Great cruise. Weather was nice in every port we visited. Toured with Alla in St Petersburg. Lots has been written about delays getting off the ship for a private tour not handled by Princess. We had no trouble at all. We arrived in the main dining room about 6:35 AM and received a pass to get off the ship. Our group (4 of us) was called at about 6:50. We were on the dock looking for our tour guide by 6:55. Never had one problem. Princess could not have been more accommodating in helping us get off the ship.
On day two of our St Petersburg tour we arrived back at the ship about 4:15. We thought that was a little early till we saw the mad rush of tour buses arrive about 5 PM. It must have taken many of those who arrived at that time 30 to 45 minutes to get back on board. We had a wonderful tour guide named Elena.
St Petersburg is a beautiful city. The Alla tour was about $80 more than Princess but well worth the money and personal attention. Our guide really knew how to get us to the front of the lines.
We toured all the other ports by ourselves with no Princess tours. We used Rick Steves book on the Baltic to see what we wanted to see. We did use Princess to get into Gdansk as it is about a 45 minute trip from the port. The cost was $39.00 each.