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SandiSails
June 23rd, 2005, 11:59 AM
This is an excursion booked with Holland America for a formal night at Yusupov Palace..Has anyone taken this? How formal are people dressed? It says that you are served canapes and champagne..should you eat before going?Was it worth the price...any info appreciated..

soraya
June 24th, 2005, 12:30 PM
Hi, If you have a look at Call me Ishmael's post, he mentions that he went to a gala evening at the Yusupov. At the risk of sounding that I don't live in the real world, I quite fancy doing this as when I have read a lot about St P and I think it would give a feel of what attending a function must have been like in 19C St P. I really read too much!

HTH Soraya

Call me Ishmael
June 24th, 2005, 01:29 PM
Sandi,

This sounds like the same evening we took through Radisson. It included musical entertainment and opera highlights.

The material we received said "although this is a gala evening, dress comfortably." Some ladies were dressed in formal wear and some men wore coats and ties. You can suit yourself, so to speak, but the issue is how you feel about buildings with no air conditioning and no air circulation. If you have warm days it can become quite stuffy. Even when we were there, some ladies complained about halfway through the evening and I found the theatre where the opera took place quite warm as it was very full.

You will definitely want to eat before and/or after. We did receive the champagne and the canapes but neither were all that appealing. Most people didn't finish the champagne (slightly warm and flat as a result of being poured in advance for several hundred people) nor did they take a second canape (caviar of dubious quality).

We paid $134 pp which I thought in advance was rather pricey. However, there were a large number of performers during the evening: costumed greeters, string quartet, balalika band and opera singers (impressive enough to have cd's to sell afterwards), so there was some significant expense involved in putting on the evening.

If you like or don't mind opera and aren't going to visit Yusopov on any other excursion, then the evening is worth doing. When it was over we felt like it was fun, although expensive.

Our only other evening option through the ship was the ballet which I wasn't interested in. You can also arrange private evening tours with RO and Denrus, but I didn't explore the options.

By all means do something in the evening and cater it your interests: nightclubs, ballet or nightime canal cruise.

CMI

SandiSails
June 24th, 2005, 05:18 PM
Thank you so much for the info...my parents are opera buffs so I think we will go for it..the advice on dress and eating is very much appreciated..this will be our only stop at Yusupov Palace..do you actually see much of the palace?thanks Sandi

Call me Ishmael
June 25th, 2005, 02:57 PM
We saw quite a bit of the Y. Palace, I think. Through some of the rooms on the first floor, down stairs to see Rasputin and enemies in the room where he met his end (didn't look much like the movie set), up the grand staircase with photo op with the costumed greeters, more rooms upstairs (I think), into a large room for the drink, caviar and balalaika band, down a long hall for the opera in the Palace's theatre which was very impressive and perhaps the highlight room. Afterwards, down and into the gift shops.

Btw, the opera consists of very skilled soloists in tux or gown singing selections from several operas. No staging or costumes; just want to make sure I haven't misled you into thinking you'll see an actual opera.

CMI