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Oh You Beautiful Doll!

If you've been following along, we took The Ultimate Scandinavia and Russia Cruise on Royal Caribbean's  Serenade of the Seas.  This is day three of our visit to Russia. ____________________________________________________________ After two very long days of touring, we decided to end our third and final day in St. Petersburg with a lighthearted tour. This four hour tour offered training by the artists who create the hand painted Russian Nesting Dolls, officially known as Matryshka dolls, followed Read more [...]
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A Visit to St. Petersburg, Russia

The highlight of our recent cruise dubbed, The Ultimate Scandinavia and Russia Cruise, had us spending three nights in historic St. Petersburg. Most lines offer just one or two nights which really doesn’t allow for enough time to see the major sites. Thank you Royal Caribbean for offering this wonderful cruise!______________________________________________________________ In two days, with tours lasting more than 10 hour each day, we visited four, major sites and made brief stops at a few Read more [...]
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Notes From St. Petersburg

Catherine's Palace in Pushkin, outside of St. PetersburgA major reason we took the plunge on Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas Baltic Cruise was the unprecedented three, full days in St. Petersburg, Russia. Most lines that visit the region limit their stays to one or two days. This is probably the only opportunity most people will have to visit Russia and three days means you don’t have to give up seeing all the sites. To get off the ship, you need a visa. No. Not the credit card…an Read more [...]
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So You Want To Take A Baltic Cruise

Many of you have expressed interest in taking a Baltic Cruise and several have asked about costs. For you, here's a breakdown on what we paid. Beware: prices escalate rapidly!____________________________________________________________ We had been reluctantly looking for a Baltic Cruise. I say reluctantly because every time we seriously considered it, either pricing was prohibitive or the ship visited too few ports and not necessarily the one’s we wanted to see. A Baltic Cruise was on our bucket Read more [...]
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Something’s Fishy in Estonia!

After a fabulous three days in St. Petersburg, Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas stopped at Tallinn, Estonia. As you read this, we are on the way to what will be our final stop on this trip, Stockholm, Sweden. By the way, I’ve not forgotten to tell you about St. Petersburg. It’s just taking a little longer to write. Look for it soon!______________________________________________________________ Estonia is probably not on anyone’s bucket list, but our ship was stopping there and Read more [...]
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A Day in Helsinki

As you read this, Royal Caribbean Serenade is docked in St. Petersburg, Russia. Thank you RCCL for three, full days to explore this unusual city!_____________________________________________________________ I’ve been pleasantly surprised on this trip that the ports have been so captivating and varied and Helsinki was no exception. Helsinki has a cosmopolitan atmosphere with a small town feel. The old, established city has everything you would want or need and the people who live here are Read more [...]
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In the Middle of the Baltic Sea…

Helsinki, Finland is where Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas has taken us today. While we’re off in search of the Rock Church, I hope you enjoy a recap our recent visit to Visby, Sweden. _______________________________________________________________ As we waited for the tender to take us ashore, I remember asking myself if I really wanted to see Visby this badly. I’m not big on tenders. I prefer getting on and off any ship on a whim. The seas have been very calm here, so I decided Read more [...]
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Welcome to Lithuania!

Today the Serenade of the Seas has whisked us off to the medieval town of Visby, Sweden. Located on a tiny island just off the coast, this is a UNESCO Heritage site and we’re really excited about seeing the walls and the ruins, some dating back to the 12th century. In the meantime, enjoy our visit to Klapeda, Lithuania. ______________________________________________________________________ They don’t get cruise ships here often, if at all. I know that stopping in Klapeda, Lithuania Read more [...]
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In Search of a Good German Beer and Sausage

We're still cruising on Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas where the seas are calm and the weather is sunny and cool. While you are reading this, we are visiting Klapedia, Lithauania -the first time for us and for the ship. ____________________________________________________________ We’ve been to Germany a number of times, but this was our first time in Rostock, a coastal town the borders the Baltic Sea. Here was our itinerary in Rostock: Get a beer that takes 20 minutes to pour and Read more [...]
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