Eagle River, Alaska
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433 reviews
181 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 207 helpful votes

We booked this through TravelallRussia. Turns out the ship is operated and managed by a company called Crusemundo. We were promised a room mid ship and were given a room near the bow. It was directly under the grand piano used in evening performances and was very noisy with singing and dancing programs. We were also assigned to a dinner table that had no view; just a plain wall. We asked the desk to fix both these problems but were told that it was the fault of TravelallRussia and not Crusemundo. Kate at reception wore a perpetual sneer and took delight in passenger discomfort.

That being said, the ship is clean and inviting. Our room was small, yes, but it was fully functional with a small built in table between the two headboards and a drop down lighted desk that held space for make up, the furnished hairdryer, and had a lighted mirror and came with a separate chair. The outlet was just across the wall and it was easy to plug in a curling iron, etc. and still use the vanity desk. The shower was just like any cruise ship and the towels and soap provided were adequate.

The food was surprisingly good and was served in an attractive way. Each night we were given a menu with several options for the next evening's meal. There was fish, pork, beef, and chicken options, salads, soups and desserts. Breakfast was an array of items including hot and cold, breads, cheeses, cereal, yogurt and milk. It was served buffet style and one could choose any table for breakfast and lunch as long as you remained in your group's area. No one got sick.

Everyone was assigned a designated group number and your meals and tours all revolved around these groups. There was zero flexibility with their given rules. We commented that it was a lot like being back in Catholic School and many agreed. However, we were in Russia and chose to shrug it off and be grateful that we were able to visit Russia at all.

There was free wi-fi in the library in the bow of the boat and that was a nice surprise. Many people were angry and/or frustrated that they could not get on-line, but I was not one of them. Seems that Verizon was useless most of the time; I had AT&T and had no problem.

We met people from South Africa (Hi girls)! Also Indians, Australians, New Zealanders, a French tour group, England, and some Americans. A very interesting and diverse group of fellow travelers.

Tours on the river stops were good. The first stop in Mandrogi was more of a contrived tourist village but the others were authentic. Guides were knowledgeable and better yet, understandable.

Back on board, the swimming pool was covered over with a net and there wasn't much action in the adjoining bar. The other bar area was the Neva bar and had live music and dancing. Vladimir is a genius on the piano and plays other instruments as well. He can liven up the room.

We attended a couple of Russian classes and if you miss the first one, don't bother to attend the others. There was a Russian doll painting class but you had to buy the doll for $7.00.
We practiced for a talent show where we sang two Russian folk songs and that was fun. The ship could have used a social director at times, but then again, we were in Russia. The personnel were friendly and smiled a lot and that was a stark contrast to the Russians on the street.

At the Captain's party we were served champagne and black caviar and there was also a Captain's farewell party where were served vodka and snacks. It was all well done and one was able to easier meet more people who were not in your assigned group. We were also given a tour of the bridge and that was fascinating.

We secured this voyage on a BOGO basis and thought it was great value for the money.
It would have been even better with a TravelallRussia representative on board.

Would we go again? Yes.

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