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Displaying Reviews: 21 - 25 Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6
 
 
Reviewed: Kostroma
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Submitted to category: Ports of Call/Russia - Central Asia/Russia

(Review ID: 389)
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
 
Beautiful churches and frescoes, September 13, 2010
Reviewer: Todd Todd
Pros: Dock right in town, lots of vendors right in front of the ship
Cons: There isn't much to do except the churches
    
Overall   3.00/5  (3)

The ship docks right in town. You can walk right up to the street that lines the bluff above the river. Most tours will take you up there. There's a funny guy with hundreds of bells, and some interesting buildings. But, nothing special.

In town, there are a few wonderful churches with terrific, colorful frescoes. Usually there are some singers who are selling CD's and singing a capella Russian songs. I'm so glad I bought the CD. You can't get anything like it here in the U.S.

Across the river is another wonderful church and a collection of Russian houses. It can be really hot in Russia in the summer and those linen shirts and blouses the vendors sell can be really comfortable.
 
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Reviewed: Kizhi Island
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Submitted to category: Ports of Call/Russia - Central Asia/Russia

(Review ID: 375)
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
 
The most amazing wooden church in the middle of a lake, September 12, 2010
Reviewer: Todd Todd
Pros: A fairytale church on a museum island
Cons: Poisonous snakes in the grass and rock walls
    
Overall   4.00/5  (4)

Everyone on the river tours stops here. The church is truly a sight to remember.

There is also a collection of typical Russian, or typical to this region, houses and domestic structures. Everyone arrives on a ship with a guide and although you can wander freely everyone seems to stay with the guides.

You can't go inside the church because it is in danger of collapsing but you can go inside all the other structures.

If you do wander around be extremely careful of the poisonous snakes, especially in the rock walls.

The shops near the piers don't offer anything special, but the ice cream can be tasty!
 
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Reviewed: St Petersburg
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Submitted to category: Ports of Call/Russia - Central Asia/Russia

(Review ID: 373)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
 
One of the real jewels of cruising ports, September 12, 2010
Reviewer: Todd Todd
Pros: The city is focused on the water, the architecture magnificent, the museums!!
Cons: It can be very crowded at the most popular places.
    
Overall   5.00/5  (5)

This is the imperial city of Peter the Great. The city with its canals is a city that, like Venice, embraces the sea. But even the surrounding areas hold truly world class sights that are not to be missed.

The city was built on a swamp on the delta of the Neva River. And, as beautiful as the city is, history has not been kind. The palaces, the Hermitage, etc., all have dark pasts but today with fresh paint and gilding they are magnificent. During the summer the "white nights" give hours of extra time just to stroll around and enjoy the atmosphere.

The ships dock close into town, but it is still necessary to take either a tour or taxi into town. The tours to Catherine's Palace or the world famous Peterhof are practically a necessity. Unless you are coming back soon, you really must do both. The famous Amber Room has been recreated at Catherine's Palace and the fountains at Peterhof are simply amazing.

In town, you can do the Hermitage by yourself, but a guide gets you in faster. Take a canal trip on a small boat to enjoy some of the other sights the easy way. A city tour takes you around town, and the distances can be daunting, but taking a walk down Nevsky Prospect is also a must. If you must miss something, miss Peter and Paul fortress and the tombs of the Czars.

There are all kinds of ballet concerts. Some of them at the Kirov are truly world class, others less so. But, it's one thing that everyone seems to want to do. Sometimes there are musical concerts in the palaces, check with a booking agent. They are everywhere in town.

You really need two days. Starting/ending a cruise in St. Petersburg makes sense. Or, two nights aboard ship. However if you are entering Russia by land or air, you may need a visa. The airport is out of town, about half way to Catherine's Palace. Some lines offer one day trips to Moscow. As interesting as Moscow is, it would be a shame to miss the main sights in St. Petersburg.
 
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Reviewed: Santos
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Submitted to category: Ports of Call/South America/Brazil

(Review ID: 281)
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
 
Just the port for Sao Paulo, September 2, 2010
Reviewer: Todd Todd
Pros: It's only about two hours to Sao Paulo
Cons: The slums in the vicinity of the port are really depressing
    
Overall   1.00/5  (1)

As Sao Paulo has the most number of flights and seats to North America the cruise lines use Santos.

The city might have been a pleasant colonial town at one time. There's a small "historical" trolley that goes around the historical core. But most passengers will hightail it to Sao Paulo.

It's a port city, you're on a ship. If you're going to spend some time in Brazil, choose between Sao Paulo or Rio. There are wonderful beaches and islands north and south of Santos, but the town itself is a very busy industrial port.
 
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Reviewed: Rio de Janeiro
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Submitted to category: Ports of Call/South America/Brazil

(Review ID: 280)
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
 
A true travel mecca, September 2, 2010
Reviewer: Todd Todd
Pros: A spectacular setting for this Brazilian Jewel
Cons: If you aren't careful it might be dangerous
    
Overall   5.00/5  (5)

There's enough in Rio to keep you busy for a couple of days.

Some the the absolute must-do's are; The Christ Statue on the top of Corcavado in the middle of a nature reserve, Sugar Loaf Mountain (especially at sunset as the lights come on) and the beaches, Ipanema and Copacabana. Then there are the fun places that really make Rio Rio, the trolley up to St. Theresa and the ruins, the botanical gardens, the Belle Epoch coffee shop downtown, a Brazilian grill meal, the museum in Niteroi, a samba show, H. Stern, and maybe a favela (slum) tour.

Take the time to vist a juice stand and be a little adventureous. Visit one of the markets and marvel at the range and variety of fruits and vegetables. Rio has got to be the best place ever to buy a bathing suit.I

I'm loath to spend time in a museum when it's so nice outside, but Rio has a full assortment of museums as well. There's even a museum for Carmen Miranda!

As for security: Use a taxi, wear your shirt tails out, don't carry a wallet full of ID's and credit cards, just carry one piece of ID, one credit card, and some cash (and not all in one wad). Leave any jewelry on the ship, along with your fancy watch. Stay on the busy streets, and don't travel in a pack with other tourists. And, if you can manage it, dress like a native. I don't carry a camera in Rio, but that's just me.
 
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