Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > People > Chit - Chat for Cruisers
Register Forgot Password?

Chit - Chat for Cruisers Open Forum for non-cruise posts. Please refrain from inflammatory rhetoric that could be considered offensive. We reserve the right to edit or delete for any reason.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old December 19th, 2011, 05:08 PM
Junior Member
Welcome Newcomer
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 6
Post ship's shore excursions vs. private touring companies

In the two day ports such as St. Petersburg, Russia, had anyone taken the ship's shore excursion and been happy with the result?. I have heard that with many ships in port on the same day, lines at attractions are very long and take away from the sightseeing time. Also, driving times to the attractions take longer due to traffic congestion. If there are only going to be two ships in on the day I am in St. Petersburg, would it still be wise to book with a private touring company or take advantage of the slightly lower cost of the ship's shore excursion and still see the city's highlights? Barb
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old December 19th, 2011, 05:39 PM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,384
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default

St. Petersburg is a city I would highly recommend private tours (even if it does cost a bit more). There is just SO MUCH to see, and a private tour enables quicker access to all sites, plus they'll customize them if you have specific things you want to see and do.
__________________
C U @ C,
Kuki
CruiseMates' Staff Writer
- The Kuki Side of Cruising-
A new Blog post every Wednesday
http://www.cruisemates.com/blog/author/kuki/
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old December 19th, 2011, 06:27 PM
AR AR is offline
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,473
Default

Ditto, ditto, ditto.

St. Petersburg is the poster child city for taking private tours. Among the many reasons. . .

1. The typical 8-15 passenger vans can maneuver better and faster than the lumbering busses. You can literally (and we did) be on your second or third stop before the busses get to the first. In this regard it is important to ascertain that your tour company provides both a driver and a guide, as opposed to a driver/guide. I believe all the major ones do. It is very important. You simply are more agile in a small vehicle. Very important in cities like St. Petersburg.

2. If you do your research you can, within reason, customize your itinerary.

3. I'm not entirely sure how she did it, but our guide managed to bust the lines at literally every place we went that was crowded.

4. Being part of a small group is almost always more rewarding. You get to know everybody in your little posse, and it's a lot of fun.

5. Last but not least. . .in our experience the people who get together for private tours have a little more, shall we say, common sense than some of the people who slog around on the busses. With private tours it's virtually unheard of for people to be late returning to the van, or to get lost, or to be "out of it" in other ways. The fact that they've taken the trouble to set something up or seek out a small private group represents a sort of de facto selection process and generally yields folks who are pretty much on the ball. That may not be a politically correct observation, but it has been true in our experience.

We have already joined two private tours on our next cruise.
__________________
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. -- George Bernard Shaw
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old December 19th, 2011, 06:33 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,567
Default

I agree with AR and Kuki - private tours are the way to go.

Our days were long but very worthwhile.

Our minivan held 16 and the driver -well suffice to say the general consensus was he was the best driver they ever had. St Petersburg is so congested - I would not want to be on a standard coach.

We finished one of our days on a canal tour a la vodka if you get my drift - it was so funny.

Annie
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old December 19th, 2011, 09:30 PM
Junior Member
Welcome Newcomer
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 6
Default

Thank you all for your imput. I'll probably go with a private tour. My husband and I have not been able to find others to share a private tour with and of course, this makes it a bit more expensive. We would like to see as much as we can in the time that we have in port and I think that the positives of a private car outweigh the negatives of large bus groups.Barb
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
companies, excursion, private, shore

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Private Shore excursion Companies alshasta Princess Cruise Lines 5 October 24th, 2010 08:05 PM
Private Shore Excursions - Help! cruiztime Shore Excursions 8 March 8th, 2006 12:47 PM
Private Shore Excursions Melanie R Shore Excursions 2 August 17th, 2004 09:53 PM
Private Shore Excursions Melanie R Royal Caribbean International 0 August 7th, 2004 03:12 PM
western caribbean - ship's shore excursions VS tax g Ask CruiseMates Staff 2 May 7th, 2001 11:34 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:23 AM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1