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The biggest draw for our Disney Cruise Line Northern Europe Cruise was the fact that we got to stop in Russia for two days. Visiting Russia was an experience that we didn’t think we would ever have again so we jumped at the chance.
Every port we visited was incredible but I thought that I would describe our experience in Russia.
On our first day, the ship docked at around 11 and the all ashore was scheduled for noon.
We met for our tour at 12:45 in Studio Sea and were taken to the Cruise Terminal where we had to go through Customs. Then we got on the bus to Downtown St. Petersburg. On the way we saw many sites including the Winter Palace and Hermitage.
For our tour today we were dropped off at a shopping area where we did some shopping for Souvenirs and then walked to the Church of the Spilled Blood. It was a beautiful site.
We then did a little more walking around St. Petersburg before getting back on the bus and going back to the ship.
Our second day in St. Petersburg started very early. We met at 7:30 in Rockin Bar D for our shore excursion.
We were going to tour the palaces in Pushkin and Peterhof. We boarded the bus and headed first to Pushkin. The palace there is the Palace of Katherine the Great. It was a beautiful palace and is in the process of being restored to its full glory. One kilo of gold has been donated to complete the gilding of the outside of the palace.
After touring the palace and grounds we did about 15 minutes of shopping before going to our lunch stop. We ate lunch in a restaurant not far from the palace in Pushkin. Our meal started with pickled tomatoes, pickles, roasted pork, sliced beef in a sour cream sauce and halved tomatoes with egg salad on top
The next course was cream of mushroom soup followed by borscht and then ground meat in grape leaves and another in cabbage leaves. Dessert was a berry blini with ice cream.
Once we finished lunch we boarded the bus for an hour ride to Peterhof Palace and the Upper and Lower Gardens. The bus ride provided a perfect time for a nap. While we were on our way it also rained very hard for about 20 minutes but was perfect timing so that there was no rain when we arrived at the palace.
We walked along the upper gardens to the palace and then toured it. This was the palace of Elizabeth, the sister of Katherine the Great and Empress of Russia. It too is an amazing building.
The lower gardens are in front of the palace and are huge. They have a large number of fountains that all run without any pumps. The whole system is run by gravity.
After a quick tour of the grounds we boarded a hydrofoil boat to get back to the ship.
Visiting Russia is an experience I don’t think any of us will forget.