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nattie

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Posts posted by nattie

  1. 20 hours ago, cruisequeen4ever said:

    We were on the sailing right before yours, so it was interesting to read your experience. Glad you made it to Suomelina! Reading your account reminded me I was supposed to come back and share how it went for us before the 6/12 sailing; was it for you? I’m sorry if so; I completely forgot! It was easy and enjoyable for us, too. I’m glad you at least got the Marriage Match Game Show; they didn’t have it on ours! Maybe your awkward host was doing it for the first time. You were lucky to sail all the way to Stockholm! Was it announced pre-cruise or a surprise? 

    I personally think Alexander hates Marriage Match game show :)  We didnt get one on two previous cruises with him either (on Royal)

    I dont think it was ever officially announced. When I booked, I booked Nynashamn, so I bought Princess excursion. However, about a week ahead of time there was some chatter here on Cruisecritic about Regal being allowed to sail in Stockholm harbor with our cruise being the first. I have never received any update on that from Princess, but assumed Cruisecritic is correct (and we were!). However, chatting with crew member while sailing out we were told that our sailing was "one and only" because it is so costly to dock in Stockholm proper. Since that info is not corraborated by Cruisecritic, I am not sure of its accuracy. 😊

  2. I am delighted that more families are choosing Princess! Especially families with thoughtful parents (Kudos!)

    We have been cruising on Princess with DS since he was a baby (he is almost Elite now) and just came back from Regal Baltic cruise.

    First response was pretty spot on all the questions you are having, just couple extra thoughts:

    - Cabins. My suggestion would be obstructed view deluxe balconies on Emerald (if you can get them). You will need 2 for your family and one for in-laws. We were just in one of these cabins and it had a couch in addition to beds, so extra slipping room! If you cannot get those, get a deluxe balconies or mini suite (I wouldnt pay extra $$$$ for full suite) and an inside across from one of them for your family for sure. Make sure to call Princess and mark all your rooms no upgrade as well as link all of them to avoid accidentally being bumped "up"  and moved to another part of the ship. And yes, you will have to book 1 adult and 2 kids in each room you are getting.

    - Dinner. Buffet on Regal is very good, but I wouldnt discount regular dining room either. You can get in and out in 1.5 hours, but 2hrs is more standard. Are you thinking anytime or set timing? I think anytime is more flexible time wise. I would also talk to hostess and head waiter on a first day to explain your requirements and ask for recommendation of a waiter team that would be able to accommodate faster service. Also, on really busy nights (formal), there is normally a kid's dinner at kid's club, so you could just have a baby with you instead of the whole gang.

    - I wouldnt worry about kids "hanging by themselves" so much. With new medallion system, you can track and find them very easily anywhere on the ship. If your kids are generally well behaved (and sounds like they are), it will be fine. DS usually finds a friend and they hang out by the pool, eat pizza and ice cream and make full use of the sports deck without us getting involved. We are in the pool area, but not "actively" supervising (ie reading books and watching movies).

    - Kids club. Your older two can have sign in/out privileges (saves you a lot of hassle), but 7 yo would not. I normally take DS to the club, but he is free to sign out if he wants, with stipulation that he is going back to the room only (medallion will let you know where kids are).

    - Crowds. We have sailed Regal on Easter last year and ship was full. However, you dont see the crowds often. I normally only notice how crowded ship is at debarkation time (especially if first port is tender port!), otherwise it doesnt feel crowded to me. There will be A LOT of kids during Easter week and they will have a special afternoon for kids in the Piazza with activities and Easter bunny appearance.

    - Embarkation. With medallions, you literally just walk on the ship, no hassle whatsoever. You can normally board as early as 11 am (wouldnt count on it though, because this largely depends on how fast previous cruise disembarks) and you rooms are normally ready at embarkation time.

    - Alfredo's. I second that option as great alternative! DS absolutely loves it.

  3. 14 hours ago, Astro Flyer said:

    Thanks for your objective review about your cruise experiences.

     

    You wrote that “Also, last year internet on Regal was amazing. This year, it was sluggish”...where was that cruise?

     

    I’ve read numerous posts from knowledgeable techies who state that when closer to both poles satellite coverage is diminished.  Looking at a map of the world the Baltic area is located in latitudes similar to Alaska.  Last month on the Royal Princess sailing North America’s West Coast the MedallionNet internet was fast & reliable.  Since  the ship arrived in Alaska there have been several reports of very poor internet access.

     

    Same ship, same system...a different part of the world which resulted in bad satellite coverage.

    Wow, didnt even think of that! I am not a techie though :). Previous cruise was in Caribbean (April 2018)

  4. 15 hours ago, jasbo49 said:

    This sounds like a fun event. I hope it does get picked up by other ships in the fleet. I'll bet the musicians enjoy it too, having another outlet for their talents with a just-for-fun feel.

     

    Jim

    Jim, from what I can tell musician were very much into it. They even played encore of two songs, way after the event was supposed to end (to thunderous applause of course). Per Alexander, the event started as "crew party" and Martin had the idea to do this for passengers too. It was such a treat!

  5. We are seasoned cruisers with DH finally reaching the “laundry” level on Princess. We have originally booked Alaska on Royal, but switched to Regal in Baltic fairly last minute. We do love the Royal Class ships – better buffet, Alfredo’s, Princess Live, Enclave, etc. Below are my thoughts and observations from our 11 day Baltic adventure.

     

    Ship. We have sailed on Regal last year before Medallion was fully operational and were excited to try the full power of the gadget. Overall, my experience with it was very positive: shipmates function worked very well, I was able to order drinks to the room and my DS enjoyed all the games, especially Ocean Trek Adventure.

    What I absolutely disliked: 4 apps instead of one (why???) and to top it all off the most important and useful info was not even in the apps, but on ocean.com. Hopefully IT will figure out how to combine all these functions into one app. Also, last year internet on Regal was amazing. This year, it was sluggish.

    Regardless, we love the Royal class ships and Regal didn’t disappoint again.

     

    Room. For the first time we have tried the “deluxe balcony”. The room is slightly bigger than standard balcony and has a small couch. We were on emerald deck in one of the ”obstructed” balconies. Great room with very good room steward and no obstruction except for a deck below. It was a bit small for 3 people in terms of clothes storage, but would be perfect for 2 people longing for the “barrel” chair.

     

    Fellow Passengers. So far we sailed mostly Caribbean cruises with Panama Canal, Tahiti and New England thrown in, ie mostly Canadian, American and Australian passengers. On this cruise the mix was decidedly different: A LOT of Asian (Chinese and Japanese) tourists, which did not mingle with others and largely didn’t speak English. Ordinarily this wouldn’t bother me at all, but this was my first Princess cruise where I have witnessed a fight between passengers. Asian lady was hoarding a table full of $10 sale items and when another lady came over and tried a scarf on (thinking it was another display table), Asian lady yanked the scarf off of the other lady and struck her in the head with a fist. Both DS and I were in complete shock.

    Also, this was the first itinerary where passengers can board at any port of call. Personally, I found this to be distracting, especially when you cant even enjoy the Enclave because of spa tours in every port.

     

    Entertainment. We have sailed on Regal quite recently, so we have seen most of the production shows. I personally really like both Fiera and Born to Dance, so we have seen them again. Missing from usual line up was a stand up comedian, instead they had two different “variety” acts and some “American Idol” finalist we didn’t bother to see. We have sailed before with Alexander Yepremian, who is an AMAZING cruise director and he personally didn’t disappoint again. However, his stuff I found quite lacking. Staff was fairly large (4 assistant cruise directors) and suitably enthusiastic. But where Alexander is naturally funny, witty and welcoming, their interactions felt very forced and frankly “I don’t get the reference” jokes are only somewhat funny the first two times (and this is coming from non-native English speaker). One of our favorite game shows (Marriage) was absolutely ruined by an inexperienced and just plainly bad at hosting game shows host.

    I have to give another shout out to Alexander and Martin (entertainment director) for organizing Princess Rock Orchestra. It was quite an event! Showband and both resident bands played a set in the piazza with Rock hits. It was 4 people deep “standing room only” event that was absolutely AWESOME! I hope this event will get exported to other ships in the fleet.

     

    Ports. We did a mixture of DIY and Princess tours. In order of appearance:

    ·         Stockholm. Princess tour “Vikings to Vasa”. Would not recommend. Tour did not give enough time at the Viking museum, which is amazing. Our guide talked in one spot of the museum for 20 min out of whole 30 min allotted. Most of that speech could be summarized in the following “I have never seen series “Vikings”, but whatever you think you learned from that is wrong”. I haven’t seen the series either, but when museum itself uses scenes from the series as décor and promo items, they cant be that far off! In any case, Viking museum in Stockholm is very interactive with plenty of costumed staff to explain and show things (very welcoming, speak different languages) and is far superior to the Viking museum in Oslo (see below) in terms of what you can learn about Viking history. There is also a “ride” that is supposed to explain how Vikings became what they are, if you have time for it, do it, as it is quite humorous (probably not the intention though). My DS’s take on that was that the wife nagged her husband to go become a Viking. After not enough time in the Viking museum we walked over to Vasa museum. As usual with large groups, there will be some people whose time is vastly more important that the rest of us mere mortals, so naturally we ended up waiting for them while they were being located. I personally didn’t care for Vasa museum, but DH thought it was awesome, so to each its own. I just don’t understand why Swedes would feel so strongly about what is actually a complete failure (Vasa sank in Stockholm harbor mere minutes into its maiden voyage). Ship itself has very interesting art on it. I believe my disappointment with it is mostly due to our guide, who again blabbed on somewhat related topics for the most of the allotted time with mere 10 min to explore on our own.

    Sailing in and out of Stockholm was spectacular. However, I have heard that this was one and only time Regal will be going all the way in instead of Nynashamn.

    ·         Helsinki. We went to Suomenlinna fortress on our own. Very quick and easy ride there on public ferry. Explored the fortress and most of the museums (fair warning from 10 yo DS: Toy museum is not worth it and is complete rip off). Grounds are very pretty, you can go into the cavelike rooms inside fortress walls. Overall we had very good time and learned something new. I was not aware that Finland was Nazi ally in WWII.

    ·         St. Petersburg. Private tour of all the city highlights. We used City Break Tours to make us a very custom itinerary of all the “must-sees”. We had a private guide, Masha, who spoke excellent English, and driver Yuri. Masha was extremely knowledgeable guide, I have learned quite a few things from her! They took as to the following places per our agreed upon itinerary (I have been to SPB twice as a kid, so my observations are somewhat tainted by that fact):

    o   Faberge Museum. DH loved it, both DS and I felt like it could have been easily skipped. Unless you really LOVE all things Faberge (DH), this could be easily forfeited for something else.

    o   Hermitage. We did standard 2 hour tour with all the highlights (and crowds), plus visited “special interest” rooms for DS – mummies and weapons (unfortunately knights room was not open). Additionally, we visited “treasure rooms”, these are separate $$$ fee entry with separate guide assigned to your party. There are 3 gold rooms with gold artefacts dating back 600 AD and 2 diamond rooms with tsar trinkets. Kremlin’s “treasure gallery” (I forget what is really called) is way better. Again, DH LOVED it (he loves shiny things), both DS and I were bored and could have easily passed on them, especially given the $ amount it costs to enter. We ate lunch at Hermitage café, crowded, but food is very tasty and pastries/cakes were divine! Word of warning, all Russian sandwiches come with mayo and/or mustard already inside. Could be a problem (DS).

    o   Last stop on day 1 (after picture stop in Palace Square) was Peterhoff fountain Park and the Grand Palace. All three famous palaces (Winter Palace/Hermitage, Peterhoff/Grand Palace and Pushkin/Catherine’s Palace) are very similar in architecture and décor (gold, gold and more gold) and frankly if it wasn’t for DH (again, he loves shiny things), I would have skipped Pushkin or Hermitage in favor of something else. Note, that you have to wear protective shoe covers in both summer residences, DS got a kick out of them at least. We did love the fountains in Peterhoff and that walk in the park was great after long day of looking at jewelry and gilded everything.

    o   We did evening boat cruise which was also very good. Gives you different perspective on all the buildings when you view them from water.

    o   Day 2 started with drive to Pushkin/Catherine’s Palace. Frankly to me this was the most underwhelming out of all of them. Yes, very pretty palace with gorgeous décor, but it was least authentic out of all of them, because it was completely levelled and looted during Siege of Leningrad. So whatever you see there is either a replica or has been completely redone. Amber room was also supremely underwhelming to me. Gardens were great – pretty and had a separate very small palace Catherine the Great built for herself to entertain her lovers. Very interesting story and spot made even more special for us because Masha (our guide) got married there and shared her amazing pictures.

    o   Monument to Defenders of Leningrad. This was a “must-see” on my list for DS, so he can experience WWII from USSR people standpoint. Small exhibition, but very moving.

    o   St. Isaac’s. I chose only one out of 3 cathedrals, because St. Isaac’s is my personal favorite. It didn’t disappoint any of us. Definitely must for anyone visiting SPB.

    o   Last stop for us was Peter & Paul Fortress. DS and I explored the fortress, including the prison, while DH went to see the mint (shiny things). This was possible because I am native Russian speaker and DS speaks limited Russian. Our guide stayed with DH while we explored on our own.

    Other notes: our guide was very helpful in suggesting things DS would like and fitting them into itinerary; she was also really good at comparison shopping for souvenirs (saved us at least $150 on replica Faberge eggs alone!); we did not wait for more than 5 min in any line at any attraction and it was amazing to me how Masha pulled that one off; do not dismiss row of kiosks in port when shopping for souvenirs, they have some fairly unique items and we were able to bargain with them a bit.

    Long story short, get a private tour for your group in SPB, you would not regret it! I wish we could have fit in more things, as there was a number of museum I wanted to visit, but couldn’t fit into itinerary. I guess we will have to come back.

    Do not miss sailing out of SPB! You sail right past Kronshtadt (sp) fortress! Not to be missed!

    ·         Tallinn. We took a cab to the top of Toompea Hill and walked our way down through the old city. Tallinn was my favorite city in terms of architecture and overall “medievalness” of it, but my least favorite city in terms of locals and tourist facilities (bathrooms). We visited museum inside the fortress tower, very interesting with multiple exhibits (history of Danish flag, military history of Estonia (DS’s fave), tunnels (they link pretty much entire old city, very spooky with great exhibits) and art exhibit we didn’t visit). Just walking the town is amazing with every shop almost a small museum on its own. A lot of fellow cruisers bought wool items there, but I didn’t find them such a bargain (bought almost identical items for way less in US before). Also, best deal on amber we actually got on a cruiseship (with 10% elite discount), so go figure. No need for any kind of tour here. If not satisfied with just walking and reading info, there is free tour (for tips) that I heard was quite good.

    ·         Warnemunde. We did not go to Berlin, but went to the beach and strolled Warnemunde instead. Very lovely seaside resort town and welcome break from “intensive touring”. Best strawberries I have ever had in my life (bought from the small farm stand and consumed immediately) and amazing ice cream. I think my DS ate his own weight in ice cream from different vendors, flavors were so unique and very good!

    ·         Oslo. Due to shortness of the stop we did Princess tour here. We visited Viking museum and Kon-Tiki and Fram museums. Unlike Stockholm, our guide on this tour was very good, knowledgeable and actually made sense when talking about her country. Viking museum here houses Viking ships found in clay as well as artifacts found on said ships. Not interactive and not very in depth in terms of Viking history, as I said Stockholm museum is superior. I was obsessed with Tour Heirdahl (sp) story and everything South Pacific as a kid, so to me Kon-Tiki museum was very interesting, but it is not for everyone. Fram museum is built to house the ship that was used for both Arctic and Antarctic expeditions (Fram) and is very well layed out and tells amazing story. As I said, our guide was great in talking about her country in addition to museum visits. She made me want to come back there.

    I loved sailing out of Oslo almost as much (if not more) than sailing out of Stockholm.

    ·         Copenhagen. We went on debark tour and it was a very good experience. We drove around the city with multiple picture stops and very knowledgeable guide.

     

    Currencies: There has been a lot of discussion on these boards about whether or not to bring cash. We exchanged some Danish kroners, Euros and Rubles ahead of time. I should not have bothered with Kroners, but we did use Euros and Rubles, had to actually take out more Euro’s. Yes, you can get by with just credit card, but it might mean not going to the bathroom until you get back to the ship, missing out on souvenirs and local treats, or, as it was in our case, not having money to bribe parking attendant at SPB attraction to let you park closer without “permit”. My take on it is, if you are doing a DIY tour, take at least some cash with you and if you are on Princess tour, don’t bother. Also, if you are tipping your guide in SPB in dollars, please make sure they don’t have any markings on them and are at least $20 and above (hence might want to tip in rubles). Russian exchange places charge extra fees for small currency and markings on bills.

     

    Food: Very subjective. This cruise all my meals were good, while DH complained twice about his meal being cold. We did enjoy a possibility to order from Crown Grill one night when nothing looked appetizing on the menu. Also, we have finally tried the sushi spot and it was very good! Interesting take on seafood and fresh and delicious.

     

    Overall, this was great cruise and we were blessed with amazing weather (upper 60s, low seventies). It rained once for the entire 11 days (unheard of in the Baltic).

     

    Please ask questions and I’ll try to answer.

  6. Just to report on my experience, we had a great tour! Masha (our guide) and Yuri (driver) we fantastic! Extremely personal experience, with no waiting time at any sights. And one of the days we were there was Sunday! Masha suggested couple different spots my DS would enjoy visiting AND we managed to fit everything on our list to boot! I would highly recommend the company and our guides.

  7. 1 hour ago, FredZiffle said:

     

    I got bored in the Hermitage, and I'm 60+.  The most exciting part to me was getting yelled at by an old Russian woman because I sat down in a chair in one of the rooms.  Apparently, her only job was to sit there and yell at tourists.  I can't imagine a young child enjoying any of it.

    Haha! They are in every museum in Russia and LOVE yelling at museum goers. I remember bringing my than fiancee to Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and his utter shock at being yelled at for standing in front of one painting for too long, and that was 20 years ago! Some things dont change...

    I am trying to convince DH that we really dont need to see Hermitage, but it is a no-go so far. I am hoping it will be too stuffy and crowded and we can bail out early (before DS gets extremely bored). Thankfully we are on private tour, so if we want to skip or leave early, it wouldnt be an issue.

  8. 21 hours ago, neverbeenhere said:

    Coral is correct. The box will get you the same price as the cruiseline and additional moola.

    Not always, sometimes "humongous box" I normally use doesnt have the same sales as Princess. Last time the extra $$ they were offering were less than total sum of perks Princess was offering during a sale. Plus cabin i wanted was not available in "humongous box" inventory but was available on Princess.com. Other times, $$ were worth dealing with third party. It all depends!

  9. I am sorry, you have the same chance of your cc being hacked by Russian hackers in US,  as in Russia itself. Internet doesnt discriminate on the country of origin :)

    Our private tour required deposit of $100 that we made by Paypal and the rest is payable to the operator in USD upon arrival. 

     

     

  10. Thank you for correcting me, fishywood! I always forget that Caribbean Princess is referred to as CB, not CP! My apologies.

    The pool I was referring to on Caribbean Princess was specifically designated as "kids pool", it was right next to kids club, had a sun sail over it for shade and no lounges around. Kind of really well kept secret :). I have not been on Star Princess, but the other Grand class ships I have been on didnt have same pool (Coral, Crown, Emerald, Ruby)

  11. 2 hours ago, pms4104 said:

    Wonder if diapers and swimmer diapers will be permitted ...

    Swimming diapers are/were permitted in the kiddy pool behind kids club on CP. CP is/was the only ship in the fleet that has/had such a pool, on other Grand class ships it was replaced with outdoor kid play area for the kids club use only. Kiddy pool on CP is/was open to everyone and was great place hang out and meet other moms. I once chatted with 1st officers wife for entire afternoon not realizing who she was until her hubby came by 🙂 Good times!

    I used "is/was", because we have not been back to CP in a while (5 years or so) and I dont know if pool is still there. The point is, if area is designated for kids, I am pretty sure swim diapers will be permitted.

  12. 2 hours ago, akeasley said:

     

    I can only speak for myself and my kids (2 & 3) and for us, it's not 'too little too late'....more like right on time.  As Elite on Princess I'm not going over to NCL, Royal Caribbean, and certainly not Carnival.

     

    For others who sailed on Princess and don't want to change lines just because they had children, I would think they may also agree but I won't speak for them.

    I agree. Frankly, all the belly aching from the "old guard" about Princess changes (for the worst) is getting a bit tiring. Yes families with kids do cruise Princess and some of them are even Elite (gasp!)

  13. 9 hours ago, yeggirl said:

    I can't thank you enough for this!  Heading out with our 4.5 year old at the end of the week ... after scouring boards and the web I too felt there was not much info out there... which was making me doubt the decision to bring our pre-schooler on this cruise.  Your post is so very reassuring.  Did a Disney Cruise last year and honestly the amount of kids/noise was just too much for my very shy child.  These activities look amazing and without a million kids running around I think it will be better than Disney for us 😉

     

    One question...any issues with pre-registration on port days?... as in if we get back to the ship early and haven't pre-registered do you thing it would be a problem?

     

    THANKS again!!!!!!!!

    You DC will LOVE Princess kids clubs. They do fantastic job with kids and have very caring staff members. I remember chatting with them in Princess Cays facility on one of our cruises when DS was little (3 yo) and he was the only one in his group attending - most of the staff had child development degrees of some kind (albeit not necessarily from US). 

    We have been taking DS (now 10) on Princess for 7 years now and he has never been bored on the ship. As for screen time, it is normally allowed only in the first and last hour of the opening window (marked as "cruisers choice" on itinerary). Might be different with less kids. On our last 14 day I have rarely seen DS play video games, as they were more interested in air hockey tournament :). 

    Technically, you should pre-register and we try to do that even if we are not planning to go. However, I have never been refused a spot if I forgot to pre-register the night before. You might get a reminder that you should, but we were never told "No, your kid cant stay". Keep in mind that for port day activities, groups are often combined (older and younger kids together in older kid's space).

  14. 2 hours ago, Despegue said:

    And you got scammed.

     

    NO TIPPING IN EUROPE! And that includes Russia.

    Leave your ridiculous tipping habits in the US

    I am Russian and tipping is appreciated but not required, it was wide spread before USSR and came back with Russian Federation. In Russia it is not called tipping it is called "tea money"

  15. We are huge Princess fans and are in fact doing Regal out of Copenhagen in June. Regal is amazing ship fully integrated with Medallion and has awesome internet service (at least it did last year in Caribbean). Normally Princess is my first choice and NCL second, we have not sailed RCCL in a long time. 

    Why dont go with longer cruise (11 nights) and give Princess a chance? They are cheapest per your post, so you will have more $ to go on excursions with! Princess has a bit different "feel" than NCL. I would say it is more "classic" with great entertainment for all ages. My DS (10) loves cruising and he really liked Regal, especially the Princess Live! Princess ships also have great teen clubs with their own dedicated hangout spaces/hot tubs/discos.

    If you need extra info, ask. We have loved our cruise on Regal!

  16. I just did this. For the "security picture" it only lets you take a photo. This makes sense as photo should be recent and not one from 20 years ago with better "lighting". For profile picture (avatar) you can upload whatever you like. We did pics of our dog.

  17. Again thank you very much to Ultima Thule and Hezu. You can never learn from guidebooks what you can from locals!

    Last questions:

    - Does Uber exist in Finland? I have just found out that it doesnt in Denmark.

    - Do we need to buy tix to ferry ahead of time? I have read somewhere that tix machine on the dock is not very reliable and you cannot buy tix when onboard (sounds fishy to me), no such issues were reported for waterbus.

    - It says on the Suomenlinna website that Main Quay is about a mile away from King's Gate (30 min walk). How accurate is that? Not including stops, just walking?

     

    I know it is cheaper to just take tram/bus and than ferry to Suomenlinna (one ticket, etc.), but I think it would be easier to do cab/Uber to and from the ship to Market Square in the interest of saving time.

     

    I think we are going to go with the following:

    - cab/uber to market square

    - water bus to Kings gate

    -  tour from kings gate (opposite end) to Main Quay

    - take waterever comes first (ferry or waterbus) back to Market Square

    Doable? We are in port from 11am to 6pm on Saturday, so will probably get to Market Square no earlier that noon and will want to be back by 5 pm.

     

  18. 3 hours ago, Hezu said:

    As earlier replies have correctly answered it is pretty easy to get to Suomenlinna by ferry from Market Square and tour the sea fortress independently. Just be aware that the ferry frequency can be at times fairly low: the schedule for this summer has not yet been published, but if the schedule is anything like last year (and most likely it will be), the interval between ferry departures is 20-40 minutes on weekdays and 15-40 minute intervals on weekends depending on the time of the day, more frequent in busy daylight hours, less frequent in early morning and late evening. So, especially for return journey, you should plan in advance which ferry is the latest you can catch. Another tip: the Suomenlinna ferry is part of the Helsinki region public transport (HSL) and thus the same tickets are valid for this ferry as for busses, trams, metro and local trains, thus with a single ticket one could travel the whole route from the cruise port to Suomenlinna or vice versa as you can make unlimited number of changes within the ticket validity time (from April 27th onwards, that will be 80 minutes if I have understood correctly). Of course, the taxi option might still be easier and faster way to travel between the cruise port and Market Square. Likewise, the cruise companies may offer shuttle busses that provide transportation for this common route and the cost is probably somewhere between the taxi fare and HSL public transport ticket.

    And at Suomenlinna, at Jetty Barracks right next to the main quay where the ferry docks, there is a tourist information office, so if you need any help to plan where to go in the sea fortress, stop there and pick up a brochure etc. You can also find brochures available for download at the official website of Suomenlinna. Also worth a mention is that Suomenlinna also hosts homes for a significant number of people, so it is preferable to not snoop into every building or backyard.

    Thank you Hezu for great info! If you bu any chance know, is water bus more frequent than ferry? From what I read on Suomenlinna website, water bus might be preferable for us on one of the ways (there or back).

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