We seemed to have very good luck according the natives of the Baltics. We had sun and relatively mild weather the entire trip with temps ranging from 58 to 67 degrees (F) from May 20 to May 30.
First Great Point...Princess Cruises and the Staff of the Crown Princess were exceptional and well organized. We booked our entire vacation with Princess and we found the entire experience stress free and the organization well managed in the Baltics. Besides the body floating next to the cruise ship in St. Petersburg, the entire voyage was exciting and we found the crew, shipboarding dining/entertainment, and cruisetours excellent!
We actually arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark 2 days early on Sunday, May 18. Princess representatives met us at the airport in Baggage Claim and escorted us through the terminal to the Mercedes Benz taxi to the Hotel (SAS Radisson Royal Hotel next to Tivoli Park). While we did get slight drizzle for a few hours on Monday, the Sun rose early (between 4:30 AM to 5:00 AM every morning) and set late (between 10:00 PM to 11:00 PM). We had perfect weather as this region normally gets 30 days of Full Sun without rain per the tour guides. Tours and discount attraction tickets from Princess were available in the Lobby of the Royal Hotel.
On May 20th, Princess arranged the baggage transfers from our Hotel room straight to our Cabin on the Crown Princess. We had no wait at cruise terminal and check-in took less than 5 minutes.
We spent the Sea Days really exploring the ship. For a ship with 3000 passengers, it did not seem crowded at all. The only time I ran into crowds that made it appear crowded were the first evening shows (standing room only) and the occasional breakfast buffet when finding a seat was occasionally hard to find if you want to sit alone with your wife, otherwise we shard a table with others.
FOOD and DINING SERVICE: I read in one or two previous reviews that Dining Service from the staff was impersonal but we found our attendants to be very nice, friendly and attentive in both the Anytime Dining rooms (Da Vinci and Michelangelo) and Buffets (Horizon and Cafe Caribe).
On-Board Entertainment: On-Board Lecturer Series and Shows Princess did an excellent job preparing for tours by hosting live lectures for each port of call and major shopping tips which were rebroadcast on the TV. I found the information and tips extremely useful as I have never been to any of the Baltic Destinations including Stockholm (Sweden), Helsinki (Finland), St. Petersburg (Russia), Tallinn (Estonia), Gdansk (Poland), Oslo (Norway), and Copenhagen (Denmark). All the Shows had original productions and the first shows were standing room only.
Cruise Tours: We booked all of our shore excursions through Princess as this was a first trip to the Baltics. In Russia, you need to book with Princess as that is the only way to get off the ship as Russia requires pre-arranged Visa's unless you go on a cruise tour. Russia was the only country that required these tight screening/passport standards but it was well worth the additional screening lines to see the Hermitage Palace/Museum, Peter the Great and Catherine the Great Palaces, and other major sites.
If I ever visit these locations again, I will probably book tours on my own for Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland as these are very Tourist Friendly countries where the local population is friendly and helpful (and just about everyone speaks English from Grade 4 and up).
We found the best shopping deals for Amber in Helsinki, Finland and Gdansk, Poland. Viking trinkets had the best prices in Stockholm Sweden and Oslo Norway.
Great Ship! Great Cruise!