We recently took a cruise on the Costa Fortuna in Eastern Europe. We chose the Costa cruise line simply because we had no other choices as we had specific dates we could travel in August. We departed from Copenhaugen and made port at Stockholm, Sweden, Tallin, Estonia, St. Petersburg, Russia, and Warnemunde, Germany. From Germany we returned to Copenhaugen.
This was my family’s fourth cruise. We had been on three cruises prior to this one: a Carnival (Caribbean islands) cruise and two Holland American cruises (Caribbean islands and Alaska).
We found the Carnival cruise line to be a party boat with lots of loud music and partying passengers. Our cruise with Carnival also happened to be over spring break so maybe that would have been the norm for any cruise and not specific to this boat. For my wife and two pre-teen children, however, this was not our cup of tea.
In Tallin, Estonia, we decided to self-tour, which was a huge mistake! The streets were VERY poorly marked and with overcast skies it was difficult to get an orientation on our bearings. We ended up buying tickets on the Red Tour Bus, which allowed us to do a driving tour or the whole city in the hour we had left. As this is a get on/get off, narrated tour, this was an excellent investment of our time and what we should have done once we first got off the ship. There are three different tour routes, and between the three routes one can pretty much see the entire city and surrounding area. The only down side to this bus tour was that the bus stopped to let some people off (and we followed) and we returned to that “stop” after touring our site, only to later learn through a helpful local, that the actual bus stop was 200 yards away and no bus would stop where we were waiting. Furthermore, the drive spoke very poor English and unintentionally misdirected us at that particular stop. Traveler’s Tip: Only wait at the marked Bus Stops!