Sunday, December 7, 2014

Somewhere between Finland and Sweden... (Silja Serenade cruise)

What's up, bros? :)

On the 18th and 19th of November I was somewhere between Finland and Sweden - on board M/S Silja Serenade! I didn't dare hope I would go on a cruise so soon after DesuCruise but it seems that a miracle happened. <3 

My journey started with taking the train to Helsinki on Monday evening. It was a very stressful day because I had things to do on the same day and I had to run (or more like, bike really fast!) so that I would make it in time to the train with my company, Shiro Samurai and Jäätynyt Enkeli. Actually I hurried so much that I was toasting horribly when I biked back home and I was so breathless that it hurt. :C But then Shiro Samurai and I headed over to Jäätynyt Enkeli's, where a good friend of his drove us to the pain train station. It was very kind of her! <3 It was especially appreciated since we had a lot of luggage. 
We had quite the molding time in Kemi's spurguland train station, as per usual. We decided at one point that one of us would stay in the train station and keep all our luggage while the two others would follow the tradition of going to the nearby Lidl to buy provisions. Yeah, we hadn't had any proper food and it was around 5-6 in the evening, go figure. x) I was the one who stayed with the luggage.
I had an awkward moment alone in the train station because there was this woman sitting close by who was eating pop-corn noisily (and kinda throwing half of it on the floor too); at one point she talked to me and I had a very hard time understanding what she wanted because she had a strong foreign accent. I finally understood her request (she wanted to buy a drink) and I explained her how to get to the same nearby Lidl. Meanwhile, I kept watch on her luggage too, so I was alone in the middle of a mountain of stuff. x) 
Shiro Samurai and Jäätynyt Enkeli returned before long and we ate some fresh bread. Oh my, it felt so good. <3 Shiro Samurai brought me coffee as well, it was really appreciated! coffee addict.
The pop-corn woman from before returned too, it was a relief. You see, I'm not very good at giving directions (especially in a town I barely know) and neither her English nor mine was perfect so for quite a while I had been worried that she would have got lost because of me. OTL But she didn't, phew.
After this she talked on the phone a lot and was yelling at someone, alternately in English and in her mother tongue (whatever it now was...) and it was really awkward. She also had problems with her train ticket. She feared it would be invalid and then tried to buy another one from the ticket machine. She seemingly didn't have a (working?) bank card and asked every single person in the train station to borrow their bank card to buy her train ticket. Everyone came up with an excuse so that they wouldn't hand her their bank card. I did too. I felt bad for not being helpful but one does not simply let a stranger use their bank card, period.

Our train finally arrived around 7:45 (Finnish time, of course) and we boarded it. It was pretty relieving after all the ticket sh*t and yelling on the phone in the pain train station. :C As ever the train trip was long and brainkilling... What was strange though is that it was my most comfortable train night so far. I slept maybe three hours with only small interruptions (like waking up but not completely). Just before reaching Helsinki I was roughly woken up by a VR employee who wanted to see my train ticket (first time I had a control like this O_o). I wasn't very happy because first off, I don't even understand Finnish. I could guess what he wanted but still. Secondly, I didn't even have my train ticket; Shiro Samurai had everyone's tickets. So I was slightly grumpy at first but it was soon replaced by hype. We had arrived in Helsinki! <3

We first headed for the ship terminal. On our way, we checked a shopping center that had a Subway, a make-up store, a fudge shop and free bathroom. Basically it had everything we could wish for! And since it was early in the morning, everything was closed. Except maybe the bathrooms but we didn't check. 
We made it through town center and dropped our ridiculous amount of stuff in the terminal. It wasn't even open yet when we arrived so we waited outside for a while, it was a bit chilly. It felt good to put down my heavy bags!

Oh, yes... Shiro Samurai and I didn't have a suitcase this time. Instead we had one bag each and I tell you, they were heavy! Why is that, you ask? We didn't want to take the suitcase because we certainly didn't want to drag it around in snow. It's hard, painful and exhausting. 
And guess what?
There was no snow in Helsinki so we carried shit heavy bags for nothing! *tableflip*

Anyways. In the terminal we lagged a lot. The three of us were really tired after the straining night. Around 10 in the morning our eyes met this beauty through the window... <3 It was an uplifting and hype-bringing sight!

Silja Serenade arriving. <3
We also saw two Viking Line ships arrive in the harbor. One of them was named Gabriella but I couldn't read the other ship's name. I hate you eyes.

Viking Line ships in the background.
When we got hungry we did the same thing we had done in Kemi; one of us stayed and kept the luggage while the two others went to get some food. This time, it was Jäätynyt Enkeli who stayed in the terminal while Shiro Samurai and I hungrily headed to the Subway we had spotted on the morning.On our way back from le Subway we also checked the make-up store but I didn't find what I was looking for. :C We bought some fudge from the fudge shop and talked with the shop owner M. Braun for a moment. He was super chill. You could also taste some fudge bits for free, which brainwashed Shiro Samurai and I into buying some, hahahah.

Back into the terminal we lagged... a lot. At one point we tried to play Monster Hunter: Freedom Unite but my PSP ran out of battery... and I had to cross the whole building to charge it. I thought it would be fine because I once played this game with Shiro Samurai while being in two different train carts (I needed to charge my PSP this time too) and it went no problem despite the train moving and being pretty far away from each other. Well this time in the terminal, the LAN connection died in the middle of our quest so we had to finish it alone. Which led to Shiro Samurai killing off the monster 5mn later than me because he had a weaker weapon. And I had pure raw power.
Eventually the fourth sailor in our group arrived, namely SipsiNekku. I don't really know her so I was a bit shy, but we realized that we both had a fluffy hoodie with fluffy ears on the hood! :'D Destiny and fluffy ears have spoken.
Jäätynyt Enkeli went to check us in and get our boarding cards. He came back and asked me to come with because there were problems with me not being Finnish. As always, basically. So I went and handed out my passport to speed things up. When I got my boarding card, I realized that my name was spelled completely wrong! Both my first name and last name were misspelled! I wasn't really happy because it's not like I have a long and complicated name like my mum's... and because I had just shown my passport when I went to check in. I mean, there isn't only my birth date on the passport, there is also my name... spelled right. It was funny though (I had never got such a bad misspell, I swear) and I did a big facepalm. x)

We didn't have to wait much longer until we got to board the ship! Woooohooooo! The long-awaited boarding! :'D (The amount of hype was over the ceiling, really.)
I had been on board M/S Silja Symphony for DesuCruise and knowing that Symphony and Serenade are twin ships (ship twins?) I had a good idea about what was waiting for me. x) But Serenade has been renovated so there are notable differences with Symphony now!
Here are pics of the Promenade deck. ;)

We first went to our cabin, which was a Promenade cabin. There is a window through which you can see Promenade deck (7th deck and main deck). It gave a very comfy feeling! <3
We dropped our stuff and changed into prettier outfits. I put on white stockings with dots of different colors (appropriately dubbed color-puke stockings by Shiro Samurai, who never fails to give a romantic point of view), a red pleated skirt (made by my mum), a bottle green top and an orange and pink wig. Yeah, talk about color puke. XD I did some make-up and when everyone was ready I put on my pink shoes and took my white and fluffy panda hoodie in case I got cold.
We went to troll on the main deck. Being on the ship was really comfy! Ships give this PARTY HARD feeling, it's amazing. <3 It also feels kinda nostalgic, though not in a sad way.
On the main deck were several game machines; most were money games though. There was a corner with racing games as well but none of us felt like trying although it looked pretty cool. We spotted the UFO machines and went to check what they had. One of them had Angry Birds, Star Wars and Minions plushies. I wasn't especially interested but SipsiNekku wanted a Minion. x'3
The other machine had plushies of the four Pac-Man ghosts: Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde. Of course I wanted Pinky! And so I tried...

And tried...
And tried!
It fell!
Nuuuuuuuh. :'(
After several tries I finally accepted the harsh reality: I couldn't catch Pinky. There were few Pinkys to begin with and they were all in hard to reach places so I had no choice but to give up.
Instead I tried to get a Clyde that was in some easy spot and it took two tries.

Feat. Jäätynyt Enkeli photocrashing. x)
There was a Bluetooth ghost speaker inside the plushie. I took it out to see what it looked like. It could be stuck to some surfaces, like a glass panel for example...

But I still wasn't happy. I played some more and after some tries I had an Inky to keep my Clyde company! After this I stopped playing because the machine was driving me crazy and it showed.

Okay I'm really ashamed by how much cash I spent on this crap. :C

Soon enough we all got hungry. We went to check what the ship buffet had to offer. The ship buffet is very expensive but it has the best quality foods you can get! And also exclusive foods that never taste this good on land, hahahah. So we went to check if the dishes of our dreams were available...


The buffet only had Christmas food to offer. (Or almost only... there were sushi too.) We were all like... What the actual fuck? :C We agreed instantly on not eating there because Christmas food in November, no thank you. I like Christmas food but only on Christmas, please.
So we went back on the 7th deck (the buffet is on the 6th deck) and started scouting for food. I swear it wasn't even funny how much trouble we had finding a restaurant to eat in! You'd think there would be no problems... but most restaurants actually had so high-class food that none of us actually knew what the dishes were and what they could possibly taste like. Personally I'm not even interested in luxury food. I don't even know the first thing about it and I'm really not tempted by ordering some expensive dish without even knowing what I'll be eating. ._.
We were still scouting for food when a dance performance started. The artists were seemingly from South Africa. It was pretty cool but not really my style. The outfits were nice though... and I'm goddamn sure that the girls were wearing ponytail clips! like me Wig friends? :'D

Dance performance.
Shortly after the dance came a show performed by a duo of acrobats. It was really amazing! <3

After this piece of beauty continued the eternal hunt for the legendary elder dragon food.
There was actually one restaurant that had "normal" food: Mundo. So in the end we went to eat there and it took ages to decide on what dish to take. There wasn't much choice either. Shiro Samurai and I chose to share a meatballs and mashed potatoes dish (with lingonberry jam of course; a very Swedish dish). We tend to share foods because you usually get too much food in a restaurant and I'm a person with a small stomach so I can never eat everything on the plate. :C
We had already had the meatballs dish back in summer on Symphony but oh well it still tasted good. x) The amount of food was ridiculous though; even when we shared it, it was hard to finish. Jäätynyt Enkeli helped us.

I took milk too.
If you wonder about the blue bracelets I'm wearing, they're not decoration. They're supposed to prevent seasickness by putting pressure on a specific spot. Honestly, they don't really work. But they're obviously very tight and so they left marks on my wrists.

It hurt too.
After food we went to the Tax Free shop to buy candy. <3 We tried not to buy too much considering we still had one day to spend on the ship and so there was no hurry with buying candy. I bought some jelly beans because I really felt like them! I had them last time and they are delicious.

Inside Tax Free shop. <3
With candies in our hands, we returned to our cabin and... well... it was time for derps. <3

I started nom-nom-ing on my jelly beans and then Shiro Samurai challenged me to put two green ones in my nostrils.

Challenge accepted.
Jäätynyt Enkeli bought jelly beans too.

And it was time for the puke drink.
See, Jäätynyt Enkeli had bought some party drink for kids (none of us wanted alcohol) that had the Disney princesses on the bottle and was apple-flavored. The bottle was ridiculously hard to open too. x)

And sure it tasted apple... kind of... but had this undeniable aftertaste of puke. TT^TT It was then officially dubbed "puke drink".
We still wanted to play some Monster Hunter but by the time everyone had showered it had become pretty late and we went to sleep instead.


Like hell I wanted to stay in bed. The ship had already arrived in Stockholm but I was still lagging in bed. Those of you who have already been on a ship will understand; the beds on board are the most comfy things ever. <3 The mattress is really soft and I just wanted to lie there for one full week! 
But no, it was time to get up. Jäätynyt Enkeli and SipsiNekku headed for Stockholm since they wanted to check out something in town. I wasn't really interested in going to Stockholm because:
          1) The harbor area lies a bit outside of town so if you want to go somewhere you have to take the bus or be prepared to walk for a while. In Helsinki the harbor is right next to a very nice market area right next to town center. 
          2) I don't know, I'm just not that interested in Stockholm. I may be biased because...
          3) Shiro Samurai isn't interested either.
          4) Stockholm is known to be a dangerous city.
          5) Most important reason: Shiro Samurai and I had planned to stay on board to photoshoot! <3

So I dragged myself out of bed, combed my hair and realized that it looked fine except for one little detail.

Crazy hair. :C
We went to eat breakfast at Mundo first. The food we picked was way too sweet but hey, ship means party hard! And bad conscience afterward.

Nom. That's a cronut, by the way.
Already while I was eating breakfast I started feeling kinda weird. A bit later I realized that my body had decided to derp and it really made me angry because it had to happen when I'm actually having fun, of course. I was feeling tired and bad but being with Shiro Samurai and walking around cheered me up.
After breakfast we went to Silja Land. Yup, the kids corner. x) It had a TV and games corner, a pirate ship, ball pools, plushies, drawing corner... and a giant pink squid.

Ahoy, captain!
It's pink!
I decided to imitate the squid too.

No comment.
We then went to one of the bars. Everything is closed while the ship is in the harbor so there wasn't a soul in there. Perfect timing to go to a bar. We could enjoy the decoration in peace. One of the walls had a gorgeous ship painting!

We took the elevator to deck 12, aka Sun deck. The Sunflower Oasis (SPA area) looked completely different from the one on Symphony... it made me curious! It didn't have any plans to go there this time though.

SPA entrance.
You could play Guitar Hero just across the SPA, hahah.
And the clock is cool.

Next to the elevators on deck 12. You can see the Sun deck through the window.
I don't have any pics of the outdoors area on deck 12 but the weather was pretty blörgh so there is nothing to miss. It was pretty cold actually so we went back inside. We took the elevator back to our cabin and took the obligatory elevator selfie. ~
Yeah, I'm not mentioning it in the first day but all along the cruise we had this thing that every time we took the elevator we all did the derpiest possible faces and then took a mirror pic. It was a big part of the fun we had on board and it was very funny to find a new derp face to do every time. x)

Shiro Samurai changed to kimono and we went around the ship to take pics. He looked very good. <3 The ship provided amazing backgrounds so the photoshooting was very enjoyable. I want to shoot on a ship again! Pics can be seen here! <3
Oh and of course, we took the elevator. And of course...

Three elevator rides!
After photoshooting we went to Mundo for a snack. We had been curious ever since the previous day about the available macarons so we bought one of each color and shared them.

Hohohooooo ~
The pink one had raspberry jam in it and was by far the best! Second best was the yellow one, that was lemon flavor. Nom nom nom. :D
When we went back to our cabin we saw that Jäätynyt Enkeli and SipsiNekku were back in one piece. They had survived Stockholm! We all went on the 12th deck again and on the way we took the obligatory elevator selfie. :'3

Did I by the way mention that despite the cold I really enjoyed being on deck 12? Especially the Sun deck (outside area) is very nice. It's nearly the highest possible place on a ship and I really like being in high places and getting a good view of my surroundings. I have no problems looking down either; I find it more challenging than scary. Now I wish I wouldn't have frozen my ass off there. :C
By the time we were done with some more ship-sightseeing it was time to leave Stockholm and sail toward Finland again. Not that cruising ships actually have a sail but oh well. Serenade was now invaded by Swedes and I could hear a lot more Swedish around me. It definitely feels more familiar than Finnish although I'm also used to hearing Finnish and I like the language very much. But when people talk Swedish, I understand at least something.
Anyways, before the shops opened we lagged around and went to the UFO machines again. I saw that Pinky was looking at me and giggling but I refused to spend more cash on this shit. :C SipsiNekku got a Minion though, yay! ~

Shops were closed and vikings were sleeping.
We lagged for a while and I just sat somewhere not being fully conscious. Ever since the end of the photoshoot I had had pretty bad pains and all the time when we walked around I would wince or have tears coming to my eyes. I really hated my body for giving me chronic pains now of all times. It made me feel especially tired and sick. I checked if I could buy pain medicine but I seemingly couldn't so I went to the info desk and asked if there was something I could do. It turned out that the only thing I could have was a pill of some standard pain medicine but I refused it because I'm unable to swallow pills this big. So for several hours I was in a haze of pain and felt disconnected.

Eventually pain receded a bit and it felt like waking up. I could walk again without wincing every third step. By this time shops had opened and I went to buy some stuff, namely fluffy socks and a Donald Duck comics book in Swedish. I just couldn't resist the socks! 

So fluffy. ~
Oh and by the way, the sea was much livelier this evening than the night before. Being on Promenade deck was very funny because the ship was moving a lot so walking felt completely drunk. XD  I had been careful to take medicine for seasickness so I could enjoy the waves as much as the others, wooohooo! Instead of puking all over the place.
We went to our cabin to leave some stuff and took a selfie on the way. :'D

In the cabin I tried using the Bluetooth speaker thingy that was in my ghost plushie but my computer didn't cooperate. I guess there's some specific setting to do and I couldn't really be bothered to struggle with my lagtop at the moment. So I plugged the USB thing somewhere else.

Inky censor.
Jäätynyt Enkeli also discovered the joys of Pullava. Finnish fans of Attack on Titan will understand why I have a Pullava trauma...

Yeah. x)
After this we went to eat. We had the eternal food problem again and in the end we decided to go to a restaurant named El Capitan. I was feeling kinda sick and I definitely wouldn't be able to eat a whole dish so I asked to share my food with Shiro Samurai. Half the food was just the right amount for me. We had some pasta with eggplant, it was good! The sauce had some alcohol-ish taste though, I could have done without.

Food. ~
Just when we had finished eating it was time for the acrobats' performance again. We went to watch it a second time and it was just as amazing. <3 This duo moves in the air with equal ease and grace as they would move on solid ground.

Different outfits too!
After the performance we went to Tax Free again to buy - surprise, surprise - more candy! Jäätynyt Enkeli bought another kiddy party drink (this time strawberry flavor with Disney's Cars on it). We shared it once back in the cabin.

Ah, the act of giving... is filled with beauty... XD
We went out of the cabin one last time for the sake of trolling...

They see us comin', they hatin'!
And then we went to bed too late again. </3
I had problems sleeping on this night because I was feeling sick. I stayed up much longer than everyone else reading Donald Duck and I went to bed when I felt okay enough.

Morning was tough. We had to leave the ship beds knowing that we wouldn't sleep in them again in a long time... and knowing that the coming night in the train would be sleepless and uncomfortable. It was really hard to get out of bed knowing this. :'( I envied SipsiNekku, who wouldn't cross Finland in train to go home.
Eventually we got up and went to eat breakfast. We were highly brainfried.

Breakfast mean Mundo again. I had some fruit salad and a cookie. While I was eating my cookie, Shiro Samurai asked if he could have a bit of it to taste it. I handed him a bit of my cookie and he said it tasted the same as some very Swedish chocolate cookies. I couldn't look at my cookie the same way anymore.

My cookie, you say?
My life cookie is a lie. :C
When we left Mundo we went to put away our trays. Someone was definitely doing it wrong.

Lower one: right. Upper one: wrong.
We were all sad because now that we had eaten it was time to go back to our cabin, pack our stuff and leave the ship. :'(
But first... one last elevator selfie!

But our time on the ship was out, sadly. Even though I'm very sad it's over, it was a lot of fun! Cruising with friends is definitely one of the best things. <3 I'd definitely do it again! :'D
By the way, my friends Jäätynyt Enkeli and SipsiNekku, as well as my dear Shiro Samurai also wrote about the cruise, make sure to check out their posts for more derpy pics! Links are here, here and here. ~

With the cruise behind us we said bye-bye to SipsiNekku and then trolled around in Helsinki until our evening train came. We went to the fudge shop again but didn't buy any more goodness. M. Braun wasn't here. :(

When we went to mold in the train station pain station we still had quite long to wait for our train. I went to Cyber shop and bought a pair of knee-length pink socks! <3 And then all three of us headed to this small place...

Bubble tea shop!

I had heard of Bubble Tea before and I really wanted to try it so I pretty much dragged the MarioKart bros in there. :'D I took some pomegranate tea with yoghurt and mango bubbles. It was even better than I expected! :'D

So hard to choose. <3
Mine is the red one! :')
I'll definitely go there again! Man, I'd cross Finland for the Bubble Tea. :C I wanted to brainwash the Bubble Tea guy into moving to the North so that we'd have it in our town. It was so good that Shiro Samurai and I went to buy another tea to share and drink in the train. <3 We picked a milky tea with red bean flavor and lychee and strawberry bubbles. The lychee bubbles were by far the best!
Oh and if anyone wonders, yes you use this big straw to suck in the bubbles. It's a very entertaining drink.
In the train we didn't drink our bubble tea right away and discovered that when you let it sit for a while it does some very interesting thing.

Looks like some wyvern's scales to me... x)
It was very tasty too, heheh.

This concludes my ship adventure for this time! I hope you had fun reading, and I want to thank everyone for the time spent, the derps and the fun! Thank you so much! <3
See you next time! ~


  1. I am happy to read that you enjoyed the trip despite having the pains you did. Also, that "the act of giving" picture had me cracking xD

    Hopefully we can have another cruise in the near future.

  2. SHIP!! *noodle arms*
    Thanks for a fun read. :-DD Oh god the amount of derps we had. xD Some of the pics are just priceless oh gawd. Especially the squid imitation killed me a little. x)
    HNNG I don't know what to say, it was so fun to be on the ship again! I want another cruise SOOOOOOOOOOON. (and more bubble teas)

    Oh and fuck that "weaker weapon" thing, I was playing Gunner while you were Blademaster dangnabbit! Of course it will take longer. 8C xD

    1. SHIP! <3
      Heheh I'm happy you had fun. ~ I also want to go on a cruise again! :'D

      Well Gunner weapons are weaker, it's a fact. Also excuse me prince, but I was playing Great Sword, few weapons beat it in terms of power. ~