Travel Forum

Our Travel Forum was created to provide you with the opportunity to connect with other travelers who share your passion for travel. Sign into "My Account" and you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. Not yet registered? It’s simple to create an account, membership is free, and it only takes a moment to join. Once you do, you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. If you have a specific customer service or quality assurance question, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814. We value the contributions of our travelers. Please familiarize yourself with the guidelines for participation before you begin.

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 170
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2002

August 11, 2012

Arrived home last night after an awsome two weeks, Moscow to St. Petersburg. Everyone's experiences will be different.  This was our birthday present to each other  and we will never forget it.  The ship and crew were fantastic. Maria our Program Director was wonderful (She gets an 'Excellent' for sure.. and oh, the places we visited!!!! 

I liked it so much I took about 900 pictures. I just couldn't stop myself!!!!!! 

Good to go; good to come home.

 

grammyflo

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

August 11, 2012

And your visa pictures were fine?  I think I'm the only person I ever heard of whose pictures were questioned. 

Glad you enjoyed the trip.  I knew you would.

Pauline

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 170
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2002

August 11, 2012

Pauline, I think the young man, who didnt have a wrinkle on his face from smiling,quickly looked at me out of the corner of his eye. Perhaps he was too scared to have a reaction! :D

BTW, our plane was very late from JFK. He slipped a completed (dont know how) Visa form into our passports when he gave them back. Such a gift! We filled out nothing. Dont ask me how we got around that; we didnt ask questions.  We just gave it back when we left St. Pete.

Author: bobbieedn

Joined: 12/28/2011
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2012

August 11, 2012

WEJUST RETURNED FROM 16 WONDERFUL DAYS IN RUSSIA   =-   EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS TOUR WAS EXCELLENT FROM OUR DEPART AT NEWARK NJ  ROUND TRIP BACK TO NEWARK THE OTHER DAY--  OUR SHIP ALL OF ITS STAFF AND ALL THE TOURS WAS WONDERFUL      RUSSIA IS REALLY SUCH A BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY  TOOK HUNDREDS OF PICTURES  WE WILL NEVER FORGET THIS TRIP

Author: debi

Joined: 1/25/2012
Posts: 18
Trips Taken: 5
Countries Visited:

I have been to Africa Tanzania Safari, I video taped it and watch it over and over and its just like being there. I went to Costa Rica and my video camera captures all the sights and sounds you can;t get with a picture. I loved it. I have been to Greece and England. Hawaii, Nevis, St Thomas, St Maarteen, Heart of India

Traveler Since: 2008

August 11, 2012

grammyflo

I am glad you enjoyed the Russia trip. Maria is just great..I can not stop looking at my pictures of all the churches.. I just wished I had brought home more of the dolls you can paint. The kids at my school would love doing that on their multi culture day. I did not think about it till I got home. :(

Author: shooting4625

Joined: 5/21/2010
Posts: 30
Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2008

August 12, 2012

Glad you had a wonderful trip, we just loved ours, We had Maria in our group of Program directors very nice lady, Tatiana Stoylarova was ours, a year later we are still intouch and have exchanged pictures and gifts at the holidays, not got this from any other PD on our trips.

I agree the churchs are stunning I have never seen so much gold, definately an unforgetable destination, could spend hours in the winter and summer palaces....!!!!

 

Colin

Author: debi

Joined: 1/25/2012
Posts: 18
Trips Taken: 5
Countries Visited:

I have been to Africa Tanzania Safari, I video taped it and watch it over and over and its just like being there. I went to Costa Rica and my video camera captures all the sights and sounds you can;t get with a picture. I loved it. I have been to Greece and England. Hawaii, Nevis, St Thomas, St Maarteen, Heart of India

Traveler Since: 2008

August 12, 2012

shooting 4625

That is great that you keep in touch with your PD. Maria was a great PD. I have emailed her several times and have sent her pictures of her and her mom who happened to be visiting. I have not heard back from her, so its great that you keep in touch like that.

Author: shooting4625

Joined: 5/21/2010
Posts: 30
Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2008

August 12, 2012

I realised that the PD's meet so many people through the year to keep intouch and make friends must be difficult, we were very lucky with Tatiana, we just hit it off with her, she told our group one day of when she was a young girl during perestroika her father brought home some very rare at the time chocolate and she made it last a week, well when we gave her our tip at the end we gave her two bars of hershey that we had taken with us, she just lept into our arms, kissed us both, and told us we must keep writing to her, and we have been lucky enough that it has kept going. We are still talking about that trip a year later.

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 170
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2002

August 12, 2012

Got a telephone call from Maria this afternoon while we were out shopping.  What a sweet message she left and I will email her later on her thoughtfulness.  This is the first time a PD has made a phone call from Europe to see if we got home safe and sound.  We are very touched.

Author: sharonjean

Joined: 5/27/2012
Posts: 3
Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2006

August 13, 2012

We're leaving in less than 2 weeks and are  very excited!  What can you tell me about the Karelian Folk Show and the National Russian Show?  Was the Ballet the professional company? (sometimes this kind of thing is the second or third string dancers)

Thanks for your help!

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 170
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2002

August 13, 2012

Russian National Show is NOT to be missed. We chose to skip the Karilean show and found that no one spoke about it at all at mealtime.  The ballet was Giselle at the Alexandritsky Theater in St. Petersburg.  Everyone who attended LOVED it. The sets were great the corp de ballet were excellent.  The theater was gorgeous.  The scuttlebutt from all who attended was very positive.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

August 13, 2012

I agree about the National Theatre.  I also skipped the Karelian dancers.  The ballet can be iffy.  I didn't go because I had been in St. Petersburg in 2002 and we were taken to see Giselle.  It was an extremely disappointing performance.  Some people who went when I took the Russia Revealed loved it.  Some were disappointed.  A lot were thrilled just to be seeing a Russian company dancing in a Russian theatre.

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

August 13, 2012

This past Oct. (2011) I was on the Russia Revealed trip, and we went to the ballet in the Imperial Theatre at the Hermitage and saw Swan Lake. I am not a regular ballet performance attender, so I cannot "critique" ballet, but it seemed to be very good. I loved being in that theatre watching Russian ballet troupe performing, so the whole thing was an experience for me. Anytime I hear the music from that from now on, I will picture that theatre and that performance.

Author: gaynell

Joined: 8/12/2010
Posts: 142
Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2005

August 13, 2012

Sharonjean, we thought that both the National Show in Moscow and the Karelian folk music concert were very worthwhile.  Somewhere on this forum there is another thread on this topic where each was extensively critiqued...Maybe you can find it.  The National Show is like a grand Broadway production, superb costumes, music, special effects, etc. It is quite a presentation.  The Karelian concert is low key, with a small cast, with some excellent performances and good musicianship. More like something you might see at your local university. It is quite delightful.  We really enjoyed both of them, and recommend that you attend them both.

Author: shooting4625

Joined: 5/21/2010
Posts: 30
Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2008

August 13, 2012

DO NOT MISS EITHER!!!!!!!!!!!!

Loved them both, they are completely different, but good, if you like bringing Dvds back the national show is a good one.

One of my highlights was seeing Swan lake at the Hermitage, wonderful experience, especially during the White nights when we went, you come out the theater at 10:45pm and see the locals sunbathing, really amazing, I read when I got back that the company at the Hermitage is one of the oldest and most respected ballet companys in Russia.

 

Colin

Author: sharonjean

Joined: 5/27/2012
Posts: 3
Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2006

August 13, 2012

Thanks for such immediate and complete replies!

Sharonjean

Author: gaynell

Joined: 8/12/2010
Posts: 142
Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2005

August 13, 2012

Sharonjean, as long as we are talking about optional trips, I have to put in a plug for the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.  If you enjoy art museums, this one is a treat.  There is not one single painting by anyone that you have probably ever heard of unless you have studied art, but the surprises you will encounter there are wonderful. The icons, paintings, sculpture are of top quality; the icons alone are worth the price of the tour.  The pieces in this museum were hidden from those of us in the west for so long, and we are blessed to finally be able to see them.  We could have spent all day there!  If you have a chance to take this optional tour in Moscow, go for it!

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 170
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2002

August 14, 2012

I couldnt agree more. This museum is not to be missed.  I was overwhelmed with the genius that has been hidden from the world.  The portraits are amazing. The huge paintings are stories you cannot resist.  Dont miss it.  Plus you will see the 'Lock" trees over the Bridge and, if your lucky as I was, a newlywed couple placing their lock on the trees and tossing the keys.  Wonderful.

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

August 14, 2012

Agree wholeheartedly with gaynell and grammyflo on the Gallery. I almost didn't sign up for that one, but was "afraid" I would miss something and regret it later. So glad I went. And the lock trees are fun to see also, on the way!

Author: rosewards

Joined: 5/15/2011
Posts: 16
Trips Taken: 4
Countries Visited:

Italy, Sicily, Hawaii, UK, France, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Switz, Austria, Bahamas, China, Russia, Estonia, Finland, Mexico, Canada, Ireland

Traveler Since: 2011

August 14, 2012

 I would recommend the Karelian folk show if you are interested in authentic regional experiences. Although it was not a lavish production, I enjoyed the unique dancing and music of Karelia.  Also consider a visit inside St. Basil's Cathedral and Lenin's tomb.  We chose to return to Red Square via subway when others visited the gallery or Jewish museum.  We were happy with our decision.

You cannot Post or Reply, please sign in

Rules of Use:
Be Relevant

Please stick to the topic of travel when posting in our Forum. Stay on the relevant topic and do not disrupt a discussion in progress. If you have a specific customer service question or issue, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814.

Be Respectful

Use of any inappropriate language, personal attacks, and hate speech are not permitted. Respect others’ opinions and suggestions.

Be Mindful of Privacy Issues

Please do not post the personal information of other members (full names, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc).

Help us help you

Please click on the ‘Report Abuse’ button if you see an inappropriate posting.