Apr 6th, 2005, 12:32 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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I'll be taking the Waterways of the Czars river cruise in Russia this summer and will be on the MS Peter the Great ship and am looking for feedback from anyone that has been on this ship. How was it?? Did you do the optional tours and if so did you book them through the ship or with another company. What did you like/dislike?? Of the optional tours which ones would your recommend and are there any that you would pass on if you were to do it again.

JL_Egan is offline  
Apr 6th, 2005, 03:47 PM
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I took the Russian river cruise in 2003 with an outfit named Peter the Great--the boat was named Shashkov, but it's the same one. It was great! I really love the informality of river cruises and took a French river cruise the next year. The food was OK, not fabulous, and the infamous box lunches when we were in cities were survival sustenance only. (I did cop extra breakfast meat to put on my sandwiches)

Because we were with friends, we stuck with the ship's optional tours. Day 1: I would have loved to see Pushkin, but we arrived at about 3:00am the first day, so with two hours of sleep, just the normal sightseeing was fine with me. The thing about the tours is that if you take a tour, you lose out on some down time, but there's so durned much to see! We really enjoyed just sitting in the sun with a beer on the pedestrian street where we got to spend a little time if we didn't go on the tour.

No Circus or Moscow by Night.

We went to all the folk performance tours, which actually grew on me, the instruments, some strange ways of singing.

Peter the Great's estate (Kolomenskoye) was good and I loved Tretyakov Gallery (included)!

Do a search on Fodors "cruise" board: Rudy and select Russia. He has a great trip report!
LVSue is offline  
Apr 8th, 2005, 10:30 AM
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LV Sue,

Thanks for the info. I've printed out Rudy's info and am in the process of reading it. I've got a couple of questions for you since you were on the actual ship that we will be on. Were you able to drink the water on the boat?? Also, on Rudy's trip they had a lot of info sessions on their ship with lessions in Russian. Did they have these on MS Peter the Great?? Any info/descriptions of the ship would be greatly appreciated. Did you see the Circus in Moscow and not like it?? I'm getting mixed reviews on this one and am not sure if we should go or save our money.....

JL_Egan is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 12:59 AM
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JL, they have filtered water on board, but you have to go fill up your pitcher. I think the Circus may have been on our first night (after an hour's sleep the night before), so we didn't go. I wouldn't have anyway--just personal preference.

I'll try to post more later. I've been doing AARP tax volunteer work and often when I get home, I can't even think. I kept a journal, but never did a trip report. I'll try to find it. Anyway, keep the faith. I'll be back.
LVSue is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 05:12 AM
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Thanks for the info. I'd love to hear more when you get a chance. It's hard to find information on this ship and I'm just trying to get an idea of what the food was like (sit down or buffet). What did they have on board for entertainment in the evenings, was it like what Rudy described?? I can't wait to go and the end of July seems so far away but I know it will be here before I know it.

One more question. Did they have an iron on board the ship?? I have a fear that I'm going to get there and all of my clothes will be a wrinkled mess
JL_Egan is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 10:25 AM
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What's an iron? (haha) I don't know, but will look through all my stuff.

Food was just OK. Dining was two seatings; assigned tables after we left Moscow, but flexible before because of the optional night tours. Then I think same thing when we got to Petersburg.

Honestly, before July I will get my info together! Meanwhile, there's a little book you should buy that describes the route km by km. You can buy it on board, but I think you get the most recent one buying it from the Denver publisher. Go to (which is the name of the book).

LVSue is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 05:37 PM
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I'd be glad to send you some pix of the boat, dining room, etc., if you email me.
[email protected]
LVSue is offline  
Apr 16th, 2005, 06:23 PM
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Most of the ships are much the same, all the ships that I have been on have an iron and ironing room, no facilities for washing cloths, other than in your own cabin. Ship laundry is available, but expensive, it would be cheaper to by the items in the market, than to have them washed on board.

I don't know what optional tours are being offered, but it would be easier use the optional tours on the ship. If you wanted individual tours you still maybe able to have them arranged by the ship. Don't miss a going to Peterhof. I have been to both the Old Circus
and the New Circus in Moscow, I went to both without a tour, both are different and are enjoyable. The Old Circus is like an old circus, the New Circus is like a Las Vegas performance, with performances on ice and water as well as stage. Tickets can be obtained at the circus box office or at the metro stations new the theatre. St Petersburg also has a circus. Moscow by night is not worth it, just take the metro and have a walk around. We went to the Bolshoi and arranged our own tickets. The Bolshoi and the circus have websites.

We are back for another cruise in June.

For some picture of a cruise I took from Constanta in Romania to St Petersburg, see:
Garfield is offline  
Apr 16th, 2005, 09:40 PM
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Aboard our ship (the Shashkov—Peter the Great), I didn't think the laundry charges were too much and used it a couple of times.

Jl, will send you those pix when I'm rested up: our 6-man office did 110 IRS returns in 6 hours on Friday and I'm still pooped!
LVSue is offline  
Apr 26th, 2005, 05:00 AM
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LVSue, I look forward to getting the pictures.

Garfield, thanks for the info. I can't wait to go.......
JL_Egan is offline  
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