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First let me ask you real quick; did you think cruising was a retiree, older person sport? Well I can guarantee you it has gone from a quiet pastime for retirees, to a popular option for family vacations. And thanks to our sister in law, we not only visited Stockholm Sweden for the first time ever, we also had a luxury mini cruise experience on the Silja Serenade cruise ship!

This ship wasn’t our very first ship travel experience, but it was our first mega luxury cruise. We never realised we hadn’t had luxury yet, till we went on this two-country cruise.

We have been on several ships including a cruise in Marmaris Turkey! This was on a whole new level. 

The Ms Silja Serenade is packed with entertainment options galore.

With Stockholm as a base, you can now cruise the Nordic waters on one of the larger cruise ships – complete with a theatre and Broadway musicals, Discotheques, Full Spa, and a shopping mall with everything you need including a Duty Free store, woot! The other option for us could have been the Ms Silja Symphony…Which on the day we chose was heading to Tallin! 

Okay, back story, we went to Stockholm for family members 25th wedding anniversary and we decided to go for the mini cruise while we were at it.

To make life much easier, we chose the hotel nearest to the Cruise Liner Terminal. Both the hotel and terminal are in the higher end neighbourhood of Stockholm called Gardet.

We literally could see the cruise liners from our hotel suite on the 13th Floor. We had a beautiful archipelago view.

This will be a different review on its own. You will want to check it out.  

So, getting to check-in and board the cruise was a walk down the road from our hotel. A major advantage as our family could park on the hotel premises for our stay away. Checking in was truly a breeze and the terminal is Huge, you cannot feel claustrophobic, although seating is limited!

And to get to the terminal you must walk down a raised tunnel that actually is directly connected to the Scandic Ariadne, the Hotel we stayed in before our cruise. 


Let’s talk about the Silja Serenade – a Mini Review

Silja Serenade cruise ship is one of the largest we have seen. Probably as large if not larger than the Three Queens that dock in Liverpool Albert Docks most summers.

It has a unique interior layout. Once you get on Deck 7, you are presented with a promenade-street that runs alongside the central axis of the ship for nearly her full length.

According to Wikipedia, this allowed for a larger number of cabins with windows (today such promenades are found in the most recent ships of Royal Caribbean and Color Line.

Silja Serenade cruise ship has a Unique interior layout. Click to Tweet


She made her maiden journey on the Stockholm-Helsinki route in November 1990. The route takes passengers from Stockholm to Helsinki Finland.

You can chose to go for day, one way or even two days!


Entertainment on the Silja Serenade

While the destinations themselves are certainly attractive, there’s plenty to keep you busy on board as well.

Silja Serenade can carry thousands of guests for sure. She has 14 decks and boasts several restaurants and bars.

She also offers the Sunflower Oasis with jacuzzi hot tubs, swimming pool, Steam Rooms and Saunas, on deck 11.

A New York themed club on deck 12 and a full-blown Atlantic Palace Theatre on deck 7/8. Should you want to rest, you can see the full-scale Broadway musical on the theatre.

She also has a world class Grande buffet on deck addition to the several restaurants scattered across deck 7.

For that First and Business class feel; head to the Commodore lounge, Commodore, A, Promenade and B -class cabins on deck 10. And…

The Silja suite, Commodore, Deluxe, A, Promenade and B -class cabins on deck 11

And the piece de resistance a Helicopter Deck as you do, of course on deck 14. 😉

The Silja Serenade cruise ship has you covered. This summer, we sailed From Stockholm to Helsinki in style.
Deck 12, a Commodore suite on the 11th Deck and The Commodore executive Lounge on the Silja Serenade!
The Silja Serenade cruise ship has you covered. This summer, we sailed From Stockholm to Helsinki in style.
The promenade Deck 7, the Sunflower Oasis on 11th Floor and The Open air deck!
The Silja Serenade cruise ship has you covered. This summer, we sailed From Stockholm to Helsinki in style.
Dinner buffet Curries section, Commodore executive lounge and Julie Syl on the deck with views of Estonia!


the piece de resistance a Helicopter Deck as you do, of course on deck 14. Click to Tweet

We can say our taste buds were tickled very well with a variety of culinary experiences. We genuinely did not even scratch the surface of the menu on offer at the Grande buffet.

With bottomless drinks both soft, hot drinks, beer and wines, yogurts, ice cream, juices, everyone was fully covered!  

There was a microwave to reheat your food if you wished.

Honestly everyone was covered including gluten free foods, vegetarians, fish eaters you name it! Meal times were absolutely hilarious as we were a group of 39 people of course not counting all the other cruise trippers. It was clearly a happy experience for most that we observed. 😊

We must say the Grande Buffet gets the Pkjulesworld 5 Chillies…a First in this space for sure.


We danced until the wee hours in New York, after a full theatre experience in Atlantic Palace. What was not to like?

Observation: we noticed that the duty or tax-free store was not really that much difference in prices for some things in Stockholm.  In fact, it was dearer in some instances. Cest la vie

Any Downers on the MS Silja Serenade and Final Words

We were shocked that the New York Lounge DJs would not play any music outside of what they had on offer. Two nights in a row, different DJs.

Even though we were the only guests in the lounge after 2 am, and they clearly wouldn’t be offending or excluding anyone, the DJ arrogantly declared that:

“If I dont wish to play a song and say no then I wont ever change my mind!”  Shocking customer care.

Esp. as The request was for the anniversary celebrants and we genuinely were the only clientele at that time still in the club, buying the drinks and eats too…! 

Plus this is common on cruise ships, the cabins on the lower decks have very narrow corridors, you can barely drag 2 suit cases at the same time. We found it hard to help a family member get her suitcases out to the lifts without dragging one suitcase at a time! 

Other than that, we had such a blast, we are already planning our next Cruise this time for 10-14 days and possibly Caribbean.  

So have we inspired your next or first cruise, possibly on the MS Silja Serenade? We sure hope so. And if we have do Share this post and share your insights below. Have you been on a cruise before? Share your experiences and recommendations too! 



Afro-Brit Travelpreneur Confessions by Julie Sylvia Kalungi

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Share Your Views


  1. I have never been on a cruise ship before, let alone to Stockholm. This cruise ship looks amazing and the piggy I am would head straight to those tasty restaurants.

  2. My husband and I love traveling but we’ve never been to that part of the world or travel on a cruise. We should give it a try.

  3. It looks like you had a fantastic time on your cruise. They do look so luxurious indeed. I think a cruise looks like an ideal holiday all round I am sure families with children can enjoy the many things they offer too.

  4. Cruises are so much fun! There is so much to eat and do that you couldn’t possibly see it all, especially in just 2 short days!

    1. I know Ann it is so good to be on a cruise but two days are just not enough, but the time that we did spend there was amazing and everyone should try it ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Samantha Deetz

    It sounds like such an awesome and fun trip! That food looks AMAZING!! One day I definitely want to go on a cruise.

    1. Hey RoseAnn,
      Good to see you from the Pit stop! Indeed they catered to a wide range of needs in the Buffet and it was great to see. We will be back for sure! ๐Ÿ™‚ And we highly recommend it!

  6. Sounds like such fun! I just might have to brave a cruise one day (I say that because I get seasick). #BloggersPitStop

    1. Aww jean, Have you tried Travel Remedies and pre cruise remedies for sea sickness? I used to get Water sick something terrible and I didnt even feel anything, Coz I took precautions before!


  7. [ Laughs ] A Summer cruise with lots of food and refreshments; one cannot go wrong with that.

    And, I liked how you rated The Grand Buffet with five chillies (That was original. Other people use the five-star system).

  8. Ann Snook-Moreau

    I just went on my first cruise this spring and loved it! Glad you had a fun time and sorry you didn’t get more days to enjoy the ship!

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