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4 Vodohod MS Rostropovich Cruise Reviews

We had a brilliant river cruise on the MS Rostropovitch August 2019 from Moscow to St Petersberg. The ship is very clean and the staff are excellent! Our personal cruise girl Zenka (Jayne) looked after our every need from the minute we ... Read More
We had a brilliant river cruise on the MS Rostropovitch August 2019 from Moscow to St Petersberg. The ship is very clean and the staff are excellent! Our personal cruise girl Zenka (Jayne) looked after our every need from the minute we boarded to the second we left. She is only young but seemed very experienced and nothing was too much trouble. She ensured everyneed was taken care of and also accompanied us at every excursion looking after us. We really appreciated the personal service. She is a credit to the company. The barman Anton was so polite and stayed late whenever we wanted. The chef was amazing and went above and beyond to provide wonderful vegan meals for me. all food was beautifully presented and all waiting staff and the maitre d were so accommodating. Wonderful river cruise. Only cons - one of the villages we visited as we had to divert was Vytegra - I would not recommend as we are animal lovers and there was a visit to a museum with stuffed animals plus there were village dogs roaming loosely around village. The restaurant Graf-in that we stopped at for lunch on one of the tours had difficulty catering for vegans. Further, although the restaurant had probably over 100 covers, there was only one shared toilet for men and women, with 3 cubicles, all of which were blocked and the staff did not seem very botheted. Disgusting!! This restaurant should be dropped from the tour. The air conditioning was not working in the bar and so could be quite chilly in the evening. The cabins were quite large (showers small) but the beds were soft and could do with renewing. Shower curtains need renewing as water stained at bottom. Also tea/coffee station should be available much later in the evening - at least to 1am as some people like a nightcap. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
From the moment I contacted Vodohod to book this cruise to the time we were dropped off at our hotel in St. Petersburg, we were pleased. Customer service was great. My emails to the company were responded to within a day. All my ... Read More
From the moment I contacted Vodohod to book this cruise to the time we were dropped off at our hotel in St. Petersburg, we were pleased. Customer service was great. My emails to the company were responded to within a day. All my questions were clearly answered and the company sent me a letter of invitation for the entire pre and post cruise time we spent in Russia (so we could get our visas). We were picked up at our hotel, the Leningradskaya Hilton in Moscow, by a car and driver, and delivered to the cruise ship. Check in was a breeze. Our balcony cabin was very nice. The bed was comfortable. The bathroom was fine. Everything was clean and we had room to hang, place or store items. During our tour in Moscow, we were taken to a centrally located, very lovely historic hotel for lunch. It was quite nice with linen tablecloths and attentive waiters dressed in suits. The food was delicious. The young lady assigned to the English speaking group, of which we were a total of 10 independent travelers, was Zhenya (Jane). She was great. She spoke English well, came to our table each night and left a flyer that listed the following day’s activities. She answered all our questions and was always positive. What a warm and wonderful person she was. She accompanied us on all our excursions. I found her very helpful when I had a problem with my Russian SIM card. They kept sending me texts in Russian and I didn’t know what they wanted. Seems like I owed another 8 cents for the plan I chose. Zhenya paid the money using her cell phone and wouldn’t take compensation from me. We were never bored. The ship had separate activities for all language groups (English, Russian, French, Chinese, etc.). We had a retired professor lecturing on Russian history and he did a great job. We enjoyed painting a matryoshka doll. Some joined in a Russian singing and dancing activity. We had a vodka and caviar tasting session. We were entertained by the ship’s staff and entertainers with music and songs. We had a guests’ talent show which was quite good. They played videos on the tv covering parts of Russia—like a travelogue of sorts. We went through a number of locks; one in particular was quite picturesque. We thought the riverside was quite beautiful. Everything was so green. The trees looked very healthy. We enjoyed the towns where we stopped. We were assigned local guides and Zhenya accompanied us. There was time to shop if desired. The best shopping was at the port where I left my money onboard. So, take money with you because you never know where you’ll find great opportunities to buy souvenirs or trinkets to take to those back home. We missed two port calls in Europe’s largest lake, Ladoga. It was very windy and the waves were high so a number of river boats missed the two ports associated with that lake. We were a bit disappointed but there’s not much you can do when the weather becomes adverse. To make up for the missed ports, we were treated to a Cossacks show when we arrived in St. Petersburg. It was excellent and we all were very happy with this surprise. We thought the food was very good. Breakfast and lunch were buffet and we chose to eat at the same table where we were assigned for dinner. You select your dinner the night before so our table always forgot what we had ordered. But, it was all delicious. There were no complaints at our table at all. We thought the organization and management of the ship was excellent. Everything was planned in advance and well thought out. There were no glitches. We can’t say enough positive things about our experience. We absolutely loved this ship, its staff and the cruise in general. We’d do it again. Maybe some day... Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I recognize that on any cruise there is a risk that bad weather can interfere with the experience. However, when problems occur, a reasonable cruise company is honest about the problems, mitigates the problems to the best of their ... Read More
I recognize that on any cruise there is a risk that bad weather can interfere with the experience. However, when problems occur, a reasonable cruise company is honest about the problems, mitigates the problems to the best of their ability, and takes reasonable action to remediate. On our cruise, high waves prevented our ship from reaching St. Petersburg. This had a major impact on the last two days of our trip. Vodohod chose the handle the problem in the following manner: After a very late dinner, the cruise line announced that all passengers need to be up by 6am so they could be on buses by 7am. We then rode a very cramped bus for 4 1/2 hours to get to St. Petersburg. At 6pm we were told that we needed to get back on that very cramped bus, and ride 5 hours back to the ship. Dinner has not offered until 11:30pm. When we arrived back at the ship at 11:15pm, we were told that we needed to pack, and make sure we were up at 4:45 am, and be completely off the ship by 6am. We were then put on a 4 1/2 hour bus back to St. Petersburg. All communication was delivered by our interpreter who was powerless to do anything other than graciously endure the anger of the passengers. We tried to talk to the cruise director, and she gave us a quick there was nothing she could do, and fled the area. The cruise line did nothing to compensate us, or make the slightest effort to improve our experience. Nor did they give us the opportunity to leave the cruise early, so we could get a good night sleep and avoid two of those miserable bus rides. We later learned that one of the travel agents, who had a representative aboard and has able to learn the truth, got all of their customers off the ship early, and made sure that they spend their last night at a hotel in St. Petersburg. The result of the three long rides on a cold bus, combined with two nights of inadequate sleep, was that my wife became very sick for the 10 days following the cruise. Her sickness would have been avoided if Vodohod, acted like a "five-star" cruise, they claim to be, by being honest about the situation, and having us spend our last night in a hotel in St. Petersburg. A month ago, I filed a formal complaint to Vodohod, though my travel agent, and Vodohod has not even had the courtesy to respond. The positive was that the food was excellent. The dining hall staff went well beyond accommodating allergies; they did their best to accommodate every dining preference. My wife is on a glutton free diet. They custom baked for her real delicious rolls, that were so good that I started asking for them. They also provided very helpful translators that were available the entire day and evening. The tour guides ranged from ok to excellent. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I chose this cruise because - late at night - I received an email from a travel meetup group with the famous Russian church spires (church of the spilled blood) - saying - come with us to Russia!. I called that morning and signed up - ... Read More
I chose this cruise because - late at night - I received an email from a travel meetup group with the famous Russian church spires (church of the spilled blood) - saying - come with us to Russia!. I called that morning and signed up - seriously, that short of a decision. I had always wanted to go to Russia - my grandparents are from there - and I was going to be on the Volga River - turns out that my grandparents were from about 300 miles away from the cruise. I also liked that we would have rooms with balconies. First off - this isn't like a typical high cost cruise - it's of modest cost. However, I much preferred to hear the local Russian singers (there was a musician who played that Russian guitar-ish instrument and she was amazing) - and see Russian dancers - we were very much steeped into the culture. The same thing with the menu - there was always a fish dish, and fish soup. The food was simple (I could have done without the low grade cavier and vodka at the vodka tasting) - but each night it was a different part of Russia that was being featured - so hints of the Ukraine one night - dorato fish to remind me of the northern part of Russia, and so on. One thing I didn't realize was how many locks there were - must have been 30 of them.... one time there were 6 in a row! I would have preferred that we could have spent more time in the villages. I'm not sure for the reason - because we could have easily stayed longer and still made our timing (I could feel the boat slow down in the evenings). It was wonderful to go during white nights. It became somewhat dusky around 11 PM - but was bright as daylight @ 3 AM. The ship had very good dark curtains on the days we didn't want to be woken up so early. We were on the 3rd floor. The down side of that is that there was only one stairway to get there - at the back of the ship. So, if you're in the bar (the only place with wifi) - and want to go to your room - you have to walk the length of the ship. It only holds a couple hundred people so was not terrible - but I think they should have a second stairway. Oh, and don't get the massages from the doctor - they're very clinical..... Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
MS Rostropovich Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.8
Dining 3.0 4.5
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 1.0 2.7
Family 1.0 2.7
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.3
Enrichment 5.0 4.0
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 5.0 3.8

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