AIDAaura Cruise Review by jonistrong: Baltic Sea Cruise Feedback
Baltic Sea Cruise Feedback
Sailed July 28- Aug 6, 2011 Copenhagen to Copenhagen on the Norwegian Sun ship.
Although we probably had one of the smallest rooms on the ship, we loved this cruise and the very different ports of call.
Let me start out by saying that we made a mistake in thinking that cruse ship rooms were similar in size. We booked a room without a balcony for the first time, (it had a decent window), thinking it would;t be hot enough to sit out anyway in this part of the world. This was true, but we never expected the room we got.This was such a small room that with a chair in the corner at the foot of the bed, you could not walk around the bed. You either had to hop over the corner to get to the side of the bed or roll your knees onto the corner of the bed and go over that way to get to one side of the bed. Never saw such a small room on any ship, ever. I would never have booked it. I immediately asked for a reprieve, even offering to pay more to upgrade to a bigger room, but More nothing was available. We ended up having the chair taken out of the room so that we could walk around the bed. This created its own problem, as there was no where to sit or hang out, other than the small upright chair that was at the very small desk area.
We were determined not to have this ruin our trip, so we spent very little time in our room.
The good part about that was that we really enjoyed our time on the ship and in the public spaces. The ship was lovely, the passengers fun and, overall, it was a great time, despite the room.
The ports of call were wonderful. We started in Copenhagen, We came in a few days early to tour that city and were not disappointed with our decision to do that. What a great, funky city. We rented bikes and biked all around - down by the canals, over to Christiania and to the Opera House on the water.
We also walked a lot through the old city and over to the canal area.
The stops included, Warnemunde, Germany, a bucolic little port town, Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden; Tallin, Estonia and St. Petersburg, Russia. Each port had its own special quality.
We did a back roads bike tour in Tallin- awesome walled city with a compelling history. Stockholm was clean and well- designed. Saw the changing of the guard there. Warnemunde reminded me of a town in the Hamptons on Long Island, New York, where we live. It was so pretty. Unfortunately, it poured most of the day there, which hampered our plans. Helsinki was a lively port with a great farmer's market right in town and not far from the port. We walked all around that city. It was meticulously clean and the people all some perfect English. LAst, but certainly not least was the beyond spectacular city of St. Petersburg. It was mesmerizing. Every turn showed a new vista of architecture, sculpture, church, or monument. Clearly, one could understand why the Russian people revolted in 1917. There was more gilded (gold painted) towers and church cupolas then I have seen anyway else (except Rome maybe ).
The Hemitage was beyond anything I thought- the largest museum in the world. We used ALLA TOURS for a two day package (ten hours each day) which was surely the way to go. They gave us everything we wanted- PLUS- and we terrific to work with.(I think it was $300/pp but well worth it as it is hard to get around on your own and they took care of all the Visa requirements, which are a pesty undertaking in Russia. Our tour guide was so knowledgeable and delightful.
It was the highlight of the trip.
I would do this cruise again, it was so good. Less
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