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St. Petersburg guide

Old May 30th, 2003, 09:24 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 13
St. Petersburg guide

Can anyone who has used a private tour guide in St. Petersburg give me a recommendation. What can you tell me about Palladium? Russian Guide Network? Anybody else? We will be there in June.
Thanks.
dallasite is offline  
Old May 30th, 2003, 05:19 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,218
We have booked a two day tour for four people with Red Ocober after contacting several companies, including DenRus, Palladium, and Russian Guide Network. The fellow from Russian Guide Network seemed a little put out when I asked questions. DenRus raised the price over 30% when we wanted to makes a few minor changes to their suggested itinerary. Some of the companies werre "all inclusive" and some were "a la carte", listing charges for the car and driver, guide, visa support, museum admissions, special entry to the port, etc. Either way, the prices weren't all that different. We decided that we preferred to use a company that provided a group visa, rather than one that just provides visa support, so we would need to get our own visas. Having to send the originals of our passports to the Russian consulate (or any consulate, for that matter) made us a little anxious.
abram is offline  
Old May 30th, 2003, 05:27 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Haven't used her yet, but we're booked for June, [email protected] comes highly recommended by dozens of folks.

Try a search on this forum for comments and recomendations.
djkbooks is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2003, 05:29 PM
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djkbooks: We are booked with Olga in July and would love to hear about your time with her when you return. [email protected] Thanks
chasinasb is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2003, 06:55 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Olga was my guide a year ago. I could not recommend her any more highly.
Carson is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2003, 06:47 PM
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We've just returned from St. Peterburg. We engaged Olga for Thursday afternoon. She met us at our ship promptly at 2PM. We ended up staying with her until 11PM, whereupon she arranged a "reliable" taxi back to the ship (for about $10). We also spent all day Saturday with her. She is delightful, completely knowlegeable, and totally flexible, with very reasonable rates.

I highly recommend her services.

For more information, e-mail me [email protected]
djkbooks is offline  
Old Jun 29th, 2003, 04:11 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 54
Olga can also drink a mean absinthe and roller blade through parks.

Carson is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2003, 01:05 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9
Try to keep in mind, these recommendations can be from people who have actually used the services of these guides or they can be from people who are actually their friends, posing as former customers. You won't really know until you try. Life has risks.
WalStro is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2003, 11:26 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Well, based upon recommendations found here and elsewhere, and after many e-mails back and forth, we booked Olga.

For sure, she asked, while we were dining with her in a restaurant, if we cared to experience Absinthe! We declined, and she ordered a Lemon Martini. I could be wrong, but after the many hours over two days we spent with her, I doubt she often, if ever, puts on rollerblades to traverse the parks, as she's most definitely a serious walker.

Such a shame for those of us in search of quality tips and recommendations that a few folks would post such ridiculous remarks.

We found Olga positively delightful, incredibly knowledgeable, and worth every penny, and then some.

djkbooks is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2003, 09:03 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 54
I don't completely disagree with 'WalStro'...caveat emptor. I also used Olga based only on recommendations and it panned out very well.

I would be glad to provide additional info or email directly for those that are interested. She's the genuine article, so I am with you, djkbooks. I experienced aspects of Russian life that would have been difficult (if not impossible) without her help. She really wanted to help me understand not just StP, but Russian life and point-of-view.
Carson is offline  
Old Aug 13th, 2003, 09:47 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1
We just returned from St. Petersburg and used [email protected]. She met us as planned, in a nice air-conditioned car and gave us a great tour of Peterhoff (which is a must during your visit). However, we had asked to go to a flea market, which we had heard had good bargains. She insisted instead on taking us to a store of her choosing. Once there it was obvious that it was a tourist-trap and that she was probably receiving an incentive to bring customers there. As a guide, I give her high marks, but I would be firmer in the future about what I would like to see. Whatever you do, do not pay anyone in advance or give credit card info. Someone on our ship was told by the guide that they must pay in advance, in cash. It was a no show and they were out $1200.
pkurzen is offline  
Old Aug 13th, 2003, 06:55 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,218
We had a wonderful two day experience with Red October last month. We had to pay no money up front, in fact, didn't pay until the afternoon of the second day. The itinerary was exactly what we had requested, and they let us save money (and calories) by having two lunches for four people.
abram is offline  
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