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About etrade10

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  1. Viking does it right. We had a wonderful cruise sailing the Baltic Sea! Even on a full sailing the ship never felt very crowded. EMBARKATION- Super smooth. Rep at Stockholm airport and they put us in a private transfer to ship. About 45 minute ride. On ship in a minute after arrival Stockholm- Took included tour. Bus tour around city with quick photo stop at city hall. We then went to Vasa Museum on our own which is highly recommended. Viking provided a complimentary shuttle back to the ship every half hour from in front of the opera house. QUICK TIP: If departing from Stockholm in the morning, get up for the sail away. We left at 5:00am and the first couple hours of cruising we just idyllic St. Petersburg- We did the included bus tour with short stops at Church of Spilled Blood and St. Isaacs Cathedral. We also did the Canal Cruise which was a little disappointing. We really enjoyed the actual canal cruising but that only lasted 1 hour of a 5 hour shore excursion. The rest of the time was spent inside the 2 aforementioned churches. For $100 a person we would have enjoyed more time cruising the rivers QUICK TIP: BE VERY CAREFUL with your passport. If you lose passport you have to drive to Moscow to get a new one. Thousands of dollars and a missed cruise later you may have a story to tell but not one you want to have to tell Tallinn- This was actually our favorite port on the cruise. Such a well preserved Old Town really transports you back in time. The included tour is mostly walking with a short bus ride. We stayed on our own in the Old town area before catching the complimentary shuttle back to the ship Visby- A really surprising delightful island. About a 2 hour walking tour through the town. Loved seeing all the ruins. Highly recommended QUICK TIP: It is really windy outside the town walls. Once you get inside the walls it is more bearable Bornholm- Bus tour through the countryside with two 30 minute stops along the way in small fishing towns. We didn't particularly love this tour, although the countryside is really pretty there isn't much to see in the towns. There were amazing fields of yellow flowers in bloom. Copenhagen- 3 hour walking tour. Walk alongside the harbor to Little Mermaid statue, through Kastellet grounds, Amelienborg Palace and ending in Nyhaven area. This tour is pretty demanding and we were exhausted by the end of it. In reality you could just see these sights on your own at your own pace and with only one day in Copenhagen if I were to do it again that's what I would do. Shuttle service all day from near Nyhaven street. In the afternoon we went back into city and rented bikes. The city bikes (bycyclen white bikes) are a great way to see the city. Bike paths are everywhere so it feels pretty safe. Also they have electric engine assist which made it very easy to ride. About $3 per 30 mintues and there are stations throughout city to drop the bikes off- Highly recommended DISEMBARK- Smooth and helpful with staff everywhere assisting. The main downside is they transfer you to airport SOOO early. We arrived at CPH at 9:30am for a 1:30pm flight. The checkin counter didn't even open until 11:30am. Just be aware if you book transfers with Viking you will get there way too early, but I guess its better than the alternative. Dining- We thought the food was excellent overall. We ate most meals in world café because we enjoy the convenience of picking a little of everything. We did have 5 meals in the specialty restaurants and each was a very special experience. Manfredis was probably our favorite venue but beware portions are huge and room is loud. Chefs table is a much quieter environment with 4 course food/wine pairings. Don't miss Mamsens waffles in Explorers Lounge! The only item that was disappointing throughout the ship was the brewed coffee. It was awful. We ended up getting lattes and cappuccinos from the Viking Living room bar on Deck 1 each morning. Those were very tasty. Entertainment- Don't expect large productions but there was some performance each night. Our favorites were the Russian dancers who came onboard as well as two opera singers in Russia as well. If you don't make it out in St. Petersburg to see a ballet or other show its nice that Viking brings that local entertainment to you. Also Cruise director Bevin had a performance one night which was outstanding. The 4 piece singing group was just ok. Production was a little bit cheesy at times. Ship- Perfect size ship. Never felt crowded. Weather was nice so we enjoyed some meals outside on pool deck. Also be sure to go to Spa for steam room and ice room. Work out those sore muscles. Hope this review helps those considering this itinerary. You really cant go wrong with Viking and we keep coming back to this cruise line for the amazing food, attentive service, long times in port, no screaming kids and plenty of space onboard to relax and enjoy family and friends
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