It's the last summer before college and Alice is determined to have one last adventure with her friends before everyone goes their separate ways. When they see that a Chesapeake Bay cruise ship is hiring maids and servers, they see the perfect opportunity to party and make money before heading out into the world. Alice, Pam, Elizabeth, Gwen, and Yolanda all sign up. But it turns out that the perfect summer job isn't so perfect. Angry customers, crazy weather, and seasickness are nothing, though, compared to the anxiety Alice feels over being separated from Patrick all summer, as he's got an internship in Europe. As Alice looks out into her wide-open future, she realizes that everything is about to change.
I just keep reading the Alice books, but I think they are getting worse. I adored the early titles in the series, and I've reread some of them recently and still loved them. This leads me to conclude that PRN is just better at writing for younger girls than teenagers. I think she's had some trouble keeping up with the times--all the texts are written like emails, for example--and the characters' vocabulary seems more fitting of tweens than seniors in high school. The plot of this one is fairly uneventful and predictable. Still, I'm going to finish the series simply for loyalty. Alice felt like a dear friend when I was in middle school, so I've got to find out how her life turns out. Word on the street is that the next Alice book will be the last and will cover Alice's life from age 18 to....60. That's right, 60. We'll see how that works out. I hope PRN rebounds and finishes strong for the series conclusion.