Feel like it’s time for a little family getaway? In Finland, family cruises are a very popular way to have a little family vacation, but before you rush to book tickets, read this cautionary tale:

One family decided to go on a cruise because the children were practically begging for one. The cruise was booked, and it cost an arm and a leg.

At the morning of the day of the cruise one of the children was coughing quite loudly, but it wasn’t a big deal, the family was virtually aboard the ship already. As soon as the suitcases touched the cabin floors, the children wanted to go see the Moomins! But in fact these improper parents weren’t attentive enough, and had not booked the cruise with Moomins, but with Hevisaurus* instead. And no matter how much you praise Hevisaurus, it does not turn into Moomins. This fact was illustrated quite clearly by one child of the family who was lying crying, making a scene, on the ship’s carpeted floor. The big brother or this said child needed to of course voice his opinion that the other child was being a stupid baby.

The food on a cruise is a pleasure itself. Part of the enjoyment is especially the outbursts of “eww”, “I’m not eating that”, “I’m only having juice”, “this tastes bad”, “I want sweets” and “how long are you gonna take” when the parents have just then got their first bite of the appetizers. In the middle of the dinner there’s a show acted out for the family’s enjoyment. First act is “I need to go to the bathroom”, second “a temper tantrum for the the fun of it”, and the third act is called “SOS”, which includes all the frowns, scowls and glares from the neighboring dinner tables to this table with the noisy little family mealtime.

When on board a cruise ship, you shouldn’t forget the very essentials of a cruise. That it is, in fact, a ship on an ocean, with weather to match. When the children, hyped up on sugar, are finally put down to sleep in the stuffy cabin, and the parents could have a moment to breathe and to maybe even have an adult conversation, the ship starts to rock with the waves, like a ship does. And the ship rocks all through the night, resulting to no sleep for the parents of the family, but instead the parents hover between having to throw up, and some sort of tired coma, waiting for the sun to rise. It’s a new day, a great day to visit Stockholm. Hello Sweden!

After more memorable moments of cruising, silent treatments, and colds getting worse (the ships air conditioning is not really helping anyone) the family arrives at the home port, and gets out of the ship. Except they don’t. Child number one has attached the doors security chain backwards, and it’s stuck. After half an hour of wiggling, jerking and twitching, spiced with profanities, the door opens for an inch, and from that crack the family can call for reinforcements that do arrive and cut the chain with large pliers. At this point, there’s not much more to say than “at least now there won’t be any standing in line for a taxi at the terminal”.

So if you are thinking of going on a getaway, we would recommend the public library, or getting a colonoscopy, or something else you can do alone.

* Hevisaurus is a Finnish heavy metal band aimed for kids. The band members typically wear dinosaur costumes. True story.

— Editors

The writer of this story is a member of the Mom of Finland community.

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