August 2015 - Regal Princess to Europe - Northern Europe
This cruise itinerary is a great way to visit almost all of the Baltic capitals plus St. Petersburg. The Regal Princess is a new ship. The cruise director was entertaining in his own right plus the entertainment at night was first rate. The food was excellent. Portion control is a must unless you want to gain weight. The weather was good. It only rained once in Helsinki.
For the most part, you do not have to book shore excursions through Princess. The cruise starts in Copenhagen. I suggest going there 1 day ahead or stay afterwards. You can walk or use the hop on hop off bus very inexpensively. For Oslo, the hop on hop off bus will meet you at the dock, just pay on board. For Arrhus, you just walk into town (10 min at most). For Warnemunde, you just need to decide whether to spend money to take the 3 h train ride into and from Berlin. This is the one of the stops I recommend using the ship's tour. For Taillin, you walk into town (15 min). For St. Petersburg, you will need to get Russian visas (a hassle) unless you book a tour through a travel agent or the ship. For Helsinki, just take the hop on hop off bus. Unfortunately, it was the only day it rained. For Stockholm, they drop anchor at a small town 45 min away and you have to tender into town. Then take a train into town or pay for a bus from the ship. However, as it turns out neither was necessary because there was a hop on hop off bus waiting there which was much cheaper than the ship's alternative.