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Sail Date: August 2015
The Oceania Marina is the perfect cruise ship both in size and amenities. A truly excellent staff, unsurpassed food (from the Main Dining Room to the 4 specialty restaurants)! The Tea Time at 4 pm each day complete with a string quartet ... Read More
The Oceania Marina is the perfect cruise ship both in size and amenities. A truly excellent staff, unsurpassed food (from the Main Dining Room to the 4 specialty restaurants)! The Tea Time at 4 pm each day complete with a string quartet was a highlight. Our cabin was 9062 and there was plenty of room and tastefully decorated! A little early on research led us to determine that Oceania (like all cruise companies, piway over price their tours. We reviewed several tour companies and picked SPB Tours based on reviews from Cruise Critic users. We could not have been more pleased. We took private tours in Berlin and St. Petersburg (well worth the extra money) and regular tours in Helsinki and Stockholm. Many thanks to Jim and Mike in Berlin, Elena and Max in St. Petersburg, Helena in Helsinki and Marina in Stockholm! (SPB was very flexible modifying our tours in St. Petersburg to meet our needs). We embarked in Copenhagen (recommend the Marriott Hotel). Copenhagen was truly breathtaking!. Take the water tour originating in Nyhaven and walk down the Stroget. Our first cruise port was Berlin via Warnemunde. I wish we could have taken the train both ways (3 hours each) to . That being said, Berlin is a can't miss destination and worth the 6-6.5 hour bus/train ride!. You will ride a comfortable bus with the regular tour to and from Berlin, then be taken by private van on your tour. Day 2 was a day at sea and great day to explore the Marina. The library, Horizons Lounge, and Barristas coffee shop were among our favorites. The Lido deck was perfect for relaxing and the Marina is the right size boat and it never seemed crowded. We loved all four specialty restaurants (Polo Lounge (steakhouse), Red Ginger (Asian, surprisingly our favorite), Toscana (Italian) and Jacques (French). The main dining room was as good as any of the specialty restaurants. Day 3 we arrived in Tallinn Estonia. (Tip-Bypass the initial cabs as they will push all day tours for about 85 euros a person). Go to the last cabs, hire one to take you to the top of Old Town and you can tour the town on your own, downhill). Tallinn reminds you a Bavarian or southern german town, a gem! Day 4 and 5 were spent in St. Petersburg. We advised Elena and Max that we did not have the desire or stamina to do everything they had planned for the day. They quickly revised the itinerary to highlight the Hermitage, Church of the Spilt Blood and St. Isaac's Cathedral and lunch at a authentic Russian restaurant. We went back to the ship about 3 pm after disembarking around 7:30 am. The next day, we did a canal tour, hydrofoiled to St. Petersburg (just in time to see the fountains at 11:00) and spent a lovely 3 hours+ exploring Peterhoff. This was followed by an excellent lunch at a Bed and Breakfast nearby that had unbelievable hot borst!. The dining room had just been constructed and looked like a miniature version of one of The Hermitage's interior. (Elena and Max at SPB, we are in your debt!). Day 6 was an excellent bus tour of the beautiful city of Helsinki. the one thing i regret is we only had time for about a 15 minute stop at the city market area. Highlights included the Parliament House, Senate Square, Sebillius Park pipe sculpture, Rock Church and we also toured Seurasaari Island. Our last day we arrived in Stockholm. The disembarkation process was extremely organized and we were one of the last groups to leave but only waited about 45 minutes in the Horizons lounge. SPB picked us up and Marina gave us an excellent tour of the Wasa museum, City Hall (where the Nobel Peace prize is awarded), and several panoramic stops for pictures and different parts of town. We stayed at the Hilton Hotel Slussen and would highly recommend it. It is in Old Town just south of Gamla Stan and has a breathtaking view of Stockholm and is located in a great neighborhood of restaurants and bars! Read Less
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