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About jarand

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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  • Interests
    Traveling, Fishing, Reading
  1. The "advantage fare" is refundable, and in my case it was cheaper than Snap fares.
  2. When I look into Las Caletas, it says cruise ship passengers can't book it. Is this a situation where the cruise industry has a deal with the resort so you have to book through the ship? Is there a way around that?
  3. Name of beer tasting place was "Aussie Pub". It's not on their usual route--just something that Krista found--so you might need to specify. Great fun!
  4. Our experience with Red Fox was outstanding. We had a group of 10. They sent a nice mini van with both a driver and guide to the port gates, took us on the "Grand Tour Around Riga", and added in a noontime organ recital and super fun beer tasting at our request. The guide was Krista. Total cost was 480 Euro for our group of 10. The organ recital was 10 Euro each and the beer tasting was 10 Euro each (14 different beers tasted!). Highly recommend.
  5. We just returned from our Baltic trip, and we all learned that when you see something you like, buy it. Finding time to shop was sometimes a challenge! We bought in Estonia. $10 for sets of 5. The same ones were $12 on the ship. (These aren't top quality--they were gifts for kids.) In Russia, finding time to shop on the streets was very difficult, and the tour operators take their groups to certain stores, which weren't any cheaper. The shops that are on the pier by the ship are as good as anyplace. A word of caution: They vary wildly in cost, from $10 up to hundreds, and often more expensive ones will sit right next to the cheaper ones on the same shelf. Watch carefully!
  6. I'm on the Serenade now, and we were in Riga yesterday. Yes, we docked at an industrial port 30 minutes drive out of Riga. The shuttle was 14 Euro. There truly is nothing at all at the port. No taxis either. Our group of 10 arranged with Red Fox tours to come pick us up at the port gates, and do a driving/walking tour of Riga. 480 Euro for the group, including the transfer. It was outstanding!!
  7. Thank you so much for doing this! We will be on this same ship June 14-25. I love your accounts, seeing your pics, and the Compass! Enjoy!
  8. We are doing a 3 day SPB/Moscow excursion with SPB-Tours in June. I am looking for feedback from anyone who's had experience with the SPB evening options. Choices are: ~Go Out Like a Local (vodka, canal ride, Nevsky Prospekt) ~Russian Ballet ~Folklore Show (folk instruments ensemble and Cossack dancers) ~Night at Faberge Museum and Nevksy Prospekt ~Private vehicle and driver for 3 hours Thanks!
  9. I appreciate your replies. Sounds like I should plan 3-4 hours. That's just what I needed to know. Thanks!
  10. We aren't really pressed for time, but we are just trying to figure out our day, and I could sure use some help. What is a realistic time to set aside for arrival, check luggage, shower, dress, get in the water, do the mud mask, soak a "typical" time (whatever that is?), shower off, get dressed, and catch our transportation? Also, we're debating between the regular package and the "Comfort" package that includes a towel (needed), drink, and algae mask for 2000 ISK more. Towel rental is 700ISK. How much does it cost to buy a drink separately? Can anyone tell me about the algae mask? Thanks!
  11. Thank you SO much for this thread. It has been incredibly helpful! We will be docked in Helsinki on June 24, which I've just learned is Midsummer day and a national holiday. So I'm at bit at a loss. Do you have any suggestions? Will there be any special festivals during the day? Will public transportation run? Will the markets be open? Suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again!
  12. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge!
  13. We are looking at some interior cabins on the Serenade, possibly on deck 9 or 10. Can anyone tell me if the forward areas on decks 9 and 10 are open deck with access from the halls? Also, does anyone know if the the mid/aft utility area on the center of deck 10 is the kitchen for the windjammer? We're looking at cabins directly below it (9609-9627) and wondered what might be above us. Thanks!