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Having spent 3 days in a Moscow hotel, we travelled to St Petersburg on the Volga Dream, and the voyage was simply superb. We were in cabin 302, which was extremely quiet, apart from when the vessel was moving in to docks or ports. The cabin was great, considering how little time is spent in it, and was kept spotlessly clean - as was the whole of Russia, it seems. There was an excellent choice of food for breakfast, including eggs cooked to order. Lunch was a buffet, but with a very good choice, with meat, fish, veggie, and other options, soup, salads, choice of puds. Evening meals were not only beautifully cooked, they were extremely well presented, always with at least 4 courses. None of the food would have been out of place in a top hotel, and always arrived hot, and served extremely efficiently - usually by the charming Maria. There were a very good range of on-board activities, with the guest speaker - a Russian historian, being particularly interesting, but there were also chances to cook Russian food, learn about, or practice Russian art and crafts, as well as quiz nights, and outstanding piano recitals from the resident pianist. Shore excursions all had excellent guides, all of whom spoke English extremely well, and were genuinely interested in their villages, etc. Timings of excursions were very good, and there was never a problem disembarking or boarding. Few excursions needed minibus transport, but when they did, these were always on time, and in very good condition, fully equipped with seat belts, etc. On board, there were opportunities to view the bridge, kitchens, and engine rooms, all of which were extremely interesting. Olga, the Hotel manager, was an absolute star, always cheerful, friendly and helpful, and involved directly with passengers on a daily basis. Indeed, it made me realise how much most hotel managers have to learn from her. Our only previous experience of cruising, had been on a small boat with only 6 cabins, on the river Nile, which had been amazing. I am glad to say that the Volga Dream was also a fabulous experience. Indeed, all the staff were extremely pleasant, polite, cheerful and helpful. Just one small niggle. The Volga Dream is not cheap, and while it is definitely worth the money, and I would recommend it without question, on board wifi was an additional cost, and was very expensive - over £10 a day. We opted to avoid this, but I would have prefer to see the cost of wifi, and staff tips, included in the price. That said, if I had known in advance what I know now about the Volga Dream, I would definitely have booked the holiday. If you are planning on cruising between Moscow and St Petersburg - in either direction, you simply do not need to look elsewhere. The Volga Dream can not be topped.

Fabulous experience

Volga Dream Cruise Review by The Spenceleys

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Having spent 3 days in a Moscow hotel, we travelled to St Petersburg on the Volga Dream, and the voyage was simply superb. We were in cabin 302, which was extremely quiet, apart from when the vessel was moving in to docks or ports. The cabin was great, considering how little time is spent in it, and was kept spotlessly clean - as was the whole of Russia, it seems. There was an excellent choice of food for breakfast, including eggs cooked to order. Lunch was a buffet, but with a very good choice, with meat, fish, veggie, and other options, soup, salads, choice of puds. Evening meals were not only beautifully cooked, they were extremely well presented, always with at least 4 courses. None of the food would have been out of place in a top hotel, and always arrived hot, and served extremely efficiently - usually by the charming Maria.

There were a very good range of on-board activities, with the guest speaker - a Russian historian, being particularly interesting, but there were also chances to cook Russian food, learn about, or practice Russian art and crafts, as well as quiz nights, and outstanding piano recitals from the resident pianist.

Shore excursions all had excellent guides, all of whom spoke English extremely well, and were genuinely interested in their villages, etc. Timings of excursions were very good, and there was never a problem disembarking or boarding. Few excursions needed minibus transport, but when they did, these were always on time, and in very good condition, fully equipped with seat belts, etc.

On board, there were opportunities to view the bridge, kitchens, and engine rooms, all of which were extremely interesting.

Olga, the Hotel manager, was an absolute star, always cheerful, friendly and helpful, and involved directly with passengers on a daily basis. Indeed, it made me realise how much most hotel managers have to learn from her.

Our only previous experience of cruising, had been on a small boat with only 6 cabins, on the river Nile, which had been amazing. I am glad to say that the Volga Dream was also a fabulous experience. Indeed, all the staff were extremely pleasant, polite, cheerful and helpful.

Just one small niggle. The Volga Dream is not cheap, and while it is definitely worth the money, and I would recommend it without question, on board wifi was an additional cost, and was very expensive - over £10 a day. We opted to avoid this, but I would have prefer to see the cost of wifi, and staff tips, included in the price. That said, if I had known in advance what I know now about the Volga Dream, I would definitely have booked the holiday. If you are planning on cruising between Moscow and St Petersburg - in either direction, you simply do not need to look elsewhere. The Volga Dream can not be topped.
Volga Dream, VP Sales & Marketing has responded
Many thanks to all of the Spenceleys Most of all for your very kind words about our staff, we will be sure to pass your remarks on to Olga and Maria. It always means a lot to them when individuals are singled out for praise. What can we say? We’re almost tempted to ask you to write our brochures for us! You’ve identified pretty much all of the features that we’ve worked hard to perfect and hearing how much our guests enjoyed their time aboard the Volga Dream makes it all worthwhile. We can honestly say that it’s so much more than a business for us and it’s always wonderful to read comments when people have experienced it for themselves. Thanks for taking the time to share your reflections, perhaps one day we’ll be able to welcome you aboard again. Yours, Volga Dream
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of The Independent Traveler, Inc.
The Spenceleys’s Full Rating Summary
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