How easy is it to use the bus ticket machines in Stockholm? Are instructions offered in English? Any reliability issues?
I can't answer your question directly, because I had a Stockholm a la Carte, which covered transit as well as most museum admissions. But I'm posting because you should look carefully at this card, or the similar Stockholm Card (details are in Rick's book). Both are very good deals; Stockholm a la Carte includes a hotel, and has slightly different sights covered. I was struck by how many of the people holding Stockholm Cards were Swedes, who were visiting their capital and knew a good deal when they saw it. As with any pass, you have to do the math, but unlike some others, this one is a good deal for many people (it pays off if you do even just a few of the most popular things, and take mass transit between them).
We will be on a cruise and only in port at Stockholm for 7 hours. The hop on hop off bus sounds like a good option until you consider that 100's of people will be trying to get on them at the port when we arrive. That's why I'm looking into public transit. We have very little time and I don't want to waste any of it.
Where is your ship docking?
Will you have Swedish Kronor coins? I think you might need exact change to pay with cash.
You can also buy tickets at the shop called Pressbyrån or a 7-11.
I should add that I just ordered a Stockholm Card and it arrived at my home in less than a week.
I can't imagine a public service in Stockholm not including English. Rick's book says that the machines accept US cards if you know your PIN. Other vendors that sell tickets display a blue flag with SL logo.
We will be arriving at berth 167. The bus stop is Londonviadukten. There is a machine there. I just want to be certain I can use it.
What I'm not sure about is if you can use a card with a magnetic strip to pay at an automat at a bus stop or whether you have to have an EMV chip and pin card. I'm pretty certain that the automats have both Swedish and English.
From the bus stop you named, you must coming into Stadsgården. If for some reason the automat does not work, It is only about a 20 minute walk to the Slussen tunnelbana station where you can absolutely buy a ticket.