When twenty-four-year-old Lana Kramer accepts a six-month crewmember contract to perform as a dancer on a cruise ship, the experience is far from anything she could have imagined. The surreal vibe of being trapped between two worlds—rigid Navy-type crewmember rules on the one hand, dancing in sparkling costumes beneath bright lights on the other—causes confusion for Lana. From below-decks affairs to treacherous shipboard politics and the occasional rough seas, Lana soon discovers cruise life is not for the faint of heart. Gradually it becomes clear that as one of the few female crewmembers, all that glitters aboard a cruise ship is within her grasp—but at what cost? In this unusual environment, far from familiar territory, she discovers a hidden resourcefulness and learns to navigate this city at sea without throwing her scruples overboard. As Lana develops her own unwritten crewmember survival guide, she chooses to redefine the crew-life rules, and in the process, redefine herself.
Lana finally entered the hallway where her room was located. The narrow passage had the same distorted feel as the corridors in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Ah! Here it is two thousand seven hundred forty-five. My floating abode for the next six months. She slipped her key card in the slot and opened the door. Her jaw dropped as she saw the tiniest room imaginable... and the position her roommate was in.
Lana’s roommate was bent over, holding onto the bunk bed railing while getting rammed by a massive muscled guy. Lana’s sudden arrival startled them so much they both bounced around the room like the balls in a pinball machine.
“Relax! It’s not like I haven’t seen any of this before—except I expected it to be much bigger,” Lana said laughingly, eyeing both the tiny room and her roommate’s gentleman’s southward attachment.
The two lovebirds didn’t seem as comfortable as Lana was with the hilarity of the situation. The guy jumped into the bathroom as her new roommate grabbed a sheet from the top bunk to cover herself.
“If I’d known you were busy, I would have called first, but I’m lucky I even found the room in this ship’s maze. I’m Lana, by the way,” Lana said in a joking way.
“Mind waiting outside for two minutes?”
Her roommate’s visitor soon exited, never looking Lana in the eye. Once he cleared out, she dragged both pieces of her luggage into the cabin. “For the future, we should make a system of some sort, because I know you don’t wanna see me in action either,” Lana joked.
“I’m Charlotte. I have the top bunk,” the girl blurted, not laughing along with her. “The other dancer before you was dating an officer and was never here, so I just expected the next dancer to already have a boyfriend onboard, too.”
“Oh. Well, I’m new here, so I don’t have a boyfriend yet. Come to think of it, maybe I don’t really want a boyfriend while I’m here. Maybe what I really need is to just let loose after my last disastrous relationship. But you never know—maybe I’ll meet my greatest love.”
Charlotte shook her head. “Good luck with that.”
“Anyway, I’d love to stay longer and unpack and girl-chat, but I gotta go to the Welcome Aboard training now. Before I run, though, I gotta ask you something.”
Charlotte’s brows rose as she waited.
“First, how do two people live in a room the size of a tuna can? And second, how do two people have sex... in a tuna can?”
Finally Lana observed Charlotte having an emotional reaction—she laughed right on cue at the question.
“Well, it’s a good thing you’re a dancer. You’ll figure out how it works soon enough.”
I guess my next skill will be mastering the cruise-ship Kama Sutra. How many ways can you have sex in the tiniest cabin on earth?