My sister and I started our Baltics cruise in Copenhagen. The boarding process at the cruise terminal was smooth and quick. We had dinner at Izumi our first night. Very good food with an attentive staff. The prices were between $5 - $13 per item. Nice wine list available. After dinner we had drinks in the Viking Crown lounge on Deck 11 with a spectacular view.
On our first day at sea, we had facials and massages, then a late lunch at the Windjammer buffet. Sunday night we joined our table mates for the first time in the main dining room at our 6 p.m. setting. The people were friendly and interesting. Our servers were excellent. The food was okay.
On Monday we went into Tallinn, Estonia, where we did the hop on, hop off bus. Perfect way to see the sights of this compact medieval town. Lovely town. Monday night we again at in the main dining room.
Tuesday was the BIG day - our tour of St. Petersburg, Russia! It was our first sunny day of the trip. We met our tour guide from Alla Tours once through Russian customs at about 7:30 a.m. With our group of 15, we got into a new, 20-person Mercedes bus - it was extremely comfortable. Our tour guide, Paulina, along with our driver, Dimitri, got us on the road on time. We first stopped in town along the Neva River. Paulina then led us on a 2-stop subway ride in St. Petersburg's gorgeous subway: white tiles and chandeliers. We then proceeded to Peterhof, Peter the Great's summer palace. Paulina kept us informed the entire time. We toured the inside of Peterhof then spent quite a bit of time in the lower gardens - spectacular place! After our "picnic lunch" -- which was included in the tour price -- we went to The Hermitage Museum, where we spent 2.5 hours as Paulina educated us on the art, the artists, and the history of how it came to be in the museum. After The Hermitage we took a ride along St. Petersburg's magnificent boulevards, and got back to the ship around 7:15 p.m.
The ship was supposed to leave St. Petersburg at 11 p.m., but due to high winds, we were unable to leave, and therefore, had to miss going to Helsinki. That was a disappointment, but we had a really relaxing extra day at sea on Wednesday. We enjoyed another good meal at Izumi Wednesday evening.
Thursday we went into Stockholm via the hop on, hop off bus. Keep in mind these buses are waiting for passengers as they disembark - it's not like you have to hunt them down. The weather was really nice - sunny and cool. We went into City Hall, home of the Nobel prize. City Hall is a must see - more like a castle than a city hall. We then went to the Vasa Museum - it was great to see the Vasa in all her reconstructed glory in the museum. But, there wasn't much else to do in the museum. So. we got back on the bus and finished the loop. We got back on the ship around 3 p.m. The Stockholm cruise terminal has strong, FREE Wi-Fi - so take advantage of it before you get back on the ship. Make sure you are outside as you sail out of Stockholm - beautiful scenery as you sail through the islands of the archipelago.
Thursday night we did the Chef's Table: 5 courses with wine pairing. It was very good. We got our money's worth ($70) just in the wine that was poured. We met some lovely people at our table Thursday night. When we got back to our cabin Thursday night, waiting for us was an invitation to tour the galley with the chef on Friday at 10:15 a.m.! What a nice surprise.
Friday morning we had a quick breakfast in the Windjammer, the toured the galley. Fascinating to see how the kitchen staff cooks 3 meals a day for almost 2,000 passengers per day! if you get the chance to tour the galley, do it.
The rest of Friday we spent relaxing onboard. Friday night we had a delicious meal in Chops. Great service!
Our cabin was clean, comfortable, and quiet. The décor of the ship is quite soothing. Most of the staff gave 110% to make sure we had a great time.