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One of our BEST Cruises! NCL Breakaway (July 13 – 22, 2018) Background to review: Normally we book a room in the Haven or the Garden Villa, but traveling with friends we decided to book a Spa Balcony. We got along fine on this cruise without the extra amenities and the smaller room was just fine. You spend so much time OFF the ship, I don’t believe the extra expense to be in the Haven would be worth it on this trip. Cruising is all about EXPECTATIONS. Not everything will be perfect but I rate this cruise EXCEPTIONAL because of the Ports and the Breakaway was a very nice ship with a staff that was very accommodating and helpful. On the Breakaway, the combination of the ship, the crew, the excursions, the food, friends we met, and of course the SPA, made for a perfect cruise. Our weather was EXCEPTIONAL (no rain, temperatures in the 80’s almost every stop). I am going to list the highlights and if you want more detail, please read below for a given topic. • WARNING: Paid excursions or not, be prepared for a LOT of walking both to and from the ship and within the sites you visit. • Copenhagen: We embarked in Copenhagen. Very easy and efficient. Very expensive city. Stayed at the AC Bella Hotel for $129 per night before and after cruise. • Warnemunde: Very nice port. Took train to Rostock, ate lunch on the ship and then toured Warnemunde. No paid excursion here is really needed. • Tallin: We walked to the Old Town. Visited several historic sites. • St. Petersburg: We booked The Grand Tour with Alla Tours. One group in our party booked The Comfort Tour for less walking. Both tours were very good. Less expensive than the ship’s excursions and worth the money. More on the NCL disembarkation process below dealing with Russia’s Immigration. • Helsinki: We paid for the $15 round trip bus shuttle provided by NCL to the Market Square and toured on our own. Enjoyed the ability to have some down time by sitting in the beautiful park just off market square. • Stockholm: Because we docked in Nynashamn we booked Alla Tours. Picked us up at the dock, 45 minute drive to Stockholm and toured the sites. Very easy and worth the money. • Breakaway: Ship was very nice. Staff excellent. Only had one mishap with prior dinner reservations but quickly solved. Many cruisers were very rude and pushy. Getting on and off the ship fairly easy at all ports. Disembarkation easiest I have experienced at the end. Food was excellent. We ate in a specialty restaurant every night. Copenhagen: Stayed at the AC Bella Sky Hotel by Marriott for $129 a night. Great rate for a fine hotel. The Metro is very close to the hotel (short walk). We took the Metro, M1 Train, into Copenhagen and got off at Kongens Nytorv St and it was a short walk to Nynhavn. Took a Canal Tour in Nynhavn and ate dinner. The Canal Tour is about 60 minutes and costs $14 a person. Well worth it!! Dinner was expensive. Paid about $22 for a hamburger and side. The Tram ride is $4 per person in and $4 back out if the time from the first trip is more than 1.5 hours you have to buy another ticket. If you plan on spending a lot of time sightseeing, check into the All Day Pass. In planning your travel around Copenhagen, a site called www.Reseplanen.dk is very helpful. The currency is the DKK which is about 6:1 for U.S. dollars but we were able to use our charge cards very easily, everywhere. At the end of the cruise, we also stayed at the AC Bella Sky Hotel. They provided a shuttle from the hotel to the cruise ship and back again for $50 per person. On our last day, we took the Tram into Copenhagen and toured the Rosenborg Castle to see the Crown Jewels. The Castle tour was about $14 per person. Everyone was TOO tired from all the walking on the cruise to do much else so we ate lunch and went back to the hotel to crash. We took a cab to the airport for about $27 at 4:40 am to catch our 7:05 flight. Everything people have written about the Copenhagen airport being slow to progress through is correct. Seemed like it took forever to check our bags and get to the gate through security and customs. Glad we listened and allowed a lot of time. Warnemunde: This was a nice port to start the cruise. We first took a train into Rostock because we wanted to see St. Mary’s church and the astronomical clock. If you are there at 12 o’clock, you will see the clock in action. If it was not for seeing St. Mary’s Church, I think I would have avoided the visit to Rostock. We did some sightseeing in the center square and had some wonderful Pastries and Coffee!! If you are planning to go to Rostock, it is a simple journey by Train and local Tram. The train is a short walk from the Pier to the Train. There are ticket machines but just opposite the machines is a ticket counter in the red brick building. We found this the easiest. You take the S1 train to Rostock central train station. About a 21 minute ride. We were able to get a group (5 or less) roundtrip ticket for $20 or $5 per person since there was 4 of us. When you get to the Rostock Central Station, you need to go down to the lower platform (A) to catch the local tram. We took Line 5 in the direction of Mecklenburger Allee and got off at the central market, Neuer Markt”. Make sure you check the return S1 train schedule for the return time so you don’t waste too much time in the train station waiting for the return. St. Mary’s Church with the astronomical clock is just to your right of the square. There are many shops and some great pastry shops around the center square. Getting back take the tram Line 5 Direction Sudblick or Line 6 Direction Mensa to the Rostock Central Station. Get the S1 train to Warnemunde. Warnemunde has many local vendors and great eating places just off the train stop. One GREAT ADVICE we got from a waiter on the Breakaway was to go to the local grocery store and buy German Chocolate Bars. The store is located away from the train station towards the church (steeple visible). Go around the church and look directly left from the rear of the church. The store is on the corner. Name sounds like “Ekert” drug stores in the states. You will see many of the NCL staff shopping in there. Got many chocolate bars for 59 – 89 cents. Tallin: Very easy to find the Old Town. Follow the crowd to the entrance. You will do a lot of walking around the OLD TOWN and the walking can be difficult at times on the cobble stones. Make sure you visit the Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform that is hidden away on KOHTU and is free of charge. Don’t mistake the viewing platform overlooking a track and field park for the Kohtuotsa Platform. A must see visit is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. You will also find many shops and restaurants as you walk around Old Town. St. Petersburg: This is the HIGHLIGHT of the trip. I am so glad that we decided to book the Grand Tour with Alla Tours. The price was $285 per person but we got a slight discount because we were on the Cruise Critic Roll Call and booked a second tour with them for Stockholm. Much has been written about the CHAOS in departing the ship in St. Petersburg. Basically, the NCL tours go off first. People with private tours booked go to the Theater and you are released by Group A first, B second and then C. You sign up for a group on the touch screens in the ship, your TV (which was not working) or in the Box Office. Group A sat in the right hand side of the theater as you faced the stage and the center section. This was done so not to FLOOD the Russian Immigration Station. Being very truthful, you can just show up early and sit in a section. I did not find NCL checking anyone. In the end, everyone got through no matter what group you were in and made our tours. RUSSIAN IMMIGRATION is SLOW the first day. They are checking something in their database and each person goes ONE AT A TIME and they don’t rush. On the Grand Tour, we had a nice new Mercedes Bus with 20 of us on the bus. Everyone had hand held sets with ear phones. Our first visit was to the Hermitage Museum. Great to be on the Tour because we get priority entrance. Lines to visit the Museum are long. We then visited the Church of Spilled Blood and had a great lunch in a Hotel in downtown St. Petersburg. After lunch we went to Saint Issacs Cathedral and St. Peter’s Fortress. It was a long day but so worth it. The second day started with a Canal Tour of St. Petersburg and a ride on the subway (very interesting how clean the subway is and the entire city). Not like NYC, or any other American City. We then visited Catherine’s Palace with the Amber Room, Yusupov Palace with the Gregory Rasputin exhibition and finished the day with the Peterhof Summer Palace and Gardens. This to me was the highlight of the second day. Massive Palace and property! Helsinki: This turned out to be a great stop especially after St. Petersburg. Our visit was low key and we really enjoyed our time in the Park located next to the Market Square with all the vendors. We sat in the park, watched the people and ate ice cream. A great way to relax after 2 very busy days in St. Petersburg. We paid the $15 per person for the round trip bus fare. The bus picks you up right at the ship and drops you in the center of the town. You can go a little cheaper on the tram but it is not worth the hassle. Everything we wanted to do in Helsinki was within walking distance of the Market Square. We visited Uspenski Cathedral , Senate Square, Lutheran Church located in the Senate Square, and of course walked the park on Esplandi. Stockholm: We landed in Nynashamn which is about a 45 minute ride to Stockholm. To avoid all the confusion with the NCL shuttle and the crowds, we booked the tour with Alla Tours. They picked us up at the terminal and our tour was fantastic. Our tour started with a visit to the Vasa Museum followed by a scenic drive to the Old city or Gamla Stan for a walking tour and free time to shop and eat. NCL Breakaway: Everyone in our group really enjoyed being on the Breakaway. We stayed in the Spa rooms because we extensively use the Thermal Spa to get away from the crowds and find some quiet place to relax. Unfortunately, there were some rude cruisers who did not understand the SPA is not the Swimming Pool and were very noisy and obnoxious. We REALLY ENJOY eating in the Specialty Restaurants when I travel on NCL. Le Bistro and Cagney’s are our favorites. We ate in Le Bistro twice, Teppanyaki twice, Cagneys twice, La Cucina, Ocean Blue, and booked the show in the Spiegel Tent, Cirque Dreams and Jungle Fantasy. All the restaurants are excellent and the show in the Spiegel Tent was fabulous. My favorite stop was O’Sheehan’s Bar and Grill. We ate lunch or breakfast there whenever we did not eat at Taste or Savor. CRUISE CRITIC MEET AND GREET: NCL really did a fine job of hosting our Meet and Greet in the Bliss lounge. Our attendance was less than expected but this might have been due to the late change NCL made moving the meeting from La Cucina to the Bliss Lounge three days before we sailed. Entertainment; We enjoyed Burn the Floor. Walked out of Rock of All Ages. NCL should cancel this show. The comedian was great. Best of all was the dueling pianos in Headliners.

One of our BEST Cruises!

Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Review by golfingfool

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2018
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Spa Balcony Stateroom
One of our BEST Cruises! NCL Breakaway (July 13 – 22, 2018)

Background to review:

Normally we book a room in the Haven or the Garden Villa, but traveling with friends we decided to book a Spa Balcony. We got along fine on this cruise without the extra amenities and the smaller room was just fine. You spend so much time OFF the ship, I don’t believe the extra expense to be in the Haven would be worth it on this trip.

Cruising is all about EXPECTATIONS. Not everything will be perfect but I rate this cruise EXCEPTIONAL because of the Ports and the Breakaway was a very nice ship with a staff that was very accommodating and helpful. On the Breakaway, the combination of the ship, the crew, the excursions, the food, friends we met, and of course the SPA, made for a perfect cruise. Our weather was EXCEPTIONAL (no rain, temperatures in the 80’s almost every stop).

I am going to list the highlights and if you want more detail, please read below for a given topic.

• WARNING: Paid excursions or not, be prepared for a LOT of walking both to and from the ship and within the sites you visit.

• Copenhagen: We embarked in Copenhagen. Very easy and efficient. Very expensive city. Stayed at the AC Bella Hotel for $129 per night before and after cruise.

• Warnemunde: Very nice port. Took train to Rostock, ate lunch on the ship and then toured Warnemunde. No paid excursion here is really needed.

• Tallin: We walked to the Old Town. Visited several historic sites.

• St. Petersburg: We booked The Grand Tour with Alla Tours. One group in our party booked The Comfort Tour for less walking. Both tours were very good. Less expensive than the ship’s excursions and worth the money. More on the NCL disembarkation process below dealing with Russia’s Immigration.

• Helsinki: We paid for the $15 round trip bus shuttle provided by NCL to the Market Square and toured on our own. Enjoyed the ability to have some down time by sitting in the beautiful park just off market square.

• Stockholm: Because we docked in Nynashamn we booked Alla Tours. Picked us up at the dock, 45 minute drive to Stockholm and toured the sites. Very easy and worth the money.

• Breakaway: Ship was very nice. Staff excellent. Only had one mishap with prior dinner reservations but quickly solved. Many cruisers were very rude and pushy. Getting on and off the ship fairly easy at all ports. Disembarkation easiest I have experienced at the end. Food was excellent. We ate in a specialty restaurant every night.

Copenhagen: Stayed at the AC Bella Sky Hotel by Marriott for $129 a night. Great rate for a fine hotel. The Metro is very close to the hotel (short walk). We took the Metro, M1 Train, into Copenhagen and got off at Kongens Nytorv St and it was a short walk to Nynhavn. Took a Canal Tour in Nynhavn and ate dinner. The Canal Tour is about 60 minutes and costs $14 a person. Well worth it!! Dinner was expensive. Paid about $22 for a hamburger and side. The Tram ride is $4 per person in and $4 back out if the time from the first trip is more than 1.5 hours you have to buy another ticket. If you plan on spending a lot of time sightseeing, check into the All Day Pass.

In planning your travel around Copenhagen, a site called www.Reseplanen.dk is very helpful.

The currency is the DKK which is about 6:1 for U.S. dollars but we were able to use our charge cards very easily, everywhere.

At the end of the cruise, we also stayed at the AC Bella Sky Hotel. They provided a shuttle from the hotel to the cruise ship and back again for $50 per person. On our last day, we took the Tram into Copenhagen and toured the Rosenborg Castle to see the Crown Jewels. The Castle tour was about $14 per person. Everyone was TOO tired from all the walking on the cruise to do much else so we ate lunch and went back to the hotel to crash. We took a cab to the airport for about $27 at 4:40 am to catch our 7:05 flight.

Everything people have written about the Copenhagen airport being slow to progress through is correct. Seemed like it took forever to check our bags and get to the gate through security and customs. Glad we listened and allowed a lot of time.

Warnemunde: This was a nice port to start the cruise. We first took a train into Rostock because we wanted to see St. Mary’s church and the astronomical clock. If you are there at 12 o’clock, you will see the clock in action. If it was not for seeing St. Mary’s Church, I think I would have avoided the visit to Rostock. We did some sightseeing in the center square and had some wonderful Pastries and Coffee!!

If you are planning to go to Rostock, it is a simple journey by Train and local Tram. The train is a short walk from the Pier to the Train. There are ticket machines but just opposite the machines is a ticket counter in the red brick building. We found this the easiest.

You take the S1 train to Rostock central train station. About a 21 minute ride. We were able to get a group (5 or less) roundtrip ticket for $20 or $5 per person since there was 4 of us. When you get to the Rostock Central Station, you need to go down to the lower platform (A) to catch the local tram.

We took Line 5 in the direction of Mecklenburger Allee and got off at the central market, Neuer Markt”. Make sure you check the return S1 train schedule for the return time so you don’t waste too much time in the train station waiting for the return.

St. Mary’s Church with the astronomical clock is just to your right of the square. There are many shops and some great pastry shops around the center square. Getting back take the tram Line 5 Direction Sudblick or Line 6 Direction Mensa to the Rostock Central Station. Get the S1 train to Warnemunde.

Warnemunde has many local vendors and great eating places just off the train stop. One GREAT ADVICE we got from a waiter on the Breakaway was to go to the local grocery store and buy German Chocolate Bars. The store is located away from the train station towards the church (steeple visible). Go around the church and look directly left from the rear of the church. The store is on the corner. Name sounds like “Ekert” drug stores in the states. You will see many of the NCL staff shopping in there. Got many chocolate bars for 59 – 89 cents.

Tallin: Very easy to find the Old Town. Follow the crowd to the entrance. You will do a lot of walking around the OLD TOWN and the walking can be difficult at times on the cobble stones. Make sure you visit the Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform that is hidden away on KOHTU and is free of charge. Don’t mistake the viewing platform overlooking a track and field park for the Kohtuotsa Platform.

A must see visit is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. You will also find many shops and restaurants as you walk around Old Town.

St. Petersburg: This is the HIGHLIGHT of the trip. I am so glad that we decided to book the Grand Tour with Alla Tours. The price was $285 per person but we got a slight discount because we were on the Cruise Critic Roll Call and booked a second tour with them for Stockholm.

Much has been written about the CHAOS in departing the ship in St. Petersburg. Basically, the NCL tours go off first. People with private tours booked go to the Theater and you are released by Group A first, B second and then C. You sign up for a group on the touch screens in the ship, your TV (which was not working) or in the Box Office. Group A sat in the right hand side of the theater as you faced the stage and the center section. This was done so not to FLOOD the Russian Immigration Station. Being very truthful, you can just show up early and sit in a section. I did not find NCL checking anyone. In the end, everyone got through no matter what group you were in and made our tours. RUSSIAN IMMIGRATION is SLOW the first day. They are checking something in their database and each person goes ONE AT A TIME and they don’t rush.

On the Grand Tour, we had a nice new Mercedes Bus with 20 of us on the bus. Everyone had hand held sets with ear phones. Our first visit was to the Hermitage Museum. Great to be on the Tour because we get priority entrance. Lines to visit the Museum are long.

We then visited the Church of Spilled Blood and had a great lunch in a Hotel in downtown St. Petersburg. After lunch we went to Saint Issacs Cathedral and St. Peter’s Fortress. It was a long day but so worth it.

The second day started with a Canal Tour of St. Petersburg and a ride on the subway (very interesting how clean the subway is and the entire city). Not like NYC, or any other American City.

We then visited Catherine’s Palace with the Amber Room, Yusupov Palace with the Gregory Rasputin exhibition and finished the day with the Peterhof Summer Palace and Gardens. This to me was the highlight of the second day. Massive Palace and property!

Helsinki: This turned out to be a great stop especially after St. Petersburg. Our visit was low key and we really enjoyed our time in the Park located next to the Market Square with all the vendors. We sat in the park, watched the people and ate ice cream. A great way to relax after 2 very busy days in St. Petersburg. We paid the $15 per person for the round trip bus fare. The bus picks you up right at the ship and drops you in the center of the town. You can go a little cheaper on the tram but it is not worth the hassle. Everything we wanted to do in Helsinki was within walking distance of the Market Square. We visited Uspenski Cathedral , Senate Square, Lutheran Church located in the Senate Square, and of course walked the park on Esplandi.

Stockholm: We landed in Nynashamn which is about a 45 minute ride to Stockholm. To avoid all the confusion with the NCL shuttle and the crowds, we booked the tour with Alla Tours. They picked us up at the terminal and our tour was fantastic. Our tour started with a visit to the Vasa Museum followed by a scenic drive to the Old city or Gamla Stan for a walking tour and free time to shop and eat.

NCL Breakaway:

Everyone in our group really enjoyed being on the Breakaway. We stayed in the Spa rooms because we extensively use the Thermal Spa to get away from the crowds and find some quiet place to relax.

Unfortunately, there were some rude cruisers who did not understand the SPA is not the Swimming Pool and were very noisy and obnoxious.

We REALLY ENJOY eating in the Specialty Restaurants when I travel on NCL. Le Bistro and Cagney’s are our favorites. We ate in Le Bistro twice, Teppanyaki twice, Cagneys twice, La Cucina, Ocean Blue, and booked the show in the Spiegel Tent, Cirque Dreams and Jungle Fantasy. All the restaurants are excellent and the show in the Spiegel Tent was fabulous.

My favorite stop was O’Sheehan’s Bar and Grill. We ate lunch or breakfast there whenever we did not eat at Taste or Savor.

CRUISE CRITIC MEET AND GREET: NCL really did a fine job of hosting our Meet and Greet in the Bliss lounge. Our attendance was less than expected but this might have been due to the late change NCL made moving the meeting from La Cucina to the Bliss Lounge three days before we sailed.

Entertainment; We enjoyed Burn the Floor. Walked out of Rock of All Ages. NCL should cancel this show. The comedian was great. Best of all was the dueling pianos in Headliners.
golfingfool’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Spa Balcony Stateroom
Cabin B9 14126
Cabin was very clean, had good storage and the bed was very comfortable.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Copenhagen
    VERY EXPENSIVE.
    Copenhagen: Stayed at the AC Bella Sky Hotel by Marriott for $129 a night. Great rate for a fine hotel. The Metro is very close to the hotel (short walk). We took the Metro, M1 Train, into Copenhagen and got off at Kongens Nytorv St and it was a short walk to Nynhavn. Took a Canal Tour in Nynhavn and ate dinner. The Canal Tour is about 60 minutes and costs $14 a person. Well worth it!! Dinner was expensive. Paid about $22 for a hamburger and side. The Tram ride is $4 per person in and $4 back out if the time from the first trip is more than 1.5 hours you have to buy another ticket. If you plan on spending a lot of time sightseeing, check into the All Day Pass.
    In planning your travel around Copenhagen, a site called www.Reseplanen.dk is very helpful.

    The currency is the DKK which is about 6:1 for U.S. dollars but we were able to use our charge cards very easily, everywhere.

    At the end of the cruise, we also stayed at the AC Bella Sky Hotel. They provided a shuttle from the hotel to the cruise ship and back again for $50 per person. On our last day, we took the Tram into Copenhagen and toured the Rosenborg Castle to see the Crown Jewels. The Castle tour was about $14 per person. Everyone was TOO tired from all the walking on the cruise to do much else so we ate lunch and went back to the hotel to crash. We took a cab to the airport for about $27 at 4:40 am to catch our 7:05 flight.

    Everything people have written about the Copenhagen airport being slow to progress through is correct. Seemed like it took forever to check our bags and get to the gate through security and customs. Glad we listened and allowed a lot of time.
    View All 1,069 Copenhagen Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Copenhagen Cruise Port Review
  • City Tour
    St. Petersburg: This is the HIGHLIGHT of the trip. I am so glad that we decided to book the Grand Tour with Alla Tours. The price was $285 per person but we got a slight discount because we were on the Cruise Critic Roll Call and booked a second tour with them for Stockholm.

    Much has been written about the CHAOS in departing the ship in St. Petersburg. Basically, the NCL tours go off first. People with private tours booked go to the Theater and you are released by Group A first, B second and then C. You sign up for a group on the touch screens in the ship, your TV (which was not working) or in the Box Office. Group A sat in the right hand side of the theater as you faced the stage and the center section. This was done so not to FLOOD the Russian Immigration Station. Being very truthful, you can just show up early and sit in a section. I did not find NCL checking anyone. In the end, everyone got through no matter what group you were in and made our tours. RUSSIAN IMMIGRATION is SLOW the first day. They are checking something in their database and each person goes ONE AT A TIME and they don’t rush.

    On the Grand Tour, we had a nice new Mercedes Bus with 20 of us on the bus. Everyone had hand held sets with ear phones. Our first visit was to the Hermitage Museum. Great to be on the Tour because we get priority entrance. Lines to visit the Museum are long.

    We then visited the Church of Spilled Blood and had a great lunch in a Hotel in downtown St. Petersburg. After lunch we went to Saint Issacs Cathedral and St. Peter’s Fortress. It was a long day but so worth it.

    The second day started with a Canal Tour of St. Petersburg and a ride on the subway (very interesting how clean the subway is and the entire city). Not like NYC, or any other American City.

    We then visited Catherine’s Palace with the Amber Room, Yusupov Palace with the Gregory Rasputin exhibition and finished the day with the Peterhof Summer Palace and Gardens. This to me was the highlight of the second day. Massive Palace and property!
    View All 167 City Tour Reviews
  • Rostock (Warnemunde)
    Warnemunde: This was a nice port to start the cruise. We first took a train into Rostock because we wanted to see St. Mary’s church and the astronomical clock. If you are there at 12 o’clock, you will see the clock in action. If it was not for seeing St. Mary’s Church, I think I would have avoided the visit to Rostock. We did some sightseeing in the center square and had some wonderful Pastries and Coffee!!

    If you are planning to go to Rostock, it is a simple journey by Train and local Tram. The train is a short walk from the Pier to the Train. There are ticket machines but just opposite the machines is a ticket counter in the red brick building. We found this the easiest.

    You take the S1 train to Rostock central train station. About a 21 minute ride. We were able to get a group (5 or less) roundtrip ticket for $20 or $5 per person since there was 4 of us. When you get to the Rostock Central Station, you need to go down to the lower platform (A) to catch the local tram.
    We took Line 5 in the direction of Mecklenburger Allee and got off at the central market, Neuer Markt”. Make sure you check the return S1 train schedule for the return time so you don’t waste too much time in the train station waiting for the return.

    St. Mary’s Church with the astronomical clock is just to your right of the square. There are many shops and some great pastry shops around the center square. Getting back take the tram Line 5 Direction Sudblick or Line 6 Direction Mensa to the Rostock Central Station. Get the S1 train to Warnemunde.

    Warnemunde has many local vendors and great eating places just off the train stop. One GREAT ADVICE we got from a waiter on the Breakaway was to go to the local grocery store and buy German Chocolate Bars. The store is located away from the train station towards the church (steeple visible). Go around the church and look directly left from the rear of the church. The store is on the corner. Name sounds like “Ekert” drug stores in the states. You will see many of the NCL staff shopping in there. Got many chocolate bars for 59 – 89 cents.
    View All 357 Rostock (Warnemunde) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Rostock (Warnemunde) Cruise Port Review
  • St. Petersburg
    St. Petersburg: This is the HIGHLIGHT of the trip. I am so glad that we decided to book the Grand Tour with Alla Tours. The price was $285 per person but we got a slight discount because we were on the Cruise Critic Roll Call and booked a second tour with them for Stockholm.

    Much has been written about the CHAOS in departing the ship in St. Petersburg. Basically, the NCL tours go off first. People with private tours booked go to the Theater and you are released by Group A first, B second and then C. You sign up for a group on the touch screens in the ship, your TV (which was not working) or in the Box Office. Group A sat in the right hand side of the theater as you faced the stage and the center section. This was done so not to FLOOD the Russian Immigration Station. Being very truthful, you can just show up early and sit in a section. I did not find NCL checking anyone. In the end, everyone got through no matter what group you were in and made our tours. RUSSIAN IMMIGRATION is SLOW the first day. They are checking something in their database and each person goes ONE AT A TIME and they don’t rush.

    On the Grand Tour, we had a nice new Mercedes Bus with 20 of us on the bus. Everyone had hand held sets with ear phones. Our first visit was to the Hermitage Museum. Great to be on the Tour because we get priority entrance. Lines to visit the Museum are long.

    We then visited the Church of Spilled Blood and had a great lunch in a Hotel in downtown St. Petersburg. After lunch we went to Saint Issacs Cathedral and St. Peter’s Fortress. It was a long day but so worth it.

    The second day started with a Canal Tour of St. Petersburg and a ride on the subway (very interesting how clean the subway is and the entire city). Not like NYC, or any other American City.

    We then visited Catherine’s Palace with the Amber Room, Yusupov Palace with the Gregory Rasputin exhibition and finished the day with the Peterhof Summer Palace and Gardens. This to me was the highlight of the second day. Massive Palace and property!
    View All 12,636 St. Petersburg Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Petersburg Cruise Port Review
  • Stockholm
    Stockholm: We landed in Nynashamn which is about a 45 minute ride to Stockholm. To avoid all the confusion with the NCL shuttle and the crowds, we booked the tour with Alla Tours. They picked us up at the terminal and our tour was fantastic. Our tour started with a visit to the Vasa Museum followed by a scenic drive to the Old city or Gamla Stan for a walking tour and free time to shop and eat.
    View All 12,636 Stockholm Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Stockholm Cruise Port Review
  • Tallinn
    Tallin: Very easy to find the Old Town. Follow the crowd to the entrance. You will do a lot of walking around the OLD TOWN and the walking can be difficult at times on the cobble stones. Make sure you visit the Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform that is hidden away on KOHTU and is free of charge. Don’t mistake the viewing platform overlooking a track and field park for the Kohtuotsa Platform.

    A must see visit is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. You will also find many shops and restaurants as you walk around Old Town.
    View All 979 Tallinn Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Tallinn Cruise Port Review