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10 Princess St. Petersburg Cruise Reviews

Itinerary was awesome other then that, food was ok, shows were mediocre and staff were a little rude. Main dining waiter was rushed no interaction just took order, drop food and took off. Francesco head waiter was great. Always gave me ... Read More
Itinerary was awesome other then that, food was ok, shows were mediocre and staff were a little rude. Main dining waiter was rushed no interaction just took order, drop food and took off. Francesco head waiter was great. Always gave me menu for next night to make me comfortable with my food allergy. Room was clean, however, steward was not friendly. First thing out of his mouth was the hours he worked. No sure if he liked his job.. Received letter in cabin about respiratory illness on board. Was in cabin sick for 2 days, only left for steward to clean rooms. Captains messages at noontime you could hardly heard unless you opened the cabin door. Cruise staff did alittle too late Few times equipment for shows in theater didnt work. One major production show was cancelled after 15 minutes because of equipment failure. 3 computers went down. Not sure if I would cruise princess line again. We shall see. No pun intended. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We boarded in St. Petersburg after a 4 day stay in town. Wonderful visit and nice, safe place, with friendly people. Lots to see and do, and cabs are cheap. The terminal experience was very unusual however. We expected the regular ... Read More
We boarded in St. Petersburg after a 4 day stay in town. Wonderful visit and nice, safe place, with friendly people. Lots to see and do, and cabs are cheap. The terminal experience was very unusual however. We expected the regular crush of hundreds of other passengers, but there were fewer than a dozen that we saw during our processing. The Medallion system isn't really much of a benefit under these type situations. The ship is in good condition, I didn't see any wear and tear anywhere, and the crew keeps it quite clean. The décor is a little boring except in a few spots like the central atrium. That said, the layout is peculiar in that there are parts of the ship that are difficult to reach, and not in the typical locations. For instance, the rear set of elevators ends at deck 6, but you need to go up a level to actually get anywhere except cabins on that deck. The buffet has somewhat narrow passages on each side and this causes a lot of bumping and confusion, particularly at peak meal times. Smoke from the open ceiling casino vents into the shops above and became an issue for passengers. My biggest disappointment with the entire cruise is the food in the buffet. The selection and availability is good, HOWEVER it is never hot! I mean it's barely warm. All the toasted items like bagels English muffins, French toast, etc. will not even begin to melt butter. Eggs are fried in batches and put out 20 or so at a time and also lukewarm. By the time you get to your table with your meal, everything is usually at room temp. The scrambled eggs taste like they began as powdered, and the omelets seem to be made from the same mix. The pastry selection is usually good for every meal in the buffet I must say. The highly touted "Highest Speed WiFi At Sea" was practically unusable for a full 5 days while crossing the Atlantic. Speeds typically were between 50-150kbps, similar to dialup or DSL speeds over 10 years ago. The Captain apologized, announcing it was the lack of satellite coverage, but it should have been no secret that over 25% of our 19 day cruise would encounter such poor service. The gym is sparsely equipped with basic machines like curls for instance. It's also small, and at the rear of the ship, unlike most I've seen. The main theatre does not have enough seating for anywhere near 1/2 the passengers, so you'll need to arrive 30-45 minutes before a show to get a few decent seats. Entertainment was average with the usual mix of entertainment. The dining room anytime dining is good, and we ate there about half the time. Alfredo's pizza on deck 6 is great and I highly recommend it for a quick, good individual pizza. The Calzones also looked good, but I didn't try one. I doubt I'd book this cruise again mostly because of the buffet food temps and the poor WiFi at sea, but overall, it wasn't a bad experience, just not great either. The standard balcony cabins are small compared to Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, with no couch and tiny bathrooms. The balcony was only about 4 feet deep it seemed, barely enough room to have a chair face out to sea. The Medallion feature turned into a major yawn for us. It only was used to unlock our door and check in and out in port. NO ONE used the public panels to navigate the ship or anything else that I noticed. There are at least 5 different Princess apps to download if you want to bother, but they are confusing and do very little easily. I've been on over 50 cruises, and I walked away slightly disappointed in this one. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Choose this cruise as it was leaving on date that afforded some of best opportunity for good weather and ability to see marine wildlife and glacier activity. I am more of a casual traveler, not swimsuits but not formal. This was geared ... Read More
Choose this cruise as it was leaving on date that afforded some of best opportunity for good weather and ability to see marine wildlife and glacier activity. I am more of a casual traveler, not swimsuits but not formal. This was geared to the formal experience of dress and meals, relegated to the Buffett most nights. The entertainment at night was less than average when compared to other cruises. Not the large productions that I was used to. The hot tubs and pools were overrun by children who stayed in all day. They now try to hard sell items at dining and other venues which I had not encountered before. It was like a telemarketer. I am sensitive to smoking products so the smile from the open casino often made that part of the ship off limits. The outside smoking was on the back in a prime location which is an area I usually go to. Ironically it was located outside the workout room. The downside of traveling at this time was the 4-5 other cruise ships in the same ports. Completely overwhelms the services in small towns. It was like grand central station at rush hour. There medallion system did not work well and the apps that we attempted to download were problematic or did not work. Those that purchased the WiFi were very disappointed in its performance. I could not believe in this day and age they made u pay for it, and after hearing others, am glad we did not. Days at sea the on board food service is simply not equipped to handle the almost 4000 guests. Personally, we would skip the inside passage cruise and just fly to Alaska next time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We boarded the ship in St. Petersburg, specifically so that we could spend two full days with a private guide and driver before the cruise. After doing a lot of Internet research I settled on Best Guides (www.bestguides-spb.com). From the ... Read More
We boarded the ship in St. Petersburg, specifically so that we could spend two full days with a private guide and driver before the cruise. After doing a lot of Internet research I settled on Best Guides (www.bestguides-spb.com). From the beginning we dealt with Dariya via email and she was wonderful. Not only did they plan a custom tour for you, but they were able to quickly respond to your requests for changes and even provided visa support. We were to leave Washington Dulles Airport on June 3, 2019, but our flight was delayed for over 3 ½ hours. This caused us to miss the only non-stop from Dulles to St. Petersburg for the day. We were able to reschedule, but we ultimately did not arrive at our hotel until 2am. Fortunately, to reach Dariya via email from Zurich. She quickly rearranged our schedule so that we would not be meeting our guide and driver until 1pm (giving us some time for a little much needed rest). She did this all without penalty and even discounted the charges base on the actual hours we used instead of the time we had contracted for. Our guide, Elena Gumennaya, was wonderful. Her English was perfect and she was extremely knowledgeable about St. Petersburg and Russian history. We particularly enjoyed hearing about the changes since 1991. One final note, as of this writing, Best Guides does not require prepayment of any fees until you have completed your tour! This level of trust is rare today, and it deserves loyalty. I can honestly say that I have never had a better travel tour experience. When I accepted The Regal Princess' offer to upgrade our cabin to a suite I never expected the level of luxury we encountered. We were upgraded to the Auckland Suite (E729). This is a corner suite on deck 8 which measures between 585 and 650 square-feet (I found multiple numbers). The service was magnificent. We were greeted by live orchid, fresh fruit, two plates of canapés and a stocked bar. Our cabin steward was extremely attentive. Suite service includes free laundry and we were able to have most of our clothes clean when we traveled home. Suite service also included breakfast at Sabatini's restaurant, private Club Level dining in the Concerto dining room and a private reception each evening in the Elite Bar. The entertainment on board was also excellent. There's something for every taste. We loved listening to music at the various bars before and after dinner. Because we like to stay active we signed up for bicycling excursions in three ports (Estonia, Germany, and Norway). These were by far our favorite activities, and enabled us to meet people and see parts of the countries we visited that we wouldn't otherwise have had access too. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We are a young-ish couple who mainly do independent travel so this was only our second cruise but we loved it. I travel a lot but have never been to many of the countries we docked in so this was exciting and all were really interesting. I ... Read More
We are a young-ish couple who mainly do independent travel so this was only our second cruise but we loved it. I travel a lot but have never been to many of the countries we docked in so this was exciting and all were really interesting. I also work a lot so wanted a little bit of rest and comfort. This was definitely a comfortable, elegant ship, but I would say the itinerary is a little hectic, wish there were more sea days in between. I didn't do too many activities on sea days just opted to rest. But Balloon drop night and champagne waterfall night were very nice. The nightly band in the main ship Atrium with a Filipina singer, I think their name was Evolution, was VERY, very good and they worked really hard - played for hours all night long. Ship of almost 4000 though never felt crowded - skews on older side, I would guess a third Americans or Canadians, a third Europeans/Latin/Russian, and a third Asian (primarily Chinese and Japanese). Running down some other ship notes and some pros and cons: I thought the rest of the entertainment were really fun - esp the Broadway quality shows. Good selection of new movies on the TV. Also able to watch port/enrichment lectures and some of the audience participation shows from your cabin TV. The low key Outrigger bar with made-to-order fresh juices (extra cost) was great as was their bar staff and the patrons there. Fitness center was spacious, but I always got lost trying to find the right way to get there. Liked laundry on every floor and free zumba morning class. I wish they gave you a complete list and full information on ALL the dining options and what any costs were, but I feel like I had to ask and do all the research myself. Anyway, we mainly ate in the dining rooms - sometimes at assigned table, sometimes at "any time dining" table, and I found the food fantastic. We always tried to ask for a table by the window. Tried one specialty restaurant - Sabatini's - which exceeded expectations. Filling, delicious courses. A first class dining experience! We also tried the casual Alfredo's (included) for a made-to-order, fresh pizza one time - so good. We sampled the buffet a few times and they often had large variety and also lots of international dishes. My partner had specialty coffee at the 24 hour International Cafe every day. Room service was SO lovely! Wish they would expand more of the menu options. Usually at least once on the cruise they will have a fish and chips pub lunch (included) -that was good to change it up a bit - and a Crab Shack (extra cost, but we didn't try it) and an afternoon tea service with sandwiches and scones, etc (didn't try but looked nice). Cons: The new Ocean medallion technology was convenient (opening cabin door automatically, getting on/off ship) but the apps were a pain to log in and didn't work all the time. I also figure they are tracking our movements all the time with the medallion but what can you do. Would have done the spa but they stopped essentially offering day passes. Service in general was typical - some were really exceptional, some were just ok. Couldn't utilize much of the outdoor deck spaces/outdoor movies, etc because weather in Baltic really unpredictable and chilly. Would probably opt for June/July if I could do it over. But for me, the highlight was really getting to visit the various cities and I truly enjoyed them all - there was rain in the forecast constantly but in the end, it didn't really come to fruition, Tallinn was the only one that had some rain. Copenhagen it threatened to rain the whole time but it didn't, although that meant we didn't do a bike tour around but did the HOHO bus which worked out perfectly. Most people boarded and left the ship in Copenhagen, but we embarked/disembarked in St. Petersburg (we have visas) so we didn't really have a "welcome" per se and no real lines, but it was interesting to see a new, totally different crowd on the ship. You could also embark in Germany or Oslo I think. I didn't really end up using the cruise excursions - we booked an independent excursion in Warnemunde. Again, all ports were great. I would advise bringing/reading Rick Steve's guide book on these ports - it has maps too, etc. And always write down the name of the port you are docked in if you end up taking an uber, taxi or public transportation back - there can be several diff ports in some of the cities. Another good read on a trip like this - with a mix of humor, culture, and history - is The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia by Michael Booth. Highlights in each port: Tallinn (12pm free walking tour Old Town, Nevsky cathedral, viewpoints in Old Town, try Old Hansa almonds and freshly squeezed pomegranate juice from the carts, Telleskivi aka Creative City - esp F Hoone restaurant). Warnemunde (Friends of Dave tour with their fun and friendly guide, brewery lunch, seeing the charming towns in Rostock/Wismar, beer near sand castle in Warnemunde, and the breathtaking beauty of Schwerin castle garden - I felt like I was in a fairy tale - totally unexpected surprise for me). Oslo (port time there was short so we didn't have time for the viking museums - but Vigeland Sculpture Park a must, Opera house both outside and inside, stroll down Karl Johan gate, pic in front of Nobel Museum and fish lunch by the harbor before walking right to the ship. And the sail away - don't miss it! View from Regal Princess sailing in or out of Oslo and the tiny "fjords" - spectacular!). Copenhagen (Christianhavn is nice place to walk around and different than the "main" island, the Freetown Christiania is a VERY interesting community and a bit of a walk but for me was worth it to see - others may opt for Tivoli Gardens instead. Nyhavn a must of course and then catch Little Mermaid on way back to ship. Didn't have time but the glimpses of the gardens and some of the palaces looked really lovely.) Nynashamn (Stockholm is an hour away so maybe an excursion is worth looking into but we took the train - ship provided a shuttle to the station which is 5 mins away for about $5. Get a map and the day card - can be used for the train, the tram, the ferries, etc. This was one of my favorite ports - Gamla Stan a must. Vasa museum. Some like the Abba museum - although we didn't go. Lunch at Gondolen was interesting. Enjoy a fika break. Walk around City Hall - where the Nobel Prize banquet is held every year). Helsinki (easily walkable city, Market Square - beware the seagulls!, Cathedrals, try moose and reindeer, Lappi restaurant opens at 4pm very unique place, Rock Church a must, Loyly sauna is fairly close to ship - don't have to sauna but can still enjoy the views, wine, terrace and relax). St. Petersburg of course is amazing but since we spent several days there, would be too long to talk about here, and can't speak to the excursions. Anyway, as you can see I had a great time on this cruise and personally would recommend it to others Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Very large ship, very beautiful, lots of people. Many changes, including Medallion requirements. Change is good, I hope. After several days, was able to maneuver around the ship without getting lost. Art auction was very ... Read More
Very large ship, very beautiful, lots of people. Many changes, including Medallion requirements. Change is good, I hope. After several days, was able to maneuver around the ship without getting lost. Art auction was very disappointing and we felt like we were being pressured to hold up our numbers. Left before it was done along with many others, and never went back. Bingo rules have changed and the money prizes are much lower which makes me rethink whether I will play Bingo on my next cruise at $59/game for a tablet and I only win $118. Made reservations at Sabatini's and told only could go at 5:30 or 8:00 so chose 8:00 because it was my birthday. Got to the restaurant and it was empty so don't know why they told us it was sold out. Food was delicious and service was good. Still don't understand the empty restaurant and why we could not have gone earlier. Left a pashmina by mistake at Bingo and the Casino guy told me he saw it and told the operations manager to send it to Lost and Found. Never got there so guess someone else is enjoying the pashmina, but not me. Went to Lost and Found 2 to 3 times a day until the end of the cruise. Think the Pursers desk was tired of seeing me. Overall, really like the cruise ports and will probably enjoy the Royal Princess much better the next time I cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This is out ninth cruise with Princess. We always choose the destinations as the priority, the ship is secondary. That said, the Regal Princess is by far the nicest Princess ship that we have sailed on to date. Overall; huge ship, ... Read More
This is out ninth cruise with Princess. We always choose the destinations as the priority, the ship is secondary. That said, the Regal Princess is by far the nicest Princess ship that we have sailed on to date. Overall; huge ship, biggest yet for us, beautifully appointed, clean and fresh. Public areas were lovely. Maintained and cleaned to the highest standard. Cabins; we had a cabin on the very back of the ship (Riviera) overalooking the stern. Lovely cabin. Endless TV on demand if you wanted it. Large balcony...well worth the nominal extra cost. Cabin attendant was functional, pleaseant, but not over friendly. Food; we ate each night in the Allegro, second sitting. Superb food, great waiter on our table (some others were not so friendly...at breakfast for example, when we had different staff serving). One slow breakfast, otherwise fine. The food, and especially the desserts, was excellent. Horizon Court; don't believe the moaners....the food was excellent in the Horizon Court, more choice that you could imagine, including Vegan, Veggie, Curry, fish, meat....I could go on....all delicious, with the same choice of desserts. Very good choice for lunch, and it was very busy most evenings.... Staff; very friendly, courteous, Captain was very descriptive of all the ports and the ship itself, lots of information. Entertainment; apart from the comedian (there under false pretences - dreadful!) the rest of the entertainment was good. Very good musicians and vocals. Shows were not our thing, but that's just chioice....the theaters were packed, so obviously most enjoyed it. Ports of call; all good, some better than others. We were very lucky with the weather, which always helps. Particulary good (in our eyes) were Talinn, Warnermunde, St Petersburg and Stockholm...but that's a subjective choice and simply what we liked. Embarkation and disembarkation; faultless. Would we go again? Aleady booked for Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand on Princess next year. Older ship, but another adventure! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise because it stopped in many ports in Spain where my daughter is now living. We chose a Transatlantic because for a very busy working couple it was nice to start the cruise with some days at sea where we could totally ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it stopped in many ports in Spain where my daughter is now living. We chose a Transatlantic because for a very busy working couple it was nice to start the cruise with some days at sea where we could totally relax. We especially enjoy Princess on longer cruises because of the self serve laundry. The staff in the main dining room was very attentive as we have come to experience with Princess. The food in the main dining room was on days a little lacking in quality and choice, but as a whole was satisfactory. There were evenings of very good entertainment in the main theater. There were some issues in the main theater such a long aisles on the side sections only accessible on one side causing some hazards (there were older passengers climbing over seats to get to a row above or below. There was also a inconvenient and frustrating elevator system on the Royal and there were sets of buttons to push to summon an elevator. This lead to a passenger getting on on elevator and the other sets of elevators stopping for no reason. The limitation of stairs available in the center of the ship added to the frustration. Our only issue was that some of the venue sites were too small for a ship carrying over 3,000 passengers. This definitely applies to the computer room as far as the number of computers available. Once on ship the Princess staff was efficient. The port experience was not satisfying from the bus attempting to drop us off to the long line getting in. Port discussions in the theater were great also that they replayed on room TV. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Royal Princess ……only one year old, ship was a design mess...elevators impossible to figure out and no center stairwell.. we would often take an elevator down in order to go up...no games room..library is an embarrassment, probably the ... Read More
Royal Princess ……only one year old, ship was a design mess...elevators impossible to figure out and no center stairwell.. we would often take an elevator down in order to go up...no games room..library is an embarrassment, probably the size of a small bedroom ...theatre has no outside isles, feels unsafe...restaurant food unimaginative and inconsistent ..one day the soup would be great, the next day the same soup would be not edible….nickel and dimed at every 'corner'...eg. no free coffee, except on lido deck, orange juice is free at breakfast but not so any other time of the day and if one ordered it, anyway, it would arrive three quarters full of ice cubes.... Activities on board were not to my liking..no hands-on for me..no covered pool..didn't swim once in the cold...no walking deck around ship..whirlpools were tiny, holding four people at most, if you didn't stretch your legs out..the main pool was as large as the one at our condo, which has 300 units..shows were very good for the most part..long line ups when embarking ship at a port...sometimes although two scanners were there, only one was being used...our tv rarely worked..'media error' message kept interrupting our movie watching...saw 'the hobbit' five times...and no one came out to fix it, even though i called on two separate days..we soon found that the tv problem was common throughout a section of the ship…when we initially embarked in st petersburg, our remote was dead and our phone did not work at all..that was attended to in a timely manner... It bothered me that no staff at the entrances to the buffet area held sanitizer dispensers to educate and sanitize ‘hands’ entering the food area…at one point I watched the rotisserie chicken chef check the temp of his rotating chicken and then proceed to sheath the thermometer without cleaning it…our cabin steward was excellent although others were not as fortunate… …the ship had a laundry room on each floor which was a positive, although a number of floods took place there…we had a ‘man overboard’ situation which made the ship turn around and launch a vessel only to find that it was a fishing marker..overall, it’s a beautiful ship that was ill designed and is run by accountants…we had anytime dining and sat with probably over 150 people over the period of the sailing..only one couple spoke positively of their experience on the ship…but then, this was only their second cruise, …we bought the cruise for the Baltic and north sea experience and that did not disappoint.. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I recently took a cruise on the Royal Princess. I chose the cruise because of the itinerary: it was the only cruise including Scandinavia and the Baltics that started and ended in St. Petersburg, enabling me to spend more than the usual ... Read More
I recently took a cruise on the Royal Princess. I chose the cruise because of the itinerary: it was the only cruise including Scandinavia and the Baltics that started and ended in St. Petersburg, enabling me to spend more than the usual cruise-offered one or two nights in St. Petersburg, and to go to Moscow as well. I had cruised with Princess once before, on the former Renaissance ship Pacific Princess in French Polynesia and the Marquesas. That ship had not yet been updated and the accommodations and food were marginal at best. I had cruised once on a larger ship: years ago on the Rhapsody of the Seas. More recently, I went on a two week Western Carribean cruise on the "medium-sized" Celebrity Eclipse, and it was quite enjoyable. The rest of my cruises have been on Oceania and Regent's 550-650 passenger ships, including a 2 1/2 month round trip cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to and around South America including Antarctica, the Falklands, and back to back cruises totaling 3 months starting in Istanbul and ending in Hong Kong. I have read the many comments on the Royal Princess' staterooms. I did not find any of them to be a problem except the shower curtain. In fact, I found the bathroom to be well laid out with the storage shelves conveniently NOT over the toilet (so items don't fall in). There was plenty of storage space in my balcony stateroom, and the deck chairs were not a problem. The bed was extremely comfortable. However, the towels were disappointingly thin and rough. The problems I had with this ship concern its design, structure and size. Apparently Princess thinks it needs to add gimmicks in order to distinguish itself from its competition. An example of this is the obviously expensive to construct Seawalk that juts out over the side of the ship and has a clear bottom so you can see the sea while walking on it. As has been noted by other passengers, I rarely saw anyone on the Seawalk during my cruise. It is certainly not something you want to walk on more than once. Yet, there is no walk way around the outside of the ship which passengers can be used for doing laps. None of the chairs around the pool are in the shade, instead, there are tables. The pool-less Sanctuary and Retreat are a total waste of money in a Baltic Cruise; it is too windy and cold to be out there. I never saw a single person using that area during my cruise; the sea days were rainy and cold. At least on Celebrity the adults-only area not only has a pool; it is enclosed from the elements. While there were no annoying alcohol-fueled games at the pool, there was constantly noise, including movies during the day. The evening movies were rarely attended as it was too cold and/or rainy, and that was also true of the attendance for the Bellagio-wannabe water and light shows, which are another waste of money. And, one viewing of that show is more than enough. The biggest structural problem with the ship is the much-ballyhooed multi-floor open atrium. The line must think that having entertainment blaring on the central court creates excitement and energy, but what it really does is drive people to find somewhere quiet, and that is hard to do. It is really a jolt to be sitting in one of the many atrium-side areas and then suddenly a musical or dance group is blaring loud music that reaches all floors. There also are no indoor areas where passengers can sit and watch out the front of the ship while the ship is sailing. There are some seats in a few of the restaurants and bars that area seated by windows so you can see outside, but in a speciality restaurant the view is blocked by lifeboats. Possibly in part because of the number of passengers, the food quality was very poor. I ate at almost every food venue on the ship. For example, in the main dining room, the pasta was cold, lumpy and tasteless. A lamb chop were so shriveled up and tough I had to saw it with my knife. At the so-called Seafood bar, the Spanish and Portuguese and sardines were served in a can, just as you would purchase them in a grocery store. And the fresh sashimi looked old and was not served with chopsticks. Meals in the speciality restaurants were also a disappointment. A major disappointment was in the port of Stockholm. In fact, the ship was too large to dock in Stockholm, so it docked an hour away in a town called Nynanham. A passenger's choices were to either 1) take a ship-organized tour of Stockholm; 2) take a taxi into Stockholm ($150 one way); 3) take a shuttle to the train station and the the train into Stockholm; or 4) take a ship-provided bus into and back from Stockholm. I chose to do the latter. It did not arrive into Stockholm until 11am and then left to return to the ship at 4:15. It was difficult to see much of Stockholm in that short a period of time. On a positive note, the staff and crew were uniformly helpful and professional. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
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