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Old November 8th, 2009, 02:50 PM
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Default Celebrity Scandinavian/Baltic Cruise in May 2010 - Questions

Hello!

My fiance and I just booked our honeymoon with Celebrity. It's the 12 night cruise to Berlin, Tallin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Stockholm. We have a few questions and we would really appreciate it if people could help us out!

1.) We are a little concerned about the cost of the excursions since Celebrity won't be listing the tours and prices until a couple months befor the sail date. In general, what are the costs? I know that we have to been in a tour group of some sort in order to see St. Petersburg, but I have no clue what to expect pricewise. There is little information out there on the web.

2.) Besides St. Petersburg, is it possible to see the other cities without having to pay for an excursion? I'm curious as to how far away ports are from the actual cities. We'd like to save money and tour the the cities ourselves.

3.) We will be docking in Warnemunde, Germany for a day. When I look at a map, it looks like Berlin isn't very close. Is it possible to get there without paying for an excursion? I assume that we would have to take a taxi or something if not. What is the cost for that?

Any information really would help us out. Thank you in advance!!!
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Old November 9th, 2009, 11:38 AM
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Default (Long) Answers to some Questions-

Hi Margaux93-

First, congratulations! Cruising on your honeymoon sounds like a great way to start things off!

We did a 14-night Scandinavian cruise in 2007. While it's been 2 years, I can't imagine the rates would be that much different - and if anything, the Euro and Pound were much stronger then than they are now. Shopping will be lighter on your wallet, hopefully.

A couple of answers, but please remember they are only my opinion!

1) The cost for a tour in St. Petersburg will be well worth it. We were in St. Petersburg for 2 days. The first day we did Catherine the Great's Winter Palace (Hermitage Museum) and Peterhoff Palace, along with a stop at the Church of Spilt Blood. This tour was totally amazing and worth the all day adventure...probably from 8 AM until 4 or 5 PM with a "typical lunch" at a local hotel. Again, amazing and I believe it was the most expensive tour on that trip, about $150 per person. Do it if you can afford to, as the experience is once in a lifetime. The tour was very comfortable on a nice coach. The second day in St. Pete's we just did a 4-hour walking tour with a stop over to shop. This was only about $35 or 40 per person.

2) Depending upon your itinerary, Celebrity usually contracts bus service from the pier to downtown, or at least the shopping district. My other half and I went to the bookstore and purchased three good books before our cruise: Rick Steves, Frommers and another - which gave us all the walking tours, which we did ourselves in Helsinki, Talin Estonia, Warmenunde, Copenhagen Denmark and Stockholm Sweeden. You can do many of these cities on your own, but do purchase at least two good travel books, as they have very decenet city and street maps, along with highlights you wont want to miss. I think the only Celebrity sponsored excursions we did were: St. Petersburg Russia, Oslo Norway (you have to see Vigeland Park, a must --but you can take a bus or taxi from the pier) and one other, but I forget now-

3) I'm glad you bring up Warnemunde! Listen, we stressed over "what to do" there...and ended up taking the light rail over to Rostock (35 minutes). We did not hear any positive feedback regarding Berlin (and it's a loooong distance away). So we took the train to Rostock and walked the old town, found the gateway to the old city, had lunch at a beer garden, vistited a Cathedral (St Marys?), shopped and trained back to the pier. When we got back to the terminal, we thought we would check out Warnemunde, and just walk down there. I am so glad we did. We could have kicked ourselves by not checking out this wonderful town first. If you've ever been to Carmel, California - you will love this town. Very quaint shops, dining, lighthouse museum and an amazing stroll. We spent 4 or more hours there and could have done more. The beach is right there, and a wonderful coffee shop / restaurant right on the beach with nice relaxing chairs and chaises in the sand. Definitely do not miss checking out this town...not at all the dark and dreary Berlin we saw from videos and travel articles - IMHO.

Lastly, here are some of our highlights that I remember off the top of my head:

St.Petersburg: Hermitage and Peterhoff Palaces
Oslo Norway: Vigeland Park (wonderful outdoor statutory!) Take a taxi
Talin Estonia: Walk there from the ship, Old Town is wonderful with the old cobblestone streets. You can spend all day in Old Town, very charming and picturesque.
Warnemunde: The town is right on the water, don't miss it!
Copenhagen Denmark: We walked this town too. Find a boat tour through the canals in Nyhavn! This is the beautiful buildings which are on the water, you've seen the postcards and pictures, very famous. The tour is around $20 US I think, but worth it! About 2 hours long and will take you past the Little Mermaid, Nyhavn and past the Royal Ships...it was beautiful, and the boats are open and very nicely narrated. Don't miss!
Stockholm Sweden: We walked this too, and found old and new town...side by side. We loved old town, found some amazing shops, restaurant and museums all on our own. , I was hell-bent on finding "Swedish Meatballs"...and I did! They were the most wonderful I've ever had, served with lingonberry jam and mashed potatoes...soooo worth it! You must watch the "Changing of the Guards" in front of the royal palace. It's free, takes about 45 minutes and IMHO so much more colorful, fun and worth watching than Buckingham Palace!!! Line up along the street, right at the corner that goes UP to the palace for the best view. Get there 30-minutes early to people-watch...but the actual procession is around noon-ish, but double check. This was one of our highlights!

You'll have lots of fun on this cruise. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Happy cruising and congrats!
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Old November 9th, 2009, 02:44 PM
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We were on a Celebrity Baltic cruise with the same itinerary as yours about 2 years ago. We booked our St Petersburg tour with Red October (http://www.redoctober.us/). You can book a 1-day or a 2-day tour as we did. Cost per person will depend on the size of your group. It was a wonderful experience and well worth it. Our tour coach was small. It held about 20 passengers. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgable and courteous.

In Warnemunde, there is a train station very close to the ship terminal. You can see it from the ship. A number of our passengers took the train to Berlin and back. I don't know the cost, but I'm sure it is very reasonable.
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Old November 9th, 2009, 09:11 PM
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Wow, thank you so much for all the info!!! You all are helping us out immensely. We really appreciate it! I'm really looking forward to our trip and I'm happy that we have some advice to gone on now.
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