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For about the last 24 hours we have been reading and hearing information intended to prepare us for the rigours of visiting Saint-Petersburg. There was a special destination leaflet issued last night with some frankly gloomy warnings:

Passengers booked on full day excursions that include lunch are reminded that we use local venues that specifically cater for groups. The meals are usually prepared in advance for quick service and should be looked on as part of the experience and not as a gastronomic feast. They usually include local dishes and should not be compared to the dining on board.

Then there are the immigration arrangements: we have to process through an immigration system ashore before the start of our tour. Given that the tour is scheduled to start at 08:15, we are wondering what time we have to gather beforehand. (Update: we have to meet at 07:50.) Finally, this afternoon we had James Cusick making an announcement about all this, and sounding suitably serious.

There was me thinking we were on holiday…. And to top it all, we lose another hour tonight. So today has been a sober and abstemious day. We don’t want to do anything that might leave us not bright eyed and bushy-tailed at the crack of dawn tomorrow.

5 Responses to “Preparing for Saint-Petersburg”

  1. Janet says:

    They made a big deal of the immigration on our cruise as well, but apart from requiring an early start it really wasn’t such a big deal but you must be booked on a tour and have evidence of it. You line up I front of separate immigration channel doors. You go in one at a time and the door close behind you, the usual stamping and examining of passports follows then the other door opens and out you go. Hopefully your partner is on the other side otherwise there is a wait while you wonder if you will be left to go on your tour on your own!

  2. Suzanne says:

    I am loving reading your cruise log, keep it up

  3. Malcolm Oliver says:

    Saint-Petersburg is an excellent port of call. The locals are friendly the sights fascinating. Unfortunately the visa situation/immigration makes it feel like you are entering the cold war again. Once you pass through it’s like any other major world city.

    I was in Moscow at Easter (DIY with Easyjet) and had a wonderful time. We regularly got lost on the Metro but the locals were ALWAYS very friendly.

    Enjoy!

  4. Malcolm Oliver says:

    …the Moscow food was very good. In fact much of it is American style. Russian food was pretty rare.

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