Baltic Adventure-Wonderful cruise
Baltic & Northern Europe
Returned last week from two weeks with Holland America - 3rd time - always excellent service and style! Immaculate ship, friendly service from crew and cabin stewards - good ports of call. Food was above average - lots of choices with the Italian restaurant as our favorite. Room service on time and excellent as well. Pinnacle Grill was above average but not as great as the other 2 times we have sailed HA. Only disappointment was average shows at night...nothing special. Favorite port of call was St. Petersburg, Russia....took a private tour with spbtours--excellent and highly recommend..our guide as Andre-wonderful! Other favorite was Rocstock, germany with spbtours also....Tobias was full of knowledge, enthusiasm, and loaded with personality! Highly recommend spbtours over the ship tours due to the small group size (16 people max) and quality service....never waited in long lines for anything and the guides met our every need.... We chose a deluxe verandah room - Navigation Deck - More
right under the Lido Restaurant but never heard any noises -- very quiet....Cabin stewards Baja and Nor were very well trained and always had our rooms waiting for us - friendly people with wonderful personalities and smiles! Will definitely cruise with HA again...no complaints!
One of our favorite ports of call. Lovely seaside town....took train to Rockstock and Mykleburg Germany with spb tours.....one of our favorite days while on the cruise....great guide (Tobias)
Nothing special....you can walk into the city yourself and see the old wall and buildings in 1/2 day and then return to ship for lunch
Took a HA tour....great tour guide (AVIVA) who was full of knowledge and enthusiastic....large city with beautiful inner city structure....loved the Vasa Museum (highlight of the day).....not much else to see.....took panoramic city tour (probably to kill time).....visited the Royal Armory which was interesting
Beautiful city....walked along streets and seaport for the morning ...no city tour needed....took the HA shuttle into town for $9.00 each way.....had a great lunch in a hotel (Best Western) at the seacoast...it was formerly a Russian jail that has been converted into a hotel and restaurant....The Jailbird Restaurant was wonderful--highly recommend it!
Not our favorite city....very dirty city streets canals..... However, loved the flower market---beautiful!!!
Favorite restaurant on board: Italian
Weaknesses on board: Greenhouse Spa Treatments poor for price-don't waste your money, Entertainment Average Less
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Cabin review: Eurodam Deluxe Verandah Oceanview Navigation 8115
We booked a guaranteed balcony cabin and we were upgraded to a "V" cabin 8115--wonderful cabin location, quiet with excellent service by cabin stewards....We were worried it might be noisey right below the Lido deck but we never heard any noises...around the corner from the stairs and elevators----good cabin---highly recommend on the Navigation Deck.
Port and Shore Excursions
Anne Frank House
Also purchased tickets to Anne Frank house before cruising--wise choice! Lines were very long outside and we went straight into with our prebooked tickets.
Took a one hour canal tour of Amsterdam....good way to see the city quickly..great weather...dirty canals though
Don't miss flower market on town---beautiful
Lovely city...very large and easy to navigate.
We took a "Step-On, Step-Off" bus tour---big mistake!! The bus only stopped and returned every 1 1/2 hours!!! Quite a rip off and the headsets and video screens were almost inoperable---Do NOT use this company.
Little mermaid was somewhat disappointing
Walked the shopping streets during morning hours and returned to ship for late lunch
Met family and friends at the port and spent the day visiting and walking beautiful city streets. Ate lunch at the Best Western Hotel on the water---used to be a Russian jail that has been converted into a hotel--interesting. Lunch at Jailbird Restaurant inside hotel--one of our best meals!
One of our favorite ports of call...what a pleasant surprise....This small port city is charming and well worth a stop. We hired a private tour company (SPB tours) to take us on further inland to see Rocstock and Mykleburg via train...only 16 persons total---great tour guide named Tobias that we highly recommend--very knowledgeable, enthusiastic, entertaining, etc. The tour included the train tickets, lunch (sausage, sauerkrawt, beer, etc.) and entrance into the gardens and palace in Mykleburg.....lovely day trip....highly recommend this tour company!!
Could have bypassed this Amber Room - not our favorite stop but part of history so it is included
loved Catherine's magnificant Palace---outside is so impressive and very opulent inside---inlaid wooden floors are gorgeous and the palace is quite ostentatious---not to be missed if you want to see a palace!! One of the best
Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
Beautiful church with fabulous tile icons everywhere---don't miss it!
Brief morning panoramic tour of the city with spb tours---excellent tour guide and driver who navigated easily through the streets of St Petersburg and along highways.....Subway stop was not really necessary but they enjoy showing it off! Lunch stop was ("meat" pies) and drinks- actually quite tasty!
Best tour company we used along the cruise----highly recommend Victoria and her staff of enthusiastic, knowledgeable tour guides and drivers....prompt, courteous, met our every need of small group
St. Isaac's Cathedral
this was the highlight of our trip using spb tours for 2 days....they arranged everything (no visa needed)...prompt, courteous service and staff for the 2 days in our air conditioning luxury coach with a maximam of 16 persons....straight to the head of the lines at the heritage and yusupov palace. Our tour guide Andre was very good, along with the experienced bus driver. Andre kept us on a great schedule and we saw all of the most famous highlights within the 2 day time frame.... Don't miss seeing Peterhof Palace,
Catherine's Palace, and Hermitage. Only thing disappointing was the missing Faberge collection at the Hermitage....it used to be housed here but it has been moved to Moscow
This is the place were Raspitun was murdered---toured the private residence and rooms where the family lived....quite interesting - Private theater inside the home - not to be missed---
Took a Holland America tour of city..panoramic drive from the port into town (about 45 minutes). Highlight of day was the Vasa Museum-not to be missed! The Viking ship that has been restored is unbelievable.
Royal palace was closed for the day but we saw the Armory--filled with costumes, armor, royal carriages, children's toys, etc. Interesting but could have bypassed.
If you seen other old walled cities, you will recognize Tallinn as typical of others....We walked from the cruise harbor (no need for an organized tour) and spent the morning walking around this lovely ancient medieval city. Walked back to ship for late lunch.....no much to really see but pretty little old town.