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Home > Member Reviews > Demelzabunny's Port Reviews of Berlin, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Copenhagen

Demelzabunny's Port Reviews of Berlin, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Copenhagen
Celebrity Constellation cruise in August 2012
Member Name: Demelzabunny
Cruise Date: August 2012
Embarkation: Amsterdam
Destination: Baltic & Northern Europe
Member Review: Demelzabunny's Celebrity Constellation Review
Berlin
City Tour Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
This tour is very long, of course, because one has to ride from Warnemunde, the port on the Baltic where the ship docks, all the way to Berlin. The ride was over 3 hours each way, but it was pretty comfortable and pleasant, and we were provided w/snacks both ways. This is a good overview of the city and one sees the main sights, but we didn't see the Reichstag as promised; that was a little disappointing. In addition, one doesn't get much time at each stop to see stuff; it's more like, get off the bus (excuse me, I mean "coach"), take a picture or 2 and hop back on or we'll leave you there! We did have some time at the end of the tour to shop (my passion), but we were pretty hungry at that point - it was like 4 in the afternoon - so we wasted time eating (couldn't find my favorite German dish, sauerbraten; German tourism, are you listening?), and then had very little time for shopping. What we saw of Berlin just didn't meet my expectations. It was interesting to a point. Most disappointing was our tour guide, Berndt, who thought he was funny (he wasn't); he was kind of smarmy. Of special mention was our tour escort, the young man, Tomas, who accompanied us from Warnemunde and hung w/us all day, then returned w/us. He was very nice and concerned w/our comfort.


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Stockholm
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
This tour was a good overview: we saw the City Hall (site of the Nobel Prize ceremony and dinner), the Vasa Museum (17th cen. warship) and Gamla Stan (the Old Town). Our tour guide was excellent and we had some shopping time at the end of the tour, so I was happy.
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Helsinki
Port Rating: Not Rated
Excellent tour guide; her English was amazing, and she knew a lot of interesting stuff. We had a good overview of the city, but didn't see the inside of the Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox church (one of the main sites of Helsinki). The Rock Church was interesting, and we saw a museum/park made up of historical dwellings of different types from all over Finland (I thought it was interesting, 'cause I'm a history buff; my husband found it less so). Hardly had any shopping time - very upsetting in this stylish and beautiful city, that had lots of interesting stuff in the shop windows!

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St. Petersburg
Port Rating: Not Rated
This is a beautiful historical city. We went on our own 'cause we speak the lingo; don't do it if you don't. This city is not so easy to navigate for people who are not on a tour or don't speak Russian. We saw the Church on the Spilled Blood (overrated), Nikolskaya Church (very beautiful and a real, functioning church), walked around on the Nevsky Prospect, shopped (I was happy again), ate lunch at the cafe at the Yevropeyskaya Hotel (expensive but good), took a canal ride (de rigueur), and visited the Yusupov Palace (very interesting, but went as "Russians," and got yelled at by the old lady police who prowl the place, for talking pictures and not having paid for the privilege; we didn't know we were supposed to!). We'd seen the Hermitage, Peterhof, St. Isaac's, before; go on a tour to see these, they're amazing.

Don't buy amber here: the amber in Tallinn is cheaper and nicer (get a certificate of authenticity if you buy any, in Tallinn, too). The amber in St. Petersburg is WAY overpriced. By the way: don't expect to be able to see the Mariinsky Theater any time soon; the theater is all boarded up and undergoing renovations, but it's THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THEATER I'VE EVER SEEN, so try and visit St. Petersburg in the winter (that's when the Kirov Ballet is there performing; in the summer, they're always away on tour) after the theater's been refurbished. The Russians always take forever to renovate: the Church on the Spilled Blood took 20 years!

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Tallinn
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
I liked this port of call because it really looks like a medieval town (I'm a history buff; this may not be everyone's cup off tea), and the shopping is fabulous! A tour really isn't necessary; it's small enough for a self-guided tour. Ate lunch at Olde Hanse, where the servers wear medieval garb, and the place is only lit w/candles! The food was very good, too. Buy amber, sweaters, hats, natively-made linen garments, etc. The prices are fair. And we were able to return to the ship when we were finished (well, if the truth be told, I wasn't finished, but would I ever have been?!) by shuttle bus.

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Copenhagen
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
Tour guide was fabulous, and had oodles of time for shopping! The idea of see stuff, then hang out in the city center for a few hours and return on a shuttle bus is a terrific way to combine sightseeing and shopping; I would have liked ALL the tours to be this way. Tried traditional Danish smorgasbord; expensive but delicious! Talk about wonderful bread! Danish people exceptionally nice (pretty much everyone in every port of call was nice). Saw the palaces, harbor, city center, only entrance to Tivoli (one doesn't have enough time to see the important stuff and do Tivoli, unfortunately, if one only has one day in Copenhagen)and canals.

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