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Old 04-12-2006, 02:05 PM
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I see posts for St. Petersburg for other dates. Is anyone interested in sharing with a group of 4 for June 8 or 9. I am looking at booking DenRus.
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Old 04-14-2006, 04:34 PM
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Hi: We are 3 female friends in our 40s who have been trying to find 2-4 more people to join us for a 2 day custom St Petersburg tour with DenRus on June 8 9. See the postings on the Cruisecritic.com boards under roll calls. The itinerary they have sent us is similar to the sample custom tour on their website and if we get 4 more people the price would be around the same as the Princess tours and of course we would have the advantages of a small group and private guide. We would be open to some minor revisions to accomodate others. If you are interested please give an email adress and I can forward the information that DenRus sent us. We would love to have a few others join us but there hasn't been much response for our cruise date so far.
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Old 04-17-2006, 09:25 AM
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I would be interested to see your itinerary. What do you think about the "Value" 2 day tour? I am not sure how many are on that tour as opposed to a custom tour. Do you know if we would be traveling around in a mimi-van or what? I wonder if it will accomodate 7 people, a guide, and driver. Are you concerned about being able to get off of the ship in time to meet the van? I have read about it taking a hour to get off the boat when you are booked on an individual tour. i'll go to the cruise critic and check it out.
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Old 04-17-2006, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cruisewest:
I would be interested to see your itinerary. What do you think about the "Value" 2 day tour? I am not sure how many are on that tour as opposed to a custom tour. Do you know if we would be traveling around in a mimi-van or what? I wonder if it will accomodate 7 people, a guide, and driver. Are you concerned about being able to get off of the ship in time to meet the van? I have read about it taking a hour to get off the boat when you are booked on an individual tour. i'll go to the cruise critic and check it out.
Hello: We also have looked at the DenRus's Value Tour and may end up booking that if we can't find any others to join us on the custom tour to bring the price down a bit. The one thing that we wanted to see was St. Catherine's palace and none of the bigger tour groups include that as they can't fit it in as apparently the larger groups can't move through lines and things as quickly. We also would prefer not to spend a lot of time in Resturants and taking the larger group breaks. Apparently you can even bring box lunchs from the ship to save time on the custom tours but we are open to what others would want. All the reports I have read have said that if you can get a group of 7-8 together for a custom group it is very worth it. Yes they tell us it is a van once we get to the 7-8 group with our own driver and guide. I think that even with DenRus the larger groups are 15 plus unless they don't have enough to fill it. As there are several big ships in on our days I think they will have enough to fill their group tours.
Re getting off the ships, again I only know what I have been reading on the boards and all this is new to me but it sounds like even though the cruise line tells you that you can't get off until their tours have departed in fact if you are at the gangplank they can't stop you from departing and most report that you get away several hours before the cruise ship tours. In DenRus's reply to us they gave us instructions to arrange to meet with our group at the gangplank and disembark as soon as the anouncement that the ship has cleared.

At this point DenRus has sent us 2 sample custom tours and if we are interested we can work with them to fine tune it. Both of them look good to usbut we haven't started to work out the details until we know if others will join us. We were going to give it another week or so. The prices are approximately 439.00 US each for 3-4 people group but goes down to 321 each for 7-9 people which is the same as the Princess 2 day.
Here's a summary
Day One+Day Two
City Tour
Catherine Palace at Pushkin
Imperial Park
Peter-and-Paul Fortress and Cathedral
The State Hermitage Museum
Peterhof Grand Palace
Peterhof Fountain Park
St Isaac’s Cathedral
Yusupov’s Palace+Rasputin basement
There are other additions such as a metro ride through the most beautiful stations and the hydrofoil from Peterhof
IF you are able to jpost an email contact I will forward their email which has all the details (it seems that is how other have done it) and if you are interested we could start to contact them to work out the details. The custom tours have to be booked 30 days prior so we only have a few more weeks. Good luck with your planning and let us know if you are interested in joining us.
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:30 AM
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Thanks for the great info. I looked at the value tour as well and it looks like we can get on that for about US 260. I couldn't find anywhere on the web site how large of a group that was. We still think it has to be better than the large princess group. I am glad you pointed out the value tour doesn't go to St. Catherine's Palace. I had not noticed that. I also went to the cruise critic web site and posted on the two threads there. Have you researched Red October? In the cruise reviews I thought DenRus looked better. Are you the group of three from Canada? If you post your email I will contact you directly. We are not wanting to spend more than we would on the Princess tour and I am trying to justify the difference of spending US 321 vs. US 260 for the Value tour. We definately want to see as much as possible.
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Old 04-18-2006, 02:59 PM
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Hi: Yes we are the 3 from Canada (although one is in Germany for a couple of years) I saw your replies on cruisecritic and replied there as well re hotels. Yes we have also been in contact with Red October and they sent us a couple of sample custom tours as well, they are almost identical to DenRus's in content and price. The only difference is that they take you to their own souvenier store for a chunk of time in the afternoon and that didn't really appeal to us so we thought we would pursue DenRus but again are flexible. I can send you their reply as well. I just set up an MSN hotmail account CHNcruiser@hotmail.com so you can email me there and then we can exchange info from there.
 
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