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👀Another Blast from the Past - Serenade Baltics August 19, 2018🚢


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St Isaac's and Nicholas I statue. 

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Really doesn't resemble Jolly Old St Nick🎅

 

Remember that bus tip from the other day. Back door

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Mariinsky Palace. These folks had a lot of houses. 😉

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The Admiralty (Naval Headquarters)

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Must be around here somewhere

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Selfie time

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Hmm, I have an idea

Nice composition

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I'm not sure Laura got off the bus here

But I think she had a fun day

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Edited by John&LaLa
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Back to the Serenade

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Has to be Azamara when we come back

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They dock right in town

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Next to a submarine no less

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Relics of the cold war everywhere

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Some aren't even in the water

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Ice breaker museum 

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Lakhta Center, the tallest building in Europe. 14th in the world, but that changes all the time now

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Peekaboo Serenade

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Vodka anyone?

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Model pose getting back on the ship

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Last set of pics

 

Some of the sites away from old town

Cool bridge

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Soccer stadium?

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Celebrity Eclipse

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Later that night

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Changed for dinner, but kept the theme going

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Smoked fish in the Jammer

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We went to Chops

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Lamb again😉

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A better pic of the tower

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Goodbye St Pete, next stop Helsinki

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Edited by John&LaLa
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Lovely photos.  A week there wouldn't be enough!  We did a two day tour with Red October, guide was a lecturer full of information.  At night we went to the Folkloric concert (many of them were killed in a plane crash a few years ago on way to performance).  Yes, an exhausting time but well worth it.

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We enjoyed a 2 day small group tour w/ SPC tours. Amazing guide w/ a great sense of humor. We learned alot but noticed that everyone goes to the same places. All the guide services pretty much carry everyone where 'they' want you to go and show you what 'they' i.e. Russia wants you to see. I've attached a couple of videos of the commuter subway. It was beautiful. But we did not take a ride though as we actually convinced our guide & driver to take us to a 'grocery store' somewhere off the beaten path. She could not believe we wanted to go to a mart. But we did! Spent about 20 minutes in a store about the size of an Aldi. It was fun. We all bought a few snacks. Someone bought beer, which BTW was shelf temperature, beer is not sold cold!  Anyway we all jumped back into the van and away we went. Goodtimes!

 

 https://www.dropbox.com/s/c27tbg762w1vb34/IMG_4228.MOV?dl=0

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sc/gzgtecj23zodgym/AADodkzRoi6M_ftBBvjgwSCca

 

 

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1 hour ago, Goodtime Cruizin said:

All the guide services pretty much carry everyone where 'they' want you to go and show you what 'they' i.e. Russia wants you to see

I'd argue the selection of sights offered is primarily demand-driven. That, and time constraints.

There's so much more to SPB than the self-perpetuating list of "must-sees", but, given time limitations, only a tiny minority of cruisers would pick something like the museum of the Siege, the Russian Museum, the excellent Navy Museum, or Grand Maket miniature museum over the much more intuitive combo of "Top 2 cathedrals", "Top 2 imperial palaces", and a mandatory gift shop stop.

 

On a separate note - Goodtime Cruising, thanks for the metro videos. And kudos to the OP - at $36, I think your panorama tour was money extremely well spent!

Edited by napoxoguk
Grr, autocorrect strikes again
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We were booked for this same panamoric bus tour for one of our mornings.  Looks like you really covered a lot on this tour.  

We had 3 different excursions for day 1 and 2 for day 2.   I figured we would be exhausted and so ready for the sea day on way back to copenhagen. 

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22 minutes ago, John&LaLa said:

 

Stop by when you're in town😁

Stayed in Cocoa Beach in Jan 2019 between New Year's Eve Brilliance cruise out of Tampa and Oasis out of Port Canaveral.   Both interesting....  Brilliance couldn't depart for 20 hrs due to fog at bridge and Oasis returned a day early because of Noro....we were fine.  Remember a nice restaurant,  pub I think, walking distance to hotel (Marriott).

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1 hour ago, njkruzer said:

Stayed in Cocoa Beach in Jan 2019 between New Year's Eve Brilliance cruise out of Tampa and Oasis out of Port Canaveral.   Both interesting....  Brilliance couldn't depart for 20 hrs due to fog at bridge and Oasis returned a day early because of Noro....we were fine.  Remember a nice restaurant,  pub I think, walking distance to hotel (Marriott).

 

We were on the Noro cruise. January 2019

We are a little south of Marriott. 

Edited by John&LaLa
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15 minutes ago, John&LaLa said:

 

We were on the Noro cruise. January 2019

We are a little south of Marriott. 

Ok.  Since we didn't get sick, nice to get all the points and our money back!  Headed up to Hilton Head after that.  They also reimbursed for the 1 nt in hotel when we should have been on the ship.

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15 hours ago, Goodtime Cruizin said:

We enjoyed a 2 day small group tour w/ SPC tours. Amazing guide w/ a great sense of humor. We learned alot but noticed that everyone goes to the same places. All the guide services pretty much carry everyone where 'they' want you to go and show you what 'they' i.e. Russia wants you to see. I've attached a couple of videos of the commuter subway. It was beautiful. But we did not take a ride though as we actually convinced our guide & driver to take us to a 'grocery store' somewhere off the beaten path. She could not believe we wanted to go to a mart. But we did! Spent about 20 minutes in a store about the size of an Aldi. It was fun. We all bought a few snacks. Someone bought beer, which BTW was shelf temperature, beer is not sold cold!  Anyway we all jumped back into the van and away we went. Goodtimes!

 

 

 

The subway terminals are beautiful 

My daughter and I visited NYC last August and we found some of the subway stations to be quite beautiful, especially near Central Park and museums. The ones in SPB are missing all the ads for new movies and shows on Netflix  😆

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John - thanks for the fabulous review...
We did a TA last October, starting in Copenhagen - loved Copenhagen, but 4 nights was not long enough to see everything we wanted to see...
The cruise b/4 ours was very similar to yours - I couldn't be away from work long enough to do both...
Maybe in the next decade 🙂

 

In September '18 we did a TP, Vancouver to Yokohama - with a day in Petropavlovsk, Russia...

We loved the tour we did there & had a fantastic time...

 

We missed out on our San Antonio, Chile to San Diego cruise this March...

We'll see what the future brings for us for future Cruises.

 

Thanks for doing the review - bringing us all a tiny glimpse of Cruising!

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49 minutes ago, Von & John said:

John - thanks for the fabulous review...
We did a TA last October, starting in Copenhagen - loved Copenhagen, but 4 nights was not long enough to see everything we wanted to see...
The cruise b/4 ours was very similar to yours - I couldn't be away from work long enough to do both...
Maybe in the next decade 🙂

 

In September '18 we did a TP, Vancouver to Yokohama - with a day in Petropavlovsk, Russia...

We loved the tour we did there & had a fantastic time...

 

We missed out on our San Antonio, Chile to San Diego cruise this March...

We'll see what the future brings for us for future Cruises.

 

Thanks for doing the review - bringing us all a tiny glimpse of Cruising!

 

We want to do a northern TP that calls on Dutch Harbor. Laura's mother grew up there. Evacuated during war and never went back. Her grandfather was harbor master and her grandmother was the post master. Only lines that do it are pricey, and no guarantee it will be able to tender.

 

Glad you are enjoying our trip. Let's go to Finland now.

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August 24, 2018 - Day 6 - Helsinki, Finland

 

Looks like it's going to be a great day

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Our tour today is City of Helsinki with Ice Bar

Another Cruise Planner sale, got it for $43.  With our $200 OBC, I only paid $42 for all 3 excursions for both of us

Ice Bar is in the upper right, we dock in the lower left

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Other places we stop at are the 2 crosses, Helsinki Cathedral on the right and Church in the Rock on the left

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Heading out

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Like Copenhagen and Stockholm, Helsinki has an old amusement park as well

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Our first stop, the Ice Bar

Supposedly, Finnish is the most difficult language to learn. 

Based on the spelling of things, I don't doubt that

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Edited by John&LaLa
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OK, so the ice bar is located inside Winterworld

I hope I can borrow a coat

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Cross Country Skiing is popular up here

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Apparently we need more than coats, time to change

I just realized we match, how cute is that🤣

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Snowmobile suits, boots, gloves, etc..

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It's cold in here

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and dark

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Two shots of vodka are included, the glasses are ice

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Cheers

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Round 2 went well

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Did I mention you can ride a dog sled

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It was, however, another $30 or so. Laura did it, I declined due to my back

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Here is my best musher pose

Or maybe it was a ice walker for the in-firmed

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The dogs are crazy, they just want to run

Laura said the turns are banked to keep the speed up

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Posting video next

 

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