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Best use of time in Gdansk


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I bought the Lonely Planet guidebook for Poland. It says that there is not much to see in Gdynia, but Gdansk has restored its old town since the severe bombing of WWII. It's supposed to be very nice to tour. It takes about 25 minutes by commuter train to get to Gdansk. If you have a tour book, it has pretty good maps and descriptions that you can follow. I don't know of any private tour cos.

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We were on Constellation last July and visited Gdansk. This was one of the few ship's tours we took, and were very pleased. No hassle catching trains, no worry about getting back in time, and plenty of time to shop for amber which we found to be plentiful and at good prices. Gdansk was a surprise delight.

 

FLJudi

 

Constellation British Isles/Norwegian Fjords

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

 

FLJudi

Could you please tell me more about buying Amber? Can you reccomend any stores? Are the prices set or do you have to barter? Are any of stones (color etc) suppose to be better than others.

 

Any help would be appreciated!!

 

Lynn

 

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Try this site regarding amber - it will give you some insight. We saw lots of street carts selling the amber and people seemed to be bargaining, but we bought ours at a jewelery store on the street fronting the river (Dluge Pobrzeze St. #27) the sign said Bernstein on one window, Kristall on the other. The quality of workmanship seemed much better than the street venders. Happy shopping.

 

FLJudi

 

http://www.dragonflyamber.com/choosing_amber/

 

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Yes, we did take the ship's tour (1/2 day Gdansk) and it was excellent. Good guide, gave us the history and culture on the bus ride there, then let us off to wander the delightful town, and then talked about the polical history on the way back - young and knowledgeable.

 

I don't remember the exact prices, but my customs declaration says @$180 for a ring, bracelet and two pairs of earrings. I had bought necklace in the RO shop in St. Petersburg and was able to match it in Gdansk.

 

FLJudi

 

Constellation British Isles/Norwegian Fjords

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Socrmom

 

This is off subject, but I just had to say it.

My daughter used the nickname Socrmom (with 06 added after it) for her online surfing.

 

She is truly a soccermom. All six of her children have played for years. Three of them went through college on soccer scholarships; four of them now are coaching soccer -- two at high school level and two for state champion club teams. One has played professionally.

Her youngest is on the starting team in high school, and her oldest granddaughter started playing this year.

We have to plan all her family celebrations (like Mother's Day get togethers) around the various soccer schedules.

 

love

joan

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Thank you for the information...

 

Lynn

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=4169e1&cdt=2004;12;26;17;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800 New Year's on the Star Princess "Just book the cruise" 12/26/04........

 

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Polish Pottery is quite popular here in Switzerland. I know several people who import it and sell it in Switzerland (at much inflated prices as everything else is expensive here people don't think twice about the cost. However, I have been told it is MUCH cheaper in Poland. Does anybody know if there are stores in Gdansk or near the ship that sell the pottery? (Trademark is lots of blue and some yellow in many mix and match patterns) Has anybody shopped for pottery there or seen it for sale?

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  • 5 weeks later...

For anyone interested in contemporary European history the Solidarity museum is a must see. The monument to solidarity is breathtaking and there is a very nice interactive museum called "Roads to Freedom" about the birth of the solidarity movement in Poland. It costs about 5 zloty ($1.25) to get in if I remember correctly. This was the definite highlight of Gdansk for me.

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One comment on buying amber: it seems if you buy it in a shop then it is usually set in silver, what you buy on the street is set in a silver substitute.

 

Grand Princess 5/29/2004

Dawn Princess 3/7/2004

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Golden Princess 2002

Sea Princess 2001

Carnival Fastasy 1997

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Regarding getting to Gdansk from Gdynia, the local trains are not very safe, as tourists are often mugged. You would be better off taking a bus transfer provided by your ship.

 

Regarding buying amber in Gdansk, go to Mariacka street. It's full of shops on both sides with small stalls outside showing a selection of what you can find inside. You are guaranteed to get good quality amber and silver, which is not always true of other shops and stalls scattered around the city. Also, if you pay cash you will get a 20% discount, but you can pay by card if you want.

 

Shops will accept dollars and euros, but the exchange rate will be pretty bad, so you are better off changing your money at a bank or using a cash machine to get local currency.

 

Voyager of the Seas Nov-03

Grand Princess 29-May-04

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Hi

 

Take the taxi to Gdansk. We paid $65 but know someone who got it for $50 round trip pay when you get back to the ship. The city is so cool. Shops, Amber, restaurnts etc. all very cheap in price. The guys were estatic to find Perogees (spelling?) and great prices on bakery and beer.

 

We had a great day just walkig around on our own shopping and lunching. There is nothing in the port town so go to Gdansk or I would stay on the ship if you do not want to go.

 

Lynn

 

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FL Judi, or anyone else who's taken the Constellation Gdansk Tour...we usually prefer to tour independently, but are now wary of the train.

 

Which tour did you take, the longer one, or the Gdanks Leisure tour? How much actual "free" time did you get?

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Here are some recollections of our Gdansk stop. Hope they help. FLJudi

 

Ship arrived in Gdynia about 7am. We were on a ship-organized tour, Leisurely Gdansk, which left about 8:45am. We had an excellent guide who was willing to answer lots of questions. Bus took us through the commercial seaport city of Gdynia on the way to Gdansk, about 1/2 hour away at the mouth of the Vistula River. Gdansk was another medieval Hanseatic town, belonging to the Hanseatic league - a medieval league of towns of Northern Germany and adjacent countries for the promotion and protection of commerce. Gdansk, formerly named Danzig, was almost completely destroyed by Allies in WWII. Reconstruction began about 1950 in the center of town on structures from 17th, 18th, and 19th century, restored to as close to original shape as possible, based on pictures and building plans. The main part of the old town had pedestrian-only streets with a Neptune Fountain in center of the main square. Walked by beautiful Town Hall. Saw the largest Gothic brick church - can hold 25,000 at mass.

Went shopping for amber. Walked around town some more, back to bus at 11:45am. Old city was a real pleasant surprise - not at all what we expected. On the way back to the ship we drove by the shipyards where the Solidarity movement with Lech Walesa began. There is now a memorial there. Arrived back at the ship about 1pm.

 

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Please listen to what most of these postings are saying. We thought we would just go on our own and do some sightseeing in this city.......there is nothing to see! Not even a souvenier shop so take the ships tour or a taxi to Gdansk........some of our other shipmates did and were glad they did.

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My suggestion since time is tight take the leisurely Gdansk Tour with the ship. Be prepared for the drive to Gdansk to be bleak, but the old town is interesting and the best buys for the entire cruise on amber etc. Go to a store called Michael right on the canal very classy and great prices. I would not want to depend upon trying to get there on my own and back. June 5 Constellation

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For those going on Princess:

Princess offers bus transportaton to/from Gdansk for $19. per person. Perhaps some of the other cruiselines have the same thing?

 

To get there by train, you have to get to Gydnia by taxi and then take the train from Gdynia. It's a hassle.

 

Gdansk was beautiful and everything there is very cheap. The fantastic pastries at the local bakery were about $.25 each and a whole babka cake was $1.00. We had lunch for 4 people for $22. and this was all on the main street which is probably more expensive than the rest of the town.

 

I bought a nice amber necklace from a street vendor for $20. We did see the store called "Bernstein" and it was definitely a big cut above all the rest. It was more "serious" jewelry as opposed to a souvenir. They had a gorgeous silver and amber bracelet for $350.00. For what is was, it was definitely an excellent price. That much silver and workmanship here in the US would probaly be about $400-$500 without any amber in it. They were definitely the best store that we saw for anyone who wants to buy some exceptional amber pieces.

 

Oh and anyone who might be needing a mid-cruise manicure, there was a beauty salon on the main street that offered manicures and pedicures. I went inside and asked the price - $5.00 - unfortunately, the one lady who was doing them had a client and I chose not to wait.

 

Jane

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