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I have booked my first cruise ever and have a few questions that I have tried to find answers for on here but to not great success. I am sailing with Regent Seven Seas (RSSC) on the Voyager for the 7 nights cruise from Copenhagen to Stockholm in July / August 2013 with my parents who both turn 60 this year (it is my big figure birthday present to them!).
1) Pre Cruise: Our flight from London to Copenhagen arrives on the day of embarkation at 0935 whereas the ship departs the port at 1700. Our transfer from the airport to the port will be arranged by RSSC. Do you reckon it would be possible for us to leave our luggage somewhere at the airport and pop into the city for a brief look around or should we just board the ship and explore it instead?
2) Wheelchair Hire: My mother has limited mobility (can walk unaided for 30 mins) and does not use a wheelchair generally. Considering how walking intensive some of the shore excursions are going to be, do you reckon it would be possible for me to ask RSSC to arrange a wheelchair for some of the shore excursions? Their website says wheelchairs are for emergency use only but I am not sure if that applies to the shore excursions too. Alternatively, are their companies who specialise in providing wheelchairs on board cruises that anyone could recommend?
3) Excursions: We are really keen to explore St Petersburg and are interested in visiting the Hermitage, Catherine’s Palace, Peterhof and the cathedrals. Do you reckon it is possible to see all these in 2 days with the excursions on offer from RSSC? Or are we better off booking a private 2 day tour?
4) Post Cruise: On the last day of the cruise, do RSSC provide any excursions for passengers with a late flight? Supposedly the ship arrives in the dock at 0800 and our flight back to London at 1540 later that afternoon. Our transfer from the port to the airport has been arranged by RSSC and I was wondering if we should use the self disembarkation process and leave the luggage safely somewhere to have a quick look around Stockholm before heading back to London.
I apologise if some of these queries are naïve but I would greatly appreciate any comments.
Hi and welcome to the Regent board. I'll try to answer a couple of your questions.
1) Excursions: In my opinion, private tours in St Petersburg is the best way to go. It is pricey but definitely worth it. You are hoping to see a lot of the wonderful sites in St. Petersburg and I do not believe it could all be accomplished with Regent tours.
2) Post Cruise: Regent does offer a low-cost (sometimes free) tour on the day you disembark from the ship for passengers who have Regent Air (excursions also offered for passengers doing their own air but the cost is coniderably higher). Regent will take your large luggage to the airport and your carry-on luggage will be stored in the bus. They will deliver you to the airport about 3 hours prior to your flight time. You will receive information on the tour in your suite. Note: I understand that Regent does not include air in the U.K. so my information on costs may be a bit off.
I do have a suggestion for your arrival in Copenhagen. Since you have transfers included in your fare, I'm wondering what Regent plans to do with you until you are able to board the ship at 12:00 p.m. It is possible that you could ask your Regent representative (who will meet you at the airport) to take your luggage to the ship and you could tell him that you will find transportation to the ship on your own. Alternatively, you could book a tour that will pick you up at the airport and drop you off at the ship.
Hopefully other posters will have some good suggestions. You have picked a wonderful itinerary and will have a great time!
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Welcome to CC its a great forum and very freindly.
We took our first ever cruise last summer with Regent. We flew from Gatwick to Rome landing at 10;30. By the time we had cleared customs and collected our luggage an hour had passed. We were met by a Regent rep, given time to spend a penny and then boarded the coach taking us to Civitavecchia approx 45 minute journey. We reached the port and then embarked, checked in and had lunch. By which time our suite was available. I was so exciited by taking a cruise at last that the time flew by.
Also if we had arranged some site seeing on our own I would not have enjoyed it due to the time constraint and pressure of getting to the ship on time.
hbb1504, I highly recommend a private tour in St. Petersburg. TC is right it can be somewhat pricey; but, a good tour company will get you in to the attractions at the head of the line--very important at the Catherine Palace.
If your Mother has limited mobility this option is even more important, and the tour company will surely get you a wheel chair.
Have done this itinerary twice and it is excellent.
In Copenhagen, I would recommend getting regent to transfer your bags, then getting your own taxi at the airport to take you downtown. With limited mobility, it will be a challenge to see much in Copenhagen, but you could take one of the boat tours that takes you around the city. Those are quite nice. Or you could get a taxi at the airport with your luggage, from the luggage at the ship, then go somewhere else via taxi. The resistance museum would be doable for someone with limited mobility if you went there by taxi.
In St. Petersburg, definitely rec a private tour, or if you have onboard credit, use it to get a private van. You will be able to pick exactly what you want to see. Everything in st Petersburg involved a lot of walking, and the buildings are not disability friendly, so better to be able to do things on your own. Otherwise you will be stuck pretty much with just bus tours.
In Stockholm, there is no left luggage anywhere, and believe me, I checked it out thoroughly. We ended up hiring a taxi ahead of time for the entire morning, then the taxi waited with our luggage while we toured the vasa museum. Highly rec the vasa, and it is very wheelchair friendly.
We did this flight to Copenhagen from London a couple of years ago, though we sailed around Norway rather than the Baltic. By the time we were all through the airport formalities, time had gone by and the coach into the dock area found us there around 1130 to 1200. We boarded immediately and were ready for a drink and lunch in La Veranda. We did not do so, but you are free to go ashore and explore if you wish. The dock area is within walking distance of the Little Mermaid, for instance.
Though my wife uses a wheelchair, we take our own, small collapsible one. I don't think you can borrow one from Regent, but you can always ask ahead.
On return to the disembarkation port at the end of the cruise, as you are taking Regent Air, you will be asked a day or two beforehand about your flight times and will be put on a coach which should take you on a sightseeing tour before dropping you off at the airport around 3 hours before the scheduled departure.
Do I remember correctly, that if you do not go with a Regent tour in Russia, you will need a Visa?
The tour company will arrange the Visa for you. You must book early to make it smooth. We were not allowed to freely roam - but - they were able to get us past most lines - we were even able to be an hour early for a tour and we were the only one at our location because most of the staff for the venue were at lunch!)
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Great to hear from you! We did qualify for the pre cruise 1 night in Copenhagen but we have already been there before so decided to fly in on the day of embarkation. Reading the responses so far, it seems we will have some time to kill between our arrival that morning and embarkation. So currently I am contemplating handing over the luggage to the person greeting us at the airport and heading over to Nyhavn for a morning coffee and danish and taking a taxi to the port. However, will play it by the ear on the day depending on how keen my folks are.
Re. shore excursions, are you contemplating taking the RSSC ones or privately arranged ones?
Please consider latest boarding versus sailing time
If Voyager sails at 1700 you will have to board signifcantly earlier.
Check this with Regent.
There will be a "muster" drill before sailing that takes some time.
Also being somewhat mobility challenged similar to your mother I would offer some advice. My experience, mainly US and Canada, is that airports and
the seaport have wheelchairs and pushers available. Use them, they usually
jump the lines.
If you want to tour Copenhagen, consider flying a day early. After the hassle of flying and getting to the seaport and boarding, I find the afternoon a time
for relaxing and unpacking.
As it is our first time with Regent I intend to use the free excursions when available. We don't plan on doing more than one a day as we want a relaxing time.
We have booked a G grade suite on deck 7 and having watched a number of videos on you tube it looks just about perfect for our needs & budget!