For about the last 24 hours we have been reading and hearing information intended to prepare us for the rigours of visiting Saint-Petersburg. There was a special destination leaflet issued last night with some frankly gloomy warnings:
Passengers booked on full day excursions that include lunch are reminded that we use local venues that specifically cater for groups. The meals are usually prepared in advance for quick service and should be looked on as part of the experience and not as a gastronomic feast. They usually include local dishes and should not be compared to the dining on board.
Then there are the immigration arrangements: we have to process through an immigration system ashore before the start of our tour. Given that the tour is scheduled to start at 08:15, we are wondering what time we have to gather beforehand. (Update: we have to meet at 07:50.) Finally, this afternoon we had James Cusick making an announcement about all this, and sounding suitably serious.
There was me thinking we were on holiday…. And to top it all, we lose another hour tonight. So today has been a sober and abstemious day. We don’t want to do anything that might leave us not bright eyed and bushy-tailed at the crack of dawn tomorrow.