Carnival Splendor - Baltic Trip - August 30th - Sept. 11th - 12th - 14th - London
Personal Background - 2 Canadians from Innisfil, Ontario retired husband, wife still working..live on a large lake north of Toronto
Travel To Port of Embarkation: Car to Direct Flight Parking Lot - Shuttle to Pearson Airport - Air Transat to Gatwick Airport, London, England - Hotel - no Hotel ahead of time Embarkation - Shuttle from Airport by bus directly to Docks at Dover...rather long line-up ... but excited, no complaints and it took at least an hour and a half to get through the line to the desk....
Stateroom - Lower Deck....2457...near back of ship....nice window - No balcony...could hear rumble of motor....did report to front desk....wanted to move to middle of ship....no vacancies...Carnival apologized for this inconvenience....will remember not to book near back of ship on lower deck - room was otherwise lovely...nice size...comfortable
Ship Info - Carnival Ship is not laid out the greatest as you have it is split in the middle for the kitchen...not a walk-through ship....very pink...some people hated the color combo....didn't mind that...would rate this ship #3 .... definitely not a 4 or 5
Dining - Husband loves fruit....breakfast/lunch buffets do not have a lot of fruit - melon and grapefruit...not a lot of variety Main Dining Room for evening...was lovely and enjoyed all of our meals but not #5....rate a # 3 1/2. Activities - didn't participate - on tours Children's Clubs - no children with us
Entertainment - Excellent shows....thought the dancing was superb - rate them #4 & 5....
Shore Excursions: THIS IS WHERE YOU NEED TO READ CRUISE CRITIC. WE BOOKED AHEAD FOR THE ST. PETERSBURG 2 DAY EXCURSIONS - THOUGHT WE HAVE TO DO IT THROUGH THE SHIP BECAUSE OF THE VISAS....AFTER FINDING OUT ABOUT CRUISE CRITIC....LEARNED THE FOLLOWING: - Buy Steve Rick's Book from Chapters, Indigo or Book Store on Scandinavia - lots of information - Copenhagen - 8 - 4:00 p.m. read Steve Rick's book and read through Cruise Critic to take a walking tour with Richard Karpen www.copenhagenwalks.com - do not have to pay until you meet him at the Visitor's Centre....You take a shuttle from the Ship into the main centre of Copenhagen....walk to Visitor Centre and meet Richard - he dresses up like Hans Christian Anderson ...had a great tour....walked to Rosenborg Castle on our own and did it through Rick Steve's book....short day...did not see Tivoli Gardens where Walt Disney took his idea from - Warnemunde, Berlin - AFTER FINDING OUT ABOUT CRUISE CRITIC, WE BOOKED THIS TOUR THROUGH DEN RUS.....$510.00 for 2 saved over $100. by booking through them....Picked up by bus which took 3 hours to get to Berlin....toured Berlin with Sasha and had a lovely lunch....saw all the highlights of Berlin....great tour....highly recommend www.denrus.ru or Alla, or Red October....all great private tour companies. - Tallinn, Estonia - used Rick Steve's book....also down-loaded www.brentjes.com - walking tour of Tallinn - you walk from the ship to the walled town of Tallinn - can do this all on your own - you can also book a walking tour with Andrew - www.estadventures.ee - good guide - St. Petersburg, Russia - took 2 full day tour with Carnival - expensive - $774.00 for 2 - should have booked either with Red October, Alla or Den Rus....The 2 day one was still very good... a must do, although they do not show you Catherine's Palace....therefore, we booked the evening tour with the ship to Catherine's Palace - pick up at 6:30 -p.m. THIS WAS TERRIBLE - EXPENSIVE - $400. for 2 - they were 2 hours late in arrival....never apologized....so many of us had to use the washroom and there was a tour of old carriages....by the time the line-up to the washroom ended, the lights were turned off on my husband while in the washroom and the doors to the carriage tour locked and we never saw the carriages....the rest of the evening was rushed and the outside entertainment was in the dark....not a good tour and no refund...or partial refund....EXPENSIVE AND NOT WORTH IT THROUGH CARNIVAL.. - Helsinki - shuttle/bus from ship to main part of city -used Rick Steve's book - short day as it was Sunday and most of the stores were not open - walked the main sites - churches, market, etc. took a ferry to the island where the 3rd largest fortress in the world is....Suomenlinna Island Fortress...fabulous experience - Amsterdam - walked from ship to main part of city - saw Red Light District, Rijks Museum, took Canal Tour....shorter day....lots to see in this city - end of ship at Dover....took taxi on our own to the Tube in Dover...took Tube to city of London and then to Montana Hotel, Kensington....do not go there - bad experience.... - London - Hop-on-Hop-Off Bus....during the day and also took night tour...bought tickets to see production of WICKED....great - took advantage of walking tours through Information Centres - saw changing of the Guards...lots to see in London >>>>>EXPENSIVE.
All in all a great holiday....general advice .... do not book tours with Ship...book through recommendations through Cruise Critic....Carnival Splendor - #3 in type of ship...love the Royal Caribbean Ships.