I'll be taking a 10-day cruise with only day-stops in ports in Copenhagen (2d), Stockholm, Helsinki, St Petersburg (2d), Tallinn, Gydansk & Oslo. With 7 diff currencies, how much USD should I exchange. Are ATMs & credit cards the best bets? Don't want to exch too much as it would cost to convert back. Thanks!
The answer really is a combination of credit cards and other strategies to avoid needing a lot of cash.
In St. Petersburg I would book your two days with a private tour company such as Donruss or Red October, and tell them to put your lunches on the bill. That'll solve the Russian money problem, and give you the most productive two days possible.
When we did an itinerary similar to this one we converted roughly $25 into each currency at a local money exchange before we left. We're in Washington, so it's easy, you should be able to do the same in San Francisco. This generally works out as "walking around money" for a day, (trams, coffee, snacks, etc.). Beyond that, everybody takes credit cards for any significant purchase, and there are always ATM's for backup in case you get stuck.
Just came back from 10 night Baltic/Scandanavian cruise in June. We changed all our money for each country...You really only need Euro's. We actually found that they all take Euros . I was suprissed. I also took some small us money for tips etc and had no problem. I ended up coverting all my left over back at the Copenhagen airport.