Saturday, November 22, 2008

That's a Cruise

As thrilled as I was at the sight of the first real snow we had earlier this week, I simply couldn't write about that, considering the amazing time I had on the cruise these last two days. So, here I go, talking about spending time on a boat. Be warned, this is an image-heavy post.

We were looking forward to this trip. After all, it was our first pre-Christmas cruise ever. Hell, it was our first cruise ever. We were really excited. We took the buses from the university, and they took us to Turku, where we were supposed to board one of Silja Lines's cruiseferries, on route Turku-Mariehamn-Stockholm.

There were sooooooo many people there! It was very crowded, and we had to wait quite a while till they let us aboard. Once they did, the fun started. I actually expected the ship to be different. I expected it to be longer, and have less decks, when it turned out to be the opposite of just that. You could traverse the length of the ship in a short stroll, but it had 13 decks! THIRTEEN FUCKING DECKS!!! Turns out, it is one of the largest cruiseferries in the world. I present you, the MS Silja Europa.

It even has its own Wikipedia entry. How cool is that?! I looked it up after I got home. Turns out, this ship had some troubles along the way, since it's maiden voyage on 14 March 1993. However, that doesn't change the fact that it's cool. Check out the ship map:

THIRTEEN FUCKING DECKS!!! Decks 3 and 4 are for cars. Deck 5 is for passengers's cabins. Deck 6 is the theatre and conference deck. Deck 7 is the tax free market and other shops. Deck 8 is full of restaurants, cafés and clubs. Decks 9, 10, and 11 are for passengers's cabins (again, since it can hold over 3000 passengers). Deck 12 is the sundeck, complete with swimming pool and sauna. Deck 13 is for VIPs only. I believe decks 1 and 2 are engineering and stuff. It's really really cool! It has everything, for everyone. From geeks to playboys, from kids to the elderly:

But up till now, I have only told you impersonal things. It's time to give you my personal experiences. Here is the three of us, waiting for the ship to depart; behind us, Turku harbour:

The first night was wild. Party, party, party! There was a setback, though. You weren't allowed to drink the beverages you bought in the tax free shop on board. Everyone was doing it, though. Everyone except us. And when I say us, I mean students. You see, there is this stupid thing, that if you bought a student ticket, you weren't allowed to buy alcohol until the second day of the trip. This was a precaution, to ensure that students buy the more expensive alcoholic drinks from the bar. It was so annoying. At 21 years of age, I was not allowed to buy alcohol, and was forced to resort to cheap tricks, such as asking the adults to buy it for us. Which didn't work, cause we only found assholes, who wouldn't buy us any alcohol. Fuck them! So, we ended up doing some karaoke instead. All those hours playing Rock Band really paid off!

After the party, we went to sleep, awaiting the wonders the following day would bring...

The next day, we woke up, and went to the café, enjoying a light breakfast, the ocean moving behind us.

After the breakfast, we went up to the sundeck, to take some photos, knowing that this time, we would actually be able to see something, thanks to it being midday. We got there, took some shots, fooled around, took some more shots...

I even managed to get a cool shot of the bridge (from the exterior, that's true, but it's still the bridge!)

And now, I'll leave you with some of the wondrous sights that can be seen from the MS Silja Europa's sundeck, on it's voyage from Stockholm to Turku. Next time, Snowfall. Enjoy!

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