We're taking a Baltic Cruise on Orient in a couple of weeks (yippee!!!). We're intending to do all the ports on our own, including St. Petersburg which we've visited before. We have applied for our visas and am crossing my fingers that they get here on time. We've traveled in Europe quite a bit so we are comfortable on our own.
Any tips on touring on our own in these ports (Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallinn, Helsinki and St. Petersburg)? I'm mostly concerned with St. Pete, are there taxis at the piers, any trouble getting a taxi back to the pier? Has anyone tried the circus? Do they still have the 100% fat ice cream? Any trouble with lines at Peterhof and the Hermitage? I've read that opening times are not set in stone, any trouble getting into anyplace? They didn't have restaurants open to the public on our last visit, is it safe to eat away from the ship?
Has anyone shopped for amber? Best quality/prices in St. Pete or Copenhagen?
Any trouble using the ATMs in St. Pete?
I will be armed with several guides books and lots of internet printouts, a Russian/English dictionary.
Any other general wisdom/tips/suggestions would also be appreciated. Thanks!