This was the trip of a lifetime! We flew in to Copenhagen a day early to see the sights and stayed at the local Marriott ( very nice upscale but out of the way). Copenhagen was a great city, beautiful, and interesting. Did the Ice Bar here and no lines, Stockholm totally booked and requires a reservation. Nyhaven street was beautiful that needs to be explored. There are many places to eat but are very expensive, I would suggest finding a place off the beaten track. It will be cheaper and delicious. There are so many sites.
The Cruise was great!!! destinations all perfect! I would highly recommend the SPB tour instead of the expensive cruise tours. SBP is legit and you will deal directly with the owner Vika, who is wonderful! My husband and I booked 5 SPB tours. Vika combined us with others who were also couples of two or three. We all got along so well and actually became a travel family. We enjoyed the other 11 people we were with we even made dinner plans and our own tour together in Stockholm. Our Guides on each tour were English speaking ( little accents so easy to understand). Eugene, in St. Petersburg was outstanding, over and above all guides. The St. Petersburg tour was two days. Each Tour: Berlin, Helsinki,SPB, and Talinn, required extensive walking and this is not a tour for the weak at heart. These are fast moving tours that allow you to see everything. Vika has made sure tours are efficient, have great traditional lunches, bathroom breaks, and the ability to hear the guide ( the guide wears a microphone and tourists wear a receiver, this is very handy). Each guide is very knowledgable about their area and knows a lot of facts and history. Do not miss out on the SPB tour.
The cruise itself was smooth sailing. The baltic sea was calm so no sea sickness worries. We only found time to eat at the included restaurants. In fact, we were so exhausted we ate at the garden buffet frequently. Food was good with plenty of choices. I really enjoyed the themed dinners- depending on our destination for the day.
We did pay extra for a balcony....was it worth it? Yes and no. It is always good to have a balcony for the extra space and the ability to see the outside. However, except for sailing to Stockholm, which was beautiful, there really was not much to see. This was a special trip for us so I am glad we had a balcony but if you are looking to save money.. skip.
I want to recommend that when you arrive on the ship go to the main floor and sign up to have a chance to eat dinner with the officers. We did this and it was great. You dine with one of the officers, wine and good conversations included. it really made us feel special. As always the staff on the cruise were wonderful. The bar staff , Angelo, Ifron, and Fredrick were especially well trained and attentive. Jennifer, cabin steward was so kind.
I will say that the entertainment was good, not great. Peter the piano player was where we spent most of our evenings. The shows had some good moments. The Fab four, the husband and wife acrobats, and the best , the last show with the staff. I must admit many evenings I was to tired to attend the show anyway.
This was a great vacation and I would highly recommend the NCL cruise as well as SPB tours.