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

alanoconnor's Port Reviews of Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn
Brilliance of the Seas cruise in June 2014
Member Name: alanoconnor
Cruise Date: June 2014
Embarkation: Harwich
Destination: Baltic & Northern Europe
Member Review: alanoconnor's Brilliance of the Seas Review
Copenhagen
Port Rating: 2.0 out of 5+

Didn't use the transfer service as we were on a trip, but believe it was chargeable. Copenhagen is undergoing major building work, I think 17 new subway stations, and it's chaos. General impression was that it's a little shabby, apart from Tivoli Gardens, but the people we met were very friendly.



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Stockholm
City Tour Rating: 3.0 out of 5+

Royal Palace was gloomy and uninteresting. Got screamed at by ceremonial soldier for sheltering from the rain under an archway meant for official cars. Welcome to Sweden. Dropped out of the walking tour through the old town due to the rain, and took shelter in a cosy café, where not only did they accept Euros, but gave change in Euros, and provided free coffee top-ups. It saved the day. Traffic congestion very severe here also. The 3 stars are all for the café and it's warm welcome.




Stockholm Old Town Tour Rating: 3.0 out of 5+

The approach through the thousands of small islands would have been sensational on a good day, but it was grey and wet. The same could be said for Stockholm itself- the weather makes or breaks the day, and I think it is probably a beautiful city.




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Helsinki
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+

A shuttle bus took us to the centre of this pleasant and cosmopolitan city. It rained on and off, but the waterfront and it's market were very enjoyable, with plenty of boat trips for those with more time to spend. Good eating and shopping, a beautiful Cathedral- a must for a future city break.



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St. Petersburg
Amber Room Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

Very busy, but absolutely stunning. They've banned all photography, which was a disappointment, but so many people couldn't find the "flash off" button, or just didn't listen, that it led to a blanket ban, as the flash degrades the amber.




Catherine Palace Rating: Not Rated

This was the first stop of the day, so not too crowded, the sun shone, the palace and the grounds were beautiful. For us it was the highlight of the tour. It was incredible to compare the palace to photographs of what the German army had done to it.




Hermitage Museum Rating: 2.0 out of 5+

The tour took us there at the busiest time of the day, and it was impossible to see anything at all. It was an exhausting, unpleasant experience, with the constant fear of losing sight of the guides "lollipop" A major disappointment. We spoke to an American couple who had booked a minibus tour independently, and it was a group of only 4. It gave the guide much greater flexibility, and they visited the Hermitage when it was relatively quiet, though I think it was very expensive indeed.




Peter & Paul Fortress Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

Very impressive indeed, and quite compact as regards walking.




Peterhof Palace Rating: Not Rated

A wonderful, if tiring experience, which swept away all preconceptions of Russia and her people. The Neva River was awash with every kind of river traffic, including boats preparing for a Regatta and wedding parties having pictures taken on the banks. The cruise liner quay and terminals are set in a landscaped area which can be reached by car and on foot, and which the locals call "Area 51" It was mutual- we thought we were in another world too! Absolutely unforgettable.




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Tallinn
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+

The easiest port of call in terms of accessibility- it was a 20 minute walk to the old town. It's chocolate box pretty, with a very interesting museum of photography. We had lunch in the main square, in an Irish bar run by a guy from Glasgow. As in every other port of call, the people were friendly, and put us to shame with their language skills.



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