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About dogs4fun

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  1. I assume that you are interested in the Must See tour offered by Alla. It is not at all a strenuous tour - in fact, her website lists it at a moderate activity level. We found it a wonderful small group tour at a very reasonable price that included all the "must see" sights for the first time visitor.
  2. You are correct on both counts. Malachite is green and there is a Malachite Room in the Hermitage (this salon is so named due to its gorgeous malachite columns, fireplace & large urn).
  3. Particularly St. Catherine's Passage whose architecture has been largely untouched since the founding of the city. For those looking for souvenirs, St. Catherine's Passage houses Tallinn's traditional artisans - some wonderful, unique handicrafts can be found here. You are probably correct regarding those visiting from a cruise ship and that is a shame because the medieval old town is certainly not all that Tallinn has to offer. In fact, if one limits themselves to visiting only the medieval walled city, they are missing much of what Tallinn has to offer - it is a hip, vibrant city with much to see and do. Even on a short port visit via cruise it is possible to stray from the old walled city and visit some wonderful sights/venues. I love visiting the medieval old walled city - it is spectacular (with much to see) but very crowded during the height of the tourist season. Some food for thought for those wishing to venture beyond the confines of the walled city as many visitors to Tallinn enjoy exploring sights not located within the medieval town walls that are unique and not crowded, for example: the KGB museum, Song Festival Grounds, Kadriorg Park/Palace, Estonian National Opera, Kumu Art Museum, Telliskivi (one of the top sights in Tallinn - fantastic art district that features great shopping - tons of Nordic influenced designs & art - very worthwhile IMHO), Seaplane Harbor Museum, etc.
  4. We've never used this transfer service so have no idea of the legitimacy of the email. I assume that you received the email due to the fact that your recently utilized their services.
  5. I would not consider Tallinn a very small and cozy town - perhaps you are referring to the medieval walled city (that could be described as small and cozy). I consider a small town one that has no more than 50,000 residents and I would consider a town with less than 10,000 residents small and cozy.. Tallinn it is the capital of Estonia and has a population of about 435,000. The medieval walled city is a pedestrian area & buses are not allowed. Definitely recommend good walking shoes due to the uneven cobblestones in the medieval walled city.
  6. You can buy Ivan chai (aka Kaporie Chai) at Vkusvill natural goods stores in Saint Petersburg - the teas found in the supermarkets are mostly Ceylon teas. You can also purchase it in Estonia and/or online (& have it shipped to you). The Moychay specialty shops are a tea lovers paradise - there are several of these shops in St. Petersburg.
  7. Although we have visited Rome multiple times, we would never booked a hotel through any cruise line. I can guarantee that you will find a more reasonably priced hotel in a more convenient location (central storico) if you book your hotel yourself rather than through NCL. I would recommend that you check a site such as booking.com where you can filter your choices by location and price.
  8. That makes sense to me. 😎 Collections from a full group could result in some issues that would slow the group down - especially from those that fail to notify their credit card company of a charge originating in Russia.
  9. 👍 I am so happy to read your post - wonderful to hear that you enjoyed your flights & found them a good value. To many, if not most, westerners, Aeroflot still retains its cold war reputation from 40 years ago. I have flown Aeroflot from Russia to the USA several times and have also flown Rossiya a number of times (from St. Petersburg to Tel Aviv & domestically within Russia). My experiences on both carriers have been excellent (Rossiya is owned by Aeroflot) and, IMHO, superior to most carriers serving USA to europe routes. Regarding the 8 hour layover in Moscow, when I fly home from Saint Petersburg on Lufthansa, I always have a 6 hour layover in Frankfurt - IMHO, if I was flying your route, an extra 2 hours in Moscow would be an excellent exchange for a $1100 per person savings. 😎
  10. Our April 19th X TA to Rome has not been cancelled but I am quite certain that there is no way that we will port in Rome (Civi) or possibly anywhere in europe in April. X's responses to our concerns are frustrating to say the least. I wish X would simply cancel our TA and put us out of our misery!
  11. I would simply contact my credit card company for a chargeback. The problem lies with Thalys, not the customer as it clearly states on their website that tickets can be cancelled via the Thalys website. Thalys is not honoring their contractual obligation to their customer by insisting that they phone. Several years ago I had an issue wherein what was stated on an Edinburgh hotel's website differed from what I was offered when I needed to cancel. I simply included a screenshot of the webpage when contacting Visa and my money was refunded. As a result of my chargeback, this hotel changed their website to reflect their current policy.
  12. Much has changed since 2007. Several years ago, one of the big tour operators in Saint Petersburg was arrested for taking cash payments in $$ and failing to report the income - tax evasion. As a result, the top operators no longer accepted cash payments in USD or any other foreign currency - payment was required in rubles or via credit card. I believe this change was made about 4 - 5 years ago. IMHO, any local operator still accepting cash payments in $$ runs the risk of being charged with tax evasion.
  13. Welcome to Cruise Critic. As noted by CruiserBruce, a private transfer to your ship would be the most expensive option. There are other options including shared transfer, shared shuttle & train. There are options from FCO to Rome and Rome to FCO. These include taxi/uber, shared shuttle (https://www.airportshuttles.com/rome.php), Terravision bus (https://www.terravision.eu/airport_transfer/bus-fiumicino-airport-rome/?af=2728694&cm=33) and Leonardo Express train (https://www.trenitalia.com/en/services/fiumicino_airport.html). Can you manage your own luggage? We would recommend booking a hotel in Rome's historical center - there are many recommendations on this forum. We like both the K Boutique Hotel & the Albergo Santa Chiara. Both are located in the Centro Storico and both include breakfast. You can use a site like booking.com and filter your choices to include breakfast and Centro Storico.
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