the loss of power and water, the fires, the tipping over, the massively contagious viruses that spread among passengers and crew, and pirates. I know these things don't happen often (although...

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The Last Cruise is okay. The plot is a little show, characters were interesting and it was an enjoyable read. I would recommend to others to read
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I LOVED this book! It is quite a page-turner, even with extensive descriptions of place and setting. We follow various people through a final cruise of the classic ship the ISABELLA, as it cruises from LA to Hawaii. A chef who aspires to have his own restaurant, one member of a classic string quartet, and two friends, a farmer's wife and a journalist hoping to reconnect, all come together on an unforgettable voyage. All seems well, until part of the crew decides to strike, a mysterious fire cripples the ship, and the ever-present norovirus makes an appearance. Then the plot becomes a blend of THE PERFECT STORM and LORD OF THE FLIES. Quite a read, with an unexpected shocker of an...

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An old cruise ship on it’s last voyage, with the theme of recalling the 1950s, is at the base of this story. There are a couple of second chance romances and a romance that really doesn’t have a chance at all.
I enjoyed seeing all of the detail of running a kitchen on a cruise ship. As with all kitchens there is a chain of command with the executive chef at the top, and as in many large kitchens the executive chef is a demanding person who surrounds himself with drama.
A string quartet is on board to serenade the patrons with beautiful music, including one piece written by the wife of the ship’s owner. It is a deeply personal piece about the Israeli Six Days War, which two of the...

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A chance for a Maine farmer's wife to enjoy a luxury cruise with a travel writer friend turns into the worst vacation possible or does it?
Christine really needs to get away for a bit and what better way than the final voyage of a luxury cruise ship going from L.A. to Hawaii. Name all of your vacation fears and they happen on this trip - disgruntled employees about to be fired, bad weather, disease, fire. The mainstay of this story is the difference between the haves (wealthy patrons of the arts and other travelers) and the have-nots (the crew and those who have been hired to perform or write about the trip). The other backstory is about finding a second chance for love and...

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I did not enjoy this book. I loved the concept but the writing style was clunky and amateurish. Way too many descriptors and it enough content.
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I really liked this book a lot, but the end made me super mad. Which is a good thing! Feeling things about books is kind of the point, right? The Last Cruise chronicles the experiences of three different groups aboard a vintage ship taking - you guessed it - its last cruise. This would be a good poolside book if you're into suspense and drama, but I might not suggest taking it on a boat.
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Loved this book. Didn’t want it to end.  Highly recommend.  

Love love love.  Incredible book.  Fabulous book club pick too
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The novel relates the stories of various people divided between the culinary staff and other crew and the paying passengers of the cruise ship Queen Isabella on a 14 day cruise sailing from Long Beach, California to Hawaii and return. The ship was built in the 1950s, is considered outdated, and is scheduled to be scraped upon it's return to California. On board for the final voyage are the owner of the line to which the ship belongs, his wife, an elderly Israeli string quartet, several key members of the culinary staff and certain members of the ship's crew as well as key passenger characters.
The boarding, departure from port and the first several meals prepared for the...

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This was not quite what I expected at all. It tells the story of the last cruise of the old ocean liner the Queen Isabella on her way to Hawaii and the scrapyard. The book explores the lives and desires of characters both tourist and staff - Christine Thorne, taking a break from her husband and Maine farming with her best friend on this "retro-cruise," Mick Szabo, an overworked Hungarian sous-chef, and Miriam Koslow, an elderly Israeli violinist with a quartet performing at the owner's request. Their experiences and backstories are absorbing and moving, and evolve and adapt effortlessly with the new people and situations they meet. The interaction of those who begin as...

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When a cruise goes very, very wrong...Christensen does an excellent job telling this tale from different characters' perspectives, as they face disaster after disaster.  There are the Israeli musicians, a Hungarian chef, and an American woman who comes to accompany a journalist friend, but she learns a lot about herself in the process.  I was rapt with hope that all of them would come through this together.  The subtle ending was a bit confusing, but that may be by design.  Some of the dialogue is a bit awkward, and I've never seen a woman wear yoga pants with wedge sandals, but, all in all, this book has potential.
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The last cruise of the S.S. Isabella, a luxury trans=Pacific passenger vessel, sets sail for Hawaii. Aboard are the wealthy owners as well as the members of an accomplished and well known Israeli string quartet who've enjoyed their patronage and friendship for nearly two decades. This may be their last performance as well, - meanwhile, they're still rehearsing the difficult symphony composed by the owners for the occasion. Among the passengers, two stand out - a journalist looking for a story and the college roommate she's invited to accompany, a Maine farmer's wife enjoying the unaccustomed luxury and reconsidering her life choices..There's plenty of time for...

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I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Never having read anything by this author before, I had no idea what to expect. The story slowly drew me in and, before I knew it, I was totally invested in these people and the cruise.

The idea of a final, retro-style cruise was very intriguing and was presented in a way that made me not only feel like I was there but made me want to be there. The characters felt like complete people to me and were quite a varied cast. I especially liked that the older characters were very vibrant with fully rounded lives.

Another thing that was very well done in this book was the pacing. It started leisurely and as things began to go awry...

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I finished this book last night and am having a hard time reviewing. When I was about halfway through the book- maybe even a quarter actually - I looked up the author to see what else she had. I love when that happens, when I already know I want to read more of someone's books. This feeling drastically changed as I continued... the second half of the book FELT like it was just as good, but it was no longer grabbing me. The wordy descriptions that seemed to such me in for the first half, started to feel like too much and unnecessary. I hate when I am thinking "JUST GET ON WITH IT!!!" Some positive things: I loved the characters. They were very different people but all very...

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