Our cabin was a good size and the bed was comfortable; linked twins, with 2 duvets. The shower room was small, but reasonable and there were good sized fluffy towels and also face towels. Storage space in the cabin was adequate, with sufficient hangers. A large bottle of water was provided every day. We had a 'fridge and a safe. We were glad to have a cabin in the bows of the ship as it was further away from the engine. The curtains were heavy and kept out the light. There was air conditioning, but it found it difficult to cope in the heatwave. The laundry service was very expensive.
The lunches and dinners were excellent and consisted of several courses. Breakfasts were good but we would have liked more low cal. choices. The Philippino waiting staff were friendly, spoke good English and could not have been more helpful. There was 'free seating' in the restaurant. House wine was included, but was not very good. We opted for the drinks package; money paid up front to include cocktails, a choice of good wines, spirits and juices, water and soft drinks.
Excursions were well organised and our guide, who spoke excellent English, was very good. Earphones were provided. these enabled us to hear everything said by the guide. The more popular sights were very crowded and very hot in the heatwave.Smaller events were unexpectedly fun, like Russian doll painting classes and a cookery lesson. On-board lectures were excellent.
The staff were friendly and helpful at all times. The port of Moscow where we docked was rather a surprise at first, located by a semi-derelict building which sometimes had music blaring from it. However a park was behind this and there was easy access to the Metro for the brave! The Metro is worth seeing, as it contains a variety of art and some wonderful sculpture. Red Square and the Kremlin are sights not to be missed. The Kremlin is best visited with a group, otherwise the queues to get in can be horrendous. Lenin's tomb can be visited at times and it is free. It felt rather spooky. One is forbidden to show any sign of amusement and we were told to take passports, as an involuntary giggle can result in police questioning. The big department store, GUM, was a disappointment to most people, except possibly the very rich. It was not like stores in the West. However the building was worth seeing. There was an underground shopping mall opposite which was more user friendly and air conditioned. We went to an evening performance of folk music, showcasing Russian instruments and everyone loved it.
Quiet location, next to a suite in the bows. It was a middle deck.
Room under bed for suitcases, good cupboard and wardrobe space. Refrigerator and safe were free.
Shower room was a reasonable size. Towels were a good size and fluffy. Toiletries were run of the mill.
Bed was comfortable; linked twin, with 2 duvets.
In our cabin there was a structural pole, which was covered with a soft material. There were also small triangular gussets at the base of the pole and and one under the window; these were covered in carpet but could trip the unwary.
The Hermitage has wonderful art, but you would need a week to see it all. It was a hot day and very crowded. The ballet performance in the evening was lovely. Catherine's palace is worth seeing. The Peterhof Palace is also worthy of a visit and it's gardens by the sea are relaxing to stroll in; cooling on a hot day as they have fountains and water features.
The main impression of the city is of beautiful buildings in both Russian and Western European styles, also of canals and bridges. There is so much wonderful art, but it would be enjoyed more at a less popular and cooler time of the year.
After St. Petersburg there are smaller ports on the way to Moscow. Mandrogy was a tourist souvenir village. Kizhi has wonderful wooden churches and an opportunity to see life as it used to be in the open air architectural buildings. It was delightful to be able to walk in the countryside free of crowds there! Uglich has some beautiful churches, but not much else when it's crowded.