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flowslow

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  1. Just use your credit card as most establishments accept them. If you really want to get Rubles I do not suggest getting your money exchanged in the ship but instead just withdraw from the ATM as soon as you arrive in Russia. There are ATMs at the port.
  2. Oh my. Hope the incident did not ruin your trip. Thank you for sharing this as this can help everyone else stay alert and be cautious of any street vendor when visiting the Savior on the Spilled Blood.
  3. We did a Baltic Cruise just this May and we had 3 children with us. We booked with Anastasia Travel and we also did the Matryoshka Painting class. The kids loved it and we, the adults, enjoyed it as much as the kids did. We loved the private tour because we got the chance to customize it based on our preferences. We also added a visit to the Grand Model Russia that the kids definitely enjoyed. Good luck with your tour planning!
  4. We booked with Anastasia Travel last May and the tour was also quoted in USD but paid in Rubles when we used our credit card. I think this is the Russian banks' policy especially when paying online and with credit card. If you prefer to pay in cash on the day of the tour, I think there won't be any problem with paying in USD. I suggest you contact your tour operator to clarify things.
  5. I think you'll save yourself from the hassle of going through the whole process of getting your own visa if you just get a local tour operator who can give you visa-free entry to St. Petersburg for 3 days. I also think it's more convenient and cheaper to book a tour with them instead of applying for a visa. We used a local tour operator last May and they created a customized tour for us. We also did not want a super jam-packed itinerary like those offered by the cruise ship so we were very glad to have a tour customized based on our preferences and needs. We also did the tour at our own pace so we did not have to rush or anything. It was very comfortable and fun. You might want to consider this option.
  6. Thank you for the recommendation! When we visited St. Petersburg we booked with Anastasia Travel, and we also had a wonderful tour with them. Glad to know these local tour operators are offering high quality service and exceptional tour experience to us tourists. I always go for independent operators for shore excursions as I find that of the ship's tour very expensive.
  7. I would always go for tours from independent tour operators as ship tours are too expensive and you do not have much flexibility while on tour. When we went to St. Petersburg we used Anastasia Travel and we had a wonderful experience. We were just a small group so we got to tour around in our own pace and we were able to customize the tour with to include only the places we were interested to visit. They deliver the same exceptional service like that of the ship's tour at a more convenient price.
  8. You may just use your credit card as most establishments accept them. When you really need some local currency to use for, let's say, buying something from the street side souvenir shop, you may just withdraw from the ATM. The guides are okay with receiving USD or EUR for tips too.
  9. We were in St. Petersburg last May and we had a great time with our tour with Anastasia Travel. I highly recommend their services. They were very professional and responsive to all our queries. We really enjoyed the tour because we were able to visit all the places we wished to see and our guide, Venus, was the best! She was very knowledgeable of the sights and she made the tour very interesting and fun with all the valuable information she shared with us. Enjoy your cruise! Hope you have a great time in St. Petersburg!
  10. We saw Swan Lake at the Mariinsky Theater a couple of months ago. We booked the ballet show together with the day tour we booked with Anastasia Travel. They gave us an option to choose between 2 theaters ( Mariinsky and Mikhailovsky) with 2 different Ballet shows . We opted for the Mariinsky since we really wanted to see Swan Lake. It was an incredible experience and we enjoyed the show very much. I suggest you contact a local tour operator to help you with booking a Ballet show and getting to and from the theater at a cheaper price.
  11. You really do not need to have Rubles with you since most establishments accept credit cards. But I think it would be nice to have a few Rubles especially if you like buying stuff sold on the street or buying from small souvenir vendors. There are ATMs at the port and that's where we got a few Rubles we brought with us during our shore excursion.
  12. Hey everyone! We just got back from our cruise last week and we had the best time in St. Petersburg! I took note of every suggestion you guys gave in this message thread and we were able to customize our itinerary with Anastasia Travel to include all the places and activities you guys shared. Thank you so much for all your help, we really had a great time! I would also like to commend Anastasia Travel because right from the start they were really helpful and considerate for allowing us to book a tour with them even if it was the last minute. They accommodated us and even helped us create and customize our tour based on our preferences. The tour was well-organized and everything went really well. We saved a lot of time since we didn’t have to line up for tickets and we were able to spend more time to see the sights. Our guide was the best and she shared so much information and insider stories that made us appreciate and understand the places we were visiting. She made the tour very interesting and fun. Overall, the tour exceeded our expectations and I can say St. Petersburg is definitely one of my favorite cities in the world!
  13. Once again, I would like to thank everyone who shared tips and suggestions for our St. Petersburg tour. Everyone has been so helpful. After our research and based on your insights, we decided to book a tour with Anastasia! They were very kind and considerate to offer us last minute booking for a customized tour that includes all the places we wanted to visit. I really liked the fact that they made an itinerary that is specially catered to our preferences. Read so much about their exceptional customer service and I can say that they were really professional and always replied promptly to all our inquiries. I am looking forward to an incredible tour with them and learning a lot from our guide. We can't wait!
  14. We have 3 kids ages 7, 9 and 10. The Grand Maket Russia sounds fun, I think the kids will like it there. I am especially interested in some creative classes, I think the kids will really enjoy participating in it. Do you know any classes the kids can join in? Also, are the classes strictly for kids only? I prefer activities the adults can do together with the kids as well. Thank you.
  15. Thank you, everyone, for all your comments and suggestions! I will take note of everything you shared and definitely use these tips when we visit St. Petersburg. I have another question though, can you also suggest places that are kid-friendly? I’m afraid the kids will get bored with the usual museums, churches, and palaces. We’d like something interactive so they can enjoy and learn at the same time. Thank you!
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