Cruise N112

Ventura cruises in 2021

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Mrs Shiney
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Cruise N112

Post by Mrs Shiney »

As our cruise in June on Iona has been cancelled, I am now booked to go to the Baltic next year. I have a couple of questions.
This is my first solo cruise, any tips or suggestions welcome.
Has anyone else booked this cruise yet?
What is the best way to see St. Petersburg? I notice there are tours available that pick you up from the ship, but not organised by P&O.
Any other advice welcome.

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Onelife
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Re: Cruise N112

Post by Onelife »

Hello Mrs Shiney…I don’t wish to presume but if you are the wife of our late much respected friend Mr Shiney then a very big welcome from me.

I don’t have a lot of cruising experience so can’t help you out but once some of out late risers get out of bed, I’m sure you will be furnished with all the advice you need.

Kind regards

keith

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Re: Cruise N112

Post by Manoverboard »

St Petes is a wonderful destination, so much to see that is different from the norm. Booking Tours is down to you in so much that only you will know if you will feel equally comfortable booking with an independent provider rather than P&O.

We booked several tours over a two day period with P&O on our visit but hopefully David63 will be along shortly to give you an equally informed alternative option.
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Re: Cruise N112

Post by david63 »

OK - I'm here.

As you are aware there are two options (well three actually) of doing excursions in St Petes.
  1. Use P&O excursions
  2. Use a local tour company
  3. Do your own thing
Let's get rid of option three as firstly you would have to get a full Russian visa and unless you can read and speak Russian it would be very difficult to get around.

When we went to St Petes several years ago we used a local tour operator (there are several available) and despite what some will try and tell you they are perfectly safe and will arrange the necessary tourist visa and have never, to the best of my knowledge, not got passengers back to the ship on time - I was told that if this happened that they would loose their tourist licence.

The advantage of using the local tour operators is that you can see what you want at your own pace and you get "fast tracked" through the queues, which at times can be horrendous.

If you want to go down this route then the tour operators will sometimes put you in contact with others to make up a small group. I have no idea what the price of these tours is these days but in comparison to P&O excursions they were favourable when we went.

The last option is to do P&O excursions which we all have our own views about - can appear expensive, rushed, not enough time where you want it, not necessarily seeing what you want. Having said all of that in your position of this being your first solo cruise you may prefer the "comfort blanket" of being with a P&O excursion.


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Re: Cruise N112

Post by Whynd1 »

Hi Mrs Shiney
What a lovely cruise to choose.
From someone who cruised on her own,I would recommend booking tours in St Petersburg, Whether you book directly with P and O or with an independent company they will do the Visa for you.

In lots of other ports in the Baltic you can go solo with ho ho buses and in Stockholm I thoroughly recommend the ho ho boat.

I'm sure you will have a fantastic holiday.

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Re: Cruise N112

Post by Manoverboard »

List your ports, perhaps, and we can make suggestions for each of them for you :wave:
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towny44
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Re: Cruise N112

Post by towny44 »

N112 Itinerary , Copenhagen, Warnemunde, Helsinki, St Peterburg, Tallin, Stockholm.
Mrs Shiney, a great itinerary and better experts than me will be able to advise tours, which as my wife is a wheelchair user are normally limited.
But on this cruise the sail into or out of Stockholm was the highlight, and Tallin the prettiest.
Last edited by towny44 on 29 Apr 2020, 10:01, edited 1 time in total.
John

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oldbluefox
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Re: Cruise N112

Post by oldbluefox »

In Stockholm I can recommend a visit to the Vasa ship museum. It's easy to DIY with a walk around the harbour or catch the tram.
Maybe if you have never been to Stockholm before this may be one to save for a future date, The sail in to Stockholm is magnificent so be sure to get out on deck.


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Re: Cruise N112

Post by Whynd1 »

Tallin is indeed very pretty . P and O run a shuttle bus and it is only a short distance into the town.
We walked for ages last September and visited the cathedral. Lots of lovely interesting buildings nice cafes etc.
Definitely one to do under your own steam.

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Re: Cruise N112

Post by Manoverboard »

Warnemunde is as pretty as a picture and very suitable for a walk-a-bout. For lunch you could try garlic prawns with chunky bread and a glass of three of Reisling.

The more adventurous can catch a train to Rostock and after a wander return to Warnemunde by river boat.

The picture is of the Centre, the restaurant is on the left as you face the lighthouse. No more pics as it may spoil the surprise for you.
Warnemunde (131).JPG
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Last edited by Manoverboard on 29 Apr 2020, 10:23, edited 2 times in total.
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Mrs Shiney
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Re: Cruise N112

Post by Mrs Shiney »

Yes, I am Silver Shiney's Other Half. I had to cancel our booking for a similar cruise after Alan's death, so it seems fitting this should be my first cruise as a solo traveller.

I favour the local tour companies for
St Petersburg, my hesitation being getting back to the ship on time. Its reassuring to know the tour company are very aware of this.

We have used the ho ho buses before, and I plan to do this in other ports.

I am sailing on Ventura, which next year only offers Fteedom Ding. What is other people's experience of this as a solo passenger? Our cancelled cruise was going to be our first time using Freedom Dining.

I know this is a lot of questions, but it is very different planning a cruise on your own. I value all your wisdom and experience.

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Re: Cruise N112

Post by david63 »

Mrs Shiney wrote: 29 Apr 2020, 10:18 I am sailing on Ventura, which next year only offers Fteedom Ding
Where has that been announced. Or do you mean that is the only option available at the time you booked?


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Re: Cruise N112

Post by Mrs Shiney »

It was the only option, and looking atbthe deck plan both maun restaurants seem to be freedom dining. I could be wrong though.

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Meg 50
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Re: Cruise N112

Post by Meg 50 »

make sure you go to the solo travellers meet. you might find taxi shares etc that way.
Also perhaps find dining companions that way
Meg
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Re: Cruise N112

Post by david63 »

Mrs Shiney wrote: 29 Apr 2020, 10:39 It was the only option, and looking atbthe deck plan both maun restaurants seem to be freedom dining. I could be wrong though.
Ventura has two Freedom dining restaurants and one Club Dining restaurant


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Re: Cruise N112

Post by Whynd1 »

If you ask your travel agent or P and O they can put you on a table for passengers travelling on their own for whatever reason. It's a lovely way to meet other passengers.
As Meg suggests its also nice to go to the coffee get togethers on some of ships they also do a non hosted pre dinner drinks get together for solo passengers.

Keep a lookout for announced cements in the daily paper that gets delivered to your cabin.

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Re: Cruise N112

Post by david63 »

Whynd1 wrote: 29 Apr 2020, 10:55 Keep a lookout for announced cements in the daily paper
Is that where you get plastered?? :lol:

Sorry I know but could not resist - predictive text I presume.

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Re: Cruise N112

Post by Manoverboard »

If you use e-Bay then many of your Ports are covered by Thomas Cook's CitySpots series, a few pounds each is an absolute bargain for walk-a-bouters.

TC CitySpots series
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Whynd1
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Re: Cruise N112

Post by Whynd1 »

My tablet does its own thing.
It never types what I would like to say.

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kaymar
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Re: Cruise N112

Post by kaymar »

Welcome to the forum, Mrs Shiney, it is good to hear from you - we were all so very sad to learn of Alan's death.

It is so difficult right now to know what cruising is going to be like in the next few years and I do hope that your planned Baltic cruise goes ahead safely and as planned.

St Petersburg is a stunning city. It is a few years since we were there but, like David, we chose to use a private tour company and were absolutely delighted that we did so. It gives you much greater flexibility and you see more of what you want to see, not just where P&O want to take you. Don't worry at all about getting back to the ship, they will get you there.

As David says, there are several similar companies and I think he used a different one from us but, for what it is worth, we used TJ Travel who were just superb. Have a look at their website for more information. We were lucky in that there were four of us and we hired a car, driver and guide just for us but they will make up a suitable group from Ventura if you wanted them to, maybe 6 or 8, which keeps the cost down.

Don't hesitate to ask anything at all on here, as you know there are many seasoned cruisers who will be only too happy to share their views with you. Some of them might even be useful. :lol:

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Re: Cruise N112

Post by david63 »

One point to be aware of with the local tour companies is to use one that does not want payment before your cruise starts - there are (or at were when we went) one or two that needed payment up front, whereas the others you only pay (preferably in cash!) at the end.

We used Anastasia Travel (who still keep sending me the occasional "Happy New Year" email)


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Mrs Shiney
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Re: Cruise N112

Post by Mrs Shiney »

Thank you for all the suggestions. I feel a lot happier about using a local tour operator in St. Petersburg now, they all guarantee getting you back to the ship in time on the second day, or they will bear the cost and responsibility of getting your to the next port, probably why they are never late!

I need to advice about what to do in Warnemunde, I don't plan on a trip to Berlin,but happy to do a shorter trip with P&O.

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Re: Cruise N112

Post by Manoverboard »

Mrs Shiney wrote: 01 May 2020, 11:36 Thank you for all the suggestions. I feel a lot happier about using a local tour operator in St. Petersburg now, they all guarantee getting you back to the ship in time on the second day, or they will bear the cost and responsibility of getting your to the next port, probably why they are never late!

I need to advice about what to do in Warnemunde, I don't plan on a trip to Berlin,but happy to do a shorter trip with P&O.
Did you miss post No 10 ? ( #10)

No need for a trip just wander about in any direction you fancy, tis so small you cannot get lost.
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Re: Cruise N112

Post by towny44 »

Manoverboard wrote: 01 May 2020, 11:40
Mrs Shiney wrote: 01 May 2020, 11:36 Thank you for all the suggestions. I feel a lot happier about using a local tour operator in St. Petersburg now, they all guarantee getting you back to the ship in time on the second day, or they will bear the cost and responsibility of getting your to the next port, probably why they are never late!

I need to advice about what to do in Warnemunde, I don't plan on a trip to Berlin,but happy to do a shorter trip with P&O.
Did you miss post No 10 ? ( #10)

No need for a trip just wander about in any direction you fancy, tis so small you cannot get lost.
I agree as well, if the weather is nice then Warnemunde is a lovely little seaside resort to explore.
John

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Mrs Shiney
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Re: Cruise N112

Post by Mrs Shiney »

Gone back to the earlier post about Warnemunde. Prawns and a glass of riesling sounds good to me!

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