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just rebooked canceled Baltic cruise for next June 7/21


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just re-booked cancelled cruise to Baltic this June to next yr.    June 7th on the Sky.  Only was a extra $200 and we still got the perks.

They also honored our Casino discount and free play.

I'm happy.

Anyone else coming?

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1 minute ago, cruisequeen4ever said:

Happy for you! It’ll be worth the wait; we did that one last year, and it was quite fascinating. 

I'm looking forward to it.   Was so disappointed to have to cancel this yrs.

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6 hours ago, dbeckett said:

Sorry as the Sky is a Royal Class ship we won't be replacing this year's cruise with the Sky.

Is there something about the Sky that you don't care for? Please fill us in. Thx

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7 hours ago, dbeckett said:

Sorry as the Sky is a Royal Class ship we won't be replacing this year's cruise with the Sky.

The royal class ships aren't my favorite, but there are several thing I like about them

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13 hours ago, nini said:

Is there something about the Sky that you don't care for? Please fill us in. Thx

 

I am not dbeckett, but I do not like any of the Royal class ships for this itinerary.

a) Will usually not sail into Stockholm but will dock instead a number of miles away with no free transportation to Stockholm itself

b) Just too many passengers

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Sky is a beautiful ship. Was on her Dec 4/19. Large but only felt crowded in atrium, lounges. For Baltic’s I was on Star and yes we had to take taxi into town. Ports & scenery amazing IMO. I prefer smaller ships but with current situation ships may not be at capacity as in the past. Don’t worry one bit. 

Edited by dog
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3 minutes ago, dog555 said:

looking for information about St Petersburg tour groups, especially the tour group BESTGUIDES.  Any information appreciated   

Ports of call forum on cc has good info. I used Red October Russia   Site Excellent. Did not pre pay. US site had you prepay. 

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4 hours ago, dog555 said:

looking for information about St Petersburg tour groups, especially the tour group BESTGUIDES.  Any information appreciated   

 

Look at ALLA tours. Easy to deal with and great reviews.

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I did the Baltic cruise many moons ago.  I choose to use the excursions from Princess for a variety of reasons.  The first was that it was "Russia"  (sorry if I am not politically correct on this).  Heard scary things about being on your own.  I was not wise enough then to research other tour operators.  

 

1.  I didn't have to have any visas

2.  I was fore-warned not to step outside the group.  I may be paranoid, but I assure you....there were "security" everywhere watching your every move.

3.  I was fore-warned to abide by all "rules".  (Don't step over this line...etc).

 

The Baltic Cruise remains one of my favorite of all cruises.  Enjoy your time in these beautiful countries.  All other tours were done on my own by walking, catching a ferry, etc.  

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5 hours ago, leck57 said:

 

Look at ALLA tours. Easy to deal with and great reviews.

We were on the Regal Baltic Cruise in August and we can’t say enough for Alla Tours.  In addition to their St. Petersburg 2 day tour we also took their tours of Stockholm, Helsinki, and Warnemunde.  We still talk about how happy we were with them.  Their pre-tour  communication is prompt, courteous, and very informative and their guides were all excellent, particularly Maria, our St. Petersburg guide.  We took one ship’s tour in Oslo to use up some of our onboard credit and the experience was disappointing compared to the Alla tours.  Alla did not require pre-payment and their prices were less than the ship’s tours.  If you book their St. Petersburg tour they also give you a discount on the tours in the other cities and an additional discount if you are a Cruise Critic Member.    If we were to take this itinerary again we would definitely book Alla Tours.

     As far as the ship was concerned, we sailed on the Regal.  We are not a fan of the Royal class ships due to the lack of a full promenade deck and the small balconies, but we did not experience any significant crowd issues on the ship.

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6 hours ago, leck57 said:

 

Look at ALLA tours. Easy to deal with and great reviews.

SPB is also very good.  Both companies offer a discount if you book at 2+ or 3+of the ports.   Check their websites.  We had a terrific guide from SPB for the two days in St Petersburg. 

Edited by Steelers36
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12 hours ago, dog said:

I used Red October Russia  

 

8 hours ago, leck57 said:

 

Look at ALLA tours.

 

1 hour ago, Steelers36 said:

SPB is also very good. 

 

All three are very good and have excellent reviews. You would not go wrong with any of them. Just look at their web sites are pick the one that has tours that best fits your interests.

 

 

3 hours ago, cr8tiv1 said:

I did the Baltic cruise many moons ago.  I choose to use the excursions from Princess for a variety of reasons.  The first was that it was "Russia"  (sorry if I am not politically correct on this).  Heard scary things about being on your own.  I was not wise enough then to research other tour operators.  

 

1.  I didn't have to have any visas

2.  I was fore-warned not to step outside the group.  I may be paranoid, but I assure you....there were "security" everywhere watching your every move.

3.  I was fore-warned to abide by all "rules".  (Don't step over this line...etc).

 

Unless you have a Russian visa, you must use an authorized Russian tour company or the ship's tours. So a ship's tour has no advantage in that respect over an authorized tour company.

 

With the independent vendors listed earlier in this post, you also do not have to secure a visa on your own. You are also supposed to stay with your group and follow the rules with the independent  vendors.

 

Princess (and other cruise companies) will try to scare you into using their tours, but the advantages of the above listed independent tour companies are several:

a) Smaller groups. Saves lots of time when not having to wait for any many people to finish up a meal or a use a rest room or leave a gift shop as well as the quicker time for all to get on or off the tour bus.

b) Usually able to see more sites than with a ship's tour.

c) Will usually arrange visits to the sites before or after the ship's many tour buses. Thus the sites are not as crowded when you are there.

d) Often costs up to 50% less than the Princess tours.

e) Will get you back to the ship on time.

 

By the way, the time we did this itinerary, Princess puts signs before the Russian immigration booths at St. Petersburg indicating which were for Princess tours and which were for independent tours. Naturally, all but one were marked as for Princess tours. Well, the immigration folk do not care which company is providing the tour, so you can pick the shortest line no matter how Princess marks them if they still try to pull this trick.

 

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5 minutes ago, caribill said:

By the way, the time we did this itinerary, Princess puts signs before the Russian immigration booths at St. Petersburg indicating which were for Princess tours and which were for independent tours. Naturally, all but one were marked as for Princess tours. Well, the immigration folk do not care which company is providing the tour, so you can pick the shortest line no matter how Princess marks them if they still try to pull this trick.

Did not see this "trick" going on when we did the cruise last summer.  On Day 1, they did have passengers heading off the ship in bunches so the immigration building would not be over-crowded.

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Agree with everything caribill said above. Things may have changed or are changing. Excellent info on cc ports of call forum. Tour companies can give you info on this  and the one I used had excellent communication. We paid at end of our 2 day tour. Only issue was heavy traffic getting back to ship. 

Edited by dog
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3 minutes ago, dog said:

Only issue was heavy traffic getting back to ship. 

 

We had that issue also on the second day. We saw a Princess tour bus and told our driver just be sure he beat that bus back.

 

Turned out that a number of Princess buses were stuck in traffic and it was three more hours until all of them returned and the ship could sail.

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Thanks caribxll for the updated information and clarification.  It was a very long time ago and I wasn't as "learn'ed" as I am today.  Russia is a must see, regardless of which tour you take.  

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