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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2007, 11:25 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 3
Any commentary available on Princess 10 day Scandinavia and Russia Cruises? How about the port excursions? Any "must do" items along the way? How about the Crown Princess.
Our previous experience with Princess was good (Alaska).

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Old 11-30-2007, 07:33 AM
Jill SC's Avatar  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 336
We did the Baltic cruise on Grand Princess in 2004. Round trip from Copenhagen. We aren't big on excursions unless there is something specific we want to do. This trip was my partner's first cruise and he was immediately addicted.
There is a great train service in Copenhagen and you can buy day passes to get around.
In Sweden we stayed in Nynasham where we docked and took the shore walk and back through the park. Or you can take the train into Stockholm if you don't want to book the ship excursion. It takes about an hour and the track is right there when you get off the ship. If you want to do the shore walk, just keep walking past the train station.
In Helsinki there was a shuttle bus into town. We took a city tour and then stayed in the city and caught the shuttle bus back to the ship.
In Russia for two days, we took a city tour the first day and a river cruise the 2nd day. The main tours were sold out before the ship sailed. At that time, Russia required visas if you went on your own, but didn't if you were on the ship's excursions.
Tallin, EStonia. Walked right off the ship and into the old city.
Poland. Ship docked in Gydania and we took the ship's bus into Gdansk where we dropped off at the old walled city and spent a couple of hours before coming back. There were also a couple of side stops on the bus and the guide was excellent.
Warnemunde, Germany. Took the shuttle to downtown and then walked around on our own. Great seaside resort, lots of touristy shops.

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 11-30-2007, 12:41 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 3
Thanks. I didn't realize the ship did not dock in Stockholm. And, we'll be sure to book our St Petersburg excursions in advance of our trip.

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Old 01-05-2008, 01:22 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 3

I did the Star Princess cruise to the Baltics (Scandinavia & St. Petersburg) in July of 2007.
Usually an excursion isnt necessary, unless you like to be on a tourbus and seeing historical sites. We didnt do a excursion in Finland, Sweeden, Poland, Copenhagen, & Latvia. All these countries are clean and safe to travel. When you get off the ship, you are in close distance with the center of town. Taxi's arent expensive (thats the ideal way to get around).If you want to explore churches, shop, etc, an excursion isnt needed.

ONE excursion that i would suggest (and wish we did) was in Stockholm. The ship offers a trip to the ice bar, where everything (even cups) are made out of ICE!! We went to the icebar by ourselves, and they were booked, so we couldnt get in. IT LOOKED AMAZING! That would definently be an excursion that would be well worth it!

When we went to Oslo, we were on an excursion to the Viking Museum & the Ski Jump. That was well worth it.

In St. Petersburg, one needs a visa/or to be on a excursion, in order to get off the ship. Many people would tell you to book an excursion in St.Petersburg with the ship. There are many positives and negitives to the 2 day exursion in Russia.

Positives- In this excursion package, transportation, a guide, and food are provided. Once you leave the ship and go through customs, you are led to a tour bus. The excursion offers many places to see such as: Peter I palace, Catherine the Greats palace, museums, churches, and much more. Throughout the day, you are fed Russian food. Let me warn you that the food is HORRIBLE, and once returning to the ship you will realize how good the food is on board. For the next day (2 day trip), you repeat the same thing. Although I am a teenager, I have a love for history. Im thankful that we did the excursion (because we were able to see palaces and churches), but my family wasnt.

Negatives- Every palace looks the same. Although the tour guide is knowledgable, this tour is like seeing the same thing hours on end. You spend more time in the bus than you do exploring St. Petersburg. To get across the city of St.Petersburg, it takes 1 hour (to cross a bridge!!!!)

The tour allows you to see the historical parts of Russia. The churches were BEAUTIFUL. The palaces on the other hand were not great. I was upset because these palaces are not original. They have been refurbished since WWII. In my opinion, if you want to see a real palace, go to Versailles.

Another option is getting a visa that will allow you to see Russia yourself. You may be dissappointed with the city, they are still very far behind in technology and the way of life. It was quite depressing if you ask me.

My friend on ship had a 2 day visa in the city, and loved it! At night he attended an opera, while we were on the ship. There is one simple way to see if you want to book the excursion. It depends on how interested you are with seeing historical sites. Believe me, you cannot see all of these things by yourself, and thats why the excursion is ideal (they provide transportation and a tour guide). If your in Russia to see the city, get a visa. It allows you to do whatever you please.

The excursion was LONG and according to my family, not worth the money. I was pleased to have seen these great sites, but as a teenager, it was boring and there was alot of walking involved.

Good luck on choosing!

Also, be very careful when crossing the streets! We saw a person get hit and killed by a car. And the police didnt do anything! Ever since then I have no real desire to go back to Russia.
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 01-20-2008, 08:01 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 645

I did this cruise 3 year ago for the first time & just booked again .
To be honest I did not think I would do it again, as I considered it a once in a lifetime type cruise. But, will say I am thrilled to go back again. Especially to St. Petersburg.
Cannot wait.
I do have several albums posted on my webshots link that you can check out.
I highly recommend the 2 day St.Petersburg tour offered by Princess.

PS looking at your countdown we are on the same cruise June 9th

Link to my webshots:
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 01-20-2008, 08:41 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 645
Me again

I forgot I wrote a lengthy cruise review here that you can also take a look at:



Link to my webshots:
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