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St. Petersburg Question


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We have a Red October tour on August 11 that begins at 7:30 am. Our instructions from Princess is to schedule private tours not earlier than 9:30 am. I have seen post from those returning from Red October tours from other cruise lines that this restriction wasn't inforced. Has anyone send any post regarding this matter from someone on a Grand Princess Cruise? I would like to know the specific procedure used to disembark in St. Petersburg. Ed
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Scubadiver: On the Regatta we had concerns about getting off the ship ahead of the ship's tours. I approached the Cruise Director a day ahead about this. He told me that as soon as the ship was cleared by the Russian authorities we could leave. Our group stayed discreetly near the gangway a good half hour before our appointed time with Red October, so as to be off the ship and through immigration asap. There should be only small numbers for the private tours as opposed to the entire rest of the ship trying to get through immigration. I would suggest you ignore any intimidating announcements regading waiting till all ship tours have left the ship.

This is not a tender situation so there is no reason for any flaring of tempers about getting off early. Hold your ground, you have the right to get off as soon as gangway opens. Good luck, and have your passport and tour ticket from your tour company in hand when leaving the ship.
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Ed, I just thought to add, Princess is docked very far from center of town, so you would really lose a lot of time by waiting for the ship's tours to get off first. Also, Laura will send you "support letters" which explain her credentials/documentation, the names of the members of your group, and a plea for letting the group off the ship as soon as clearance occurs. They will be there as you get through immigration. Do a dry run one day before St Pete to see how the gangway officials treat early birds. Good luck!!
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Our Moscow tour from the Grand Princess was the first one off the ship at 7 a.m. People who were not on Princess tours, but were standing around where you get off the ship were told they would have to wait until all the morning tours had left. If that's what happened or not, I can't say.
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Peggyann,

You mentioned that RO sent you a support letter. I am going on a RO tour at the begiining of August and Laura only sent me the actual tour tickets. Is there somethng else I need?
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Alibee: The support letters were emailed to us a couple of weeks before the trip. So I made a copy of them and carried them along. If you are concerned, just email Laura and she'll let you know what's up about the letters. I found her very responsive to any concerns I had. Good luck.
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This is the response I received from Red October when I inquired about the disembarkation. Ed

Dear Edward,

We shall email you RED OCTOBER Sponsorship Letter in few days. We send it to all our guests.

We have got experience and there is no problem with disembarkation. Please do not worry!

Warmest regards,

Galia
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Did they send the support letters along with the tickets? I received my RO tickets 2 months ago, and no mention of support letter. Should I email Laura, or expect to receive them just before I leave?

Mary Lou
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We booked a tour with Denrus on our Grand cruise last month. We simply went down to deck 4 where everyone was disembarking and just got off when we wanted. Everyone on the ship's tours met in one of the lounges and went down a separate staircase to the gangway. No one asked to see any documents on the ship to get off early. Hope this helps.
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PS - We were outside, through immigration, and with our guide by 7:30 am. on the first day. The second day we started a little later, but never encountered any problems. My advice is to not ask any questions and just get off.
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