We started our cruise at the Copenhagen Crown Plaza booked through the cruise line and thought it was definitely worth the cost. Clean rooms, excellent breakfast and right next to public transit. We found our way from the airport easily( we stayed two nights) and the transit to the boat was organized and relaxed.
Once on the boat, we were impressed right away at the attention we received. We were in our room within 30 minutes of arriving at the port! The great experience continued throughout the cruise. The second day at sea, the cruise critic get - together included food and drink as well as Yannis making a point to listen to any concerns we had...which he continued to follow up during the cruise. What a great touch. He even sent a welcoming gift to our room after the meeting. All of the issues others have mentioned like waiting for dining and slow debarkation in St Petersburg existed, but we felt the crew did everything they could to help the situation. Free "bubbly " drinks were given at Versailles for having to wait...and suggestions of restaurants that had shorter waits.
We thought the experience on this ship was so excellent we booked the same ship next year, just doing the Fjords instead of the Baltic.
As for side trips, we had two amazing days with Ana from a TJ travel in St Petersburg and a wonderful tour of Berlin from Jeremy Minsberg. kayaking in Helsinki was also fun...all can be found on the internet .