My husband and I were on the June 14, 2006 Princess Star cruise. On June 18th we arrived in St. Petersburg, Russia. We had book a two day tour with Denrus. We had received a couple e-mails from them telling us to get off the boat as soon as possible. If we were late, the tour would leave without us and we would catch up with the rest of the group. We didn't have any trouble getting off once the boat had docked. We walked past the brass band and breezed through Russian customs. That is when our problems started. We found our Denrus tour guide. There were six of us from the Star. Our tour guide told us we had to wait a few minutes until the ship Marco Polo was docked. There would be six more from that ship. Well after about 1 hour we were told it would be a few more minutes. Thirty minutes later a "suit" from Denrus came to the van and said it shouldn't be very much longer. He asked if any of us had evening tickets to the Russian dance performance. Four of us did. He told us it would be very tricky to get us back in time, but they would do their best. Finally the Marco Polo tour mates joined us. My husband and I both asked the tour guide if we missed anything in being almost two hours late leaving. She assured us we had not. We did tour everything that was on the list, but we were back at the boat at 4:30 P.M. We were not to be picked up for the cossack until 7 P.M. The two hours we lost waiting on a late boat was not made up. We lost two hours at 1)Peterhof or 2)The Hermitage. These are both places where another two hours would have made a huge difference. Why did their e-mail tell us if we were late, the tour would start without us and we would have to catch up? Why didn't Marco Polo tourist have to catch up?
We were not able to shop with any street vendors. We were driven to one shop each day where items were as expensive as on the cruise ship. My husband had talked to Stan (Denrus) a few times before we left, and he assured us we would be able to shop with street vendors around Church of the Spilled Blood. In fact he said you will probably find yourself in a reverse bidding war between the vendors. We were travelling with another couple and they were as disappointed as we were in loosing two hours in St. Petersburg.
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