Fabulous first time experience aboard Emerald Princess
This eleven day tour of scandinavia and the baltic region with Princess was a great experience. All of our expactations were met and exceeded.
Pre cruise concerns...sea sickness, lack of interest in drinking, gambling, dancing amounted to nothing. There were heaps of things for us to do both aboard and ashore. I loved the art history and gem lectures, jewellery shopping (excellent prices for amber), art auctions, scenery, tour of the galley, variety of dining experiences, quality of food.
We had three full days at sea...one unexpected as we couldn't land in Oslo due to a general strike and seven ashore days. We were disappointed in missing Oslo but actually appreciated the day (first day of cruise) to explore the ship and recover from our jet lag.
On two of the shore days - Aarhus and Tallinn - we did our own thing and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. On the other five days we did Princess shore excursions. All of them were managed brilliantly. They were More
exhausting days but absolutely brilliant.
Of 3200 passengers only 11 were children. There were people from all over the world but mostly Americans. Many people we talked to were seasoned cruisers...quite a few had clocked up over 10 cruises many with Princess.
The food, service and entertainment were much much better than I expected. Don't use " The Love Boat" as a reference guide! We used the specialty restaurants, Crown Grill and Sabatinis for formal nights. Other nights we did Anytime Dining in Michaelangelo and Da Vincis. A couple of times we had room service. We had breakfast at Horizon Court most days. All of the food was high quality and the service was excellent.
We hardly felt any boat movement...mostly we had calm or mild seas.
We will definitely cruise with Princess again! Less
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Cabin review: Emerald Princess Mini-Suite with Balcony Dolphin D223
Cabin was on Deck Nine, close to lifts, very quiet and spacious, on the starboard side forward middle.. It was great having a balcony to take in the sights. only down side was distance from the laundramat but after all the great food we needed the exercise!
Port and Shore Excursions
Heaps to see and do. We walked everywhere and visited the historic old town, modern art museum with rainbow panarama roof, cathedral and viking museum below street level. all were really fabulous experiences
We opted for a half day tour that incleded a visit to a smoke house restaurant on tar island where we learned about and tasted finnish cuisine. This was great. We visited senate square and market square...but only had ten minutes so it was a bit rushed. I still managed to buy a siver necklace froma street stall though. We also visited the world famous rock church, carved in solid grante underground. This was absolutely beautiful. as non- religious people we felt it was really spiritual and welcoming.
Our ship couldn't dock in Oslo due to a general strike but we were taken on a crise of the Norweigian coast and islands and given longer time in Aarhus. I was looking forward to Oslo but will plan a future holiday to Norway
We decided not to spend hours and hours on a train to and from Berlin. Instead we opted for a full day Princess tour of Schwerin and Rostock which included a lake cruise, visit to Schwerin castle, two cathedrals and a tram ride as well as three course meal. The meal was pretty average...I would have prepared something more traditionally German, but all of the siteseeing was brilliant
Magnificent...beautiful. has to be seen to be believed. Stunning photos
I missed the evening at Catherine Palace due to sickness but my husband came back raving about the experience. He saw the main rooms, Amber room, coach collection and experienced classical music, traditinal Russian and dramatic presentations plus a formal dinner.
Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
My absolute favourite St P experience. An amazing building both inside and out. the mosaics are to die for.
Part of our two day all inclusive tour. A mixture of bus and walking to see a cross section of highlights. Traffic is pretty congested but we managed to keep to schedule
What an amaxing place. We saw the Gold Room and various other rooms. works of art included Michaelangelo, Leonardo and Rembrandt. We had over two hours but had to move at a cracking pace. You need a week to do it justice
Neva River Cruise
It was a sunny day...this is the best way to see all the fabulous palaces. escape the traffic and glide along the canals at a relaxing pace. Fabulous photo opportunity
Peter & Paul Fortress
Didnt go inside just a photo opportunity in the rain so this site didnt make much of an impact. The cathedral next door where all the Romanovs are buried was great though
We did a really thorough tour of inside the palace and walk around the grounds. we were there from 9 to 11am so that we could see the cascading fountains turn on at 11. Truly magnificent!
St. Isaac's Cathedral
Another great cathedral, although I cant remeber what its main features were! I know I was impressed at the time!
Our last stop. all palaces were starting to blur into one by this stage but it was very interesting to see the cellar where Rasputin was murdered
Last port and it was pouring with rain but we still managed to have a good day. we visited the City Hall where the Nobel Prizes a awarded and the Vasa Museum. The Vasa is mind blowing. It's a world class museum and the best example of an intact medieval ship. We could have stayed there all day
We opted to sit see alone and take the Princess shuttle bus into the old town. We wandered around taking photos of medieval buildings. It is truly beautiful and authentic. We had a traditinal Estonian meal at a cafe in a cobbled lan way and boughts lots of linen clothes at the market. Husband took part in an archery competion, struck his own coins and posed with Shrek and Donkey....all spontaneous street experiences that we came across.