st Petersburg was as beautiful as advertised, our guide was wonderful, loved the tour
The tour was great but nearly didn't happen! I received a document which contained a barcode which I printed off. It said that we needed to confirm our booking with Marie Rose travel, the local contact. The email address did not work so I phoned the number given - from England. All I got was an fax machine.
I went to the Marie Rose website and found a different number to phone. I spoke to a Russian girl who told us our places were already confirmed. I told her that I had the ticket with the barcode - but did I need anything else?. She assured me I didn't.
However, when we disembarked the ship at St Petersburg I presented the paper and was shouted at by the local customs as our paper was not the correct one. My friend and I were commanded to sit on a bench like naughty schoolgirls and told to wait.
The guide was at another ship terminal it appeared but was contacted and she arrived to where we were. Meanwhile a chap at customs had printed off another document which was needed and belatedly we linked up with our guide.
On return home I still can't find this ticket to print off!!!
The tour was good and did all the things it promised. Lida, our guide was very good - in The Hermitage she selected a range of exhibits rather than trying to trail us round all day. She spoke good English and was knowledgeable about her city.
Other private tours were taken on the metro which I would have loved - but maybe you could include that on future tours.
In future I think these private tours offer more than the shipboard excursions which are pricey and ensure that the participants queue up for ages, whereas we were able to jump the queues at the attractions. I would therefore search around for a perfect tour next time I go on a cruise.
Our guide for this visit was a young girl called Julia. She was very friendly, extremely knowledgeable and very professional. We both enjoyed our visit the more due to the manner in which she presented the city, the places we were taken to and her limitless knowledge.
Whilst the overall trip was excellent, the meal was not brilliant and I would suggest that you review both the restaurant and what was offered for future tours.
We were very much looking forward to this excursion. As it turned out it was not as good as we would have liked it to be. Our small-group city tour consisted of 5 of us. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable when it came to all the sites, and there were many, that we visited. The problems we encountered were as followed: the tour guide's heavy accent made it very difficult to understand what she was saying. Compounding this problem was that she was a low talker, making it extremely difficult to even hear her; there was no boat ride on the Neva River as advertised, extremely dissappointing; the restaurant we were to have lunch at could not accommodate us forcing the entire group to walk about 1 1/2 miles to another restaurant; the tour lasted 8 hours instead of 6. This caused us to have quite a bit of anxiety about returning to our boat on time before it left. We just made it back with very little room to spare.
Because this excursion cost us a substantial amount of money my wife and I felt that, in the end, it really was not worth the investment.
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