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Everything posted by flowslow

  1. We also did a 3-day St. Petersburg tour last May but we used Anastasia Travel. We loved everything about tour! We did not only see the "must-see" sites but we were also able to customize the tour to add the sites that fit our needs and preferences. We requested for some free time to walk around to really experience the city and we also did a Matryoshka painting class that both kids and adults in our group enjoyed. We also had an amazing guide, Venus, who seemed like a walking google! She knew everything and shared so many information. She was so fun to be with and made the whole tour very engaging and interesting! I think all these local tour companies pretty much offer tours in the same price range and they cover all must-see sites as well. I just thought I share our wonderful experience with Anastasia Travel and how we were able to customize our tour. Good luck with planning your tour!
  2. Depends on the show, the theater and the seats you choose. Better check the official websites of the ballet theaters to purchase tickets.
  3. I agree! There is just so much to see in St. Petersburg that you need at least 3 days to fully enjoy and experience the city. You will be able to comfortably fit a visit to Catherine's Palace and the Peterhoff, which are an hour drive away from the city center, as well as seeing a world-class Russian Ballet show if you have 3 days in St Petersburg. There will be no rush and you'll appreciate the city better.
  4. There is no strict dress code for an evening ballet performance show. The audience will be mostly tourists as well who came from a whole day tour without any time to change clothes for the show. A casual and presentable clothing should be fine.
  5. Great video! Looks like you really had a great time plus the weather looked amazing! Thank you for sharing, can't wait to do a Baltic cruise again!
  6. I'm pretty sure you can do a customized tour with the local tour operators. We customized our tour with Anastasia Travel when we visited last May. We had specific places we wanted to visit and they were very helpful in creating an itinerary that fits our needs. We were a big group with children and older ones so our group's interest was really very varied. Good thing they were able to help us customize a tour that satisfied everyone's needs and desires. You might want to consider them and I'm sure they can help you arrange a tour based on your preference.
  7. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience! We too had an amazing time in St. Petersburg but with another company, Anastasia Travel. A customized private tour with a local tour company is really the way to go for shore excursions as they provide an exceptional customer service and a well-organized tour that is way cheaper that a ship's tour.
  8. Any local tour operator in St. Petersburg can take care of your visa-free disembarkation when you book a tour with them. We used Anastasia Travel during our trip last May and we had a wonderful time. I find shore excursions with local tour companies so much better and cheaper than a ship's tour. Don't listen to Princess and go ahead and book with any of the local tour operators mentioned here.
  9. We booked a tour with Anastasia Travel when we were in St. Petersburg last May. I highly recommend their services and I actually heard from them that they also do excursions in other Baltic Ports. They were very responsive and professional in communicating with us during the planning stage. We had an amazing time with them during the tour and everything was well-prepared and well-executed. We didn't have any problems with them and we just had to enjoy and relax during the whole tour with them.
  10. We toured with Anastasia Travel and paid with our credit card through their website. It was very convenient and secure, we did not experience any problems. If you are not too comfortable using your credit card they might accept your payment on the day of the tour. Better contact them and ask if that is possible.
  11. I highly recommend Anastasia Travel. We used them when we visited last May and we had a wonderful time. We too had specific places that we wanted to visit and Anastasia Travel helped us customize a tour that fully satisfies our needs. They were very kind and professional, they helped us create a tour that only includes the places that interest us. Our guide was just incredible and she made the tour very interesting and fun. I'm pretty sure they can help you create an itinerary that includes a visit to the Hermitage and Savior on the Spilled Blood in 1 day.
  12. Yes! This is so true! It's very difficult to enjoy and appreciate the tour when you are with a loooot of people. Plus an independent tour costs way cheaper than a ship's tour.
  13. During our tour with Anastasia Travel, they dropped us off right at the entrance. Being in a small group gives you the flexibility to do the itinerary at your own pace. There were also instances when we felt we wanted to stay longer at a specific sight so we extended a little bit and adjusted the itinerary as we continued the tour. I loved that we did not feel rushed or anything. We just enjoyed the whole experience.
  14. They also gave us a good discount. I'm not sure about their cancellation policy, I think you could ask them about it. We did a pre-arranged lunch as well and we enjoyed the food in an Authentic Russian restaurant. The name I forgot already but I really think they know the best restaurants in St. Petersburg.
  15. We used Anastasia Travel for my family's St. Petersburg visit last May. We considered all possible options for the tour since we are a mix of kids, adults and older guests as well. They also shared a comfortable tour with us as well as a more relaxed tour. We opted for the more relaxed tour with some activities for the kids as well. We totally customized the tour to cater to the needs of my dad who is a slow walker but still enabling us to visit St. Petersburg's highlights and do some activities fun for the kids.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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!
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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!
  25. 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.
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