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Grand Princess - July 8th to 18th

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We've just returned from the Grand Priness Baltic cruise - July 8th to 18th.

We stayed 2 days in Copenhagen beforehand and 2 days after the cruise

as we didn't want to come home straight after the cruise.

We booked the Princess Suite (sister suite to the Grand Suite), and it lived

up to all our expectations. Our teak verandah was very sheltered so we could

use it even on a blowy day. We used the verandah extensively, for breakfast,

lunch and dinner on some days to escape the rush of the dining rooms. We

even had afternoon tea served on the verandah which was great. Our cabin

steward Khanitta was great, very much in the background, catering to our every

whim. The wet bar, two bathrooms and separate bedroom made all the

difference to us.

We are very well travelled (55+ countries at the last count, but only 3 cruises),

we wanted to see the different architecture and history that these ports were

offering and we were not disapointed. We took the ships tours in the places

where it was a long way from the port (Gdansk and Stockholm) only to get us

there, then did our own thing. The hop on hop off buses were great where the

city had them, just to get our bearings. My favourite ports were Gdansk and

Tallinn, it's a pity we had not more time in Tallinn. We'd already been to St.

Petersburg (when it was called Leningrad) so we did the canal tour and the

hidden scenes walking tour and the folklore show from the ships tour list.

The canal tour was great to see the city from a different angle. The folklore

show was also great, very fit dancers and the music and singing fantastic.

We also managed to see the Troika Dancers that Princess brought on the

ship, but were very disapointed. The Brits will know what I mean when I say

it all started to go wrong when Widow Twanky came on the stage. We left

after 15 minutes, deciding it was better to have a cocktail on our verandah

than watching the show!.

I've also heard from other cruisers that they took fruit for their guide and

driver in St. Petersburg. On our walking tour we were taken to the best

market I've ever visited, on display were the biggest, plumpest, juiciest,

freshest fruit and vegetables I've ever seen. There was soooo much variety

of fruit, vegetables, meat, flowers, cold meat, fish etc. It was just great.

My advice is leave the fruit on the ship - the people here have so much better

a selection than I've ever seen before and the ship can offer. These markets

are in every district of the city, so there is one nearby for everyone.

There were quite a few Europeans on this cruise, and even a good helping

of fellow Scots. You could tell the Europeans, they always dressed for

dinner as if they were going out to a good restaurant at home. Believe me

I have nothing against the Americans, but please, if you could just keep the

noise down to a loud roar in the dining rooms this would help your fellow diners

to enjoy their own meal. ;)

I must say, the Grand does not show her age. She is very well kept and

spotlessly clean everywhere. The waiting staff were all very courteous and

professional in all the dining rooms (we tried them all). They bent over back-

wards to make our cruise a memorable one. Even the pursers desk, we have

nothing but praise for them, they would always get back to us if they could not

help us there and then.

All in all, it was a great cruise, perhaps we will go with a smaller ship next time

as I feel the captain may be more approachable and visible on a smaller ship

(he was on our previous cruise).

If anyone has any questions, please ask, I'd be happy to answer them when I


Regards from Scotland :)

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We were also on this same cruise. I will agree with most of what was said. The ship is in wonderful condition and the personnel on the ship couldn't have been better. The ship does need a little work in some places though. The dry dock in October will take care of these small things. This is our 4th time on the Grand and think the ship looks great.


I do have a problem with this statement though:


"You could tell the Europeans, they always dressed for

dinner as if they were going out to a good restaurant at home. Believe me

I have nothing against the Americans, but please, if you could just keep the

noise down to a loud roar in the dining rooms this would help your fellow diners to enjoy their own meal."


We did not find our fellow Americans to be any more of a problem in the dining room than the Europeans. They were not the ones dressed in jeans at dinner nor where they ever the ones on their cell phones in the dining room or on the tours. The noise level coming from many of the tables was also not just from Americans, but from several other countries represented. So please, don't just blame American's for this. They were certainly not any more of a problem than many others. This ship had a large amount of first time cruisers on it which can also make a difference.


The one thing we heard on several of our tours is how happy these countries are that the Americans are traveling again. We were glad to hear this.



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There are quite a few links you can try to get some information on taxis and

private hire etc. Here is one:




Also, here are the names, addresses and telephone numbers of two taxi services

based in Greenock (I've included the international dial number).


Inverclyde Taxis Ltd

11 Jamaica Street

Greenock , Renfrewshire PA15 1XX

Tel : + 44 1475734563



Inverkip Private Hire

Main Street, Inverkip

Greenock , Renfrewshire PA16 0AS

Tel :+ 44 1475522729


Please note Greenock is about 30 minutes drive away from Glasgow which is

the biggest city in Scotland, but not the capital (that's Edinburgh).


Regards from Scotland.

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From my notes for Greenock - here is a bit I copied/pasted from someone's post:


We got back about a week ago from the British Isles tour. IT was wonderful, especially our guide in Scotland. He picked us up at port and toured us around in Edinburgh and Glasgow area. We went out to the countryside as well as around the town. He is very well versed in history and is a delightful person. His name is Derek and can be reached at claymore@btinternet.com

His web site http://www.btinternet.com/~claymore/


Another tour guide I contacted - was happy with his response and was tempted to book with is Iain Macdonald - see his web site at: http://www.touringscotland.com/web/index.php


We decided to spend the day in Edinburgh since we have never been to Scotland before. If/when we go back, we'd like to use a tour guide to see more of the area.



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