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  #1 (permalink)  
Old September 30th, 2003, 10:08 AM
lysolqq
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Default Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

Were thinking of booking a 14-night Scandanavia/Russia cruise on the Constellation next May.

While the cruise is pretty port-intensive, we particularly like the fact that most of the ports are actually in the cities of interest, as opposed to lots of ports in Europe which are a 1 - 2 hour drive from the cities of interest.

Would appreciate any comments/suggestions from folks who've done this or a similar cruise.

Thanks!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old September 30th, 2003, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

We did the 12-day on the NCL Dream this year. I love this itinerary because the ports are so beautiful and there is so much to do; it's so easy and fabulous to go out on your own because English is widely spoken. Great itinerary but bad ship that is very run down, so I think you'll be much better off on Celebrity. Princess is doing the Scandinavia/Russia again next year too with the Grand Princess, which is also a nice ship. Be warned that NCL was unable to sail into St. Petersburg on the 4/28/2003 sailing, allegedly due to ice in the Gulf of Finland. I saw some fantastic specials on-line for Celebrity (14-night to Scandinavia/Russia for a balcony cabin for $1900 per person, including all taxes and fees) and the new RCCL ship, so e-mail me at tippor2003@yahoo.com if you want that info. We used the Frommers Scandinavia book to plan our port time, and it worked out great. We got to see so much more than we would have on shore excursions, and this is a beautiful area of the world. We've been all over Europe, and this itinerary is fantastic.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old October 1st, 2003, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

We just got back from Oceania's two-week Scandanavian cruise - see the postings at http://cruise-forums.com/forums/read...&i=1506&t=1506 for some brief pointers. Tom Ogg also posted his trip diary of an identical trip he took aboard the Renaissance R7, which we used as our template: http://www.cruisereviews.com/ren/r-7-2.htm. Oddly, not much changed in the two years between his cruise and ours!

We augmented Frommers with DK Insight's Guide to Scandanavia, which had lots of useful walking maps and photos. We also bought DK's separate St. Petersburg guide, which was useful as an indepth resource (Oceania spent 2 days there in 2003, and will be spending 3 days there in 2004). One person had Rick Steves' guide, but it was more for the backpacking type of tourist - too many hotel and restaurant recommendations and out-of-the-way attractions to fit into a one-day port call.

You can use the books to tour St Pete's on your own, (after paying $100 for a visa) but if you don't speak or read Russian, I'd recommend hiring a guide. The city hasn't prepared for the influx of English-speakers, and even those who claim to "speak English" do a pretty poor job of it. Red October was our guide service and we had no problems getting around.

By the way, Amazon.com is offering the 2003 guidebooks for 30% off - buy them now, before the 2004 editions come out!

E-mail me if you have any specific questions.

Richard
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Old October 1st, 2003, 10:02 PM
Andee
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Default Re: Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

We chose the Orient Lines Marco Polo for Scandinavia and the Baltics because the 14 day itinerary included the Scandinavian capitals, St. Petersburg, and the Norwegian fjords, plus two extra days in a Copenhagen hotel.

I agree with the recommendation of Red October. They personalized the itinerary for us and I wish we could have done private guides in every city.
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Old October 9th, 2003, 11:47 AM
Wendy Lynch
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Default Re: Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

My friend who is a Taiwanese citizen wants to go on a Scandanvia cruise next year with us. Countried in question are Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Norway and Berlin. Does anyone know if she need a visa in each country to get off the ship? And if she needs visas, can this be avoided if she purchases excursions from the cruiseline?

WL
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old October 9th, 2003, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Re: Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

Hi Wendy,

That's a tough one. You may be aware that American citizens do not need a visa in any of the ports that you listed except for St. Petersburg. In St. Petes, a visa is needed if an American citizen does not take a ship shore excursion but a visa is also not needed if an Am citizen goes with a tour guide such as Red October.

Has the cruise line been able to tell you about documentation for your friend with international citizenship? From what I understand, the visa requirements in each country are reciprocal. So if a Visa is required for U.S. citizens to visit Zimbabwe, then Zimbabwe citizens would be required to have a visa to visit the U.S. Since Taiwan would have a separate relationship from the U.S. with the countries that you listed, I hope the cruise line will be able to help. If I run into anything that indicates you can get this info somewhere on-line, I'll let you know.

Donna
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Old October 15th, 2003, 12:15 PM
TARgirl
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Default Re: Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

Many countries have a web site that tells people who (and who doesn't ) needs a visa. I remember looking at Estonia's last year before we went to Tallin.

Your frind should check each country that the ship will visit. If she's currently in the US and will be returning to the US, she she make sure her immigration status is secure so that she doesn't have trouble coming back in.

We loved our Constellation Baltic cruise. Have a great time.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old October 25th, 2003, 10:55 PM
Suzie
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Default Re: Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

My daughter & I were on the Constellation Baltics cruise in August 2003. FABULOUS cruise. We used Red October in St. Petersburg, and booked a guide for Berlin while at home via the internet (Nick Gay's Original Berlin Walks). Tom Abbott was our guide. He met us at the train station in Berlin, and we walked for 3+ hours with him as our historian/guide. Fascinating! The train ride (which you can also book on your own when you get there) from Warnemunde (the port) into Berlin was 3 hours, but well worth the time. The rest of the ports can be done on your own. I found Rick Steve's book on Scandinavia very helpful.
The Constellation is a lovely ship and the crew is great! Enjoy your cruise!
We are going back to Europe this coming summer on the Holland America Westerdam (new ship), because we've never done HAL and the itinerary sounds very interesting
Suzie
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old October 26th, 2003, 02:19 PM
susancruzs
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Default Re: Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

Right now I am booked on the Grand Princess Baltic/Scandanavian cruise and seriously thinking about switching to the Jewel of the Seas instead of the Grand.

I've read some reports about where Princess docks for Stockholm and the short time in Oslo so something tells me I might enjoy the Jewel better as she is a smaller ship with a much better layout than the Grand.

I checked out the Dream but the itinerary doesn't include some of the Scandanavian cities and I just can't get excited about Celebrity, especially the Millie class ships just my own individual experience.

The only thing is with switching, I already had some people that were thinking of doing the Red October off the Grand so now I'd have to start searching for others that might be going on the Jewel.

I really like the Insight Guides, they are absolutely the best, so detailed and to the point with great maps/photos.

Susie
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old October 28th, 2003, 07:28 PM
Lynncruiser
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Default To Suzie Re: Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

Where do you find your guides in other countries? I will be in Munich soon and would consider a private guide like you had in Berlin but wouldn't know where to look? Many thanks, Lynn
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old December 19th, 2003, 02:44 PM
kris Slack
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Default Re: Re: Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

We are going on the Jewel on August 20th and will be looking for people to join for Red oct..
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old January 13th, 2004, 09:46 AM
Marytutor
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Default Re: Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

We are on the 22 May 2004 sailing on The Constellation. We are a couple in our early 60s and would like to join a small group using Red October for St Petersburg. Is anyone interested? I have not yet contacted them but wil in the next few days.


Thanks, Mary
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old January 13th, 2004, 09:49 AM
Marytutor
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Default Re: Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

We are on the 22 May 2004 sailing on The Constellation. We are a couple in our early 60s and would like to join a small group using Red October for St Petersburg. Is anyone interested? I have not yet contacted them but wil in the next few days.


Thanks, Mary
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old January 13th, 2004, 10:51 AM
Donna Hill
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Default Re: Re: Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

Hi susancruzs,

Having been on the Scandinavia cruise in 2003, your concerns about the Stockholm and Oslo ports on the Grand Princess are well founded. The other cruise lines are docking at an industrial port right outside of Stockholm, and it's about a 20 minute walk to the main sights in Stockholm. Stockholm is a fabulous place to visit, and we were able to see a lot--walking tour of the old town (Gamla Stan) visit to the Royal Palace and then took a ferry to the Djurgården to the Vasa Ship Museum (which we enjoyed even more than the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo) and to Skansen. Skansen was my favorite. I guess my point is that I would not have wanted to miss an hour there, and the commute from the Princess port will cut into the time in the port. Stockholm is wonderful. We also had a very active day in Oslo, so I would have hated to have lost time there too.

And I wouldn't recommend the Dream to anyone--it's a dump (unfortunately, we have personal experience in this matter).

I hope that helps you with your selection and hope you have a great trip. If anyone else wants port info, we went independent (no excursions) in most of those ports and will be glad to pass along info.

Donna
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old January 13th, 2004, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: Re: Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

We will be on the Grand Princess from Copenhagen July 28. My husband and I are in our 50's but are happy traveling with people of all ages. Prefer non-smokers though. We would like to book something with Red October with others. You can contact me at reinziger@hotmail.com
Thanks
Bobbie
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old January 13th, 2004, 02:02 PM
jan carmichel
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Default Re: Re: Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

My husband and I with two friends of ours will be on this ship. We are interested if we can get together with other people to go on tours. The only thing is neither my girlfriend or I can do alot of walking. Let me know if this would be a problem. Where are you all from? Have you done your air yet or are you using the cruise line to do yours.

Thanks, Jan
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old January 13th, 2004, 09:04 PM
jan carmichel
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Default Re: Re: Re: Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

I forgot to say we will be on the Constellation on May 22nd. We are going with 2 friends and would love to take a tour with someone else.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old January 14th, 2004, 05:04 AM
Marytutor
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Default Re: Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

Jan,

We would be interested in getting together with you for the tours. Are you considering it for both days? I emailed Red October yesterday and hope that I will receive a message within a few days.

Please feel free to email me at MaryKPW@aol.com

Looking forward to hearing from you.


Mary
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old January 15th, 2004, 10:22 AM
Joe Reynolds
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Default Re: Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

Report filed at :
http://www.cruise-addicts.com/forums/list.php?f=12
Look in Constellation- Scandinavia/Russia
Nikita Zonin:
Exclusive tour packages for cruise lines passengers for 2 days.

day 1 9:00 Sightseeing tour + visit to St.Peter and Paul Fortress
13:00 Lunch in the city
14:30 State Hermitage Museum + Special storage
18:00 Back to the ship
Evening options: Theatre, Folk show, boat tour of rivers and canals
day 2 9:00 Tour to Peterhof (Grand palace + Cottage or Monplaisar)
or tour to Pushkin and Pavlovsk (2 Palaces + 2 Parks)
13:30 Lunch in the suburbs, Shopping
16:00 Back to the ship
Package for 4-6 persons: 151 USD
Package for three persons: 172 USD
Package for two persons: 207 USD
Package for one person 327 USD
Above rates are per person, VAT is included.
rates include the listed tours with admission fees (except for taking pictures), private air conditioned transport (sedan car, minivan) and professional guide.
Visa support – free of charge
 Lunches and options are paid separately

You should get a Russian Tourist Visa for this trip.
Please contact us for more details.








Exclusive tour packages for cruise lines passengers for 3 days.


day 1 9:00 Sightseeing tour + visit to St.Peter and Paul Fortress
13:00 Lunch in the city
14:30 State Hermitage Museum + Special storage
18:00 Back to the ship
Evening options: Theatre, Folk show, boat tour of rivers and canals
day 2 9:00 Tour to Peterhof
(Grand palace + Cottage or Monplaisar)
13:30 Lunch in Peterhof
15:00 Tour to Yusupov Palace (General tour + Rasputin)
16:30 Shopping in St.Petersburg
18:00 Back to the ship
Evening options: Theatre, Folk show, boat tour of rivers and canals
day 3 9:00 Tour to Pushkin and Pavlovsk (2 Palaces + 2 Parks)
14:00 Lunch in Pushkin
16:00 Back to the ship
Package for 4-6 persons: 235 USD
Package for three persons: 272 USD
Package for two persons: 340 USD
Package for one person 571 USD
Above rates are per person, VAT is included.
The above rates include the listed tours with admission fees (except for taking pictures), private air conditioned transport (sedan car, minivan) and professional guide.
Visa support – free of charge
 Lunches and options are paid separately

You should get a Russian tourist Visa for this trip.
Please contact us for more information.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old January 15th, 2004, 09:39 PM
Marytutor
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Default Re: Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

What company is this?



Thanks,
Mary
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old January 19th, 2004, 12:08 PM
JREYNOLDS
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Default Re: Re: Constellation - Scandanavia/Russia

Nota Bene Co. Ltd.
Mgr: Nikita Zonin
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