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  1. We didn't take any roubles with us for the shore excursion in St. Petersburg. We paid by card to Red Sun Tours on arrival. As i know all restaurants and shops take cards there.
  2. We uses Red Sun Tours in St. Petersburg. Very personal touch, just exceptional. We had a fantastic tour. Initially we needed a private tour focused on our preferences and they designed an excellent tour itinerary for us. Our guide was so warm lady with a great knowledge, we knew so much about Russian culture and history; it was so sad to say goodbye to them.. I recommend them highly
  3. it was our first time in Marseilles, so we decided to book the Aix en Provence tour with Provence Amazing Tours. Our guide was Laurent - very accommodating and knowledgeable. it was nice! I would recommend them. Also have good walking shoes and be ready to have a full stomach when the tour is done.
  4. it depends on time what you have for Crete. We rented a car for a day and traveled to Chania and relaxed on the beach in Retimno. Private tour is probably better though
  5. I think most ports you can do by your own. In some cities you may just walk to the city. In most Baltic ports it was quite good and easy way to travel by metro or taxi. We did Amsterdam, Copehnagen, Tallin and Helsinki on our own. In St. Petersburg we had a tour with Red Sun Tours
  6. We stayed at Hotel Arc La Rambla. It is in the very center just on Las Ramblas and not far away from the port
  7. Nattie, We were 3 on the 2 day tour and paid about 1200 $. We booked with Red Sun Tours. They were very responsive and nice to deal with.
  8. I agree, private tours are better for seniors. We were on a private tour with my mum who is 75 y o. I was initially worry about her mobility, but the tour was well planned by Elena of Red Sun Tours and became a nice visit for both of us. My mum loves history and art and our itinerary was tailored accordingly. Our guide was very knowledgeable and caring. if she saw my mum tied she could find a park bench or a cafe where we could relax for a few minutes; it was nice, when we were sitting together as friends in the Peterhof gardens by those nice flowerbeds and fountains and our guide told us about her past and present. On a group tour you can hardly experience that.
  9. Following the recommendations of our friends we used Red Sun Tours for our 2 day visit to St. Petersburg. They are not frequently mentioned here, although their rating on Trip Advisor is high. They customized a tour for us, as we wanted a private tour. But as i know they arrange group tours as well.
  10. I think for the first visit you may do sights what are must-do's - the hermitage museum, Peterhof gardens with fountains, the Spilled Blood cathedral. And you may include 1-2 less touristic places. It might be a good combination. We did similar thing last year with Red Sun Tours. On the first day we had a city tour, then we visited the hermitage museum, after that we drove to Peterhof gardens. On the second day we had a tour of old beautiful metro stations, then Pushkin apartment museum about 1 hour, Dostoevsky museum about 45 minutes, farmer's market and Spilled Blood cathedral. At 4.30 we were back at the ship. It was excellent timing; we had a fantastic tour.
  11. I would recommend to go with a private tour. it is even cheaper than to go with a cruise ship tour. I see many people here go with Alla and SPB tours. Seems they are busy tour companies with hundreds people every day. If you prefer less mass tourism i can recommend to use a smaller company. We had a tour with a company called Red Sun Tours. Honestly we felt as Royalty passing by a crowd of 100s people who were in the line to check in with those big companies. You will see. And attitude and care of a company who has one - two groups a day i think is different. Our van was nice and clean. Our guide was the best what we have ever experienced.
  12. we did Barcelona by our own. It is really easy. Public transportation is very good. We took HOHO bus both routes. It is worth it. went to the National Catalunya museum and spend half a day there. It is great. We were lucky to get tickets to the Football match and watched Barcelona team playing with Sevilla. Liked that!
  13. We were on the Costa late October from Barcelona sailing. Our taxi dropped us off be the ship terminal, just outside of the terminal. baggage handlers took our large luggage with room tags and we went inside to check in. It was easy
  14. We did Palma de Mallorca by our own. We took a bus and went to the city center. Then by the main street we went to the Cathedral de Mallorca. We love to walk. And it was a nice day although it was November
  15. Go to visit St. John's Cathedral. It is breath-taking.
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