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St. Petersburg


mimi1

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Has anyone taken food of the ship in St. Perersburg this year? I read as post a while ago that it wasn't allowed, but haven't heard anything else lately. We were planning to take our lunch but don't want to go to the trouble if they will just take it away from us. Thanks for the help.

Yvon

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We also plan to take lunch from the ship on 2 of the 3 days we are in St. Pete. I also read earlier messages about it not being allowed, but also read some that did bring food off ship. I hope someone can clear this up for all that are following them to St. Pete. I do plan to email Laura at RO about this, because it is already scheduled into our RO itinerary and she didn't seem to imply that it would be a problem.

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I'm concerned about this too. Not for myself, but for my MIL who grew up in the depression and if she goes more than 30 minutes without eating, she's convinced she'll starve to death. She goes NOWHERE without food packed in her purse.

 

I can tell you right now, allowed or not, she will be bringing all the free food she can from the ship.:rolleyes:

Happy sailing!!

Romy

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Generally, countries, including the US, do not allow agricultural products to be brought into the country unless it is already processed and packaged.

 

Some bad guys live on food and they don't want to let the bad guys in!!

 

So, a package of chips is probably OK, but a banana is probably a no-no.

 

TJ

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I was on the Grand in June. We were never told by anyone that we couldn't take food off the ship, so both days we did. I had a rather large tote that had several things including food in it,(we did a private tour and left it in the van most of the time). It was quite visible to the person at the immigration desk who processed our paperwork and nothing was ever said to us. Also, I didn't notice any signs on land that mentioned food.

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After taking lunch off of the Constellation last month, we returned to the ship and read the cruise news. It said that food was not to be taken ashore. Too late! But I really think that Celebrity said that in every port. We brough soft sided coolers so we didn't try to hide anything.

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Just another way to discourage people from booking tours other than the cruise lines. For years and years it's been acceptable to bring a box lunch ashore, but what's not acceptable is the cruise line losing so many customers to RO. Read between the lines the cruise lines make a lot of money on these tours. Where there is a willl, there is a way!:rolleyes:

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I just returned from the NCL Dream and we were told that it was not permited to bring food ashore in Russia. We had booked 2 full day tours with Red October and had decided to have lunch in a restaurant one day and bring lunch the 2nd day. We packed our lunches (room service sandwiches, fruit, and cookies), in our backpacks, carried them off the ship, and no one asked if we were carrying food at any time. One thing I noticed was that in Russia we were told it was not allowed to bring food ashore (but no penalties were mentioned) , but in all other countries they mentioned heavy fines for bringing food ashore.

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This is what the Constellation daily programme has to say on the subject:

 

"No fruit, seeds, animals, plants, food or meat may be taken ashore in St. Petersburg."

 

It may be that the law is enforced somewhat arbitrarily in Russia but is it worth the risk? On our way back onto the ship a Russian customs officer (not immigration) checked what we were taking out of the country. He particularly asked whether we had purchased any alcohol.

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The Princess "Patter" usually has the message that taking food ashore if not allowed by the country we will be visiting. There is a small message on the front page with a similar "No fruit, seeds, animals, plants, food or meat may be taken ashore" message.

 

Have never been asked if we have any but why would anyone want to take the chance in any port? I know many people do it and can't see the reason why you should not be able to but a law, rule, is a law and never have understood why they choose to break it. I'm sure many people never even look at the ship's newspaper about the port they are visiting before going ashore but that also seems a very foolish thing to do. Someday someone is going to find themself in jail . If they think just because they weren't told a "heavy fine" would be imposed, or that they would only have their hand slapped if they are caught, that it was OK to break a law or rule. Foreign countries are not always as forgiving as the U.S.

 

If you can afford to take a cruise you surely can afford to purchase food ashore if your tour does not include a meal.

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I know many people do it and can't see the reason why you should not be able to but a law, rule, is a law and never have understood why they choose to break it.

 

Actually there are a number of reasons why many countries (and states) have these laws. Some are commercial - we'd rather sell you our products than have you bring your own - but many are more serious - health and agricultural.

 

Fruit, plants, animals, etc. carry germs and insects that many countries (and states) do not want to enter their territory and harm their people and/or agriculture. For example, ever fly to Hawaii? Remember going through agricultural inspection? They want to be careful certain things do not hitchhike into Hawaii with you. Same thing as you drive into Arizona. Don't want those medflys from California destroying their citrus crop. (Ok, the medfly reference is a little old but . . . there are many other medfly type beasties that can cause billions of dollars of damage if they go somewhere they shouldn't.) If you fly into the US in the customs area you may have seen the Beagle Brigade. Very cute but their job is very serious. They're sniffing you and your bags for fruit and meat - get caught with a kielbasa from Poland and they'll take it away and fine you. Just a few examples.

 

I know taking lunch off the ship seems minor and harmless when you're on a Baltic cruise, but please follow these rules wherever you go. They're there for a reason.

 

Happy sailing.

Joanie

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BJS - I just got out my Patter from the first day in St Petersburg and I can't find any mention that taking food ashore is prohibited in Russia. Please don't imply that I am being cheap by wanting to take my own food. I had several reasons for doing so. Number One Reason - My husband is a very, very, very pickey eater,(one of the main reasons we cruise when going to Europe). By taking a sandwich from the ship, I know he will be able to eat something, which saves me a lot of grief. Besides, sealed food such as health food bars, which is one of the things we took with us, is permited to be taken in and out of countries, including the US.

Number Two Reason - I wanted to see as much as possible in the limited amount of time I had in Russia. We did eat in a restaurant the first day, but wanted to save time the second day, so we ate in the van while we drove and got to spend an extra hour sightseeing. Concerning the comments about breaking rules - unless I am specifically instructed to not do something, then I don't see how anyone can imply that I have no respect for rules. If other cruise lines are instructing their passengers not to take food off the ship in Russia, then those passengers have to live by those rules. But, apparently Princess isn't overally concerned with this issue.

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A big THANK YOU again mek. Since we will be on the Grand and plan to take our lunch from the ship both days, I am so glad to see your post.

 

Laura at RO does not discourage bringing a lunch from the ship and sometimes suggests it to conserve time. In our case we were able to add a canal cruise to our itinerary because of it.

 

Julie

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Thank you Mek and JulieJoe. I also am not taking food from the ship for lunch because I'm too cheap to have lunch in a resturant. My husband also is a picky eater (I am too), and we want to save time for sightseeing. I've been on different tours in my travels, where we have gone to the chosen resturant and the food was ineatable. We are cruising on Radisson and haven't heard from any Radisson cruiser about this problem. It seems that it is from the Jewel and the Constelation, mostly. Julie, I also suggested to Laura from RO about lunch from the ship, and no where did she imply we coudn't do this. I'm sure she knows more about cruises coming to St. Pete than we all do.

Mary Lou

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BJS - I just got out my Patter from the first day in St Petersburg and I can't find any mention that taking food ashore is prohibited in Russia. Please don't imply that I am being cheap by wanting to take my own food.
:o I'm sorry if you thought I was pointing a finger at you because I was not. I did not mean to convey the message that if there is no information to the contrary that one is cheap to take food. We have taken food when it is allowed! :)

 

If there is nothing in the "Patter" and they don't have the sign at the gangway when disembarking I would also see no reason why food can't be taken ashore. Have seen many people post stating they were told they were not allowed to take food ashore and they choose to do it anyway because did not want to spend the money for food off the ship. These were the ones I was referring to.

 

Again sorry for any misunderstanding.

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Thank you Mek and JulieJoe. I also am not taking food from the ship for lunch because I'm too cheap to have lunch in a resturant. My husband also is a picky eater (I am too), and we want to save time for sightseeing. I've been on different tours in my travels, where we have gone to the chosen resturant and the food was ineatable. We are cruising on Radisson and haven't heard from any Radisson cruiser about this problem. It seems that it is from the Jewel and the Constelation, mostly. Julie, I also suggested to Laura from RO about lunch from the ship, and no where did she imply we coudn't do this. I'm sure she knows more about cruises coming to St. Pete than we all do.

Mary Lou

Hi guy's:

Just got back a few weeks ago and used Red October and there rest. of choice. Both days we where offered a nice salad, borsh soup(beet soup with a dab of sour cream) really good and fish or chicken was offered, We took the fish as well as others and had no complaints. It was lightly breaded and was excellent. It came with desert as well. There coffee I didn't like but they did have a good cup of tea. Pork chops and chicken where the other main course offered. The rest. where modern and very clean. As far as food off the ship we where asked not to bring fruits or veggies. They had grag bags ready in the morning just fill them up. Good luck you will love it. We did see trays and trays of food heading to the customs shack all day and night, CUSTOMS sure had no problem with food leaving the ship. They do not check your bags so you will be fine.

Ed

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By the way, we did have a lovely buffet lunch at the Hotel Europa the first day in SP. Very nice selection of hot and cold foods and desserts. For those of you who are having lunch out, I would highly recommend it. Fortunately, my husband did find something to eat, but it was great to know that he had a few things to munch on just in case.

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I received a notice in writing that taking food off of the ship in St. Perersburg wasn't allowed - but nobody checked. Russian security simply stamped the pasports and handed them back with a little red card. Your call, but the restaurants that we were taken to were fine.

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