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Carl June 3rd, 2001 07:10 AM

Baltic excursions - booking ahead ?
This querie is addressed to those out their who are familiar with excursions on Baltic cruises. We are going on the mid-July cruise on the Galaxy. We have spoken to some people who have planned their shore excursions in advance. Is it necessary? Any recommendation for any specific excursions and how to do them?

AR June 3rd, 2001 11:02 AM

Re: Baltic excursions - booking ahead ?
Not necessary. Have an idea of what you'd like to do from the online list or the brochure, then listen to the tour spiel on videotape when you get on board. You can buy the tickets pretty much anytime including, if I'm not mistaken, via the interactive TV service on Galaxy. Stay as flexible as you can for as long as you can. You never know what sort of spur-of-the-moment opportunities may arise at a given destination.

We've never been shut out of a tour we wanted by waiting until we were aboard to buy a ticket.


gonzo June 3rd, 2001 04:03 PM

Re: Baltic excursions - booking ahead ?
We just returned from the Galaxy Baltic cruise. The only excursion we did was in Gdynia where we took their bus to the city of Gdansk to explore on our own. All the scandinavian cities are easy to explore on your own. Suggest reading Rick Steves' guides. Everyone speaks english and is very friendly. We bought 24 hour transit passes and really enjoyed doing it ourselves. In Waramunde we took the train to Rostock then came back and explored this lovely seaside village.
St. Petersburg, however, is another story. We chose to use a private guide and obtain our own visas. Best decision we made. I can highly recommend Kolya Blotski -
Many pax had bought their tours through the internet site in advance but I never saw any tours waitlisted until the day bookings were set to close. I agree that you need to read the booklet carefully and be sure the tour is what you expect it to be.

pamda June 4th, 2001 12:42 PM

Re: Baltic excursions - booking ahead ?
With a few exceptions, "doing" the Baltic itineraries is very easy on your own. I keep recommending the Loney Planet guide to Scandanavian and Baltic Europe.

We obtained Russian visas in advance and "did" even St. Petersburg on our own.

Freelancing isn't for everyone, but it is for us. We can do 2-3X as much on our own as we can do with a ship's trip. An added bonus is that we save money.

pamda -- CM Utility Infielder

Jan June 6th, 2001 08:14 AM

Re: Baltic excursions - booking ahead ?

I just sailed on the Galaxy getting back on Sat. the 2nd. The trip was wonderful. I also believed that we would be OK booking the excursions first thing when we arrived on the ship. This is not true!! We were one of the first to hand in our requests and were shut out of a full day tour of Stockholm. I was a little suprised. I guess they really prefer to have you book tours ahead of time. We did finally get the tour we wanted but we were 2nd on the waitlist. My husband and I did all the ship sponsored tours and they were very informative. The trip to Berlin is worth every penny!! Saw alot in a very short period of time. I hope that Celebrity realizes that if they want all guests to use the online reservation system they need to relay that message to all travel agents.
Have a great trip.


poconoprincess June 6th, 2001 05:06 PM

Re: Baltic excursions - booking ahead ?
I was wondering what tours you did and what you would reccomend? Thanks

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