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Advice on Russian River Cruises please

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My friend and I have decided to take a Russian River Cruise - Moscow to St. Petersburg or reverse route.

We have a bit different travel styles. She wants as cheap as possible and I prefer to pay a bit more if it is nicer and has more inclusions.

She would like to go toward the Vodohod family of boats (MS Russ, MS Nikolay Chernyshevsky, MS Alexander Pushkin) as they are dirt cheap. It took me a long time to find pictures of these boats and to me they look....well....icky. The upside - the are dirt cheap. I would like to know if anyone has any reviews positive or negative on this line. The concerns I have are: lack of safes in the rooms; tiny "wet" bathroom"; overall ambiance of the rooms" lower food quality; lack of inclusions (water, wine, internet etc...) that add up over 12 days and the itineraries short time in St. Petersburg and skipping of St. Catherine's palace. While she has agreed to consider a suite, it still does not really address the above items. Also, I cannot find anything about port charges.

I am also looking for reviews of the AmaKatrina which is the boat I am proposing. It is about $1000 more (for a smaller cabin than a suite) but seems to be better maintained, offer more options and inclusions and has a better itinerary. Rooms are still small but overall (from what I have found) it seems to be a better option.

I have done both lower end boat cruises (in the Galapagos) and a mid/higher end on the Nile and have seen that you get what you pay for. My philosophy is this is a once in a lifetime trip and I would prefer to pay more. As she generally travels more as she lives internationally and prefers to scrimp more we may not be able to make this work.

In any event, if I anyone has positive or negative reviews on the above it would be appreciated. Thanks all!

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