If you would like to have that "authentic" feeling of being in a Gulag this is the tour for you. My husband and I and two of our friends purchased upgraded cabins on the MS Konstantin Korotkov. The cabin consisted of two cots bolted into the walls so there was no possibility of any romance on the ship especially since there was a one inch mattress on top of the wood. The bathrooms were private but had glorified chamber pots which was about the grossest thing I have ever encountered in any travels around the world. To add insult to injury the shower was a hand held deal above the sink which was right in front of the gross-out chamber-pot. What was the upgrade for? A higher level -- big deal. The room was the most horrific room I have ever seen. Oh yes they only change the linens once on your cruise and you get a new bath towel every OTHER day.
Nothing to do on the ship for days. No tv, wi-fi, net or films: just a bad Russian band on board at night that was something out of SNL.
I mean they were so bad it took us several stanzas to figure out what they were playing,
The tour guides were loud, abrasive and horded the crowds in and out in abominable tours which were as boring as they were ridiculous. The tour guides versions of Russian history was obviously reconstructed nonsense brought to you by St. Putin the Buff. We resorted to putting ear plugs in our ears to make the noise level tolerable.
The food was disgusting, we were ill from it ... but, resisted going to the bathroom because of the chamber-pot's ... We could not wait to get away from the noise, discomfort, and silly guides. We decided on our last day to ditch the group and walk around St Petersburg on our own and had a marvelous time and a marvelous meal at Rossi's in the Hotel Europa.
In short if you like seeing far too many churches, like horrible food, bad conditions onboard and a bathroom that you will have nightmares about for years to come. If you like staring at walls or playing dumb games from summer camp (a talent contest for cruise guests ---ick ...) or watching history channel films, or listening to someone drone on about their anecdotal experience growing up in the USSR while going on tour buses through endless traffic not seeing all the sights ... but stopping at far too many tourist traps ...
What can I say but we are going to need a vacation to recover from this "experience."