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We wanted to see interior of Russia and Russia in its new economic age. Scenic offered the most opportunities to experience not just the country but the culture and the people. We were not disappointed. The ship and our accommodations were good, fellow travelers, mostly Australians, were great, the staff was excellent, and Scenic takes care of you from landing to takeoff. We never once were concerned about our safety or unsure about logistics. But do not go to Russia to have an American or European experience. Russia is fabulous and huge and the people are kind and patient. But Russia is Russia. We loved it because we expected it to be different. Others may not. Our cabin, always clean, had a balcony, adequate storage, and a refrigerator. All our meals on board were well prepared, with wine and beer at lunch and dinner. There were not dozens of courses, nor exotic foods, but the chef offered variety with special nights for Ukranian and Russian specialties. There were always 3 entree choices, with one vegetarian. Entertainment varied from a concert by Dmitry, a professional pianist, to a "special concert" of singing and dancing provided by those of us from the Russian language class. Vodka presentations, doll making and painting and Russian dancing "lessons" were a few of the other opportunities available. But mostly we traveled. This trip is a challenge for the immobile, but worth the effort to see the glory of this lovely country. Get your legs in shape before you go. In St. Petersburg, we toured numerous Russian Orthodox churches and monasteries and palaces. The restaurants in both St. Petersburg and Moscow, where we ate lunches, were a once-in-a-lifetime experience. One night we went to a champagne reception and the ballet in a royal palace. In Moscow, we saw everything by boat and bus, attended the circus and an indescribable folk dance show. All included in the cost of the cruise. Scenic left nothing out and hid nothing from us. We still don't know how the company made a profit. The journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow will open your eyes to the immensity and the difficulty of ruling this country. History is before you at every turn of the rivers. The engineering wonder of the canals and the lakes is awe inspiring along with the sad knowledge of how they we're built. But Russia today hides nothing. We were given numerous opportunities to explore the cities on our own, with a bus that dropped us in the center of the commercial and cultural districts to shop or just people watch. I save the best for last. Our guides were all Russians, beautifully spoken with a sense of humor that can only come from living in a country that changes the names of its cities every century or so. Diana is honest and proud and leads a team of 3 other guides with superior knowledge and unsurpassed patience. No request was too insignificant or impossible ---well maybe the desire by one of the Aussies to take home a bear tooth as a souvenir. They fielded rude references about thIer government with professionalism but welcomed intensive questions about all aspects of Russia today. There are lessons to be learned from the Russians by those of us who today live with politically correct limits and the daily destruction of our historical "icons". I encourage everyone who longs to see the old and new Russia to remove blinders and travel with Scenic on this wonderful adventure. This is absolutely the best buy in travel.

A Fabulous Trip to a Fabulous Country: the Jewels of Russia with Scenic

Scenic Tsar Cruise Review by Merrywench

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We wanted to see interior of Russia and Russia in its new economic age. Scenic offered the most opportunities to experience not just the country but the culture and the people. We were not disappointed.

The ship and our accommodations were good, fellow travelers, mostly Australians, were great, the staff was excellent, and Scenic takes care of you from landing to takeoff. We never once were concerned about our safety or unsure about logistics. But do not go to Russia to have an American or European experience. Russia is fabulous and huge and the people are kind and patient. But Russia is Russia. We loved it because we expected it to be different. Others may not.

Our cabin, always clean, had a balcony, adequate storage, and a refrigerator. All our meals on board were well prepared, with wine and beer at lunch and dinner. There were not dozens of courses, nor exotic foods, but the chef offered variety with special nights for Ukranian and Russian specialties. There were always 3 entree choices, with one vegetarian. Entertainment varied from a concert by Dmitry, a professional pianist, to a "special concert" of singing and dancing provided by those of us from the Russian language class. Vodka presentations, doll making and painting and Russian dancing "lessons" were a few of the other opportunities available. But mostly we traveled.

This trip is a challenge for the immobile, but worth the effort to see the glory of this lovely country. Get your legs in shape before you go. In St. Petersburg, we toured numerous Russian Orthodox churches and monasteries and palaces. The restaurants in both St. Petersburg and Moscow, where we ate lunches, were a once-in-a-lifetime experience. One night we went to a champagne reception and the ballet in a royal palace. In Moscow, we saw everything by boat and bus, attended the circus and an indescribable folk dance show. All included in the cost of the cruise. Scenic left nothing out and hid nothing from us. We still don't know how the company made a profit.

The journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow will open your eyes to the immensity and the difficulty of ruling this country. History is before you at every turn of the rivers. The engineering wonder of the canals and the lakes is awe inspiring along with the sad knowledge of how they we're built. But Russia today hides nothing. We were given numerous opportunities to explore the cities on our own, with a bus that dropped us in the center of the commercial and cultural districts to shop or just people watch.

I save the best for last. Our guides were all Russians, beautifully spoken with a sense of humor that can only come from living in a country that changes the names of its cities every century or so. Diana is honest and proud and leads a team of 3 other guides with superior knowledge and unsurpassed patience. No request was too insignificant or impossible ---well maybe the desire by one of the Aussies to take home a bear tooth as a souvenir. They fielded rude references about thIer government with professionalism but welcomed intensive questions about all aspects of Russia today.

There are lessons to be learned from the Russians by those of us who today live with politically correct limits and the daily destruction of our historical "icons". I encourage everyone who longs to see the old and new Russia to remove blinders and travel with Scenic on this wonderful adventure. This is absolutely the best buy in travel.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 212
Queen bed with lots of storage, mini-fridge, wide balcony, adequate bathroom with shower--towels changed twice a day, desk, wide screen TV, nice lighting, blackout curtains (the sun does not set in Russia in July), clean and quiet