We left Stockholm at 5pm on Friday afternoon and the trip was due to take around 16 hours. I have done the odd occasional trip to France on the ferry but this was the first time I had been on a proper cruise liner. Although it probably wasn't up there with those luxury cruise liners you expect to see sailing around the Carribean or Mediterranean, it was certainly the best ship I've ever been on!! It was like a floating city! It had shops, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and a casino.
Once we found our cabin, we chucked the bags in and went to find somewhere to eat. Below the main deck there was a buffet restaurant and considering I had not yet eaten since breakfast this seemed like the best option. Unfortunately for us everyone else had the same idea and the restaurant was fully booked so we ended eating in one of the tapas restaurants. The food there was pretty good but there is nothing like an all you can eat buffet!!
After dinner we did some shopping in the duty free shop. Its Aicha's birthday this week and she is having a party on Saturday so we thought this would be a good opportunity to stock up on some booze.................and they certainly had plenty of it! As we were going round the shop it quickly became apparent that our order was going to be quite large so we decided to postpone buying the booze until the next day.................but to ensure our visit wasn't a wasted journey we stocked up on snacks and drinks for the room!! Our room was pretty basic but it did have a TV so we thought it best to get some supplies for when we were not out and about!!
After chilling in the room for a few hours we decided to check out the night life. There were 2 clubs on the ship, one called Atlantis and the other called the New York Club Lounge. Atlantis was biggest of the two and was the venue for the entertainment acts.................if you want to call it that!! They had a few bands playing but the song choices were shocking!! Some of the songs that were being played were enough to send you to sleep!! After a quick beer we then headed up to the New York bar and I knew instantly that I would enjoy this place a whole lot more.......................because they were playing karaoke!!........................and before you could say "Motown" I was on stage belting out 'Superstition' by Stevie Wonder!
I got a good round of applause when I finished. Not to blow my own trumpet but the singers prior to me were not all that!! There was one girl who was really good and I was glad I didn't have to go after her. Most of the people on the boat were Finish so there were alot of Finish songs being sung................but even in another language you can tell it was dire!! Aicha made the point that her Mum would have been embarrassed by some of the performances from her fellow countrymen! The Finns have a reputation as being heavy drinkers so maybe it was down to the booze!! We enjoyed a few cocktails of our own..................my weapon of choice was a long island ice tea!
We got back to the ship quite early so we could book a table in the buffet restaurant. This felt like a good move because by dinner time I was starving!! At the buffet they had everything from sushi to nachos..............plus beer was included!! I decided to go with the cold cuts of chicken and beef...................with lots of sushi!! By the time I was done I could barely move!! I was so full it took about 3 hours before I could look at a piece of food again! I even felt quite nauseous as I walked past the hot food when leaving the buffet! I don't know why I do it! I always look forward to having a buffet meal but I always eat way too much.....................to such an extent that I regret ever having it in the first place!
After some well deserved rest we headed back to the Atlantis bar. As with the previous evening the entertainment wasn't up to much so we decided to hit the casino, with Aicha hitting the slots and me hitting the roulette table. It has been a while since I played roulette but I stuck to my usual routine of playing the dozens on the outside. I changed up 20 euros and quite quickly I was up by 40. I then decided to play the singles and with my first bet I won 72 euros after backing number 8! Aicha then joined me and was impressed to see I was winning! I gave her some chips to play for me and with her first go she won me another 72 euros!! We had a few more spins then I decided to cash in....................150 euros in 10 minutes, not bad going!!
With my winnings I decided to splash out on a few cocktails. We had a really good evening together and we even managed to bust a few moves on the dance floor at the New York Lounge!
The next morning we arrived back in Stockholm where we were picked up by Aicha's mum Inga. The previous day we had bought the booze for Aicha's party so we needed to get it back to the house..................and there was no way we could carry all that on the subway!! By the time we got home I was shattered. The weekend had really caught up with me so I spent the rest of the day just chilling out. All in all it was a really great weekend and one I would like to do again someday. I think it could be something really good to do with my friends and family one day when they come to visit....................all aboard!!!