Sunday, 5 January 2014

Experience: Cinderella

Yesterday I had yet another one of those usual Viking Line day cruises to Helsinki. I've done a lot of them, but this one was very different. We returned on the former flagship of Viking Line, Cinderella.

The journey to Helsinki was nothing special. I've been on Viking XPRS 14 times now. As it often is with ships built for daytime crossings, there is not much to do on her, she was quite full and we spent most of the time either just sitting or taking photos of the sun deck.

I should probably mention that Viking XPRS will be docked for 10 days starting on the 13th of January. During that time she will be reflagged to Estonia.
Here again. There was no similar sign on Cinderella.
Some of the deck plan
Mandatory funnel picture - Viking XPRS
Another mandatory funnel picture - Viking XPRS
More equipment
The large window, characteristic to Viking XPRS
Usually I've arrived to Helsinki when Mariella and Silja Symphony were there, but yesterday I saw Gabriella and Silja Serenade instead. Finlandia was in Helsinki too, as always.
Silja Serenade
Gabriella.. um.. letting out cars.
Viking XPRS and Silja Symphony
The three together
Mandatory funnel picture II - Gabriella
The 6469876549th reason why I love Helsinki showing again - there is always some spot to take awesome pictures of standing ships
Finlandia in Helsinki
... as always :)
Since we only had one day, there was not much we could do that we haven't already - so we did some shopping and walking around. 
Finnish National Theatre
I don't remember what building this is, but looks nice, doesn't it?
Christmas cheer on a crane
View to Esplanade streets.
Me and Helsinki Cathedral
The most exciting part of the day was boarding Cinderella. The crossing on her was something I'll probably remember for a while, for various reasons. She is by far the fanciest ship I've been on yet, she was beautifully decorated and while we were on board, it seemed sold out, there were so many people. From the inside, she felt larger than Silja Europa, although she's actually not. There were many places where you could see through several decks at once. Breathtakingly beautiful.

The Finnjet memorial at Katajanokka terminal. When Finnjet was built, an old warehouse was built into Katajanokka terminal, now owned by Viking Line. Kustaanmiekka strait was also widened. A post about why Finnjet was so special and what happened to her can be found here.
Boarding on two decks
Just in case you forget what the name of the ship is
Mandatory funnel picture III - Cinderella
The large window, characteristic to Cinderella

Cinderella 10 years. Although the ship was built in 1989, this sign is there to celebrate 10 years since she was rebuilt and painted white (she used to be red just like the other Viking Line ships).
Deck plan
Top deck
The fall from there would be about as long as from the top deck of Viking XPRS to water. 6 decks, if I'm not mistaken.
We had our hopes high, but unfortunately for us this was just a ventilator room. 
The top deck was one of the most beautiful - and silent - places on board.
Fun Club, a 3 deck nightclub at the aft end.
Another 3 deck high opening near the information desk
Since we had no cabin for the crossing, we chose to settle down between the lift shaft and the big window. As it turned out soon, it was the perfect spot to go paparazzi on the company mascot Ville Viking who was entertaining the boarding passengers. It was really heartwarming to watch him.

A paparazzi shot of Ville
Ville Viking and I
Another funny thing that happened during the crossing was about the cruise pictures that were taken of us when we entered. After a long shopping spree at the tax free store I was walking out almost broke, when I suddenly realized that I had not even enough money to buy the picture - as some of you know I collect them. Disappointed in myself, I headed to the Fun Club to sit down and drown my miseries in the large amounts of sweets I had bought from various places during the trip, until I realized that there are slot machines on board. I felt like I had nothing to lose, so I went and had a gamble and after winning the smallest amount twice I had enough to buy the picture. Lucky day, I thought, and went to the information deck - just to find out that the pictures will definitely not be ready before the arrival to Tallinn. The uncomfortable photo system would be the first serious con that Viking Line gets compared to Tallink, whose cruise photo system is very flexible and comfortable, although twice as expensive.

During most of the return journey, Silja Europa of Tallink was visible from the starboard side, and at some point she was very close to us, giving us an opportunity to take great photos.
Silja Europa in the dark
Although I was really hoping to get my first Viking Line cruise photo from there, I didn't want to let that inconvenience to ruin my time at the wonderful ship, and as always, I was very sad to leave the ship. The day cruise was one of the most interesting and spontaneous trips that I've ever had and I'm sure I'll remember it for a long time.

Bye Bye Beautiful

No comments:

Post a Comment