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About mevs904

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  1. We stayed in Copenhagen for three nights after our August Baltic tour and found the HOHO bus to be an excellent way to explore the city. When we arrived in Copenhagen before our tour we had paid for Princess transfers to the Regal that was docked at Oceankaj. Since our plane arrived at 7:00 am it was too early to board the ship so Princess put us on a large coach bus and gave us a 3 hour tour of the city including a trip to the Little Mermaid. Our guide was a nice young man who gave us a lot of good information which was very helpful for our post cruise stay. This tour was an unexpected perk as we expected that we would have to be just sitting and waiting in a holding area until we could board the ship. Concerning excursions, four of the five excursions that we took on the cruise were with Alla and they were absolutely excellent. The only Princess excursion that we took was at our last port, Oslo, because we had OBC that we had to spend. The experience with that excursion was nowhere near as good as the Alla tours. Have a wonderful time on your trip. We are so glad that we took this cruise.
  2. We received two move down offers on our Baltic cruise last month. The first was to an inside cabin and the second was to an obstructed view balcony. We received the offers via email and chose not to respond. After that we received a move over offer to completely give up our balcony cabin. In all three cases they offered much more than $250. Prior to this cruise we received a move down offer for our Panama Canal cruise a couple of years ago. Someday, if conditions are right we might accept one of their offers.
  3. Very sorry to hear about the disappointments on your Regal Baltic Cruise. We were on the August 6 Regal Baltic and for the most part had a great cruise despite the fact that we are not fans of the Royal class ships. (We really prefer ships with a covered promenade deck.) In Stockholm we took an excursion with Alla which had fewer people and cost less than the Princess excursions. Yes, there was a longish drive to the city, but we still had a great excursion and saw quite a bit of the city. Actually, we booked four out of five of our excursions with Alla and had consistently excellent experiences. We never have dinner in the Horizon Court, so I can’t comment on their dinners. The lunches that we had there and fresh and plentiful salad ingredients and interesting foods from a variety of cuisines. We did have NY strip and French Onion Soup in the MDR. The quality of the steak was not great. As far as entertainment is concerned it appears that we may have had different performers than the OP. There was a wonderful Beatles tribute group that got an extended standing ovation and the production shows were very well received. Thankfully, we did not have water or odor issues with our stateroom. We were on the Caribe deck in the foreword part of the ship. Although the Regal is not one of our favorite Princess ships we would certainly sail on her again if the itinerary was enticing.
  4. We were just on the Regal and never saw anyone using a cruise card, but at least at this point, I’m sure that you would be able to get one if you asked. Not sure if this will continue in the future. We don’t care if we can be located through the medallion. That could potentially be a good safety feature. As far as being “tracked”, I’m reasonably sure that Princess is not spending time watching the moves of random passengers.
  5. We just completed the Baltic cruise on the Regal. Fantastic cruise and wonderful itinerary! I hope that you keep your plans to experience these interesting countries. For the record, we are not fans of the Royal class ships, mainly due to the lack of a complete promenade deck, however, we have to admit that we thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. As one poster mentioned, breakfast on port days can be crowded. We avoided the Horizon Buffet and had breakfast at the IC or ordered room service. We never had a problem leaving or getting on the ship in any port. One time there was a long line, but it moved very smoothly. Getting a seat in the Princess Theater could be problematic if you arrived late. We adjusted and were happy to enjoy the excellent productions and entertainers that they featured. Now, concerning excursions. One poster advised booking Princess excursions early. My strongest piece of advice is Do Not Book Princess Excursions. We booked 4 of our 5 excursions with an independent company and they were outstanding! These excursions had 16-20 people vs. the 40+ on a Princess excursion and were in many cases half the cost. The guides were excellent and they were extremely conscientious about getting us back to the ship on time. Another bonus is that if you booked a 2 day St. Petersburg excursion with them you received a discount on all of the excursions in other countries that you booked with them. In addition we received a discount for being a Cruise Critic member. Also, we did not have to pay for these excursions in advance. We paid at the end of our first day in St. Petersburg. I urge you to do some research on these independent excursion companies. They have exemplary reviews online. We are still talking about how good they were and wishing that they operated in other parts of Europe. In the meanwhile I hope that you keep your booking and that you have a great adventure! P.S. We will never sail on the huge “floating milk carton” RCCL ships.
  6. Our biggest disappointment with the Royal and Regal is the lack of a complete covered promenade deck. We can live with the smaller balcony. The Horizon buffet on these ships is a definite plus. If the itinerary on these ships entices us we will sail on these ships. Other than that we do prefer ships, including those on other lines, that have a promenade deck.
  7. We’ve been looking at MSC too and are also curious about this.
  8. Do any of the Celebrity ships have complete promenade decks?
  9. We were just on the August 6 Regal Baltic Cruise and prior to sailing we received 3 offers from Princess directly through our email, not through our travel agent. There were two move down offers, one to move to an inside cabin, one to move to an obstructed view cabin and finally, a move over offer. They sounded tempting, but we did not respond to any of the offers. We love our balconies and since we had never been to that part of Europe we wanted to see everything. As far as the move over offer was concerned, although we are retired we were too “into” our cruise, flight, and land arrangements to want to cancel. As attractive as the offers were we had no regrets about our decision. Now, if we receive an offer on our next Caribbean cruise that might be another story.
  10. Thanks, Caribill. I don’t think that there’s a suite in our near future, but I appreciate the information. Although we’re not big drinkers we do tend to book our cruises during Sip ‘n Sail promotions.
  11. We did this cruise on the Coral which was the sister ship of the Island (before the unfortunate Island renovations ). We were on the forward Deck 10 viewing area while going through the canal and there was no seating.
  12. Just curious, what about passengers who book during a Sip ‘n Sail? Any alternatives for the mini bar?
  13. We were just on the Regal Baltic Cruise and took Alla’s St. Petersburg Must See Tour. It was outstanding. We were very impressed with our guide and driver and their timing and professionalism was excellent. On both days they got us back to the ship exactly when they said they would (almost to the minute). We also took Alla tours in Stockholm, Helsinki, and Warnemunde (Rostock and Schwerin Castle). Best excursions we’ve ever taken. At the last port (Oslo) we took a ship’s excursion because we had OBC to use and it was a very early all aboard time. The difference in quality was significant. We kept looking at each other and quietly saying “we miss Alla”. Our weather was on the cool side and we did experience a few showers, but nothing spoiled our adventures. For the majority of the cruise the Baltic was extremely calm. Toward the end of the cruise we did have a little motion which was fine, it was fun to feel that we were on a ship. Have a wonderful time! I look forward to your reviews and photos.😀
  14. Ahh! Prepare to have a wonderful time! This cruise is a cultural delight. Our weather was fair. We happened to hit a cool stretch with a bit of rain, but we did also have some very pleasant days. We brought light jackets and/or rain jackets with us on our tours and were able to leave things on the bus if we didn’t need them on our walks. I am sure that you will also have an excellent experience with SPB. We found that the different currencies did not present a problem. We brought rubles with us to tip our guide and driver in St. Petersburg and we also brought Danish krona since we spent three nights in Copenhagen after the cruise. As others have said, credit cards are very commonly accepted. Even the roasted peanut cart vendor in Copenhagen took them. We had some leftover Euros with us too and we used a few in the markets in Helsinki, Estonia, and Rostock. As far as things that are not to be missed, the tours are planned so well that you will certainly get to see all of the highlights. We chose to do the Rostock/Schwerin Castle instead of Berlin and were very happy with our decision. Spending 6 hours traveling to and from Berlin just did not appeal to us. Have a wonderful adventure and if you have any others questions I’d be happy to try and help.
  15. I agree. I’m sure that we would have been equally pleased with SBP or any of the other well reviewed tour companies. Our Rostock/Schwerin Castle was particularly interesting. Alla told us that there would be 20 people on that tour. There were indeed 20 guests, but there were also two guides, one from Alla and one from TJ Tours. They combined the guests from the two companies and gave us a 46 passenger coach for 20 people. The two guides were both excellent and worked well together, sharing the narration on the bus. On the walking part of the tour each guide had 10 guests and went on separate walks. They did not ask which company we had signed up with, they just divided us equally. We were impressed with their professional collaboration.
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