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RC's Legend of the Seas Cruise, Scandinavia/Russia

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Hi all,

My boyfriend and I are taking the Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas cruise across the Baltic Sea during the last week of May. Our arrival/departure city is Copenhagen, Denmark, and we stop for a day each in Stockholm, Sweden, Tallinn, Estonia, Helsinski, Finland and St. Petersburg, Russia. Though I've been given some opinions, I wanted to reach out to the trusty Fodors community.

I won this cruise through work and, in addition, we will be receiving and extra $500 credit for my boyfriend and I to share on either on-board expenses or toward Royal Caribbean's shore excursions offered. My boyfriend and I are pretty certain that we are going to pass on purchasing the excursions in Stockholm, Tallinn and Helsinksi, as I'm told that those "Old Towns" are easy to cover on foot and on our own. Question about those three cities - any good lunch recommendations? We're not looking to spend an insane amount of money, but obviously want great quality and good service. I'm a "foodie" at heart, so restaurant recommendations are important to me. Also, any suggestions of what to see and what to visit in those cities? I was informed that in Stockholm, we should go to the Gröna Lund amusement park and the Skansen open-air museum/zoo. Any other suggestions for Helsinski or Tallinn? Or will it be just as worth it to meander around?

My biggest concern right now is St. Petersburg. It's the one city that I'm most excited to visit, but also the one that concerns me the most, regarding safety and language barrier. The shore excursion that Royal Caribbean offers there is as follows: $165 each (so we'd spend $330 of the $500 credit), 9-hour guided tour visiting Winter Palace, all of Hermitage, St. Isaac's Square - lunch included - then we'd take a ride over the Neva River, visiting the Paul and Peter Fortress and Cathedral, passing by the Artillery Museum and Log Cabin of Peter the Great. Given my concerns noted above and everything included in this excursion, do any of you feel as though it's worth it or not worth it? And why or why not? If we chose NOT to purchase this excursion, my boyfriend and I would have to get Russian visas anyway, to travel on our own, right?

Has anyone else done this cruise before? Are there any other suggestions, insights or tips that you could provide? Anything would be appreciated!

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