We booked an all day tour as part of a St. Petersburg tour package through Vika of SPB tours. Our driver was waiting on time, and we were whisked to the Olympic Stadium in Berlin where we were met by Heather, our guide for the day. We were in good hands - although a lengthy tour, there wasn't a boring moment. Our needs were anticipated, and we were given history, background and current events while standing where history was made. We saw all the highlights of Berlin, and also gained some insight into every day life and costs in the city. It was one of the best tours we have taken and highly recommend it, if you are up for a twelve hour day.
We thoroughly enjoyed our precruise days in Copenhagen - in retrospect I would recommend 3 days. We only had two partial days and one whole day. We were able to do almost everything we wanted in town, but missed going out of the city to Roskilde and other sites. The city is flat and it is possible to get around on foot and also to DIY. We did go on a canal tour, and a walking tour to get the "lay of the land".
The 4* is due to the nightmare that is Oceankaj terminal when three ships are docked. There is only one access road with a single lane in each direction. There are not enough taxis leaving, and even if you catch the bus (assuming minimal luggage), the bus may get stuck in departing traffic. I spoke to the Royal's hotel general manager and he had a staffer look into a shuttle bus into town for those staying afterwards. It was too late to do for our cruise, but Princess was considering it. I understand that the port authority and transportation authorities are aware of the problem, and that by the time this is posted, things may have improved.
Bottom line - a lovely accessible city that I would return to. Somewhat pricey but honest friendly residents. Beware of the pickpockets in/near the train stations, and even in stores. My wallet was snatched in a Tiger store but later returned to my hotel, sans cash by a good Samaritan. Though a bit poorer and definitely more stressed, I was impressed by this good deed.
Fantastic two days with Maria of SPB Tours. St. Petersburg is not a city where you can go it alone, so an independent tour is highly recommended. Although we were three hours late arriving, which threw off the scheduling, we saw everything we had been promised on SPB's Deluxe Flat Rate Tour, and also had a subway ride as a bonus. Maria was excellent in reorganizing the schedule, shepherding us through crowded palaces, while giving us the background & history of the site, yet we never felt rushed as she always let us know what time was available and what was coming up next. We always knew where the bathrooms were and when the shopping and meals would be coming up. The only minus to the two days were the meals were not what we were used to. Perhaps, they were considered good quality, but the dishes were watery and salty, and barely enough for the group. We had hoped for piroshki and blini and other typical Russian dishes.