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stephaniecutler June 14th, 2010 04:32 PM

Costa luminosa August 21 to Baltic?
Hi: I am travelling on this cruise with a big family group. We have 2 seniors, 5 mid-aged adults (including myself), 2 teenages (13 and 16) and 2 youngsters. We are mostly from the Washington, DC area. I like to think we are are a fun-loving, laid back and very nice group of people!

We would love to know some other English speakers on this ship. Anyone else going and want to arrange to touch base before the trip? If so, please reply to Stephanie.

If you have done this cruise or a similar one, we would appreciate any advice on shore excursions or other helpful hints. Thanks very much!

DutchSue July 26th, 2010 07:00 AM

Hope I am not too late replying to your question concerning excursions for the Baltic.
Be carefull booking, probably the best is to choose from home and book via internet. Not only now you have the time to read about the different excursions and make your choice, but the queuing on the ship at the Tour Info is terrible!!! You can better enjoy your cruise in stead of waiting in line.

Also be carefull booking too many excursions. Not only can that be very tyring, but sometimes you will not make the next excursion because the first arrives too late at the ship!!! Needless to say, you never get your money back. Before everybody now gets irritated with me: no it did not happen to me. Sadly it is usual older people who believe the stories of salespeople (excursion buro) and sadly it is older people who would have loved to go to the ballet, but they just couldn't make it.
For instance: at St. Petersburg the afternoon excursions leave approx. 14.30/15.00 hrs. and return to the ship approx. 18.30 hrs. When you have also booked the excursions for the ballet in the evening you must leave at 18.45 hrs. Impossible!
I tried to explain to the Tour Buro they could at least point this out in the info, but they refuse and happily receive your money for excursions you will never be able to meet!

Also when an excursion doesn't work out, they don't handle complaints and refuse to deliver a complaint form.
;) Luckily there are other options to be heard, so we didn't make to much fuss about the complaint but handled it back at home so we could enjoy our cruise in stead of standing in line of a company who doesn't wish to listen to customers.

Don't let this put you off! We especially enjoyed the bustransfers and explored the cities alone.

Ine July 26th, 2010 12:16 PM

Be aware that on August 21 2010 the ship will NOT dock at the regular cruise-terminal in Amsterdam.
The big 5-yearly event Sail 2010 takes place and tall ships will take over the dockingplaces in Amsterdam.
Your ship will dock at an alternative place - Ceres Terminal. This place is about 10 miles west of Amsterdam.
So check with your cruiseline re transfers to that dock.

Have a great cruise.

stephaniecutler August 10th, 2010 10:10 PM

Not sure if I replied to you already but many thanks for the information. Our travel agent confirmed this. Regards, Stephanie

Ine August 17th, 2010 05:46 AM

In case you arrive one or more days earlier in Amsterdam, the city will be more crowded because of this Sail event.
But if you like tallships etc. visit the area around the cruise-terminal.
(and be aware pickpocketers love those events to...)
Have a great cruise.

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