Just back from a Baltic Cruise on Norr. Sun. Can't say enough wonderful things about the ports. Tallinn and Warnemunde are small walking ports with friendly people, many outdoor cafes and lots of local shopping.In Warnemunde take the train into Rostock. These are the type of ports we enjoy because you have an opportunity to stroll around the town and soak of the local flavour. No tours are needed here. The tour into Berlin is a 3 hour bus ride, a 3 hour tour and a 3 hour bus ride back. Alot of time on a bus. Stick to the port towns, such a wonderful casual day.
In Sweden and Finland we took a morning city tour and then spent the afternoon wandering on our own. Two warm days, friendly people and great shopping for locally made goods. Look for hand knit woollens in this area. Scarves are everywhere. Indulge in local cuisine. We tried reindeer meatballs in Finland. St Petersburg was an amazing city. We had arranged a 2 day private tour with Anastasia Tours ( online ) and were not disappointed. This city is a surprise. It is pristine and architecturally stunning. This city rivals Paris and Rome in monuments, churches and places of interest. Be sure not to miss Peterhof, Catherine's Palace and Church on the Spilled Blood. I have never seen a church as beautiful on the outside as this one. It simply shines in the sun. The abundance of green spaces is impressive. It is very evident that the people of St Petes take a great deal of civic pride in their city. A canal ride is a must. Seeing the Hermitage Museum is fascinating. Make sure to take a tour here. This museum was once a palace and is set apart from other museums in other cities by it's grandeur, marble and gold. Definitely a must see. Shop for hand painted wooden Santa an red amber in this city. Every port was unique and none will disappoint. The ship, the Sun, is okay but perhaps a bit tired. The food was okay but lacked variety because both main restaurants have the same menu and it rarely changed from day to day. For variety you will need to pay extra to go to a specialty restaurant. The entertainment was not nearly as good as other ships we have been on, especially the Princess Line which had quality acts and a much more wide variety of daily activities. Did enjoy the light rock band in the main night club, however.
Getting to the ship was also an experience since we booked directly with the cruise line and were assured many times that they had taken care of everything. Unfortunately, although we had booked flights with them and had confirmed with Norr. Lines that we didn't need to do anything, we arrived at the airport to find we were on standby because the cruise line failed to select seats for us. 3 very stressful hours later, we were told they were overbooked by 7 passengers and we may not have seats. Air Canada insisted it was Norr. responsibility and Norr. says it was ours or Air Can. but most definitely not them. Lots of buck passing here. Because we were on standby our luggage was tagged standby and set aside. Unfortunately it took 4 days for 2 bags to get to the ship. We made the flight, but were scattered across the plane, not seated with our spouses. A very stress filled start to our cruise. Can absolutely recommend this cruise to the Baltic but do yourself a favour and try a different cruise line.