The irony is bittersweet: I love to travel, but I suffer from horrible motion sickness. Thankfully, I never toss my cookies, but nearly every ride in a moving vehicle has me feeling like I’m going to. Liebling laughs at me but I never go anywhere without a plastic bag, “just in case” the terrible nausea that grips my stomach makes its way up my throat and out my mouth. I even have a rating system for my transport discomfort: trains are so-so, buses and cars are BAD. But boats? They are TERRIBLE. For this reason, while I was excited about my Busabout trip, I absolutely dreaded the two 17-hour(!) overnight ferries I was going to have to survive. I had visions of myself clinging desperately to the ship’s railing, retching and feeling awful. But the verdict? Turns out I needn’t have worried at all. The cruises were fantastic!
Two summers ago, I went on a week-long sailing trip to Croatia with Liebling and some friends. The backdrop was beautiful but the sailing part was treacherous- I spent the first three days laid out like a beached whale on the top deck, willing myself not to throw up. Ever since, I’ve avoided any type of water-bound vehicle like the plague. When Liebling asked me if I’d be interested in going back to Croatia to sail last month I hastily (but respectfully!) declined. No way I was getting on a boat! And then Busabout and a skip through the best of Scandinavia and the Baltics came into the picture. While I already had a ridiculously heavy travel schedule planned for the months of July and August, I couldn’t pass the opportunity up.
If I already felt trickles of trepidation at the bus part of the journey, then icicles of fear pierced my heart when I read that there were ferries, looooong ferries, to be dealt with. 17 hours on a boat from Riga, Latvia to Stockholm, Sweden, then another 17 hours from Stockholm to Helsinki. Gulp! Another issue I had with the proposed itinerary was the boredom factor. While I’ve never been on a cruise, spending that much time on a boat just seemed boring and a huge waste of time to me.
First, I didn’t end up feeling sick AT ALL. The boats we took were so massive that the rocking was barely perceptible.
Second, I wasn’t bored for one second during the total 35-hour journey. While I wrote in my Busabout review that I thought we spent too much time getting to destinations and not enough time experiencing them, there were a variety of things happening on the cruises to keep me occupied. There was a karaoke bar on the ferry from Riga to Stockholm (I indulged, of course!) and a nightclub on the top deck where I danced crazily to the latest chart toppers.
On the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki, we were enraptured by a vampy stage performance that looked like something out of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, followed by catchy music from a live band.
While I still wish we had spent less time on transport in general, 35 hours confined to the high seas actually turned out to be fun!
Have you ever been on a cruise? If so, did you enjoy the experience?