Kevin from BC
Our family of 3 (mom, dad, 15yr old daughter) did the 2 day "All Highlights St. Petersburg excursion Aug 11/12 from the Eurodam with TJ Travel. Our guide was Sofia, and the driver was Kosta. Sofia was a wealth of information, and very helpful, no question too hard, and while she had a very noticeable accent, her English was quite good. Kosta was an excellent, safe driver and we felt well taken care of.
I was initially worried about using a non-cruiseship excursion company however there is nothing at all to fear; they are professional, we felt 100% safe and well-looked after every single moment when with TJ Travel. Their pre-cruise customer service was excellent, very helpful and quick with email replies on email especially considering the time difference. No question was too trivial, they were exceptional in all pre-cruise correspondence. Their "combo" prices were way less than the cruise line, when you added up their prices. Paying in cash or credit card was straight forward too. No concerns there, everything went through fine on our visa card a few days later.
Very nice that they had wifi on the comfy 16-passenger bus and supplied bottled water. Took many selfies while at photo stops, then posted them, once back on board the bus as we were on the way to the next spot. Sweet!
My only regret was 2 days wasn't enough. It was a steady and hectic pace, and as Sofia said, "We only time for highlights of the highlights". Still it was so fascinating, and their tour so well coordinated. They have a system and it works. Highly recommended.
We also used TJ Travel for 12hr Berlin (had "Boris from Berlin"). He was a funny, thoughtful and EXCELLENT guide. We wish we could hire him for a week and have him show us around some more! He was thoughtful and very experienced at guiding. Yes its a long 3hrs to/from Berlin, but this was our first time, it was enough to whet our appetite and wish to go back on our own to explore more.
At Tallinn Estonia, we did the Old & New Town tour (Kati - wonderful guide!). Kati was full of friendly info, stories, and had lots of personal experiences and observations to share. For those who say "I can do Tallinn on my own 'cuz its so close to the cruise-ship port", let me say, Hmm... Maybe... But you're not getting the full meal deal on your own. The 5hr TJ Travel tour in Tallinn was worth every penny. We are so glad we did.
We wish we had more time (and $$) to return and spend a week in each destination. Our cruise was so much better thanks to the shore excursions, and TJ Travel gave us excellent value for money. We are glad we chose them for these 3 ports.