If you haven’t read January 26 yet, you can do so here.

If you stumbled onto this post by accident and haven’t read any of the other stories, head over to this post to find out more about this project.

Adrienne had barely slept in two days. She hadn’t dared venture out of her suite, all her meals were being brought in by the steward. Poppy. Her regular steward was still sick. There was no way it could be coronavirus, but she still didn’t want word spreading that one of her crew had been sick for two weeks. 

“This is a total shitshow Adrienne. I have major press corporations everywhere wanting interviews with you. You never should have gotten on the boat. We need you here.” Adrienne’s marketing director had been putting in daily calls since news that a cruise ship hadn’t been able to dock in Hong Kong because of coronavirus fears. Adrienne was more concerned about what was happening on the ship than off the ship. 

“I’ll record something and send it to you.”

“Great. Perfect. That should calm things a bit. And it leaves no room for questions,” Rachel calmed visibly.

“Good. I really need to get going. I’m supposed to be on deck to give a speech at the Lunar New Year party.” Adrienne received a curt nod from Rachel that she took as sufficient farewell and closed the top of her laptop. 

She had been avoiding the passengers. After three days trapped on the ship there was a good chance some of them were getting a bit antsy.

Adrienne hoped the huge party and free flowing alcohol would calm their spirits. 

“I brought the package you asked for,” Poppy called from the entrance. 

“Perfect. Thanks, I’ve left you a tip on the table there. You’ve been amazing.”

Poppy nodded and turned to go. Adrienne called her back at the last second. 

“Can I ask, what’s it like out there? We’ve been stuck at sea for three days now. How are the passengers taking it?” Adrienne wrung her hands together waiting for Poppy’s answer. 

“It’s… as good as you could expect really. There have been heaps of extra activities added and I think people are having a good time, I haven’t seen anyone getting annoyed. Maybe a bit more public indecency.” Poppy shrugged. 

Adrienne nodded. “Thanks. That’s good to hear.”

“You’re off to the party tonight?” Poppy asked. 

“Yes. It’s time I made an appearance.”

“Well, the crew has done a fantastic job. I popped in there earlier and the decorations are amazing.”

Adrienne smiled. “Not too many rats? I heard it was the year of the rat.”

“It’s all very tasteful,” Poppy assured.


Paper lanterns hung from the ceiling in Ellen and lined the surrounding deck. Everything was decked out with red and gold. Every guest who attended the party would receive a little money envelope with some kind of voucher. Some were for spa treatments, others for shore tours, some even included store credit. A small price to pay to keep the passengers happy. 

Adrienne passed many women enjoying the evening, none looked at all upset by the unexpected turn of events. 

Seven. She had to make a speech at seven. Just enough time to grab a drink and make sure everything was set up. Across the room, she caught sight of Cleo. In a deep red dress, she made Adrienne’s heart pound in her chest. 

It took every ounce of willpower to cross to the stage and not to dart across the room to Cleo. They still hadn’t even had sex. That alone scared her a little. Cleo was like her kryptonite, except she couldn’t get enough of her. Maybe she was more like heroin. Dangerous.

Adrienne downed one drink then grabbed another for the toast. SHe forced Cleo out of her mind. 

“Welcome, everyone. As many of you know, I’m Adrienne McCoy, I’m the director of Cruiseify and the genius behind this lady loving cruise we’re all enjoying. When I set out to organize this cruise, I couldn’t guarantee everything would run smoothly. Nor could I have predicted something like the coronavirus. I take safety very seriously and sometimes that means making difficult decisions like not anchoring in Hong Kong. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone here for being so supportive of our decision to remain at sea. Unfortunately we do have two more days at sea before we dock in Ho Chi Minh City but I know our cruise director Sammy has been working tirelessly to get some great things added to your schedule for the next couple of days. I have a little surprise for everyone as well.” Adrienne paused and gestured for Sammy to come forward with the box. 

“You may be aware that there is a tradition in China to gift a money envelope to loved ones at the new year. As a huge thank you to everyone, I have here an envelope for every guest with a fantastic surprise. There are spa vouchers, free shore tours, gift cards for the Cruiseify store, and even a couple of exclusive dinner invites to spend the evening with me.”

A murmur of appreciation spread through the crowd. Adrienne fought the urge to search for Cleo. 

“Now, drink. Enjoy the celebrations. May this year be all that you have hoped and more. This cruise is just getting started and we have so much more in store for you.”

You can read January 28 here.

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