If the crack is not to wide, just some latex/silicon paintable white caulk. This will allow the crack to move in and out and eliminate allot of the work you are describing. This will work on those hairline cracks. I would even consider it if the crack is one sixteenth of an inch.
Now, if the crack is wider, you might need to go the route your talking about. fiber mesh tape is more forgiving than paper tape. Paper will NOT give a bit and mesh will. This process is what I would consider the last resort. Remember, your crack might come back each year, if this is a crack that your home has used as an expansion joint, she will.
If you do this, I would cram as much joint compound in the crack, then tape over this with the mesh tape. Then float over this with your 6 inch floater. Wait 24 hours, then sand and re apply due to shrinkage. Stay in the same path as before.
Wait another 24 hours and sand again. See if the crack is not visible. If not, then feather out your sanding to make the area nice and smooth with the good ceiling. Then prime it and then paint it, the crack or patch area will not show through if you use quality paint, I do NOT mean paint from a home center.
Now, if the crack is at or along a straight line and is located at the apex of the angles of the ceiling, consider covering the crack with a nice choice of molding. This would look nice and eliminate the two above actions.
Remember cracks come during dry times and close up during wet times. They follow a seasonal flow.