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Denrus

Burntwood
7 posts
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Denrus

There is no doubt that 'Stanj' works for Denrus, and in fact this has been confirmed on another forum.

As a matter of interest, when planning a trip to St Petersburg earlier this year, I contacted three companies, of which Denrus was one. Having got their quotations, I asked all of them some searching questions - about visa support, insurance regulations, age of their vehicles etc.

Denrus was the only one that did not reply, so needless to say I am using one of the others.

Oregon
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4 posts
48 reviews
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11. Re: Denrus

We just returned from a cruise to the Baltics with a stop in St. Petersburg for 2 days in August. We booked with Denrus several months before departure.

First the good: Denrus provided exactly what we contracted for. Two days of seeing the sights of St. Petersburg and surrounding areas. They responded quickly, charged appropriately, and lived up to their contract. We saw everything that we were supposed to see, and did everything as advertised. When we got on the bus the first day, a man greated us (the owner?) and was very congenial. The driver was exceptional. Our guide (Ludmilla) was not the most friendly person I've met. She did what she was supposed to do, and that's about it. At times (in my opinion) she was rude.

It was nice to be able to leave our belongings on the bus. The driver stayed with the bus and so security was not a concern.

Now, the not-so-good: We did visit all the sites as contracted, but spent way too much time at some sites and not enough at others. At some we were hearded through like cattle. This was especially true at the Hermitage. We left late from the previous stop and got to the Hemitage late in the afternoon the second day, which meant we had to be back to the ship at a certain time. Ludmilla kept yelling at everyone to keep moving, and we were hearded through with very little time to see anything. Probably the biggest disapointment of the two days, as the Hemitage has the most to see and we spent the least amount of time there. There was very little (if any) actual free time to explore any of the museums or churches. We were forced to stay in a group. (This may be a function of being on a group visa - the Russians are still very suspicious of outsiders). I asked if I could walk across the street at one stop for a photo and was rudely told that I couldn't. (Tip: Don't ask...just go take the photo...that worked out much better at the other stops. As long as you don't just disapear or run off a great distance it's fine). There didn't seem to be much planning as to how long we spent at each stop, and no thought as to how long it would take to drive to the next one.

The lunches at the two restaurants were fun and the food was good. The people working at the restaurants were very friendly. Be prepared to drink champagne and vodka at each meal. They said the water is safe to drink, but we kept to bottled water which was provided at each meal.

We made two stops for shopping, but the shops were obviously in cahoots with Denrus. We had no time for free shopping except for an occasional street vendor at the various squares.

Even with the few negatives (above), I would recommend Denrus. If I had to do it again, I would make sure that the schedule was in writing how long we would be at each stop so as to avoid the cattle charge at the last museum. If I booked again I would ask for a different guide.

Also, when getting off the ship (Celebrity Century) we arrived at the debarkation deck and were asked if we were on a tour. When I told them that we were on an independent tour, we were told we had to go up to the theater and wait to be called. Fortunately, I had printed out the instructions that Denrus sent me, telling me that this might happen. I told the person that said this that this was false, and we had been told to expect this. (The cruise lines want you to buy their excursions and try to slow down your departure so as to get the guests with the ship excursions off first). Tip: The cruise line can't hold you prisioner...you have just as much right to leave when the ship is cleared as anyone else!

Once I told her this and showed her the instructions, she backed down and said we could wait where we were. They did clear the passengers off the ship who were flying to Moscow first, but that is completely understandable.

A few minutes later more passengers who were going with Denrus showed up and they tried to tell them the same thing. I quickly told them what I had said to the crewmember, and when they challenged them, she backed down as well. In fact, a short while later yet another crewmember told us we had to wait in the theater, and the woman I had confronted quickly told her that it was ok for us to wait where we were (by this time there were quite a few Denrus passengers waiting with us...I think she didn't want to confront all of them!).

Once the ship was cleared, we were able to leave right away. You have to bring your passport and a copy of it to go through customs. For all the posts I've read about this, I can tell you that it was quick and easy. It took all of 3 minutes at the most. They (customs agents) kept the copies of our passports (for what reason only they could tell you!) and gave us each a colored card which was our "pass" that was to be returned when we came back to the ship. (Note: $50 fine if you lose the card...and I don't want to even think of all of the questions you would probably have to go through!).

An interesting note...the second day all we had to do was show our passport and get our card. We all wondered if the people who stayed on the ship the first day were able to get off the second day without a copy of their passport?

All in all, St. Petersburg is a fascinating city (although quite polluted, both air and water). Denrus was ok, and provided the tour we needed. I'd give them a 6 out of 10.

12. Re: Denrus

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Removed on: 3:16 pm, November 20, 2007
Springfield...
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247 posts
85 reviews
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13. Re: Denrus

Barb, I am not interested in contributing to a flame war, so this will be my only comment on the topic.

Anybody who's been on this forum for more than a week knows that Stan is an American expat who works for Denrus. I personally don't agree with each and every thing Stan says. And I realize that Stan has hot buttons and a temper just like you and me and everybody else.

Even so, I count myself among the great majority of people on this forum who are rightly grateful to Stan - and to other regulars like Evgenia, Baggen, and Pupsa - for their frequent, friendly, and helpful contributions over the years to our enjoyment of our travels in St. Petersburg. I hardly feel obliged to take seriously any criticism coming from someone who has made exactly one post to this forum.

Finally, I suggest with all due respect that if you are bothered so much by Stan's continued presence on this forum, you are always free to ignore his posts.

Sincerely,

Aortus

New Hampshire
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19 posts
15 reviews
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14. Re: Denrus

I've used tripadvisor.com for many years as a research tool for travel. It's been a valuable resource to me for choosing hotels, destinations, etc. I've never posted before because I NEVER felt the need to until now.

The attitude of the other helpful foreign forum members are nothing but friendly and helpful. Stan's can be also unless someone has a view of anything that differs from his own. What troubles me the most is his attacks on other tour companies, particularly Alla.

Tripadvisor has given him the title of "local expert" which gives him a credibility that just any anonymous poster to this forum doesn't have. I wonder how much business he has driven away from Alla and other tour companies due to this credibility.

I knew nothing about private tour companies in St. Petersburg before researching on this forum and other boards. Stan could have channeled my business to DenRus very easily if my source of information was just this forum. Again, I feel he should ,at the veery least, recuse himself from tour company recommendations due to his employment by DenRus.

15. Re: Denrus

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TripAdvisor staff removed this post either because the author requested it, or because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum guidelines.

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Removed on: 1:29 pm, November 19, 2007
16. Re: Denrus

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post either because the author requested it, or because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum guidelines.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

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Removed on: 3:00 pm, November 20, 2007
17. Re: Denrus

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post either because the author requested it, or because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum guidelines.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 1:00 am, November 26, 2007
New Hampshire
Level Contributor
19 posts
15 reviews
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18. Re: Denrus

Why are these posts being removed? One of them was mine and I cannot figure out what could have been objectionable about it to have it be removed. Is the Denrus topic that contoversial that the Administrator needs to censor it? I didn't notice any censoring when one particular poster, employed by Denrus ,repeatedly bashed other tour operators.

Chicago, IL
3 posts
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19. Re: Denrus

Something is terribly wrong here and if necessary I will bring this to the attention of management at TripAdvisor!

These posts are being censored when there is absolutely nothing wrong with them. Do they need to be removed simply becase they point out that one of the so called "local experts" is clearly violating several of TripAdvisor's posting guidelines?

Instead of removing/censoring posts please deal with the issue at hand. I am not asking for much. Simply abide by the posting guidelines that are set in place.

20. Re: Denrus

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This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

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Removed on: 7:21 am, September 14, 2009