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Northern Delights in 6/17


estelle
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Hi, I'd like to know if any of the ports are close enough to the towns that we can sight see without booking a tour from the cruise ship. Also, we are planning on booking the 3 night specialty restaurant package. Do you have any experience with this and are there any specialty theme nights that you would suggest we eat in the main dining room, such as Captains dinner or similar. I will be traveling with my family for my 70th birthday celebration and there will be 11 of us ranging in age from 9-70. Unfortunately, 2 booked in the UK and have been unable to link to our US booking and they got my time dining instead of early sitting. Do you know if we will be able to change this on board? I called RCL in the US but they were not helpful. Thanks for any tips and suggestions you can provide to help make this a trip of a lifetime.

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Does anyone have a link to Compasses (daily planner) for the 12 night Northern Delights (Baltic) cruise on Navigator of the Seas?

The closest Compasses you'll find for the itinerary are from the Serenade this past July/August. Regarding the ports, Tallin is walkable from the ship. Riga, if on the itinerary, is walkable from the shuttle bus drop off point ($14 roundtrip). In St. Petersburg, it's usually cheaper to book a tour and get a tourist visa from your tour company than to get a visa to your on your own. Here, if recommend trying privately, than with RCI, as your tour group will be much smaller (12-15) instead of a large bus.

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Thanks for the info. Rigs is not on opt trip. How do I get the Compassrs for the Serensde?

Here are the Compasses:

 

http://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/cruise-compasses/serenade-of-the-seas/sun-2016-07-24-0000

 

You might find this blog post helpful, too:

 

http://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2016/08/17/7-tips-great-royal-caribbean-baltic-cruise

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 Most of the port stops were too far away to walk.  Oslo was close enough to walk around the city but we also took an excursion to the Viking museum.  Copenhagen was too far and we took a shuttle which is a small fee.  From where the shuttle dropped us off we walked to a nice park that has a beautiful castle that holds the Denmark crown jewels and is well worth the cost of admission.  Tallinn was somewhat close but we paid for the shuttle and glad we did.  They drop you off right next to the old walled city which is what you want to see.  St. Petersburg Russia was nice to see but I wouldnt do it again.  We went on excursions to the Hermitage one day and Catherines Palace the next day.  I m not sure if it was just the wrong time of year but the lines were long and they seemed to rush us through the tour.  When you get off the ship to go on your tours the lines are long just to get through the passport checkpoint.  You will not be able to just walk around in Russia. Helsinki Finland is another port you will have to use the shuttles.  We walked around and found a nice place next to the water where they had a flea market and some good places to eat.   In Bruges Belgium you will definately need to catch the shuttles.  Get the tickets ahead of time.   There was a lot of walking on the tours in Russia.  I m not trying to paint a bad picture here but its just the experience we had and yours could be entirely different. Also the shuttles are round trip so make sure you remember where it leaves from to go back to the ship and the times.  It should be where they drop you off.

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Thanks for all the details. We plan to do a private tour in St. Petersburg to avoid some of the waiting in line, etc. We will probably use TJ Travel. Are the shuttles provided by RCI or re they private at the ports?

We used TJ Tours and were quite happy with them.

 

The ship will offer shuttle service for a fee. In Finland, the shuttle was included if you booked a tour, so you had the option to be dropped off in town and then could take the shuttle back.

 

You need to allow yourself some time to get off the ship in St. Petersburg, at least an hour on the first day. After that first day, it's a breeze.

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