Friday, November 6, 2009

European Cruise Ship: Experiencing A Red Carpet Welcome!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Silja Serenade

I have never thought or imagined that I would ever be on a cruise or a cruise ship, knowing it would cost so much. But I have. Courtesy of my friend Beth Contratista and her kind-hearted Swedish husband Roland Ulander, I found myself aboard the MS Silja Serenade last August 1-3, 2007.

MS Silja Serenade is a cruiseferry operated on a route connecting Helsinki, Finland to Stockholm, Sweden via Mariehamn. The ship was launched on the same day today in November 1989. So as part of its birthday moment I thought I would write about it.

Boarding the ship gave me a feeling of walking down a red carpet, feeling of exclusivity pervades as I enter the lobby. The ship had a promenade-street running alongside the central axis of the ship for nearly her full length. It was like walking on a shopping street as there is a wide variety of shops, fascinating cafés and restaurants of a high standard.



The dining experience on board is a whole new story in itself. I indulged myself with an array of seafood (yummy shrimp!) eaten in a very formal way. Fine dining.

The ship with a capacity of 2,852 passengers gave me a feeling of being lost in a huge mall full of people of different nationalities mostly European. I was glad to spot at least two Filipino families on board and the endless chatter began. The pinoys ruled!

The night entertainment was superb.

Truly. This is one weekend getaway like no other. Literally, I sailed away and enjoyed the pleasure of sailing...on a red carpet!

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