If you're familiar with my notion of gateway cities, Helsinki is a gateway. (Bangkok is a gateway: I remember standing in the airport realizing I was only one flight from Kathmandu.) Sure, you could go to Lapland. Or like the people on the left, you could go....to St. Petersburg. (Not today.) Or stay right to Tallinn.
Not too shabby, right? This is a B cabin, which can be shared with 4 people. Quite comfortable, despite the mirror behind the curtain, instead of a window.
The ferry is roughly as large as my Princess cruise home from Alaska. It was far from full.
There are elaborate staircases, with teams of women in uniform spraying and wiping them clean. (In a musical, this would be a dance number.) And these elevators, straight out of The Poseidon Adventure or The Towering Inferno.
I have a feeling Estonian design will be less subdued than Finnish design. Then it was off to the Grand Buffet. I had prepaid for the late seating. This turned out to be a mistake.
Not because the food was bad, but because the Baltic was momentarily rough and at my dinner table, I could feel the boat sway. I declined 2 euro shots in favor of potatoes with reindeer and caviar and marinated veal tongue. It was all pretty tasty, despite my wobbly stomach.
I also made a stop at the ship's stores and Duty Free, which were larger than many airports.
They had souvenirs from Estonia and identical souvenirs from Finland. They also had NY baseball caps, just in case.
The family coffee beans are sold next to Tom's homoerotic beans. And rows and rows of licorice, and liquor, and skin creams. All at pretty good tax-free prices. Need a dog or cat toy? No problem!
How about a slot machine with a view? It'll still take your money.
Cool carpet leads to the lounges.
A map of the Baltic, for reference, in case you're wondering where Estonia is.