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Trickster999

Advice for Silhouette out of Southampton in May.

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Hi Everybody. We've done 2 NCL med/ canaries cruises.

We fancy something different this time and have the opportunity for a 14 cruise to Copenhagen, St Petersburg etc.

We've had inside cabins before but thought we'd have a balcony this time.

 

Any general advice/opinions on the line/ship/route would be appreciated.

 

Thanks

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You can read several reviews of this ship and this itinerary in the Reviews section of Cruise Critic. I'd start my research there.

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I love NCL ships but also love Celebrity ships too. Not been on the Silhouette but hoping to change that next May as well but only on a 3 night cruise. I loved her sister ship the Reflection.

 

 

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Hi Everybody. We've done 2 NCL med/ canaries cruises.

We fancy something different this time and have the opportunity for a 14 cruise to Copenhagen, St Petersburg etc.

We've had inside cabins before but thought we'd have a balcony this time.

 

Any general advice/opinions on the line/ship/route would be appreciated.

 

Thanks

 

We returned a few days ago from 14 days to the Baltic on the Silhouette. It was a great cruise, hopefully you'll enjoy it. A couple of thoughts, we were very fortunate with great weather the entire trip but you need to be prepared for cool wet weather. We took some great walking tours that would have been a lot less fun if we were cold and wet. You may want to consider that in selecting your tours. You should select an itinerary that best suits your needs. Variations include 2 or 3 nights in St Petersburg and another overnight stop in Stockholm, Copenhagen or somewhere else. St Petersburg was great but 2 days for us was enough. Most people take organized tours that are part of a multi-day package that are great but are also long days. Two days is usually good to hit the highlights in St Petersburg and many people spend a third day taking a train to Moscow. That would be too much for us. We enjoyed the overnight in Copenhagen. We docked in the area by the Little Mermaid which is a nice area with a short walk or cab ride to the central city. The cruise into/leaving Stockholm is great.

 

It was a great trip and well worth the time and investment.

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We sailed the Eclipse on a Baltics itinerary. Highly recommended.

If you are touring in St P (we had 2 days there) spring for a private tour to avoid the big bus schlep. You skip the lines, can customize your days and get in nice lunches.

 

Enjoy

We'd do the Baltics again for sure.

 

Oh and enjoy the archipelago going into Stockholm. Its amazing

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In St Petersburg, we used private tour company. There are several good companies, we used SPB Tours. Groups are usually much smaller than the cruise ship tours and they arrange for the visas in Russia. Group sizes are usually between 12 - 16 people. We also used SPB for tours in Stockholm and Berlin and were highly satisfied with all of their tours.

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If you are looking at the Baltic cruise out of Southampton, here are some suggestions:

1. Celebrity does do a great Itinerary for that cruise and the S-Class Silhouette is a fine ship for it.

2. We flew into Heatrow and took the National Express bus. It much cheaper than most shuttles and certainly private car. It’s very quick, usually one stop going down if that. Comfortable, clean and has free internet. Much like all the tour buses we use on port tours.

3. We went out of Southampton twice. Stayed in a B&B in Southampton and enjoyed, but next time, stayed in a hotel in Winchester which is a short distance north and is a great walking, exploring town with the Winchester Cathedral and tons of history. Highly recommend Winchester for a few days prior. Taxi to dock was cheap.

4. We used a tour company called SPB Tours. They offered tours in most of the Baltic ports especially St Petersburg. Took the Berlin tour which is a bit of a bus drive but well worth it; took the Helsinki tour - it was OK but probably would do it on our own; St Petersburg was a two-day - I’d recommend that you talk to SPB about adding a bit of change from seeing one palace after another - St Petersburg has a lot to see about the Revolution and as Leningrad, one of the major WWII seiges was there. our tour didn’t cover any of that and concentrated on the Tzars. Got tired of gold gilted walls.

5. Strongly recommend a tour in St Petersburg. If you don’t take a ship or organized tour in Russia, it costs you $300pp to go on your own - that was 3 years ago.

 

This is a great tour. Nothing quite like sailing into/out of Stockholm with all the small islands. Fantastic. We loved Tallin Estonia - one of our favorite ports we did on our own.

 

Have fun!

 

Den

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Very good advice from bigbeergut and Denny. We sailed on Eclipse also, out of Southampton. We went with DenRus in St P and really enjoyed the tour. They also came back to the ship in the evening to take us to the ballet. I understand they have been sold to a Russian company, so maybe not the same now.

 

I would spring for a balcony, because one of the most special memories of that sailing was getting up at 5AM on the day we approached Stockholm, to sit on our balcony with our coffee and watch the amazing scenery in the Archepeligo, as we sailed by. So glad someone told us about this.

 

Don't miss the Vasa museum in Stockholm

 

 

We sailed May 30 and only got rain in Copenhagen.

 

Silhouette is my favorite Celebrity cruise ship and this itinerary one of our favorites also.

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We did a Baltics sail early May - I should have taken a winter! coat. We went early from Amsterdam because we wanted to see the tulips but otherwise I'd suggest a later sailing unless you don't mind chilly I was also going to say you might not get much use out of your verandah but the sail into / out of Stockholm is charming (but you could go up to the lounge). We ended up being able to get a very nice inexpensive upgrade after final payment because of light bookings but not sure X is till doing that - now it's bid for a move up?

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I agree about the Balcony! I try not to ‘help’ people spend more money - well, thats not true, I’m always suggesting tours, cruises, etc that cost people more! - but of any cruise itinerary, this is one that you might strongly think of upgrading to a Balcony SR. The sites coming into Copenhagen, and especially Stockholm, you want to see all you can on that. And I don’t think it matters which side.

 

If you can afford the upgrade, do it. But then I just starting thinking about other itineraries where a Balcony is a great idea: Panama Canal, S America, to name a few.

 

Den

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Posted (edited)

The entire trip was wonderful. If you are very interested in St. Petersburg, we did a two-day tour with SPB for just the two of us...Wow! You see everything you want to see and seem to have plenty of time, even for places not seen by most tours. You are treated like royalty, but you pay a premium. If you are not really a Russian history buff, you can do a smaller group and still see the highlights without being on a big bus tour...do not opt for that type of tour...

 

All the ports, IMHO, were wonderful! Stockholm was great on your own, as we were first to view the Vassa Museum. Then we took the rest of our hop on hop off bus to visit other venues and stopping for lunch. The cruise was very port intensive, but there was just so much to see! Enjoy! It is always great to have a balcony to take in the views, but you know your budget, priorities and preferences.

Edited by Lastdance

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First of all many thanks for all the input.

I apologise for not replying. I'm normally very good at that, and in fact I forgot I had made the post. I have done quite a bit of research on TA.

 

We have booked the cruise, leaving next May.

Out niece has organised it. Her and husband, her parents, us.

She is an online travel agent, so we got a good deal. This includes balcony cabins, drinks package and gratuities.

 

I would be grateful for info on the ports. ( apart from Southampton)

 

They are .....

Copenhagen, where we have an overnight. Arrive 1400 and leave 1500 the next day

Talin 1000- 1800

St Petersburg where we have an overnight. Arrive 0700 leave1800 next day

Helsinki arrive 0700 leave 1600

Stockholm (Nynashamna) 0800-1700

Wanemundee 0700- 2130

 

I refuse to pay the extortionate ship's excursion prices.

 

In St Pete we intend to take the two day excursion with TJ Travel @ about £200. Because I understand you can't just walk off the ship and do your own thing. The travel company deals with the visas.

The other ports .......can you tell me how easy it is to get into the cities from the terminal. We just want to wander round on our own.

Stockholm might be a problem as I understand Nynashamns is a good hour away.

 

I would be greatful for any advice on this.

 

Thank you

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Hi Everybody. We've done 2 NCL med/ canaries cruises.

We fancy something different this time and have the opportunity for a 14 cruise to Copenhagen, St Petersburg etc.

We've had inside cabins before but thought we'd have a balcony this time.

 

Any general advice/opinions on the line/ship/route would be appreciated.

 

Thanks

 

We did a similar trip on the Eclipse several years ago It is a great great trip.

Take/dress in layers-- and something if it rains.

Adults 18 and older can drink --as it's out of Southhampton

We used Dancing Bear for a private tour in St P -- spendy but well worth it

Sail Away from Southhampton is lovely--VIEWS are very different from ports like Miami...

We used a car/tour service to meet us at the airport--and bring us to Southhampton (arriving EARLY) as we flew from NYC

We used the same service for a Stonehenge private tour - taking us back to London to fly out.

When going into Stockholm-- the sail through the archipelago is amazing

AND the ship will pass under some amazing bridges on other parts of your route.

Well worth it

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Trickster999

 

If you have the flexibility to change your sailing date, I would recommend checking out the Silhouette itineraries that actually go into Stockholm. The cruise into and out of the port is spectacular. I think your cruise will be berthed about an hours coach ride from the city.

 

Getting into the ports.

 

Copenhagen. A pleasant 25minute stroll into town via the Little Mermaid and the riverside.

 

Tallin. About 15mis walk into town.

 

St Petersburg. You will need either a ships tour or one of the private excursions - otherwise you will need an expensive visa.

 

I'm not sure about Helsinki - I was there many years ago.

 

Warnemunde. A very pleasant seaside town about a 15 minute walk from the ship. Otherwise catch a train from the station opposite the berth and go to Rostock - about 20mins away.

 

Alan

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In Warnemunde we had plenty of time so travelled to Bad Doberan to see the Molli train. The trip is via Rostock which we visited on the way back, then walked around Warnemunde, quite a cheap but interesting day out which we chose instead of the offered lengthy trip to Berlin. We booked the train to Bad Doberan in advance on the DB web site, easy and cheap. Depending on your interests its another option.

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We'll be in SPB in August...priced out various options and found that a four person tour cost about twice as much as joining a 16 person tour. Very easy to find two folks on the CC roll call and we're good to go. We've done this before and done tours with some wonderful folks around the world.

 

We've learned from experience that fewer is far better on tours. Nothing like having one person who just has to linger at every stop holding up the group of 16 (or 40). We also enjoy local foods around the world so another advantage is that you can eat in a non-tourist restaurant and order what you want for lunch. Finally, we can tailor the tour, even on the fly, to what we want....much harder with a large group.

 

Small is better :)

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Thanks for the input folks.

 

We can't change our sailing date so we are stuck with the terminal well away from Stockholm

 

Has anyone gone in from there?

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Thanks for the input folks.

 

We can't change our sailing date so we are stuck with the terminal well away from Stockholm

 

Has anyone gone in from there?

 

Trickster, you might want to take a look in the Northern Europe forum for answers to many questions about transportation, sightseeing, etc. I wrote a fairly detailed review on a Baltic sailing last year; most of the "review" is about the ports rather than the ship. The itinerary was slightly different from yours so it may not be all that useful, but if you want to take a look at it, click on the link in my signature below.

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Thanks Alto.

 

I did in fact read your brilliant and detailed review the other day ( I needed a rest afterwards!). You put a lot of effort into that and the photos were great.

Not sure what you mean by northern European forum.

 

I've been on the forums for the individual cities on our route and have gained some useful info.

 

It's always a dilemma.... pay a lot and let someone shepherd you around or try and DIY.

 

It seems Talin, Copenhagen ( unless we dock at the new terminal), Warnemunde are walkable in.

St P we need to go on a registered company tour, Stockholm is an hour by public transport, Helsinki is an unknown situation at the mo.

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Helsinki is an easily walkable city. There was a shuttle into town at a small cost that I cant remember, sorry.

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We did the northern Baltic out of Southampton last August. It was fantastic. I agree that the private tours in St. Petersburg is the way to go. There is a great tour company and they are in several of the cities you would be going to. It is called SPB. Had a great tour guide that immersed us in the culture. Must do the canals at night in St. Petersburg. Simply beautiful! And yes, get the balcony!

Hi Everybody. We've done 2 NCL med/ canaries cruises.

We fancy something different this time and have the opportunity for a 14 cruise to Copenhagen, St Petersburg etc.

We've had inside cabins before but thought we'd have a balcony this time.

 

Any general advice/opinions on the line/ship/route would be appreciated.

 

Thanks

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