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Tira04

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  1. I went last July on the Serenade of the Seas. St. Petersburg is very safe. As you mentioned you either need to obtain your own Visa or go on a government sanctioned tours that do not require a visa (99% of our sailing did the tours!). The port has had a very recent renovation and is very modern and safe. You are a short drive from the city but every tour bus I saw and went in was very modern. I didn't notice any speeding or unsafe driving. There are plenty of shops at the port for souvenirs and most of the major sites will accept credit cards. I would check with your own bank for any possible fees or restrictions. We took cash to avoid any potential problems or fees. Let me know if you have any other questions
  2. Ahh.. different St. Petersburg! I thought the poster was asking about itineraries in the Baltic and Russia...?
  3. I think RCI do Transatlantic to reposition their ships in Europe. Sweden to St. Petersburg is on the Baltic Sea.
  4. I did this itinerary in 2019 as a 7 day cruise out of Stockholm. I'm not sure if RCI is still rolling out 2021, but a number of other lines do this exact same route. We kept running into ships from NCL, MSC, Cunard, Costa, Princess etc. If the itinerary is the bucket list and you need it to be shorter try searching around. I know- a crazy recommendation on the RC blog! 😂
  5. I managed B2B excursions in Scandinavia. Both were though Royal and there was about 2 hours between them which turned out to be enough time to grab lunch. My advice would be to plan for delays in the first excursion and count any time in between as a bonus.
  6. I was on the Serenade in July, also with an inside cabin on deck 3. It was lovely! Spacious and very tidy and good location. Unless you plan to spend a lot of time in your cabin (we hardly did with port intensive itinerary and good activities) I would say save your money for other activities or dining.
  7. I was in the Serenade out of Stockholm to Scandinavia and St Petersburg in July and it was amazing. One of the best holidays I've done. I'm sure they will do similar itineraries again. I agree with other posters to check other lines as there are a few that go to northern europe with some based in Europe - MSC, Marella, Viking. I actually booked with Princess to go to Norway and the fjords for summer 2020. Itinerary was similar to the one Royal is.offering but Princess had choice of dates and could do either 7 or 14 nights...AND they were a lot less expensive! I've not cruised much and have always done Royal previously but I couldn't pass up the deal I got with Princess.
  8. The UK site has been advertising all inclusive sale (including the deluxe drink package) for the last 6 weeks or so. However, when you get into the detail the 'sale' fare only applies to higher rate rooms so you could actually book the same cruise for upwards of £400 less! As many have said on this blog, check the final price of any 'sale'!
  9. It would depend on the port for me. As you say, some of the ports can be far from the cities. It pays to do your research as most places will have public transport options. My last cruise in Scandinavia I noticed a lot of people just paying for the cruise shuttle or excursions into the cities- even when the local buses/trams were across the street and only cost a fraction of the RCL price! What is your itinerary?
  10. This was offered on my cruise on the serenade in Stockholm in July. I remember it was more expensive on that cruise, I want to say nearer $40 per person. We didn't do this as wanted to see Stockholm and have lunch in the city. We just used a luggage store and went our own way.
  11. You can definitely get sunburned through glass. Ordinary glass does not block UV rays, which cause sunburns. Unless RCL or any other window is covered in a specific UV blocking film the rays will come through. I'm not a doctor but work in conservation and museums where this is a real problem for artworks!
  12. Yes, I did 2 RCI tours in St. Petersburg two weeks ago on Serenade. I was really worried about it as we had about 1 hour 45 minutes between tours and I had read traffic in Russia could be terrible. Everything went perfectly and the first tour kept to schedule. We even had time to reload the ship for a quick snack. I think you should be ok as you've got a good break in between too.
  13. Agreed! I couldn't get it to work once on Serenade two weeks ago during our cruise. It kept asking me to buy an internet package or download the app (which was already on my phone!). It didn't really matter in the end and tbh it was nice to just leave my phone on the cabin most nights!!
  14. Yes it's lovely. I lived in Leith about 10 minute walk away for years and visited a few times and always love it. It's interesting to see how the royal family holiday and I loved that they didn't really ever update the 1950s decor!!
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