Silja Symphony : I want more.

I stood in the Värtahamnen Port in Stockholm enjoying the most perfect Swedish weather. Towering above me is the Silja Symphony cruise ferry. It waits in all its giant majesty to take myself and the others who will fill its over 980 cabins. Group by group the travelers arrive with their bags and smiles. What an eclectic group we are; old couples holding hands, families  4 best friends, Asian and Brazilian tour groups, newlyweds, and of course, the occasional solo traveler seeking high seas recreation.

We are going to Helsinki, Finland for an afternoon, but this is not the only thing I am anticipating  I looked at all of the people, and even myself, wondering what we could make of our time on the cruise, and even could this huge vessel provide what each of us needed. With different tastes, backgrounds, and ages, the Silja seemed to have her work cut out.   Stepping on-board I realized it would not be an issue.

To say that it is luxury would be to say the least. There seems to be something for everyone. Children crawl through tubes and mazes in the Silja Land play room, while several old tymers try to hit it big at the slot machines. A young couple gazes into to the sunset, while other choose to take a glass of wine at a terrace on the Promenade at one of the ships many first class restaurants and bars. Young women shop for make up and fancy whatevers at the boutiques, while I head to the duty free shop to take supplies for the evening: Chilean wine and beef jerky.

I enter the Atlantis Casino to find that the show has already started. The beautiful Scandinavian Dancers put on a show that none of us will soon forget, performing different routines combined of dance styles. Everything flows like clockwork as the The JukeBox Band emerges from behind a curtain at the end of the routine. Not a second is missed to entertain. 

The patron gratefully take the dance floor. The elderly couples are terribly cute, dancing locked in each others arms.

The older the night gets, the younger the crowd becomes. It's my cue.  

I over hear the women at the table next to me saying they will go to dance.

"Excuse me, you guys are going to dance?"  I ask.

"Yeahhhhh! Are you comming?"  

"Sure...why not."

As if I had a choice.   

The JukeBox Band speeds up the pace as we dance. By now groups of businessmen have arrived, drinks clutched loosely in their hands, with wide smiles. They dance circles through the crowds in their suits, spilling the occasional lager every now and then, providing a nice laugh for everyone. The band announces that sadly it is their last song, but that the dancing continues on the top deck at the New York Lounge. 

It is already late and soon the last song arrives.  I serenade my dance partner to George Michael's Careless Whisper.  

New York is closed, but we, a group of cruise ship friends, stay open. Back to my cabin we go. Finnish, Swedish, Ugandan, and Texan. Our mixture of experiences and culture made for great comedy as we talked and listened to music all the way until 7 am. We say our goodbyes  and a hello to the day which has already begun. 

I enter the Buffet Symphony. Two hours of sleep under my belt. I pick from the wide assortment of eggs, meats, and fruits. A nice cup of coffee does me some justice as I look around the room. Elderly couples, families, children, newlyweds, best friends, and even the occasional lone traveler, have all gathered to eat. Each of them have received something from the last 16 hours. However, 16 hours isn't enough. There are still many events to be seen.

I want more.

Good thing it's a round trip.