Posted September 24th, 2005, 09:56 AM
I'd just like to second the praise for Red October. Our guide was Ekaterina and driver Edward and they were great. We too were able to tweak the itinerary so that we could avoid the tour bus crowds, spend a little extra time here and there, etc. Some people on other threads have commented that their tour guides were unfriendly or unwilling to answer questions. Ekaterina (or Catherine, as she preferred to be called) was wonderful, willing to joke with us, always patient, even when we were being a bit silly, and very forthcoming about her perceptions of the economy and the life of people in Russia. A highlight of our tour was lunch with a Russian family...in our case a delightful woman, Helen, who prepared a lovely lunch for us and with whom we talked about life before and after Perestroika. We so enjoyed this time away from the usual tourist haunts of palace, church, palace, museum, palace, etc. I must admit I was a bit nervous about using a tour company sight unseen and with no money upfront, but I relied on the comments from folks at Cruise Critic, and the experience couldn't have been better!
HAL, Princess, and Celebrity, and now Oceania
But our favorite is Azamara
Upcoming...Costa Rica in 2018 and Japan in 2019