Mostly went on this cruise for the wonderful ports we stopped in.
Embarkation and leaving the ship were quick and easy.
The ship was fine. The average age of the ship was very old (older than i thought and I expected the crowd to be old). This was fine for us as we are not the type to stay out late partying - but almost nobody showed up to parties or events. The shows were also tailored for the older crowd. The ship was our biggest so we expected entertainment to be awesome - the lead male and female singers were great but there was only one comedian the entire trip and we were unimpressed with the entertainment overall. There is not a ton to do on the ship - basketball and ping pong are outside and the wind makes them almost impossible. If you are not doing trivia, at a bar, or playing bingo, there is alot of time for hot tubs. The adults only section of pool and hot tubs were the biggest I've seen and we loved them - but they did not have access to watch the movie if you are excited about that. There were also a variety of lectures prior to the port stops.
Dining was fine - very comparable to other cruise ships and companies. The service, however, was EXCELLENT. The best dining room service we have had in about 6/7 cruises. We did not try any specialty dining for the first time.
Ports were great - some very small towns such as Oslo had little to do but were enjoyable.
Russia did not disappoint - be sure to book excursions before hand in order to get off the ship. HOWEVER, the cruises sometimes imply or otherwise make it seem as if you can only get off the ship if you have an excursion booked through them directly. This is NOT the case. While the Royal Caribbean cruises had more time (about an hour before and a bit after) in Russia, we completed our full two day tour. I recommend SPB for small groups - the cruise had large buses with up to 45 people. Many places such as the Hermitage and Peterhof are packed and it is very disorganized in the museums so having a small group with SPB of only about 15 made things MUCH easier.
Highly recommend the Ice Bar in Helskini - there are several (such as Stockholm) but Helsinki is far superior with a large indoor facility.
Love the trip - once in a lifetime.
PS there are not a ton of kids on this trip - we loved it. however, if we had kids there was not alot for them to do and not enough kids to get anything done
The cabin was as expected. View of ocean was great but if you are sensitive to light it could be tricky. The blackout shades were pretty good, but just be aware that the sun is out for extreme hours. Best shower I have had on a cruise so far as well. The room in general was pretty comparable to other cruises we have been on.
We went to the nobel prize and walked around the city - good value to walk for free rather than pay for an excursion that is simply stealing your money making up more fun things to do
generic port town, didn't spend a ton of time there
Walkable city or get the hop off and hop on bus. some cool things to see
got a cab and created our own tour. great
tiny town with not much to do. it is fine but also very weather dependent
some great highlights of the city - cab is expensive to get to the stuff from the harbor
WALKABLE - do not book an expensive trip here
beautifulView All 210 Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood Reviews
nice and western cityView All 378 City Tour Reviews
could spend over a week in this place!View All 377 Hermitage Museum Reviews
fine, lots of nice burial plots and suchView All 114 Peter & Paul Fortress Reviews
beautiful palace, inside and outView All 231 Peterhof Palace Reviews
awe inspiringView All 113 St. Isaac's Cathedral Reviews
eh. nothing super special other than where Rasputin was murderedView All 65 Yusupov Palace Reviews
we did the rib boat tour of the fjords... it was exhilarating and amazing. It was the most beautiful thing I have seen.View All 68 Lysefjord Reviews