In Helsinki, we didn't accidentally drop in on a in-Church music performance but had discovered it online. Good but not as good as the Tallinn experience. An organ performance in a rather modern Church.
We got around Berlin with the help of local friends. Although Berlin is not as charming as other parts of Germany, we got a lot in a few hours. (We avoided the fresh green vegetable because of the E. Coli concerns.)
When we did arrive, after finally getting through passport control, they were on time, organized and prepared. We found them professional, kind, personable, knowledgeable, and flexible. They were able to accommodate spontaneous whims as well as responding to our many questions-everything from history to recipes to local customs very specifically and positively. Their commentary on the historical sites and cultural richness of Imperial Russia was a highlight. They really made it come alive. Similarly they made it easier for us to understand the reality of life in the time of the Soviet Union. I'm glad we were able go to a Russian Orthodox service too. It triggered an interest learning more of the origins of the Schism in 1054 and its consequences.
While the price was comparable to other agencies, we think we got a better experience-more time and personal specialized attention and a customized itinerary. They were gracious. We recommend them highly and thank them for making our experience wonderful and the visit most rewarding and effortless for us.
We liked it so much, we feel Saint Petersburg deserves other visits.
In Old Town, the crowds were cumbersome and made getting around difficult. The time available was too limited to see much. This was made worse by the difficulties made the NCL docking arrangements.