The kids and I got to the Tallink cruise port early, and as we sat watching the disembarking passengers it became quite apparent that many people use the ferry as an opportunity to buy their legal import limit of booze. People were carrying cases and cases of the stuff stacked high in wheeled carts. The few novices carrying their clanking bottles in bags kept having to stop and shake their poor squished fingers. It was an intergenerational and happy crowd; lots of young adults and old folks and a few families sprinkled about. There was excitement when a drunk old man was being carried out by police (his luggage following in a shopping cart). There was another guy who literally fell out of the exit, and then there was the spilling of a case of beer that brought together crowd camaraderie as stranger helped drunk stranger retrieve their precious duty free.
I made the kids do homework until it was time to board. The boat is huge! We found our cabin quickly, but it was so loud – just under the performance space – so our first task was to find the info booth and ask for a change. Always worth asking, especially for a good night sleep. We luckily were able to move – this room with a bit of smoke smell, but quiet (you choose) – and changed for the sauna!
The kids wore themselves out swimming in the pool. Avi showed off his new swimming skills and Zoe perfected her dives. I got cold, so we moved into the female sauna, stripped and got warm. Aaaahhhh! Dry heat. Another mom and her two kids were doing the same, and we saw them around the boat from then on….always feels a little like a fraternity when you’ve been naked with others. They showed us the proper way to Finnish sauna with the tiny butt towels and branch for back scrubbing.
After that, we explored the ship as the seas got rougher. All that wind we felt in Helsinki was blowing our boat across the Baltic. We happened upon a kid event to visit a character called Moomin. Later, Zoe led a dance show with Avi and entertained a crowd in the starlight lounge while I had a drink.
By our assigned dinnertime at 830 they were tired and the boat was really rocking! It made Avi sick enough I gave them both a Dramamine. He slept through dinner on the chairs, so Zoe and I had a pleasant time hanging out. It was nice to be just the girls.
We popped back to the Starlight afterward to see “Sami” (I think). The locals seemed the think she was a star. It was packed – Zoe and I (and a sleeping Avi) listened for one song and went to bed. Slept like a log now that we were close to Estonia and the water was calmer.