Too tired to write much, but we arrived in St. Petersburg this morning and had a very busy day. Took the St. Peter Line M/S Maria. We had a good time because we knew some others on board (co-workers of my husband), plus we also met some very nice people from Finland and Canada. The drinks were good, the entertainment cheesy but cute, and the duty-free vodka and wine prices good. The bad: our cabin was not very good -- tiny, cold and the engine noise and vibration kept us awake. Not to mention the crackling sounds made during the night as the boat plowed through the ice. As people had been talking about the Titanic anniversary, of course that made us all the more nervous (not really, but it was disconcerting).
We booked a Class A cabin, but next time I would book a higher category.
As others have reported, the food is just average.
No problems getting through passport control, but it was a madhouse getting off the ship. Took the official shuttle bus to the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge, which is a terrific hotel.
Our guide, Sasha, from Insider Tour, was wonderful. Will post a review later, but we had a fabulous city tour, Hermitage visit, little bit of shopping and lunch at a traditional tea room. Sasha even walked back with us to our hotel to make sure we didn't get lost.
Must get sleep, but so far impressed with people and sights in this beautiful city. Weather could be better but it's not miserable.
As others have reported, the food is just average. Edible but nothing more.