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CruisingFinn

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Everything posted by CruisingFinn

  1. Generally speaking, we don't tip in Sweden or Finland. You can always assume everyone is paid a living wage and that tipping is not customary. If you want to tip, and you find someone to tip, then I would assume the local currency is the way to go as they are usually locals employed by the port authority/subcontractor. Also, depending on the collective agreement they are following, they might already be getting double or triple salary for working on Sundays.
  2. Voyager of the Seas, July 3rd sailing from Stockholm. Booked via TA. Originally in "Ultra Spacious Ocean View", Category 1K. We didn't receive any email from RoyalUp, but went to bid anyway about two months before the sail date. Bid 555 EUR per guest for Grand Suite - 2 Bedroom. Total 1110 EUR (roughly 1165 USD) "Your stateroom has been upgraded." -email received on 10th of June. Reasons for bidding that amount: 1. It was a bit over the minimum to get into "Fair bid" territory, and I threw it just a bit over the threshold due to someone else probably bidding exactly at the threshold. 2. We really wanted this particular suite and none of the others, and there was a limited supply of 2 bedroom grand suites. 3. We could easily afford this amount as got some nice price reductions and deals on the original cruise fare (--> we stayed within our original travel budget even with this upgrade). The sailing is probably not even close to being fully booked. Maybe closer to 50% than 90%. At least there are hundreds of staterooms still available and we are only a few weeks away. I hope this information helps someone else wondering what to bid.
  3. You might be referring to my posts on another forum. I didn't find any reference to Helsinki from this board's July 3 roll call. I'm happy to help with Helsinki related questions though. We are locals and going on the July 3 sailing from Stockholm. I'm eager to help especially those that want to do something special without booking any excursions, and want to experience something authentic while doing so. Walking, public transportation or a combo of the two. Streets here are among the safest in the world, locals know English, and locals are eager to help. Time-wise you can always budget for an emergency taxi back to the ship if you start to doubt yourself during the day. Looking at the Helsinki excursions offered by the cruise line, I'm really sad that someone thinks that this is what Helsinki (or the Metropolitan area in general) has to offer. "Cattle-like" transportation from one boring site to another, and many times with quite unknowledgeable guides that offer made-up facts or pure stereotypes of Finns or their life. On top of it all, the guests are paying a 100% premium for the tour (if broken down to individual components, and separately purchased). There is a reason (or many reasons) why Finland has been selected as the happiest country in the world five times in a row in an UN-sponsored "World Happiness Report", but you can't find any of those reasons or explanations from the standard excursions. You need to abandon the excursions, or should I say "sad tours", and mingle with the locals. If this takes you a bit off the beaten path or you get lost for a minute, you are still safe and will have a lovely time. Let's select a few areas of interest for your party, and I give you a recommended structure for the day with some interesting background for each destination. If you want to mix in a bit of local cuisine and drinks, I will build them into the tour. If you have a budget (per person) in mind for the whole day, I will take that also into account. You don't actually need cash euros in here as Visa and Mastercard are accepted everywhere, but if you are in doubt whether or not your CC will work in a foreign country, then I understand bringing cash.
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