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Emerald Princess Baltic cruise: Percy and others please help

Emerald Princess Baltic cruise: Percy and others please help

Feb 2nd, 2009, 11:10 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,218
I don't remember the cost, but for four of us, it was less than two all day ship's shore excurions for each of us.
abram is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2009, 01:11 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 13,910
The cost of the tours in St.Petersburg is not cheap.

Then again it depends on what and how much you are going to see.

For two people , it is costly at about $500.00 per person for two days.

Four four people it is about $460.00 per person for the two days.

Which is then $240.00 per person for the two days .

I had four in my group and Alla ( Tour guide operator) about 3 weeks later asked me if I wanted 4 other people to join our group ..this would make it 8 people now.

I e-mailed the other 4 people in San Diego and in New Mexico..
I then
told Alla, it was okay that these four others could join us.

then about 2 weeks later ,Alla mailed me again and asked if this other couple from Michigan could join us.

I wrote back to Alla and said "Yes" ..but close it off now at 10 people.

This brough the cost down to about $280.00 per person for the two days.

This included Alla getting the visas..and admission to all the places we visited , plus more.

We were in a nice air conditioned 14-16 passenger Van...so we were not crowded.

I had a list of all the places I wanted to see and visit while in St. Petersburg.

For example:

1. I wanted to see the House of Faberge.. ( no there are no eggs here.)

So I asked our guide Boris , " Would you please drive down Bolshaya Moshkaya Street,so I can see the Faberge house "?

Yes !! I did name the exact street because I had it written down.!

2. I wanted to have a walk in the Summer Gardens and also the Field of Mars...as I wanted to visit the site of the Eternal Flame.

This Eternal Flame is for those that were killed during the 1917 Revolution...
also, it is from here that the idea

to have an eternal flame on John F. Kennedy's grave came from .

Also, I wanted to see the Original Cabin of Peter the Great....
so
as we were leaving the Peter and Paul Fortess area and ready to cross the Troitskiy Bridge ( also called the Trinity Bridge )..

I said to Boris,

"Could you please turn left here at the lights because I want to see the Original Cabin of Peter the Great."

he looked back and grinned at me and said "Okay"

The reason I mention all this is because if you are in a small group ,you can throw in a lot of extras ( if you know where the extras are...I did )

Okay for about $140.00 per person per day is what the cost was for the 10 of us.

We left early in the morning and did not get back until way past 6 PM.

Alla come to meet you at the end of the second day at the cruise ship.

She give you a big hug and a DVD on the history of St. Petersburg.

Also, let me mention that at no time was I obligated to have anyone else join our original group of four.

Alla told me the decision was totally all mine.

However, the six that did join us were all terrific.

The couple from Michigan still e-mails me and sends me picture of their other trips.

Oh and another thing,

Alla never asked for any money up front.
After day one in St.Petersburg we were dropped off at the cruise ship.

I asked Julia our tour guide lady if we pay her now for Day # 1..
she said
"No you can pay tomorrow for both days " !


Percy is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2009, 11:06 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,958
Percy. thanks.

A bit confused though -

"For four people it is about $460.00 per person for the two days.

Which is then $240.00 per person for the two days."

Did you mean, about $240 per person per day, i.e., not "for the two days"? If so, why not $230 per person per day (which is 1/2 of the $460)?
kenav is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2009, 11:46 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 13,910
kenav

You are absolutely correct....after I posted and read it again later ,I saw my mathematical error. !!

( I majored in Calculus and Physics in University...this simple math is way over my head !!

But wait!!!

I found one of my e-mails from Alla so here is the price list:

This price is per person ( pp) for the TWO days of touring.

Group of 4.... is $ 400 pp for 2 days

Group of 5...is $355 pp for 2 days

Group of 6 ...is $345 pp for 2days

Group of 7 ...is $ 320 pp for 2 days

Group of 8 ...is $315 pp for 2 days

Group of 9 ...is $ 305 pp for 2 days

Group of 10-12 ..is $280 pp for 2 days

So you can see it is worth your while to try to get a group of 10.

Our group of 10 was very nice, no problem...and you can always be near your tour guide to hear what she has to say.

Alla goes on to say in her e-mail to me:

Dear Percy:

"This is just a short note to let you know that your party of 10 is closed now.
Looking forward to meeting you on August 24th in St.Petersburg."


Oh yes.. here is another point

I told Alla toreduce our lunch time to 1/2 from the 1 to 1 .5 hours some groups take for lunch.

I did not want to waste time sitting around eating for an hour and a half.

Alla said... "Good " , she will reduce the lunch time.

Then I would say to our tour guide ,"okay on the way to St.Issac's Cathedral ,lets go to A, B, and C... as all these places are on the way.

When there is so much to see,why waste time in a restaurant, when you can do it at the end of the day if you want.

Bye for now I have to go review my grade 6 math on division .

Thanks for picking up the error kenav
Percy is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2009, 12:52 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,742
Percy how may were in your group? We paid $339.00 pp for two days thru Princess to sit in a bus with around 35 or 40 people. Oh well like I said B4 our friends were wary of booking with an outside tour company. Can't win them all I guess.
jacketwatch is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2009, 07:44 PM
  #26  
 
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Hi jacketwatch

When I originally made the bookings with Alla, my group was only four of us.

It was Alla who later wrote to me and asked if I wanted another group of four to join us.

But Alla said, it was my tour and I did not have to have anyone join us.

I e-mailed the others in San Diego and New Mexico and told them okay.

Then again later ,I let another couple join s from Michigan.

We arranged to meet on the cruise ship after we left Helsinki ..heading to St. Petersburg.

I (we)paid $280.00 for two days of touring, and I asked to see extra sites along the way...only because I knew where they were.

Yes, I believe than any tour with a private company in St.Petersburg is cheaper than anything the ship has to offer.

Plus , a 16 passenger van can zip around pretty good compared to a larger bus.

Touch wood ( I am touching my head ) but I have never had a bad experience when I have booked private tour guides... hope my luck continues .

One more week and you are off!!



Percy is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2009, 07:47 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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oops..jacketwatch you asked:

How many were in my group ?

There were 10 of us in St.Petersburg only.

My group of four and the six that joined us.

See my math is getting better.
Percy is offline  
Feb 4th, 2009, 07:04 AM
  #28  
 
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Thanks Percy. Thought I was going crazy. Glad to know it was someone else!
kenav is offline  
Feb 4th, 2009, 09:10 AM
  #29  
 
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kenav

When the choice is that either you or I are crazy...believe me it is me everytime !
Percy is offline  
Feb 5th, 2009, 09:05 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,742
Thanks Percy. Well I just enriched Canadas economy. Orderd a Tilley hat from a marine supply store in Nova Scotia. A fellow we met on our 2006 FP cruise told me about these hats so I finally ordered one. Supposedly they will last a lifetime. Anyway it will come in handy as protection from the hot sun we will get next week.
jacketwatch is offline  
Feb 5th, 2009, 12:21 PM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 13,910
Hi jacketwatch

Alex Tilley will be very happy that you contributed some money to Canada.

But I believe they are sold in the USA and Europe also.

They are a good hat and last a lifetime.

Tan or beige is the color most people order.

Don't lose it... you won't because there is a string that goes under your chin...when needed.

( Five more days !!)
( I am a little jelaous )
Percy is offline  
Feb 5th, 2009, 10:51 PM
  #32  
 
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Got it today. It has the snaps on the side to hold the flap up ala Aussie style. Luv it. It will some in handy during golf season in the summer
jacketwatch is offline  
Feb 6th, 2009, 07:32 AM
  #33  
 
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Actually the places around here its sold at don't discopunt one penny so even with S/H I saved some money as the place I got it from had it down around 25% from MSRP.
jacketwatch is offline  
Feb 6th, 2009, 04:28 PM
  #34  
 
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Save the Tilley for when you goon your Africa Safari .

Hi JulieVikmanis

Percy is offline  
Feb 6th, 2009, 05:46 PM
  #35  
 
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Yes bwana.
jacketwatch is offline  
Feb 19th, 2009, 07:38 AM
  #36  
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Surprised to see this post as one with the most responses. Since it's before the forum eye so to speak, I thought I'd just update you all. We have been corresponding with both DenRus and Alla about tours for the two couples in our party and have pretty well settled on Alla for the two days plus an evening dinner on the first night. The price we've been quoted at this point is 480 US per person including the extra driver time, and photo and video permits for all four of us to the attractions we're interested in (pretty much Alla Comfort Tour with an additional stop at the Farmer's Market and at Chesme Church) Our lunches and the Special dinner in the evening will be extra.

DenRus provided similar response for somewhat similar tour at about 20 US less per person, but not sure that it calculated identical charges. At any rate, I found their responses a bit less accommodating and flexible than Alla, and based on Percy's happiness with them, decided that Alla would be the one to go with.

Thanks to everyone who responded to this thread. It was incredibly helpful.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Feb 19th, 2009, 03:59 PM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Hi Julie

Have a good trip and all the best with Alla .
Percy is offline  
Mar 1st, 2009, 10:34 AM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 4
Hi all,

I've just stumbled onto this thread and I am so happy that I did! My husband and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary and chose this Baltic cruise in August leaving from Copenhagen on August 14th. I love researching and your comments are greatly appreciated! But I am not clear on something - how do you organize others to come on the tours? We are just going ourselves, but would like to hook up with others so that we can take advantage of the lower rates!
Anderley is offline  
Mar 1st, 2009, 11:29 AM
  #39  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,087
Anderley - If you don't already belong you should register with cruisecritics.com. You can actually go to the roll call section (once you have registered - no charge) and find your cruise line and ship. I am sure someone will have started a thread for your particular cruise so read through them looking for the date. You can meet up with fellow passengers and quite often as we did many times make arrangement ahead of time to share a tour. It has always been a success and we have done it many times.
Good luck with that and just post again if you have any problems finding the right thread. Cruise critics in an invaluable source of information. Have a wonderful cruise.
By the way we started our cruise in Copenhagen last August and booked with Priceline for a hotel. Basically you get the Marriott if you bid the higher star and as Percy will attest it is a great hotel at a good rate (got it for $120)
traveller69 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2009, 03:17 PM
  #40  
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Also, I believe that if you book with Alla Tours and say that you're willing to have x number of other people join your tour, they will assist in expanding your group.
JulieVikmanis is offline  

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