August 27, 2014

DesuCruise 2014 – The first for me and (seemingly) the last in history!

Hello land crabs! ~

I'm back home from the last DesuCruise and now follows my summary about it.
Put on your sailor hat and let's go! 8D

So, me and Hasakitsuki started our journey towards Helsinki already on Wednesday the 20th August. Our train from Kemi was leaving at 22:21 (Finnish time) and I think we headed out of our apartment around early evening, something. We had planned to take the bus to Kemi but when we arrived at the new bus station we noticed that there wasn't a single mention anywhere that a bus would leave from Kemi from there. Nada. What the fuck. We had checked bus times previously online and we were dang sure that a bus would leave but lolnope. It was so weird. Perkele.
We started getting worried and pissed and just to be on the safe side we decided to walk over to the Finnish side and into Tornio's bus station; to see if they still had buses going there or if the old bus station had moved and closed down for good. It turned out that it's no longer in business and at this point we started getting really damn worried. What if no Finnish buses in town were in traffic this day for whatever reason we didn't know? 
The stress was climbing up our necks, we had time to imagine all possible horror stories while we were camping at a bus stop near the old bus station and praying to all Public Transport Gods™ that a Kemi bus would come by. It didn't help that my cellphone was dying. Luckily someone up there had compassion for our crisis and sent a Veljekset Salmela bus to our rescue. A green long vehicle that at this moment was the best thing ever; it granted us the continuation of our journey and made my wallet 6,80 € poorer.

Green bus in sight! Omigosh we're saved!
We arrived in Kemi some hours before our train would depart and so we headed to Nazi-Siwa Lidl to buy provisions. It's no surprise, right? It has turned into a tradition by now to buy provisions at Lidl in Kemi for the journey. xD When we came out of Lidl we realized that our stomachs were making unpleasant sounds and so we looked at the other side of the road... and what did we see? *drumroll* Oouh we totally saw a Hesburger in there, waiting for us to come and eat their junk food! And so we did, of course, I'm not even gonna deny it; it's the con diet starting and also the way to preserve a poor student's wallet a little bit longer.
Filled with cheese burgers (and fries with barbeque dip, yum!) we headed back to the train station. There we molded for an hour or two and then the train showed up. We boarded the train and when we reached our booked seats one of them was filled with stuff. :C Luckily the owner of the stuff noticed that we were staring at his seat-stealing equipment and so he asked if it was our place and then he proceeded to move his mountain of stuff away from our seat(s). We planted our asses on the seats and prepared to be in the train until 09:00 the next day. To spend our time we played some Monster Hunter Freedom Unite on PSP, ate cinnamon buns and slept or well, tried to sleep. It's so fucking hard to sleep in a train. :C For some unknown reason I have a hard time falling asleep sitting on the seat (I have no problems in a bus or car though) and so I try to lie down, but then I always end up in some uncomfortable position because two seats aren't long nor wide enough for me. You can't move the armrests at the sides either so this makes me forced to either bend my legs a lot (which hurts after a while because I have slightly screwed joints), have them hanging outside the seat or have them over the armrest, which blocks the way for others walking past and looks stupid and hurts after 10 minutes. :< Needless to say there is no comfortable sleeping position and the least uncomfortable ones ends up giving you "meat arms" or "meat legs". xD Basically this thing that happens when the blood stops circulating or something and then you lose sense of the body part and it feels so disgusting until it returns to life and then it feels like needles all over the place. :-DD But yeah, that's the reason I sleep so poorly in trains and this time it was not much different; I didn't sleep more than 4 hours in total and that's one of the best amounts I've ever managed. lol

The following morning (21th August) we arrived in Helsinki. I must say that I've never taken the train to Helsinki before so it felt quite.. exotic. Ah, the feeling when suddenly you are in the capital city and there's people everywhere and it feels so weird because you are used to live in a place in nowhere where there's more mosquitos than people. Yeah...
We jumped off the train and wandered cluelessly around the big train station, until we eventually found an exit. We headed out among the mass of people and probably looked like lost tourists; standing there and staring at every possible sign and street name trying to figure out which buildings looked familiar. The little I'm familiar with Helsinki stretches as far as knowing what the harbor's nearby area looks like and that's about it.
I went to ask a random old-ish man at a bus stop if he lived in Helsinki and if he could point out what direction we should go to get to Olympiaterminaali, aka where our beloved cruising ship would depart. He told us to go straight and then turn right and that's what my gut feeling had thought to do before asking him as well, and so we did.

View of a random Helsinki street.
We passed by a sushi restaurant and ended up next to some park-like area that looked familiar somehow. I had a scratching in my butt that we were close and I might know where to go, but I still decided to be on the safe side and asked an ice cream bar worker for further directions. She told us to just walk down the street and then we would end up in the shore's market square and close to the ship terminal. I knew it!
We walked down the street and then the little views I recognized in Helsinki jumped at my eyes ohmaiglerb I actually knew now exactly where we were! And it felt nostalgic to boot; I haven't been here for several years! ;A; 
The closer we got to the shore area the more giddy I became. SHIP!! 8D *noodle arms* My tiredness just went away somewhere and I started scouting for le cruising ship...

Double no.
Because we had a lot of time to kill we checked the market square stands... until we got sick of carrying all our luggage around and headed for Olympiaterminaali (the Olympia terminal) to see if we could temporarily dump it somewhere safe and go pee. To get to the terminal we walked through the Vanha Kauppahalli building and checked what they had to offer. Aah long time no see! <3 The chocolate seller's shop was disappointing though; I remember there being more stuff and different flavored chocolates. :'< Meh.
The chocolates didn't really interest me this time around but I found something else in another shop that I hadn't expected to see...

Khrrm. Yeah...
We walked to the terminal and damn was it empty in there! Then again, we were early as hell so no wonder, höhö lel. The little souvenir shop at the terminal had these coin-operated luggage storing boxes on the other side which I went to check - they were all too small for our blue suitcase. Bleh.
I then noticed that the shop itself had a luggage room and so Hasakitsuki went to ask if we could shove our suitcase in there. Weirdly enough the room was actually cheaper than the storing boxes (only 2 € when the bigger boxes were 3 or 4 €) and so we left our blue fucker in there and headed back outside.

Olympiaterminaali inside.
Ship information table. (urgh, the clock is only 11:00...)
At this point our stomachs were screaming for breakfast (well, more like lunch if you consider the clock) and our provisions weren't tempting rice cakes so we checked all the market square stands if they would have anything to offer. Well, there sure was things to eat but everything was too food-ish for us (I don't want steak potatoes and salmon/reindeer/sausages now goddammit, I want breakfast! :C) and too expensive. We're poor. 
After scouting through all the stands we found this one that sold fairly ok-priced toasts and some Belgian waffles and shizz. Hasakitsuki bought a toast but I wanted a waffle because I've never seen any like this before and so I had to try!

Belgian waffle feat. maple syrup and whipped cream.
I must say that the waffle was friggin' fab! :D The waffle wasn't very sweet so it didn't give me the urgh-too-much-sugar-on-the-morning-I'm-gonna-puke effect, win! It was thick and surprisingly filling and had a pretty unique taste. I'd gladly eat more of these in the future if I spot some, haha.
After we had completed our breakfast episode we headed back to Olympiaterminaali where we lagged and played some monster slaying quests on our PSP consoles. 
Eventually people started showing up and before we knew it there was a lot of background noise going on. Hasakitsuki decided to go into the bathroom to change into a cooler outfit and I went to style my hair because it looked like nothing. When we were done we noticed that at some point people had gathered next to a seat a bit away from us. I was thinking that it might be DesuCruise attendants because I was getting some con vibes from them and because they were sitting at the seats that were intended for people traveling in groups. My guess was proven right because more and more geeky looking people started popping up and walking to said seats... and then some guys showed up with Desucon hoodies and geeky people gathered around them.
We stayed near the DesuCruise group but didn't exchange any words because unlike most DesuCruisers we had booked our journey (aka cabin) directly from Silja Line's site and not through Desucon's online shop. Actually we already had our boarding cards before the rest because I had been a smart boy and checked us in when basically no one else was in the terminal and the check-in service happened to be open, huehuehue.
Suddenly there was a huge line of people aimed towards the ticket control spot and so we dragged ourselves and our blue suitcase which we had retrieved to the control spot as soon as the line had diminished a little.

Soon my love, soon...
The closer we got to the ticket control the more ahjgdsajs;skj I became. SHIP!! 8D *noodle arms* Before we knew it we were walking along the holy road that would lead us into our much desired city of gold cruising ship. SHIP!! 8D *noodle arms*

And then we stepped on the blue carpets (the first photo in this post) and were greeted by Moomin and Little My and maybe most importantly the lovely SHIP!!! 8D cruising ship smell that my nostrils have been longing to inhale for so long. Aah... <3

Dem elevators. cruising ship feels
HNNG I used to have this kind of pet birds as a kid. ;_;
17:00 M/S Silja Symphony departed from the harbor and after the ship's floors started rumbling slowly it meant I only had 30 minutes left before the DesuCruise program would start aka the very proper *cough* panels.
I decided to go there in my casual gear because I didn't want to stress with putting on cosplay or fabing up my hair and eyes. If that wasn't a word then it is now, fabulousing. :'D
At first I didn't have any clue where the ship's conference rooms were, but good thing was that there were maps all over the place that were clear and made it easy to find.

Target found!
Passing the glass doors made me feel important lol. As far as I know the Silja conference rooms are reserved only for people who have business in there.. and so I did, today.
A flow of DesuCruisers passed the doors with me and we headed for a single room that had been reserved for our use...

Reserved for our *cough* very important *cough* program panels.
Inside the room it looked almost like some sort of school class. Tables and chairs everywhere. People kept coming and filling the seats and I took a place on the third row's middle, if I remember right.

There was some sparkling wine served in glasses next to the wall and at the same table you also had to go inform that you were attending. There was this name checklist system to make sure that only people who paid for the program were there.

Sparkling wine in rows.
When the first panel was about to start they informed that hopefully everyone had gone to the checklist guy and taken a glass. I didn't take one at first because I assumed everything was alcohol and I'm not a drinker. What am I doing at DesuCruise? :'D But then it was mentioned that there was an alcohol-free option available as well unless that one was gone by now too. I rushed from my sitting place and there were a few glasses left so I took one and went back to sit, awaiting the panels to start.

Wohoo, alcohol-free option!
By the way, we were handed DesuCruise activity/program paper sheets! :D

DesuCruise program!
(view in full size to read)
So, as you might or might not be able to figure out from the names of the panels the quality wasn't the most polished in the world. :-DD Truth is that DesuCruise is known for only having highly facetious and off-topic programs. Basically nothing even remotely serious within the next 100 kilometers radius.

Screencaped from DesuCruise's page. Enough said. :-DD
So well, what was it like then, really? 
I'll show you the glorious quality of the panels. And yeah, I laughed my ass off several times and I mean it it was a lot of fun! xD

Dasu Curse höhö :D
Herpsis Derpsis :D
Yarr harr herp :D
Tissit ovat tärkeät. eiku
Clothes do disappear when power levels go up!
Ja toiset taas toivoo että olisipa housut. :D
Ever felt like the guy on the screen? :>
One of the panelists.
(feat. an extra button of his shirt unbuttoned because people said so)
This photo sums up the DesuCruise panel atmosphere pretty well. :D
If anyone still wonders most panels consisted of random jokes and funny bullshit, alcohol jokes, herp derp and everything seemed to end with boobs and no actual conclusion of whatever mystery the panel was trying to solve. :-DD Even though I didn't get all the jokes I still had a lot of laughs.
   After the panels had ended for the day I went back into our cabin, which was below the car deck. We're still poor. At the cabin we dressed up into our more fabulous selves and it ended up taking much longer than we had thought; time just flew away without us noticing. Oops. I lazied out on a lot of makeup and wearing contacts as well. :C boo for me.

Just a photo to show what I looked like when done.
(except that my hair decided to lolnope and be unfluffy, bleh :C)
When we were done we headed for the dinner buffet. BUT. When we came to the buffet we noticed that it had closed the payment desk thingy for mere minutes ago aka they didn't take in new diners anymore for the day. Basically we had bothered to dress up and been hyping the dinner for the whole day for nothing. FFFFFFFFUUUUUU--

Take my ball of rage, ALL OF IT!
So what did we do now? Well, our wallets probably sighed in relief and our belly buttons when we went into the Mundo restaurant and bought one of the cheapest warm food dishes they had meatballs.

Honestly the meatballs weren't bad or anything, actually pretty cool. But I would have wanted the dinner buffet, oh I so would.. </3 Oh well, good thing we have another day on the ship to come.
After the food we went to do one of the top need-to-do things on a cruising ship GO TO THE TAXFREE STORE AND BUY CANDIES FFS. >8DD

I'm a horrible sweet tooth but I tried to restrain myself. xD We only bought a few things for now and then headed back to our cabin. Oh, and speaking of the cabin the cabin corridors were quite maze-like so at first it took us a little bit longer to find ours, aka cabin number 2022.

So, where do we go?
Ship's main deck during evening/night time.
The remainder of the night we chilled in our cabin.. or well, I chilled. Hasakitsuki got seasick and we had to go fetch medicine for her from the info desk. Good thing that it was free because we didn't know that this would happen and weren't prepared for it. Luckily it got better and she didn't puke and so we played a bit and then went to sleep because I suddenly got tired as shit. No wonder seeing how poorly I slept in the train...

Oh oh! I even found Cruise Aneki (DesuCruise's mascot) and company off-duty earlier!
The next morning (22nd August) the ship had arrived in Stockholm, Sweden. We hadn't put our alarms to ring and I slept friggin' well; I don't know but I find the ship beds to be damn comfy! But yeah, because we were now in Sweden there was a timefuck of -1 hour and I had to put my cellphone's clock back to Swedish time to not get screwed over.
We dressed up in our everyday gear and headed out to get some breakfast. Our breakfast place ended up being the Mundo restaurant again and I took a cup of fresh fruits and an orange drink.

le breakfast.
I must say that the fruit cup is quite nostalgic for me; most times when I would go on a cruise with my parents years ago I would have one of these for breakfast. ;v; It was nice to see that they still sold them and even cheaper than I remembered.
After breakfast we went to check Silja Land (it was one of the few things open while the ship wasn't moving) and there we watched a random kid's cartoon before we strolled around a pretty empty ship. I also tried my luck at one of the claw crane machines just for the hell of it. No luck.

It didn't want to. :<
We decided to head out to Stockholm's ship terminal just to check things out. It's not like it was new for me because I've been there several times before but Hasakitsuki wanted to go and I was all "why not". Actually, on the morning the DesuCruisers had planned different trips to Stockholm but I didn't follow, for several reasons. The main reasons being that I've seen Stockholm already (because I've lived a fair amount of my life in a town approx. 20 km away) and the second reason being that I didn't want to pay bus tickets to even get to the city because well, the terminal (Värtahamnen) is a bit away from the main Stockholm. I'm still poor. So yeah, we just strolled around in the terminal and then went back to the ship.

Hello my friends! Fish aquarium at the Swedish terminal.
Silja Symphony seen from the front at Värtahamnen terminal.
Back in the ship we just walked around and checked all the decks. We went to the top deck and tried to ninja watch if we could see when the DesuCruisers would be back and enter the spa. I would have wanted to swim but oh well, I forgot my stuff and wasn't keen on borrowing. We didn't see anyone trying to cram 30+ con people into a single small pool so we left. Man, I would have wanted to see that though! xD Yeah, that's one of the things the DesuCruise peeps had planned to do new record in this year...

Ship's Sun Deck feat. spa area.
To kill some more time before the ship's departure we went to watch some more kiddy cartoons but this time a Swedish one Alfons Åberg. Damn, I remember watching some of these cartoons as a kid. x) Heck, we might even have a VHS lying around somewhere...

Nostalgy cartoon, Alfons Åberg.
I must say that I was surprised by the quality of these cartoons! We watched two episodes but the hidden symbol/meaning/message/whatnot between both episodes was very good, even in adult eyes. I guess a kid might not even have understood what was the actual point of that one episode we watched, the one with the friend's dad not wanting to tell about the war itself, when asked, but something much smaller and more important. Also the same episode had the main character befriend an immigrant family and getting insight into their traditions, which is nice to see in a children's cartoon.
I think it's good because it could teach young kids that you can be friends with anyone and that people are equal, even if they aren't born in the same country as you and/or have different skin tone etc. Actually watching these cartoons made me happy haha. So much shit going on in the world anyway, nice to see things displayed in a positive light for a change.

After this we slowly glided back to our cabin and I started putting on my SSL!Okita cosplay and getting ready to go attend the DesuCruise panels again. We had learned from our previous fail that it's better that at least I dress before we go eat so that we won't take too long getting ready and then miss the buffet dinner – again. Hasakitsuki can put on her cosplay meanwhile I'm gone.
So, did my cosplay go on smoothly? Hell no.
I ended up being stressed because of running out of time and everything decided to hate me today and screw up. So yeah, I skipped probably half of my makeup and tableflip ragequitted. The first catastrophe in the string of many was that when I had put on my contacts I ended up getting liquid eyeliner in my eye and mother of poo was it bad! D: I had to take off the contact before the eyeliner reached it and then I spent several minutes trying to clean my eye before putting the contact back on. I somehow managed but I was so fed up with this shit that I did a very shitty eye makeup with pencil eyeliner instead and skipped all the smaller eye details that I'd normally do for a con, so, in other words I looked like a shipwreck. And I was so pissed when I was finally done that I wanted to kill something. xD So yeah, if I looked grumpy when I got to the conference rooms it's because I was. lol

Before the DesuCruise panels started there was this one guy throwing candies to the audience again. He did it already yesterday but this time it was a little bit different I actually got one of the candy boxes!

(such quality. much sharp. wow.)
Orange flavored candies, w00p!
And then there was the DesuCruise herp derp panels, part 2.

This one seemed serious...... until the first picture changed.
Why do we have big eyes? SO THAT I CAN SEE YOU BETTER. ;__;
This was the most serious panel of them all and even this one included a drinking game. xD
(regarding the aforementioned drinking game every time there was a picture of shirtless Elffi you had to drink if you were in the game. And of course there was random not-so-random Elffi pics spread across the panel. :D)
Uliuliuuu vali vali
(jos et näe lukea se pieni teksti on: "Niin ja ne tuomaritki on aina samoja :<")
Because everyone wants attention and no one wants to admit it
and it's all kinds of wrong when someone else gets it for their body uliuu. :-DDDDDD
Silja Line (Tallink Silja) strikes again! xD (the small text says "redirecting...")
There were countless sudden technical problems that were hilarious.
Eli guidelinet miten olla oman elämänsä superihmisotus.
The baby seal is so cute. ;A;
And so before I knew it the official DesuCruise programs had ended. *insert dramatic noooo here*
It was a lot of fun even though I'm technically not the "right audience"  for this kind of event because I don't drink and most activities were somehow related to alcohol. I mean, people went and got drunk and some of the prizes for this one walk-around-the-ship-and-find-and-answer-quizzes were drink tickets. Of course you couldn't know this before results were revealed, but I didn't join it because you had to be in groups and I knew no one and also I didn't want to leave Hasakitsuki waiting for me; she wouldn't have had fun attending because she doesn't understand Finnish. Oh well, this activity wasn't a big loss for me; I only attended the talk panels of all the DesuCruise programs and that's fine with me, I had fun and I regret nothing. xD

DesuCruise's ending! Clap your hands!
The DesuCruise program over I spotted Hasakitsuki waiting for me in cosplay, next to the Silja conference's glass doors. We headed over to the dinner buffet after a quick trip to the cabin and OUYEAH this time it was open! What wasn't as OUYEAH was that my wallet cried blood because it cost around 38 € for one person. Good thing my dad had given me some cash for this. <3 For that amount of money you have to eat until you puke and then eat some more. Oooh how I've been waiting for this day when I get to eat at the ship's buffet again!

The dessert table is the best table, huehuehue ~
Proof that I was wearing cosplay. Taken in the buffet hall.
Try all the mousse cakes! YUM.
After the food we just derped around on the main deck for a while. We went to buy more candies MOAR and at some point I thought I'd show Hasakitsuki what the Atlantis bar & dance place looks like but just when we got there a show started! We just happened to go there at the right moment without knowing, in other words. We were instantly captured by the unexpected awesomeness and stayed and watched the whole thing. It was friggin' awesome! The first performance was a guy in pyjama being surrounded by some kind of zombies or something in a nightmare. He was singing in this metal-ish low voice (not screaming, just creepy and rough), surely didn't see that one coming! So cool!

Can I steal his clothes, please? *u* So fab!!

After the show we took off our cosplays and went to sleep fairly quickly. I was tired again.

The following morning (23rd August) we were back in Helsinki and well, because of the obligatory return of the timefuck I had put my alarm to ring too late and so a cabin cleaner tried to open the door while we were still semi-sleeping in bed. Oops. That was awkward...
We had to hurry to leave the cabin and when we were done we went to have breakfast at Mundo again. I had my fruit cup once more and when the fruits were in my stomach we headed out of the ship. Man, I'll miss this thing.. ;_;
I must say that being back on solid ground felt weird after being used to feeling waves. It took me a while before the phantom wave feelings disappeared; I kept hallucinating them for a while. lol
Oh well, we had several hours to kill so we stayed in Olympiaterminaali for a while before finally moving out. Getting back to Helsinki train station proved to be easier than thought because we remembered the way. On the way we saw some really good Russian xylophone street musicians.
When we got to the train station we had gotten all hungry again and so we looked around for food places and found... Hesburger. Again. And of course we ate there because cheap and because I have coupons so extra cheap. xD After the burgers we just lagged around for hours, checking random stores in the same building (train station is linked to a shopping center thingy) until our train eventually arrived. It departed 18:52 and at the time it seemed like a good idea to take this train... but no. Why? Because we arrived in Kemi train station at 06:13 in the fucking morning (24th August).
When we walked to Kemi bus station with all our luggage we were so brain dead because lack of sleep that it took us a while to realize that 1) the first bus would leave 17:15 and 2) the bus station wasn't even open on Sundays so we couldn't go and warm us inside and yeah, it was cold. :C So yeah, we spent the next 10 hours molding at Kemi's pain train station which has turned notorious for its spurgus (drunks) and other crazy people who have taken it as their home now when no one is working there and watching over it. Seemingly stuff has gotten out of control there ever since they stopped selling tickets in the station on 1st August this year. Curtains and stuff gets stolen and it's seemingly just a question of time when it will be burned to the ground at least according to this one very funny old-ish man we met there who entertained us for several hours and thus saved me from growing gray dots and mushrooms on my back. He was super awesome actually, very funny and educated for his age! He spoke like 7 different languages and was still studying and he bikes several thousand kilometers per year, even though he was 60+. Supervaari. :D We didn't have time to say goodbye to him because when we came back from buying breakfast at Lidl when it finally opened at twelve he had fallen asleep on one of the strain train station benches. Oh well, I hope someday we'll meet again.
   With a few hours left we went to look for a pizzeria in town no Hesburger for the third time this journey :C and we found a Vietnamese restaurant that had fairly cheap pizzas so we settled there. We ended up being unable to decide what to put on the pizza (we shared one) so we had a tuna and pineapple pizza with one half with mushrooms and the other with paprika. xD I really dislike paprika and Hasakitsuki didn't want shrooms so yeah. The pizza was good though!

To read more in detail, especially about our funny pre- and post-DesuCruise journeys, go check out Hasakitsuki's summary! I guarantee a fun read! :D

The bus finally came after our almost eternal wait and I listened to music on the way back and might have dozed off a few minutes here and there. I was still tired.
When we finally got back to our hometown we dragged our stuff across the whole town and it felt so fucking good to finally be home and be able to sleep. Oh jeez, what a journey! It was totally worth the exhaustion and all though!

I'm sad that it was the last DesuCruise in history (at least that's what has been confirmed for now; maybe it revives one day, who knows?) but I'm happy that I attended and got to experience this different anime event! It was super fun, different in a refreshing way and definitely an interesting spin-off to the usual anime conventions! I have no regrets! >8D *thumbs up*
I thank DesuCruise for time well spent!

Hmm, I think that's about it, neh? The next con I'll put my anchor down at is Tracon stay tuned!
Bye bye ~~

 Oh no no, I'm forgetting something here.. *puts on thinker cap*

I saw something completely unexpected and random during our journey back to Helsinki's train station that I just had to eternalize. :'D
In 3... 2... 1...



That's all for now, Shiro Samurai jumps out of the water and heads to the next event on land! Tsau!