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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2019
First of all, this idiot company planned an itinerary which would have brought us to a Korean port on a national Korean Holliday, something that should have been known well in advance. Then after paying for the voyage and the refund ... Read More
First of all, this idiot company planned an itinerary which would have brought us to a Korean port on a national Korean Holliday, something that should have been known well in advance. Then after paying for the voyage and the refund deadline passing, they tell the paid up passengers that the only Korean port is cancelled because it falls on a Korean National Holliday. How was this not known in advance? Why wait till everyone is paid up and then announce the itinerary change? Next, the food is the worst I’ve ever had at sea. Everything is unseasoned and cooked to death, ostensibly to please the many Australian/British passengers. The blandest food I have ever tasted - we’re talking “home-for-the-aged quality”. No herbs, no spice, no salt. It’s like they have a flavor extractor in the kitchen. Canned cat food would probably have more flavor. Deserts are hideous gelatin and cornstarch monstrosities - for example: we’re talking custard that is so rubbery you can take a spoonful, bang it facedown on a plate, and the custard bounces back without a dent — total over-gelatined rubber. Towels in the bathroom on this new ship are like sandpaper. How do you even find towels like that? The room is nicely appointed and modern. The staff seems nice enough, but are forgetful and disorganized. I would be asked 4 times by 4 different people if I’d like something to drink then watch all the tables seated after me get served while I’m ignored and have to get up ad go to the service area to get my own coke or water. Need silverware! Plan on getting that for yourself too. This happened multiple times during the first 5 days. I’ve got over a week to go with this terrible food and bad service. Worst cruise decision in 30 years of cruising. Carnival would have even been better. How did viking make the best cruise line list? Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2019
If you and read this, this cruise is probably not for you. We take Royal for their brand consistency and attention to detail. This one fails. IF YOU PLAN AN EXCURSION IN ENGLISH it will be cancelled and you wont find out until you ... Read More
If you and read this, this cruise is probably not for you. We take Royal for their brand consistency and attention to detail. This one fails. IF YOU PLAN AN EXCURSION IN ENGLISH it will be cancelled and you wont find out until you get there. After questioning staff we are told most are cancelled as there is insufficient English speaking passengers on the ship signing up. On ours there were probably no more than 3 or 4 passengers on the ship with English as a primary language. If we knew we had zero chance of an excursion we could have found something else. They call this a "Cultural Cruise" but who knows what that means. Royal needs to be up front that this cruise is not your normal cruise (even staff admit it). The bars are empty. I do mean empty. One bartender could not even make a rum and coke. I had to tell her what bottles were rum. The ship is for a Chinese audience. Even the Irish Bar serves Chinese food. The specialty restaurants were good but expect nothing but Chinese food in the rest of the dinning areas. The food is nowhere near as good as any other Royal cruise we have been on. Staff is nice but the normal Royal International staff is much less prevalent and Chinese staff seem a bit untrained. All staff is polite and mostly helpful so nor problems with the staff and as for the excursion desk, their hands are tied by Royal Corporate. Do yourself a favor and save your money. Royal should not be offering this cruise to an English speaking market. Its not up to their brand expectations and you will be left frustrated. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted somewhere different to the Pacific Islands and it suited our timeline. We flew to Singapore and had a few days there before embarking on the Dawn which was an easy process except for the “Taking” ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted somewhere different to the Pacific Islands and it suited our timeline. We flew to Singapore and had a few days there before embarking on the Dawn which was an easy process except for the “Taking” of our passports, with no receipt of SUCH. Wasn’t impressed by this. Our cabin was OK. Plenty of room for 2 people. I think it went downhill from there. Went to the Pantry to have a look, well if you call it a look. We could not see out of the very dirty windows. Can’t take decent photos through windows as they are all almost opaque, we were told it is because the ship is old and it’s on the inside of the double windows and can’t be cleaned. Just terrible. The whole ship is like this. Have to go on deck to see clearly, and not on the smoking deck or you almost suffocate in the smoke. Air conditioning, or lack of it in our room from day 1. Was eventually fixed albiet, could not adjust it at all, till the second last day when it died again and then we were offered a fan as a replacement!!!!! A couple of days in and our sink plug would not unplug. Their solution to this was to pull it right out and sit it on the side of sink which left a gaping hole, we could not fill and heaven help if anything fell down the hole. Then our toilet would not flush, first thing in the morning, both busting to go. It really was a nightmare with the plumbing. The rest of ship had many, many problems with toilets not working in public area and cabins, air conditioning only worked overtime in the Marqui area where it was freezing cold every day for activities and entertainment. No wonder everyone was coughing by the end. Apparently this virus has been on this ship for years as per other reviews. Now for the food, was fabulous the first night in the Waterfront restaurant, but it went downhill from there. Very strange combination of described flavours. Mostly you could not taste any of these. Fresh basil was described on one, well one miniscule flake of green was probably basil? Meat is also inedible. Veal saltimboka was full of gristle and unchewable. Orange, marzipan bread & butter pudding had no orange at all and not sure on the marzipan, I couldn’t tell. And, their signature “crispy cream puff” with passion fruit. What a joke. Dense, doughnut like ball with no passion fruit in sight, just maybe a touch of orange colour with no flavour is on the menu every night. YUK!!! The Pantry has a wide selection of different cultures of food but usually it is cold. All the food is out by 5 o’clock to feed the under 15 kids, but is there for the rest of us. It sits for hours if not popular. I had Indian food on the last night and when I tried it the rice was dead cold, the curried veggies were tepid and the curry almost cold. Could not eat it. So much waste. The bacon at breakfast is almost unchewable, the toast is cold and you have to go two or three stations down to get rock hard butter for your toast. Ridiculous!!!!! Now to the swimming pool. Postage size pool. Over 6 foot deep with vertical ladders at the sides. People could not stand in it, kids who could not swim could not use it. Very, very difficult to get out of it. There is a kids water play area next to it that used to be a pool. I think I only saw kids playing in it about 3 times. What a waste, could have been a shallow pool for the kids. Activities, they had lots of trivia but was so hard to get a seat or join in as there just isn’t enough seating areas except for the Marquis which they only used for bingo and night entertainment. Only had 1 movie in the Marquis area and it was packed. Should have used this area more but it was always freezing in there. Shore excursions are very expensive, but did one in Bali and the Komodo tour. Very well organised and enjoyed them both. Only got off ship yesterday morning so this is very fresh, had to be out of cabin by 6-30, what is with that?? Needless to say I will never ever do a P&O cruise again if this is there standard of service. Oh, almost forgot, on the morning of disembarkation we had our onboard account in our box outside door. There was a $30 onboard credit stated on there. I queried this and it was for compensation for aircon, toilet issues. I asked for it in cash, but no they said I could spend it onboard. On what, nothing is open when in dock. Laughable!!!!!!!! NEVER AGAIN Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
itinerary was what we wanted in Japan , but Russian port a waste of every ones time and money. The ship is dated as are the cabins , hard to see what had changed since a refit a few months ago, seems the same as it was few years ago. ... Read More
itinerary was what we wanted in Japan , but Russian port a waste of every ones time and money. The ship is dated as are the cabins , hard to see what had changed since a refit a few months ago, seems the same as it was few years ago. Staff were all good. Food average Princess , quality not up to past Celebrity cruises.Buffet ditto and main dining rooms dated as were cabins. Lost one port due to Typhoon , but crew handled it well. Entertainment was handled well with both Japanese and English spoken at all shows and else where on board. Princess still doing nothing for Cruise Critic Roll Call groups , unlike the opposition ! Vegetarian had limited choice in the main dining rooms and not much changed today to day in the buffet. The production shows were average to say the least and we had seen they before anyway.They only had three of these so if you are on board for more than a 8 days they are repeated ! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Having booked a 17 night cruise it turned to be a back-to-back 9 night and 8 night - not what my paperwork says! This meant the second half had the same menus and entertainment as the first half. I heard a lot of people complain about ... Read More
Having booked a 17 night cruise it turned to be a back-to-back 9 night and 8 night - not what my paperwork says! This meant the second half had the same menus and entertainment as the first half. I heard a lot of people complain about this. The ship could do with a freshen up but is quite acceptable. My outside cabin was a good size - no complaints there. The food in the dining room was very good but in the Horizon self service, the food wasn’t hot. A barely warm cooked breakfast isn’t great. The ship company shows lacked the wow factor of other lines but the music round the ship was excellent, especially the violin duo. Service was excellent. The staff work so hard. We didn’t do any ship tours. We had 3 private excursions which seemed to be better than the ship ones and we arrived ahead of the crowds every time. Princess charges for shuttle buses which you’re stuck with as the berth is usually a long way from town. All in all it was a very interesting cruise and we met some great people. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We spent 3 days in Japan before the cruise started. The staff and service boarding and disembarking the ship were excellent and efficient. The ship was in good condition and very clean and the entertainment was of a good standard. ... Read More
We spent 3 days in Japan before the cruise started. The staff and service boarding and disembarking the ship were excellent and efficient. The ship was in good condition and very clean and the entertainment was of a good standard. There was very little activities organised while onboard which was disappointing. Some were advertised as 'unhosted'. Would have loved some pool volleyball, basketball or table tennis organised fun events to promote involvement and connections. Pools, bars and lounges were excellent. Unfortunately the shore excursions were rushed and the english tour guides spoke little english and seemed very unprofessional. Holding small maps and family photos up where only first 5-6 rows could see. We travelled with my parents and enjoyed the adults only pool areas were a great idea. I would defiantly cruise again, as a great way to holiday but have learnt better ways to approach aspects. With some refinement it would be an excellent way to holiday. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise because it was next on our bucket list. We really wanted to know Japan, not just from Tokyo, but from the aspect of the people in the smaller towns and ports. We have also had great experiences with the Intensive ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was next on our bucket list. We really wanted to know Japan, not just from Tokyo, but from the aspect of the people in the smaller towns and ports. We have also had great experiences with the Intensive cruise on Azamara in the past. We hold Azamara to a very high standard based on past sailings. This cruise met and exceeded our expectations. The high points are as follows 1. The food in Discoveries has greatly improved with Azamaras new policy of giving the executive chefs free reign. Chef Colin and his crew executed imaginative menus. The food and service in prime C and Aquafina was as expected....flawless and delicious! 2. White night was a blast! The captain delayed it twice due to weather concerns. He was right and the weather was perfect. Again, freedom to act. 3. The azamazing evening in Busan combined unusual and imaginative Korean traditional music and dance with a truly amazing performance by the Korean university Tae Kwan Do team. 4.Shore excursions were executed flawlessly. My Daised and Kyoto were 2 of the many highlights. 5. The visibility of the officers of the ship makes the Quest different from all other cruise lines. They are always there to give a helping hand or just to talk. A perfect example was clearing Korean customs. I could go on but I think you all get the message. Go for the adventure. If you expect shows and glitz and the other trapping of superficiality, choose another cruise line. If you really want to have great food, great service and immersion into culture, this is your ship! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
The itinerary was the reason for this cruise, even in this time of the year without cherry blossoms or Indian summer colors (too late, too early). It was a time of intense activity as there was another port every day and the climate which ... Read More
The itinerary was the reason for this cruise, even in this time of the year without cherry blossoms or Indian summer colors (too late, too early). It was a time of intense activity as there was another port every day and the climate which was hot and humid made it streneous as well. We knew the Quest from one other cruise, our other 18 cruises with Azamara we have had with Journey and Pursuit. This time the food was awsome, Chef Colin surprised us every day with local cuisine dishes which led us not to book the speciality restaurants but use the Discovery restaurant every evening. Service in the restaurant and bars was very good, we only found one person which was not smiling at all the entire cruise. In regard to entertainment we went to the Living Room every night and found the live band "The Smooth Sensations" as the best we ever had on an Azamara ship, hope to see them again soon. The sound volume of the pianist and singer in The Den we found disturbing loud and unpleasant. We enjoyed the live music of traditional Japanese koto. In general the temperature on deck 5 was by far to low, lots of people caught colds and asking to increase the temperature brought no result during the entire cruise. So bring a lot of sweaters and jackets and ask for blankets in the restaurant. The Azamazing evening took place in Busan/South Korea with stunning performances of music and taek won do. Also the white night party was a success. We had booked shore excursions privately with local english speaking guides and were very satisfied with the results. We found an American couple to take part so the costs were reasonable compared to excursions the ship offered and we could take influence on what to see or not. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
People spitting on floor whilst sitting in spa, people spitting on carpet in marketplace buffet, people blowing snot from nose and spitting in hand basin that you are expected to wash hands in prior to entering food court, Casino door ... Read More
People spitting on floor whilst sitting in spa, people spitting on carpet in marketplace buffet, people blowing snot from nose and spitting in hand basin that you are expected to wash hands in prior to entering food court, Casino door continually left open and smoke streaming out into main atrium, children allowed to run riot on dance floor after 10pm. Princess usually has dress standards for dining rooms. None applied on this cruise, you could wear singlet top basket ball shorts and slip on sandals, jeans T-shirt’s and you’d be allowed in. We ended up staying away from pool and spa as we couldn’t stomach the snorting and spitting, it made our stomach turn. We spent majority of time in our cabin watching movies. We ate in the dining rooms onboard 5 times and each time the food was luke warm/cold. The staff were doing the best they could with the circumstances they had to deal with. Marketplace Buffet had a huge variety of food choices but trying to get a seat after you had selected your food was a challenge. Some passengers refused to share tables and made it very had for the staff. The amount of food left on peoples plates was terrible to see. We were in cabin E416, our Steward Rommel was amazing, he actually made our cruise. Princess is very lucky to have him he went over and above in every aspect of looking after us. We had evening room service twice as we couldn't face the thought of the catastrophe that was the dining rooms. It was excellent, best meals on the ship. The coffee shop on level 5 was very good, the food was always hot and the staff were exceptional in their service and care. Come back new??? Not us we came back discussed, frustrated, angry, annoyed, disappointed, mortified and concerned, as we’d already booked and paid for cruise with Princess in December. Fingers crossed, with saying that we must say that in the many cruises we have done with Princess we have never had one complaint or issue, service standards have always been well beyond our expectations. . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We joined the cruise at Shanghai after a week in China visiting Beijing, Xian and Shanghai .with Wendy Woo Tours who were excellent. Don't try to Facebook etc in China as its all blocked including Google although email works. ... Read More
We joined the cruise at Shanghai after a week in China visiting Beijing, Xian and Shanghai .with Wendy Woo Tours who were excellent. Don't try to Facebook etc in China as its all blocked including Google although email works. The processing getting onto the ship was quick and efficient and the ship is magnificent, now where it gets interesting. The cruise is labelled 'East meets West' for a reason and embarking from Shanghai should give you a clue. Maybe 80% of the people were Chinese and from what I've been informed 800 children . People from different shore have different standards - lets leave it there! Formal wear for evening meal at restaurants was a joke where the any standard was acceptable (why have formal wear then)with whatever they wanted (Shorts,t Shirts , flip flops) , Americans, Aussies and Brits made the effort to dress correctly although after seeing what the standard was many of us, including me, dressed down to meet the downward standard. I thought the food was of a high standard. I only went to the Buffet at Breakfast and it was always busy and tables were at a premium so my wife and I eat breakfast by the pool where there was loads of empty seating. Food is catered to both Chinese and western tastes. Entertainment had be be revised to meet both spectrum's and I think it was a success although everything being said had to be repeated in English and Cantonese. The shows were excellent and should be commended. There where plenty of sun beds to be had although they were far less walking waiters on the decks because again Chinese not being drinkers. The cruise trips were excellent where the Chinese and non Chinese had separate trips and the guides knew their stuff. Japan was less compressed than China and I personally enjoyed the experience. The weather was stiffing with high humidity and the sweat was pouring off you just walking around on shore trips. Take an umbrella to protect you from the sun and a face cloth to wipe the sweat off you. Once again the cruise industry are not catering for vegetarians (my wife being one) and they need to get on board with this requirement. Too many chats with the Head Waiter were had. The cabin we had was excellent but all cabins on every ship are about the same. All in all a good cruise but people must be aware that this cruise is catered towards the Chinese. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Our balcony cabin with of a sofabed on deck 15 in a nice quiet location which we choose diliberatly had been given to someone else. We only found this out onboard and not at checkin. We were given a mini suite instead but sadly the ... Read More
Our balcony cabin with of a sofabed on deck 15 in a nice quiet location which we choose diliberatly had been given to someone else. We only found this out onboard and not at checkin. We were given a mini suite instead but sadly the location was so bad we spent most of our cruise sleep deprived from the noise the crew made dragging tables and chairs around from midnight till 1am and then again at 4am. Complaints fell on deaf ears. Cabin wasn't ready, shelves were dirty, floor dirty, not enough toiletries for 3 in a room. We had to find our own luggage as it went to the wrong cabin. Buffet food - mostly Chinese food & same nearly every evening. Main dining rooms was pretty poor quality food so we choses not to dine there. Speciality restaurant: Harmony (Chinese) was average and not worth the extra cost. La Mer main menu not great but we ate Chef Darren Maclean's own menu 2 nights running and this was the only decent food onboard. staff took our drinks away whilst we had a photo with chef after the nine course & wine paring evening. pool deck Free ice-cream worst I've ever had. Buffet area has Plastic plates & bowls which is terrible. Buffet staff could not manage and tables sat dirty unless you asked staff to clean them. Gym area is poor, stretching area always used for seminars, Kareoke mostly Chinese songs. Ports: Shimizu isn't a great port but credit to the people of this small town who went out of their way to be helpful. Also Kochi isn't worth stopping at. Osaka should be an overnight stop there is so much to do and no time to do it. Took 3 excursions with Princess, they were good but expensive, I do question the time wasted on lunch which is included in the full day excursions. The ship is CROWDED. Everyone I met on the ship said it was ridiculous how many people are squeezed into rooms onboard. 6+ in small balcony rooms. Staff told us 4000 Chinese passengers were onboard when it should have been 3000. Apparently the ship just added more beds to cabins, shocking, is that allowed?. This is a cruise for the China Chinese only, it does not work for anyone else. The cultural differences will defiantly impact on you. Spitting in the pool, spitting on plates in buffet, shouting, pushing in, children in the adults only area throughout the whole cruise. I met several Chinese passengers from Singapore and Hong Kong who felt very uncomfortable with the behaviour of the majority passengers. There were 2 good shows at the theatre and thats about it. The language issues made most entertainment difficult. This cruise felt budget, unsafe, lawless and to be honest insulting. Disembarkation was chaotic, no crew around to help, passengers missed flights as they were unable to get off the ship in time, we just made it to the airport for our flight but we had to make a lot of noise to get off. Shameful. This is not how you say goodbye to customers, get some training. I do NOT recommend this cruise to customers outside of China. This cruises is totally aimed at China Chinese only. This cruise was certainly no Princess. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our 18th cruise, our 11th with Princess. We were very disappointed with the way Princess's service levels have fallen since our first trip with them in 2001. The crew were at best inattentive, and often just plain nasty. ... Read More
This was our 18th cruise, our 11th with Princess. We were very disappointed with the way Princess's service levels have fallen since our first trip with them in 2001. The crew were at best inattentive, and often just plain nasty. Our cabin had an inoperable balcony door, a broken safe, and what appeared to be semen stains on the sofa in our mini-suite when we got on board. During the week, several times we found dark black hairs in our sink and/or bathtub after the cabin was "cleaned" by our cabin steward, Rolando. My wife's hair is light blond, and mine is gray/white, so it sure wasn't ours! My wife has a severe seafood allergy, which we reported when we booked. When we got on board, we had a note to contact the Maitre-de to go over the allergy. We called, got no answer. In fact in the 8 days of our cruise, the only time we saw him was when he walked thru the dining room with his nose up in the air. We dealt with his assistant, for a few days, who then had HIS subordinate deal with us. This lack of continuity in dealing with what could be a life-threatening allergic reaction did nothing to instill confidence. My recommendation would be to definitely skip this cruise (Shangahi start/finish with 4 port stops in Japan). The Japanese port stops were great, but otherwise, this was a major and expensive disappointment. We intend not to sail with Princess again on ANY itinerary. There are too many better cruise lines out there. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We enjoyed this cruise on the Maasdam. We paid a low price, less than $100 a day per person plus port fees and gratuities. Our stateroom was clean and roomy for an inside and we appreciated the full size sofa. The food was very good in ... Read More
We enjoyed this cruise on the Maasdam. We paid a low price, less than $100 a day per person plus port fees and gratuities. Our stateroom was clean and roomy for an inside and we appreciated the full size sofa. The food was very good in both the dining room and the Lido. It seemed that HAL tried to have something for everyone. As a pescatarian and a vegetarian we could almost always find something we wanted to eat. We knew we could have availed ourselves of the special menu service and ordered a day in advance, but meals in the dining room tended to take one and a half plus hours. We didn't want to do that three times a day. The staff was friendly and competent. No complaints. The muster drill was disorganized with staff members shouting out names and cabin numbers to take attendance. Quite a number didn't appear to be there but people were walking back and forth while this was going on. After 45 minutes of this some elderly people left. HAL has a range of activities on offer, some revenue generating. There were many talks and we attended and enjoyed most of them. We also played trivia twice a day. The shopping was there but more subdued than other lines. The small pool was closed on multiple days due to the weather, which was not great; a typhoon in the general area was blamed for two missed ports. You couldn't swim laps in the pool. One main point to mention is not to rely on the times posted on the HAL websites as to times in port for arranging independent shore excursions. They are misleading. The actual times vary considerably. Sometimes it seemed the weather was responsible but other times there was no reason that we could see. For example, when we missed a port due to weather making tendering not possible, rather than arrive that much earlier at the next port, we had another day at sea. Especially since that next port was in a different country with difficult immigration requirements, an earlier arrival would have been preferable. In that particular port, Otaru in Japan, we were given a 1:30 time slot to meet with Japanese immigration officials who came on board to fingerprint and photograph. About eight officials for 1250 passengers, so you can imagine the length of that line. We objected to the time, which after the formalities and shuttle to town would have given us less than two hours in that port. We were given an earlier time but I feel sorry for those who said nothing. Further in that vein, we objected to the late disclosure of the HAL requirements for our independent tour of a Russian port. It is not helpful to advise us after we are on board that tour vouchers must contain the name, DOB, and passport numbers on separate vouchers for each person plus a separate list/letter about the tour containing similar information. HAL did telephone the tour company from the ship when we complained about this policy, which the tour company said is not accurate, and eventually things were fixed up but it was aggravating. No Russian officials looked at our voucher when we got off the ship. We appreciated the shuttle buses in each Japanese port which I believe were arranged by the town. If it was HAL, then I commend them for this. There were also information booths set up with free wifi tents in some locations and we were welcomed by dancers and drummers in some towns. The bar staff and photographers were low key. There were no production shows but entertainment in several lounges as well as a singer, violinist or pianist in the show lounge in the evenings. This was not a scenic cruise. Sometimes we were shrouded in fog all day and mostly there was nothing but water to see - no visible coastline. We enjoyed the afternoon teas and partook a couple of times after our return from time in a port. There were many DVD's to obtain from guest services for free and the regular channels were fine. For some reasons the news channels were blocked in Russian ports. There is a design flaw with the remote as you had to extend your arm completely over your head to change channels. Or stand up. The TV was too far back on the shelf which blocked the signal from the remote. The ship was otherwise fine in repair and appearance. There were a few roof leaks in the Crows Nest which were quickly attended to. Three ports were cancelled in this port intensive cruise out of nine, due to weather. I appreciated that the port talks were about how to get around and what to see in each stop not a thinly veiled attempt to sell HAL shore excursions. We were each given a $100 account credit, in addition to port charge refunds, to make up for the missed ports. This was a generous gesture. All in all we were satisfied with our cruise for what we paid, however, my millennial daughters who travelled with me advised she will not cruise again until there is fast and free wifi on board, something she thinks should be a given. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
First impression for this ship was not good. Boarding in Singapore was horrendous. Our boarding time was 8pm, we arrived at the terminal at 7 as we had checked out of our hotel and had no where to go. Upon arrival, lots of ... Read More
First impression for this ship was not good. Boarding in Singapore was horrendous. Our boarding time was 8pm, we arrived at the terminal at 7 as we had checked out of our hotel and had no where to go. Upon arrival, lots of people had already started checking in. We dropped our bags and checked in and was given a boarding number. We were then moved upstairs to wait for our boarding number. 2 1/2 hours finally pass and our boarding number is called. Being from Australia, we are not used to pushing to get our way, so we had a rude awakening! There was no such thing as lines, and we had people quite literally push us out of the way to get in front. It was a hot mess getting down to customs. After passing custom, we had to once again line up to get onto the boat. Another hour later, and we are finally on. We had booked a Balcony Cabin but it was always my intention to see about an upgrade once onboard as I heard palace suite was worth it. Once on the ship, we went right to customer service and upgraded to the Palace Suite for about $670SGD per person. By this time, it was past 11pm and the restaurants were closed, but the buffet was open till midnight. We quickly ran to the buffet for dinner, then check out our rooms. Rooms were massive, bathroom was huge and balcony was narrow. The benefit is of booking a palace suite was deluxe drinks package, specialty restaurants, palace suite pool, restaurant etc. We mainly wanted to upgrade for the drinks package and the pool, as we know the main pool can get very crowded. The first night, ordering drinks at the palace bar, we realised that the drinks package wasn’t as inclusive as we thought. We were given a menu on what drinks were included, and for us cocktail drinkers, there wasn’t much to choose from. We seen drinks coming up on the TV that looked amazing, and we asked to have one, but was told it would cost. What we couldn’t understand is that this drink was $8, and some of the drinks on our menu were $13, so we couldn’t understand how we couldn’t get a $8 drink in our package. It also took about 20mins each time to get a drink. For breakfast the next morning we ate in the palace resultant. We could only order eggs pancakes etc of the menu, and the rest like bacon and bread, we had to fetch ourselves from the buffet. I ordered pancakes and they were cold, my dad ordered a omelet with everything included and it was plain. After breakfast we went to the palace suite pool. We were pleasantly surprised that there was no one there!! In Australia, this area would have been packed. We wanted to order drinks, but there was no bar man in site. We had to ask the life guard to call someone and then about 15mins later, the bar man arrived. On any other cruise, we would be served our by the pool from the spa or our day beds, but here, we had to go to the bar to order a drink. We also weren’t allowed our drinks with us at the spa, which is strange as no other cruise I have ever been on has this rule. Drinks again, look at very long time. Tonight we were booked in to the steak house for dinner. We were all pretty keen for some meat!! Once we arrived, we realised that it was a set menu.. we weren’t told that there would be a set menu for the specialty restaurants so this was very disappointing. The options were either seafood, or ribs. None of us eat seafood, so ribs it was. The entree was great, but the main mean, ribs, was bad.. no meat in site. Pure fat and nothing to serve with it. This mean was very disappointing, we contributed after this to the buffet for food as we were all very hungry. The show tonight was amazing!! By bar one of the best cruise shows I have been to. Day 3 we were docking in Koh Samui, our butler organised for a private’s transfer into the main area, Chaweng beach. This was complimentary. We had priority disembarking which was a plus. We were transferred by bus to Chaweng beach and spent the afternoon at a resort. When we arrived back at the port to re-board at about 3pm, the lime was enormous. Last render was for 3:30, so this was to be expected however there was no shade. They did hand out water and cold towels. As we were palace, we were expecting to have priority embarking. After asking around, we were told we had to join the long line. There was one shaded area which a lot of people were pushing wash security gates to get to. We were told this was for children or elderly only so that they didn’t need to line up. Luckily, one crew member seen our frustration and let us in, but quickly closed the gate and said that he shouldn’t be doing this. After some people seen us get let in, people stormed the gate and ignored the staff and pushed and shoved to get onto the tender . I am so thankful this young crew member let us past, as I assume we would have been lining up in the hot sun for over an hour. Tonight we were booked in for Chinese specialty. We went down prior to our booking to check the menu and were disappointed to find that there was only one choice, and that choice was Seafood for the set menu. We told the staff that none of us eat seafood, and asked if we could just order meat and rice, but they advised no, only set menu for palace suite. So, we cancelled the booking. We instead went to dinner at the main dining room, it was loud and busy, but the food was good! Again, not a lot of option, but I had lamb shanks and the meal was much better then the night before at the steak house. Again, the show tonight was great. Day 4: Redang island. We were hesitant about getting off the boat as we didn’t want to be stuck lining up in the heat to get back onboard. Our butler advised it was a beautiful Island, so we decided to get off and have a look around. The beach is Beautiful and I hear the snorkeling is good. We spent about an hour on land to have a look around and returned to the ship. Spent the afternoon by the quiet pool until some noisy young kids with no Parents inside interrupted us. This area really should be a adults only area, or at least ask the kids to stop slashing and jumping in and out of the pool. Dinner tonight was japense tepenyaki. We checked the menu and were very happy with what we seen. The food was amazing, meat was so soft and probably the best steak I have ever had. This experience was the best and I would highly recommend it. It was my partners birthday, so our butler organised to have a cake delivered to the restaurant, which was lovely. Last night onboard and we were expecting another fantastic show. There was advertisements everywhere to watch dream girls, so we asked our butler but she advised this show was chargeable at 98SGD as it was adults only and the girls would be topless. We kindly declined, so no show for the last night. One thing I forgot to mention, being palace, you don’t need to book for the show. The first 3 rows are reserved for palace guest, so you only get to get there about 10mins before to get a good seat. The seats are released to public about 5mins before the show starts. On our last night we thought we would Play some pool, but were surprised to find you had to buy $20SGD worth of drinks to play. And being we had a drinks package, we didn’t need to buy drinks, so we weren’t able to play. Day 5: Our last day, the ship docked around 1 and we had priority disembarking. We could have stayed as late as 3, but our butler advised that custom would be very very busy with long lines, so we disembarked as soon as we arrived at port. If you want nice cocktails, visit the tributes bar. The bar tenders in there made us almost anything we wanted, even if it wasn’t on the palace menu. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Had always wanted to visit Vietnam / Cambodia but wanted to do it guided. had never been on a Scenic Cruise before but the “all inclusive” Scenic package really appealed. To be truthful I had no idea how all inclusive it would be ... Read More
Had always wanted to visit Vietnam / Cambodia but wanted to do it guided. had never been on a Scenic Cruise before but the “all inclusive” Scenic package really appealed. To be truthful I had no idea how all inclusive it would be but if you chose not to buy souvenirs or a drink in a bar when off ship then there was very little need to take cash. We budgeted for some spending but returned home spending very little at all. They say inclusive but I did not expect top shelf drinks including a gin menu, yes a menu there were that many to choose from. Food allergies were no problem either with a super attentive and highly skilled chef ensuring wonderful food. The level of service from all staff was exceptional, every cabin has its own butler, unpacking and room service drinks ....you don’t have to lift a finger. Great excursions and truly caring and memorable guides. In one word.....FAULTLESS......highly recommend Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This cruise and the experience was amazing. As 4 of only a limited number of English speaking guests on board, we were treated a bit differently from the other passengers. The staff from the stateroom (Ya Mei) to the Dining Room (Heri, ... Read More
This cruise and the experience was amazing. As 4 of only a limited number of English speaking guests on board, we were treated a bit differently from the other passengers. The staff from the stateroom (Ya Mei) to the Dining Room (Heri, William and others) to the bartenders and others on the ship went out of their way to make us comfortable. Given the limited number of English speakers on board, English activities such as Trivia games, Karaoke ...etc. allowed for participation whenever we wanted. The shows were not that great (kinda boring) but the talent was pretty amazing. The casino was the place for people to smoke so we didn't gamble too much. Most of the shops on board we for higher end goods. Don't expect the regular T-Shirts and such. The ports in Japan and Tianjin in China were amazing. The choice of shore excursions are limited so English speaking guests may want to do research and venture out on their own (like we did). The one exception was Kyoto. The city is 2 hours away from the port by train so you may want to consider this option. The dining was great with both Chinese and International options. A daily menu of steak, chicken, mashed and fries and french onion soup will help those who are "meat and potato eaters." Embarkation was quick and easy and debarkation was the same. As a frequent cruiser and traveler, I would advise everyone who wants to have an awesome time to do some research, watch some videos, get your visa and GO! If you understand that you are going to experience a new culture, this will be the trip of a lifetime! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We are experienced cruisers going back to the '80's. We prefer crossings and repositioning since most port visits are superficial at best. Substituting tour buses for luxury ship ambiance and tacky-tacky retail stops that seem ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers going back to the '80's. We prefer crossings and repositioning since most port visits are superficial at best. Substituting tour buses for luxury ship ambiance and tacky-tacky retail stops that seem to be about accommodating the local businesses rather than providing the cruiser any real opportunities. Thus the itinerary from Seward to Tokyo with stops in unusual way ports caught our fancy. Our Virtuoso Travel Agent forewarned us that Azamara was not quite up to true top notch all inclusive lines and that we would in particular find the cabin bathrooms small. All in all it sounded worth trying. We took the "unlimited package" which provided top shelf beverages, unlimited internet access (disappointingly slow and erratic). and three alternate dining experiences. Worst aspect of the experience was a feeling of overcrowded spaces. This was particularly so in the buffet area at prime lunch and dinner where seating was difficult to secure and the space between buffet lines was severely clogged. Food quality was better than you now get on mass market lines like HAL but not as good as we have had on Crystal, Windstar, or Seabourne. Really, it was only somewhat better than a recent experience on RCL. Service was slow albeit friendly and professional. My wife adheres to a rigorous low sodium diet and was very disappointed in the ship's efforts to accommodate her despite their continual protestations that they would. The enrichment speaker was a disappointment. She was overly pedantic and long winded. And, incredibly, she had a pronounced stammer. I can't imagine that anyone who took the trouble to be familiar with her speaking ability would hire her for this purpose regardless of her academic credentials. NO excuse for this management oversight. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Had a great time cruising and visiting various ports around Japan and Busan South Korea. Had a slight change to itinerary courtesy of typhoon Krosa, but the captain made the right call. Safety of the ship, guests and crew must always be ... Read More
Had a great time cruising and visiting various ports around Japan and Busan South Korea. Had a slight change to itinerary courtesy of typhoon Krosa, but the captain made the right call. Safety of the ship, guests and crew must always be the first priority. There was so much history and the Japanese people are such a friendly and courteous nation. My husband celebrated his 70th birthday in Yokohama and the Vivaldi Dining room staff sang him a modified version of happy birthday to you. We enjoyed watching several activities on board, with one of my favourites being the Egg Drop Challenge. I came to the conclusion that the Japanese people are very inventive as only a couple of eggs broke. I also enjoyed the Marriage Match game which highlighted that the longer married couples were better at remembering their first kiss etc. Would recommend this cruise even though it is during typhoon season. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Poor guest services. Reported room with noises. Later a broken water pipe outside our door. Two days with noisy air dryer outside door with cords going past door entrance. Complained to guest services and they did nothing. Just smiled and ... Read More
Poor guest services. Reported room with noises. Later a broken water pipe outside our door. Two days with noisy air dryer outside door with cords going past door entrance. Complained to guest services and they did nothing. Just smiled and said they would fix it. A few days later the hair dryer was smoking and sparking and killed the electric outlet to dryer. They brought in a handheld dryer until they could replace the permanently attached one. Then back to the air dryer on the floor again. This has been the worst cruise experience and feel overcharged and inconvenienced without even a hint of credit or room change offer. Since there were Carnival and Princess name plates on staff I feel we got a low budget Carnival cruise but paid for a Princess experience. I have traveled a lot. Princes always seemed to be fair but this trip in combination with Carnival staff was horrendous. A bad storm was coming into Japan so we passed two ports and headed towards our final port. It was a bummer. The other bad part was not being able to get off in Yokohama early to maybe see Tokyo. We were stuck on a ship, redirected to a different port then skipped two other ports to just sail until we reached our destination. Also, do not use the EZair as they gave us the worst flight times in early morning, twelve hour, seven hours and an overnight layover to get to Japan, then an early morning return flight. Do not understand why they use American airlines to get there and Delta for the return flight. Would have been nice to have only one airline to deal with. Terrible flight times and not coordinated with port arrival and departures. Consider this your warning or heads up on the poor EZair flights. Will never use EZair again. Diamond Princess boat is old from 2004. Stated refurbished in Feb 2019, but I could not see what was updated. The atrium staircase is worn out. Carpets and furnishings are dated. No any time dining on Diamond in Japan cruises. Twenty dollars extra charge for lobster and crab for dinner. It is really more a Carnival low budget cruise than a Princess experience cruise. The dining room takes the filet mignon and slices into small pieces to call it medallions. Skimpy portions in dining room. Horizon food court has the typical flavorless food items. Worn out napkins. Bed was comfortable and had many layers of pillow toppers on it. Shore excursions are pricey. Many ports there are low cost shuttles to the fireworks and parades. I recommend the low cost shuttle versus the over priced excursion and reserved seat (shared bench) to the fireworks and parades. The shows are very small actually a person juggler, one person magic act, small music numbers, nothing really to write about. Long gone are the days of full production shows. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We went on this cruise with some friends because we wanted to take a cruise in Asia and it had to be in a very limited 3 week time frame. Cruising out of Hong Kong to Japan was very easy because it required no special visas. ... Read More
We went on this cruise with some friends because we wanted to take a cruise in Asia and it had to be in a very limited 3 week time frame. Cruising out of Hong Kong to Japan was very easy because it required no special visas. First, the cruise itself was very enjoyable. We all enjoyed the ports of call and the cruise staff. However, the Voyager itself is in a sad state. I had seen the reviews beforehand lamenting the state of the ship, and I took them with a grain of salt. Once I got on the ship, I saw for myself that she is in a state of fairly bad disrepair, especially for a Royal Ship. I know that she is going into dry dock very soon to get 'amped' but that is no reason for the company to let the ship fall into this state. On first appearance, the ship has way more rust than any other Royal ship I have seen. When you are returning to the ship from port and look up, it is very evident and looks bad. I am not sure why they havent spent more time cleaning this up The elevators were a very bad problem. 2 of the 3 forward starboard elevators were broke all 9 days. As for the central elevator usually 1 of the 4 was out at all times on both sides. Sometimes 2 elevators would be down. Additionally, even when they were generally working, there were times that they couldnt stop at certain floors because they doors wouldnt open properly. There were also problems at many bars where equipment was malfunctioning or broken, such as with soda dispensing. They also had a lot of AV and IT issues when setting things up for events in the public rooms This was all very disappointing and I expect better from Royal. I am not sure if it is just this ship, or how things run in Asia in general. Overall, the staff was great. The Cruise Director staff was wonderful, Specialty restaurant staff was great, cabin staff was great This was also my first time on a cruise where the majority of passengers did not speak English. Most of the passengers here spoke Mandarin, so many of the events were held in Mandarin. One thing I like was they added a Hot Pot as a specialty restaurant in the Windjammer at night. It was a really good idea and we went twice Overall, I enjoyed being on the Voyager, I just hope that they can fix all her problems in dry dock and they dont let her fall into disrepair again when she is done Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We have cruised HAL in a number of locations but really wanted to try one of their smaller ships. We also were very interested in the EXC program and the itinerary around Japan. As always HAL knows what its doing-embarkation, ... Read More
We have cruised HAL in a number of locations but really wanted to try one of their smaller ships. We also were very interested in the EXC program and the itinerary around Japan. As always HAL knows what its doing-embarkation, disembarkation were fine. The captain did an excellent job of avoiding (as much as he could) typhoons which caused him to shorten our time in the last port. The lectures/talks were good. Dr. Kam was excellent and covered a variety of topics related to Japanese culture, art, customs. He explained much about Japanese society, habits and norms. The ship is a bit 'tired' and needs some renovation especially in the cabins. There were scratches/mars all along the baseboards, there was a crack in the sink, a dent in the tub and signs of rust/wear in many places. Wallpaper was beginning to peel. Public spaces seemed to be okay but cabins not so much. HAL personnel were friendly,helpful and efficient (except when they got to chatting with customers and ignored other customers). Entertainment-the jazz quartet was very good; the piano/violin not quite as good and the other singer in the lounge was pretty bad although he attracted a large following. Shore excursions-we took 2 HAL excursions for Shimizu and Otaru. They lived down to our expectations. The guide on the bus for Shimizu was not very good, did not give us good instructions (like wait for her to pay for our admission to the shrine) and that was disappointing. In Otaru-the guide was marginally better and the Herring Mansion was well worth seeing but I'd recommend grabbing a taxi and doing that on your own. We used "Tours by Locals" for Osaka, Vladivostok, Hakodate-they were great and that is definitely the way to go. While the HAL tours sped by, we were getting in depth information as well as seeing things the tours missed. In Kanazawa we used Kanazawa Tours and they also did a very good job. HAL ran shuttle buses in a couple of ports and that was very good. In some of the smaller cities, the 'passenger terminal for ships' was located far from the downtown or other areas of interest. But many of the cities were clearly delighted to see the ship and sent out bands, entertainment,balloons to welcome us which was fun. The other issue with the cruise was the weather especially in the Southern Japanese ports. It was hot and Very humid-to the point of sapping energy and really making it difficult to enjoy doing much of anything. I realize that HAL was running this cruise as part of a trip from the West Coast of the US but perhaps it should consider doing it in the spring or fall when the humidity might be more manageable and less chance of typhoons/cyclones. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Maasdam is the oldest vessel of HAL. I was skeptical about the condition of the ship. I was wrong. The ship is in excellent condition, very clean and easy to navigate. The cabin is big with lots of storage .. However the TV was ... Read More
Maasdam is the oldest vessel of HAL. I was skeptical about the condition of the ship. I was wrong. The ship is in excellent condition, very clean and easy to navigate. The cabin is big with lots of storage .. However the TV was disappointing, very old and usually there was no signal in in port like Yokohama. There is only one outlet and we had to ask for an extension cord. Food in the dining is good. We had dinner one night in Pinnacle Grill. It was good but not much better than the dining room and we didn't go back. Canaletto is of good value. We had extremely hot weather, 35 plus degrees in the first week, except in Korsakov, Russia which I think is a waste of time. There is absolutely nothing interesting there. Japan was hit by two storms during our trip. In Hakodate we had to sail early to return to Yokohama . Hakodate is an interesting little town. Five hours is absolutely not enough. We enjoyed all the entertainments especially the lady pianist. We love HAL. We will definitely return soon Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Chose this cruise because it was going to Singapore , what a mistake , smell of sewerage everywhere , our toilet kept blocking up .Over crowded ,swimming pool was more like a bath tub .Had to wait hours to get on and off ship by tender ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was going to Singapore , what a mistake , smell of sewerage everywhere , our toilet kept blocking up .Over crowded ,swimming pool was more like a bath tub .Had to wait hours to get on and off ship by tender .Staff as usual were excellent hpwever management treated everyone lime cattle .Never again ,got charge for visa to Timor , only out about the day before we arrived there , then price went up 33 1/3 % overnight . Lined up everywhere for food , half the time couldn't get a seat when dining or for shows . Found most ot the staff who were higher up in rank rude and arogant . The ship itself is old , there is rust everywhere and bits were actually falling off .A lot of the facilities were out of order and were never fixed the whole time we were on the cruise . Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise is aimed at the Chinese market. Facilities on offer including food menu reflects this fact. Very limited choices and the menu’s all have pictures much like MacDonald’s. Baseball caps, shorts and general weekend wear is ... Read More
This cruise is aimed at the Chinese market. Facilities on offer including food menu reflects this fact. Very limited choices and the menu’s all have pictures much like MacDonald’s. Baseball caps, shorts and general weekend wear is accepted in the dining restaurants therefore no need to pack jacket, ties or evening gowns. Splash pools on deck are used by swimmers determined to do many lengths as possible leaving little room for those who wish to relax. Extremely difficult to find a seat in the windjammer as whole families occupy tables for hours on end, despite announcements by staff. The same applies to the casino. Disembarkation is restricted if you do not book one of the organise excursions. On the plus side the places, beaches & people in Vietnam are amazing. Unable to get into the Ice show having tried at every opportunity Overall very disappointed with this cruise. We are currently Emerald members. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We had 4 days to Thailand from Singapore. 'Palace' Package is sadly not 100% as advertised. Our too high expectation might disappoint us in few areas. The team in Singapore before boarding is catastrophic. Told us to wait and sit ... Read More
We had 4 days to Thailand from Singapore. 'Palace' Package is sadly not 100% as advertised. Our too high expectation might disappoint us in few areas. The team in Singapore before boarding is catastrophic. Told us to wait and sit somewhere, where no sit available! They must train the people better. The team leader came to us and apologized and brought us directly to the Lounge. The Lounge can't be compared with Business Lounge at airport, really below those from airports. The Cruise including every thing was built in Meyer Werft, 2016, proud as German to see the quality. The Suite is worth the money, almost 40 sqm. The accuracy of every join, tiles, wall, ceiling is perfect as we know this kind of quality in Germany. If you see the gap between doors and body of Mercedes or BMW, you will understand. Can use credit card and find out that the gap always same, not getting bigger or smaller. Faucet from HansGrohe as well many other built in components are those I know from Germany concerning quality and perfection. 5* for the ship and cabins. 'Mark Best' Australian restaurant was so disappointing, became 'Mark Worst' for me. I lived 3 years in Rosebay Sydney and never experienced that. Couldn't eat the Wagyu meat because was marinated so sweet, although done perfectly concerning tenderness. A waste of expensive Wagyu meat. They could use cheaper meat, you will not find the difference if marinated like that, 2* for it. All waiters and waitresses are well trained and accepted the critics. They told us its first time they tried to do that way. The waiters get 5* in Mark 'Best'. We're afraid to try here again. The crews, waiters and waitresses in the cruise are very polite and helpful, 5*. The Teppanyaki as always. Nice to see the performance of the chef, all depends at the end of the quality of the meat, 5* for chef acrobatic and meat. Silk Road First class Chinese Restaurant has good Ambient, but the food below many high class Chinese restaurants around the world. 3-4* for food and 5* for waitresses. I missed also the 'decor' of food on the plate for all those 'First Class' restaurants. Restaurants above 3-4* we know presenting the food on the plate much better. We are actually 'minimalist' concerning design in house, but those 'decor' too 'minimalist'. The 'Palace' guests have a total separated area of around 2400 sqm, own jacuzzi, pool, gyms, restaurants and bars, so not crowded at all. 'Normal' passengers are not allowed to use the facilities from 'Palace'. They separated us from Taxi Drop from others, including first Embark and first Disembark. We had two 'butlers' whom we can call 24h a day in case we need assistance or help. But they were same time responsible for few other 'Palace' guests, not just for us. We could see how nervous they were sometimes trying to answer calls and pleased the other 'Palace' guests same time. Genting dream cruise tried here to save money on cost of the employees. They brought us new fruits and chocolates everyday. If you like to have privacy and avoid crowd, worth the money to get 'Palace' package. You can drink as much as you can, wine, whiskey, cocktails and so on. We didn't do it because of our baby. They served us better buffet in the 'Palace' restaurant than the 'Normal' restaurants and important for us, we have more privacy and not crowded. The chef is a humble person and came always to us asking our opinion about the buffet he is offering during the 4 days. Good Sashimi as entrée always there for every meal. I would give as average 4.5*, but it doesn't have this option. 4* is too low in relation to what we get for the money. Our baby of 10 months old must pay 30% (all below 2Years), but we couldn't make use of their 'panda' program (above 2). We might do it again next year with friend to other destination. Read Less

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