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Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise because we were visiting China and it fitted in with our timetable. Decided it was a great way to get home instead of flying and hadn’t done a Princess Cruise before. We spent 10 days prior to the cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were visiting China and it fitted in with our timetable. Decided it was a great way to get home instead of flying and hadn’t done a Princess Cruise before. We spent 10 days prior to the cruise exploring Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu and Shanghai. The embarkation and disembarkation were a credit to Princess Cruise as was the organization for each excursion. We enjoyed the variety of ports, the food in the main dining room was good, but the food in the Lido on deck 16 was average. It was only ever lukewarm and very repetitive. The entertainment in the theatre left a lot to be desired and the continuous days at sea were long. Other cruises have run workshops, seminars and information sessions, which were replayed on the tv in your room for you to watch if the coincided with other things. Unless you were into dancing, bingo or casino there was very little to do. The crew were fantastic and it is the first cruise we have done where all the crew appeared to be genuinely happy and getting on with each other. These negatives only relate to a small part of the cruise and I would not hesitate to do another Princess Cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
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
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
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
8 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
16 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
10 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
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
Sail Date: August 2019
We booked last minute as the cruise was a great price. We had 4 days in Tokyo before the cruise.The weather was very hot and humid but it was good to leave our winter behind for a couple of weeks.we boarded the ship very smoothly only ... Read More
We booked last minute as the cruise was a great price. We had 4 days in Tokyo before the cruise.The weather was very hot and humid but it was good to leave our winter behind for a couple of weeks.we boarded the ship very smoothly only took about 10 minutes.Our balcony cabin was a nice size and very clean.We missed a port and the fireworks were cancelled due to the typhoon.We were given a future cruise deposit off booking another cruise by nov 2020, a nice gesture from princess. We did our own exploring and found it easy to get around and the Japanese people are helpful and courteousThe highlight for us was Miyazaki(aburatsu) We got the local bus from the bus station where the shuttle had dropped us Went to Obi castle So much to see coy-carp swimming along the storm water channel we also visited 7 museums all in the same area,it was very peaceful and hardly any tourists.The ship was very nice ,food in both restaurant and horizon was mostly good.We went to the crab shack which was very good.All the crew were great especially our cabin Stewart Silawan.our room was lovely and clean and she kept it nice for the whole cruise.Found the princess shuttles quite pricey.would have been better to pay per couple not pp. As we were on the Sapphire last year the entertainment was almost the same found the sound system very poor on this cruise.Missed not having the international cafe. My only regret is that the cruise wasn’t long enough.wish we had booked the next leg. Read Less
9 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
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
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise experience was horrible. There are too many people and the food quality is bad. We went to a pay French restaurant for $35 per person for my family 15 pp. The food was bad, we booked it because of the Michelin one Star. If ... Read More
This cruise experience was horrible. There are too many people and the food quality is bad. We went to a pay French restaurant for $35 per person for my family 15 pp. The food was bad, we booked it because of the Michelin one Star. If you do take this cruise, DO NOT go to any pay restaurants. The pizza bar is surprising good. The Gong Cha -Taiwanese famous bubble tea shop is horribly staffed and no skills......drinks are watery and waste of money. Ice cream bar tastes bad too, only ice, not milky. The international marketplace for buffet..the food was not good either. If it came out a good food, it will be gone in 5 mins. This is a charter cruise, so we are not in the tour group. So our dining is anytime and need to pre book ahead of time Going to the theater to watch the show is like going to a zoo. U need to line up one hour prior because it will be full in 5 mins except the first night, people did not know yet..... The stateroom is spacious with a decent bathroom - mini suite. I would book a small cruise and an America cruise route next time.... I tried Royal Caribbean Alaska route, it was much better. The shore execution time is very short....late embankment around 9am and need to be back by 4pm, not much can do/tour around since lunch will take 2 hours already. Read Less
33 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
5-day Keelung—Kagoshima—Busan: This was our 9th Princess cruise and our least satisfying. As stated in other reviews, the ship, food and on-board programming has been geared towards the Chinese market. While there is nothing wrong with ... Read More
5-day Keelung—Kagoshima—Busan: This was our 9th Princess cruise and our least satisfying. As stated in other reviews, the ship, food and on-board programming has been geared towards the Chinese market. While there is nothing wrong with that and while I applaud Princess for adapting to the sensitivities of its Asian market, what I don’t applaud is the total chaos that underscored the organization of this cruise. Two-hour check-ins, uncontained, unruly and loud behaviour in common areas, consistent slamming of state-room doors with yelling that could be heard through the walls, work-out and stretching rooms dominated by seminars during peak times, consistently huge line-ups at lunch and dinner, a 45-minute wait to retrieve our passport following the Japan leg of the trip, poor organization of excursions—in the case of the Japan one, we were asked to be in the theatre by 8:30 and didn’t hit the road until 10:20, total mayhem to re-board the ship. Ship staff yelled for everyone to get into single file but there were no defined walkways or roped off areas making it impossible for swarms of passengers to know where to go.The combination of large charter groups being led to and fro by barking tour guides coupled with defined times for dinner and excursions meant that congestion was inevitable. A number of ship personnel acknowledged that the system of multiple tour groups just didn’t work and they couldn’t wait until the cruise re-positioned itself in Australia. There was nothing relaxing about any of this cruise and the “escape completely” motto rang true only insofar as we wanted to escape the ongoing gong show. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
spent a week in Yokohama before the cruise, which was very nice. Embarkation was smooth and very quick. Cabin was great especially as you now get a kettle in the room, great if you carry you own coffee, well presented steward was ... Read More
spent a week in Yokohama before the cruise, which was very nice. Embarkation was smooth and very quick. Cabin was great especially as you now get a kettle in the room, great if you carry you own coffee, well presented steward was excellent. the T.V. now positioned on the wall also gave extra space and for a change there were some newer titles and interesting things to watch. Dining was traditional at a set time and our waiters and the maître d′ were brilliant I have allergies and they were careful to make sure that my food was correct so friendly. Only attended one lot of entertainment, as have been underwhelmed by shows before and found them to be too loud. Unfortunately this was also the case again, the show I did venture to see the singer was dreadful repeated words sung the wrong words came in at the wrong time and again way too loud. I lasted two songs before leaving along with quite a few other people. other activities such as learn basic Japanese, origami trivia ice carving were very good, and a special mention for the food presentation and galley tour this was very enjoyable the chef was very good cooking three meals but in a lighthearted and entertaining fashion, had more laughs at this than at the comedian. Ports very interesting did get annoyed at shore excursions, prices were higher if you wanted to be guided in English, and you spent less time at the interesting site, or attraction so that there was plenty of time for shopping. as an example in Okinawa we opted for the castle tour, spent an hour and a half at the castle and two and a half hours at the tourist market, which even the tour guide admitted was only for tourists and overpriced. Might be good for some but personally do not travel just to shop. Disembarkation went very smoothly and I was very impressed that you did not just take your luggage once ashore but that you had to show identification to a person there to prove which cases were yours. DId back to back cruises (16 days)so the entertainment and menu did repeat, but did enjoy the cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see more of Japan. There's six of us in the group (3 couples). We we like cruising (especially with Princess) and the timing fitted our schedule and the itineraries are excellent. We did a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see more of Japan. There's six of us in the group (3 couples). We we like cruising (especially with Princess) and the timing fitted our schedule and the itineraries are excellent. We did a 2-days pre-cruise tour of Osaka and Kyoto. The beginning the Japan walkathon we have to do. On 6/20, we boarded Diamond Princess at Kobe Port and the embarkation went on smoothly. Our cabin C507 (Mid-Aft) is perfect choice because we have to spent so many days to spend ashore. Our queen size bed is very comfortable and smell fresh. We chose the 5:30 pm dining at Vivaldi Restaurant which has a perfect location, closer to the lobby of the cruise ship. The services provided by the servers are excellent. They remember our tea and water preferences throughout the duration of the cruise. We love the food selection and the Bento Japanese Box for breakfast. This is quite an experienced, because this is the first time we have this type of meal. Until the end of the cruise we had this food every morning (with variety of fish each time). The live entertainment are awesome. You will never get tired watching Princess singers and dancers. There's variety of shows every night; magic, comedy, opera singers, band, etc. If you love to dance, there's ballroom and disco band to go to . During At Sea Days, we did Zumba, line dancing and participated at some games held at the Piazza. You can also watch Fruit & Ice Carving. Lots of things to do and see. Room Steward will clean your room twice a day. You never want to leave Diamond Princess. But everything has an end. Our disembarkation went very smoothly. By the time we get to the waiting area, our color coded schedule has been called. We love Princess so much, we put a deposit for our next cruise. Once you put a deposit towards the cruise, you will receive an on-board credit automatically. Since we love cruising with Princess, we had two cruises to come. We could hardly wait for our next cruise and shore excursions adventures! Read Less
34 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Princess contractors in ports were cheating customers insisting you have to sign register for tickets to get on free bus. Ship's management, which was well aware of situation, refused to adjust $45 on bill that fraudulently stolen. ... Read More
Princess contractors in ports were cheating customers insisting you have to sign register for tickets to get on free bus. Ship's management, which was well aware of situation, refused to adjust $45 on bill that fraudulently stolen. Spent $50,000 with Carnival Corp. this year. Asian food in dining room was outstanding, service good, improved wine program great, bought gold 12 bottle package. Beef entries were outstanding, salads were tasteless, with no salad main courses on menu. Buffet is repetitive, many treys stay empty, mostly tasteless food. Inside room was small but adequate, shower very small, new bedding is comfortable. Ship's service is very inconsistent and unprofessional. Supervision on floor is non-existent, when you get a manager they always say they don't have any authority. Would do this ship again except for the $45 issue, lets you me know how much they value customers, this was our 5th and last Princesscruise, we are 4star on HAL will continue with concern. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this itinerary for our first trip to Japan, and the timing worked with school vacation. We traveled as two families, with 2 teenage girls. We spent 14 days on the Diamond, with two back to back 7 day cruises originating in Kobe. ... Read More
We chose this itinerary for our first trip to Japan, and the timing worked with school vacation. We traveled as two families, with 2 teenage girls. We spent 14 days on the Diamond, with two back to back 7 day cruises originating in Kobe. We spent 3 days in Tokyo pre-cruise, and then flew to KIX with a Princess shuttle to the port. The timing was perfect, and we did not have to wait long to board. Free WiFi seems to be in all the ports in Japan, if you want to save money on internet charges. We did purchase the Princess premium package, and the internet was better than previous cruises, but still slow at times with some trouble logging in particularly when in ports. Our first cruise was 1,500 Non Japanese, 1,100 Japanese and the second week was 2,500 Japanese and 300 Non Japanese. The Movies Under the Stars, some shows and the menu repeated on the two weeks. I would have liked a different menu, but didn't mind the rest. We ate at 7:45 PM which allowed time to relax after a day in port, but didn't allow much time for shows, and rain made a movie in the cabin more attractive (the new TV's give you a lot of choices). The ability to sing and dance with the Japanese guests was tremendous, and we enjoyed our ability to interact (despite language barriers) with them. Activities offered for learning more about Japanese culture were numerous, and trivia was usually in both languages. Meals in the dining room were OK, our wait staff was so kind and entertaining that we ate there even when the menu was not the attraction. Our teens did not attend the teen club after finding out there were only 47 teenagers 13 - 17 signed up, with only 6 who were 17. The teens spent time on various activities and in the gym which was less crowded than other cruises. The ports are mostly far from the attractions and cities, so a taxi or shuttle are necessary if you are not on a tour. Princess does offer a shuttle bus for around $15 at most ports. We did not know this, and so signed up for a mix of Princess and private excursions pre-cruise. Japan is easy to navigate, and on a future trip I might do more on my own. In Summary, we would cruise Japan again, either in the North or perhaps for the summer Festival cruise. We enjoyed the staff on the Diamond, and would have no hesitation returning. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Chose this cruise because we wanted to explore Japan and these dates suited work commitments. Diamond shone, food was fabulous in the MDR and the ship was sparkling clean. Entertainment was the usual Princess offering with the need ... Read More
Chose this cruise because we wanted to explore Japan and these dates suited work commitments. Diamond shone, food was fabulous in the MDR and the ship was sparkling clean. Entertainment was the usual Princess offering with the need to grab a seat in the theatre 30 minutes early for the first show. We were disappointed to have a couple of excursions cancelled due to lack of interest (we were told) but went ashore on our own and had great personal walking tours regardless. Second time we booked an oceanview cabin, and on Diamond both the size and location on Plaza deck proved great. Same deck as our dining room, the International cafe and just under the casino. What more could you want? The lack of little snacks at the IC on Diamond is just a touch irritating if you want to have a morning cup of tea though? Find this all together odd ........ All in all a lovely cruise to Japan but we have now ‘been there’. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see more of Japan, we like cruising (especially with Princess) and the timing fitted our schedule. Spent a week in Shinjuku before we boarded, so had re-acclimatised to Japanese food and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see more of Japan, we like cruising (especially with Princess) and the timing fitted our schedule. Spent a week in Shinjuku before we boarded, so had re-acclimatised to Japanese food and culture before we arrived to board the Diamond Princess. We were in our stateroom within 30 minutes of arriving at the dock. Everything was clean, ordered and minor changes we asked of our Room Steward were done without question or fuss, while we were at lunch. Because we had done our research we knew that we had signed up for two, seven day cruises, beginning at Kobe, stopping again at Kobe mid way and disembarking again at Kobe but with a different itinerary of ports for each week. The Diamond Princess has been based in Japan for the season, so we knew that the cruise would cater mainly for the Japanese market and so expected that the majority of the passengers would be Japanese and that was the case. Of 2800 passengers, some 1500 were Japanese, about 800 were from the US and Canada and about 500 from Australia and elsewhere. Announcements were made first in English, then in Japanese. Written correspondence was available in both languages. Evening shows and entertainment were in English. We had four ports the first week, including Taipei in Taiwan and then back to Kobe for a day and five ports the second week which included Busan in South Korea. We did our own thing in half the ports, working out where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see and then doing it. The Princess excursions were expensive, but well organised and guided. We were glad of a sea day as our final day, just to rest up a bit before we disembarked. The dinner menu in the dinning rooms catered for both Japanese and western tastes with enough variety for all but the unadventurous or very fussy. Serves are small, but we always go to late sitting (7:45pm) and when you're sitting down to a five course meal with wine and good conversation, you don't need huge plates of food. Our table waiters were excellent, bringing extras to the table when we asked and with their recommendations of dishes and wine. Horizon Court is what it is . . a buffet, catering for a multitude of tastes. The quality of the food is of a good standard again catering to both Japanese and western passengers. We went to the Sterling Steak House for one dinner. The restaurant is set up in a partitioned off section of the Horizon Court but it's well done. The tables are set and the waiting staff are of the same caliber as you would expect in a restaurant. The meal was excellent and well worth the cover charge. All in all a great three weeks away and another enjoyable Princess Cruise. Read Less
30 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I've been on 9 cruises so far and this was my first cruise to Japan. I travel alone since everyone else is working and I am retired. This was my 5th Princess Cruise. The ship was clean and beautiful with all the woodwork and marble ... Read More
I've been on 9 cruises so far and this was my first cruise to Japan. I travel alone since everyone else is working and I am retired. This was my 5th Princess Cruise. The ship was clean and beautiful with all the woodwork and marble in great condition. However my dining experience was another matter. I ate lunch and dinner aboard Diamond Princess 18 May 2019. My set dinner time was at 5:30 pm. I got some bad sour cream on the bake potato at dinner. I threw up around 3-4am the following morning. I threw up several times in 4 sessions. I went to medical the next day and was then quarantined for 2 days and missed 2 days of my cruise due to the food poisoning. I missed the most important excursion at Hiroshima. I was also given a bill from medical for $191. I spoke to Princess about this insult to injury and was called by an arrogant woman who was the food and beverage director. She denied any and all responsibility for my food poisoning saying that no one else got sick so it wasn't her food and Princess would not cover my medical bills. I told her did this food poisoning just magically happen??? Also, a lot of passengers would never report it because they do not want to be quarantined. She did not want to hear it. I wonder if she did any investigation. How long did that serving dish with the sour cream sit out prior to 5:30 pm? How many people in my section were served from that serving dish of sour cream before it was dumped or changed? I know of two people who got sick from the food during the cruise. The food and beverage director did not have a clue!! After being cleared by medical I was so upset about the arrogance of Princess food and beverage director that I immediately went to the future cruise desk to cancel my next Princess cruise to Alaska in July. I was told I would incur penalties so I said forget cancelling it but I would never sail on Princess again!! I was a Platinum Member but this complete deniability by any wrong doing by Princess is disgusting!! It is a reflection of their attitude toward a lot of issues, one which is in the news today about polluting the oceans then arrogantly advertising how they care so much about the environment!!! Really your company pollutes the Oceans and you say you care for the environment!! Just my experience aboard the Diamond Princess which is the exact opposite of my wonderful dining experience aboard Grand Princess in March. Thank You Diamond Princess for letting me see how bad things really can be!! The entertainment and activities were average cruise productions, nothing to jump up and down about. Also, there were only 3 major shows which repeat every week so for me it was disappointing since my cruise was 2 weeks. The excursions were interesting but expensive, but it's Japan so you will be paying more. Also, expect a lot of walking on most excursions since a lot of the sites are on hills. Another point is expect going through immigration several times during your trip since you enter and leave Japan throughout the cruise. I would not come back to Japan again because there are a lot of places I still want to go to. Japan is crowded with a lot of pushing and shoving, think of Disneyland and that is what it is like. It is a one time visit place for me. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We arrived in Kobe the day before the cruise and spent the night at the Okura Kobe hotel down by the waterfront area. An excellent hotel with unusually large rooms for Japan and a mixed Japanese/International breakfast. Our room had a view ... Read More
We arrived in Kobe the day before the cruise and spent the night at the Okura Kobe hotel down by the waterfront area. An excellent hotel with unusually large rooms for Japan and a mixed Japanese/International breakfast. Our room had a view of the port and the cruise terminal from the 26th floor and also the exceptional Japanese toilet, which we wanted to take home! There was also a Starbucks on the waterfront next to the hotel which was handy for my wife’s coffee fix at midday before we set off for the ship. A 10 minute taxi ride had us at the terminal and we were processed fairly quickly and onboard in approx. 30 minutes, so off to a good start. The ship overall was well cared for despite its age with only minor signs of wear and tear, but nothing that would put anyone off. I particularly like the grand class for the internal layout and the large full walk- around promenade deck. We had a club class mini suite on the starboard side mid ship, having had the same on the Crown on our last Princess cruise. Lots of space, large balcony and decent sized bath. Also, probably, the only larger cruise ship with Japanese toilets! The main benefit of the c.c. for us is the dining experience. The Diamond does not do anytime dining in the main dining rooms unless you are c.c. in the Santa Fe dining room on deck 6. The dining experience was very good although the food maybe wasn’t always as good as on previous cruises. The head waiter, Raj, prepared an “off menu” choice each night within the dining area and on one night {after a little persuasion} he also cooked a selection of Indian foods from his homeland which was much appreciated. Due to the jet lag and some early rises we only made 2 of the shows but thoroughly enjoyed “The secret silk” and the high quality singing show on the last night. {sorry, forgot it’s name} The passenger demographic on this cruise was probably 60% Japanese with also a large number of people with Japanese heritage from the States etc. and a much smaller number of Australian/brits/Canadians. The atmosphere on board was probably the most courteous we have seen. On one cultural themed event my wife got to try on a kimono helped by volunteer passengers and the entertainment staff, many of whom spoke Japanese, which she loved. Most of the ports of call on this port intensive cruise were unknown to us beforehand but that was part of the appeal. Our first stop was Kochi. The Princess tours did nothing for us and were very expensive for what you got so we arranged a local volunteer guide along with some fellow passengers in advance and she met us off the shuttle bus in town. We spent several hours with her showing us the castle and the temple/botanical gardens on the hill outside town. We also had a traditional Japanese meal kneeling/sitting on the floor. Everything was in Japanese so we took pot luck! Probably saw more through the eyes of a local than on an organised tour. Onto Hiroshima the next day and we booked a Princess tour called “tram and foot” which, although we got to see the main sights in the centre of the city, was not what we had expected. The 2 ladies who ran it were polite and well meaning but I don’t know if a previous passenger had wandered off because we were herded around like an infant school class who had never crossed a road before! It started raining heavily towards our last stop at the beautiful Japanese gardens so we were glad of the bus nearby. Onto day 3 and Matsuyama. This was the first time the ship has called at this port. The ship arrived at the dock at approx. 530 in the morning to a large group of people singing, a band playing and children waving flags! This was happening a short distance from our balcony and certainly gave us {and most others} an earlier wakeup call than we had planned! We saw the funny and, well intentioned side of it, and hope the others who had been loudly wakened did too! As is tradition the Captain received a plaque from the city to be displayed onboard. We took the ship shuttle the short distance to the train station and then the train into the centre of the city. The locals had really put out the welcome mat for us all with lots of English speaking staff to give directions or helpful advice. We wandered about on foot and used the trams to explore and had a great day climbing up to the castle and seeing the old buildings around the city. They also offered a free trip on the Big wheel on top of the Station building when buying the train/tram tickets for the day. On getting back the port, again the locals had gone out of their way to welcome the passengers with shows and local crafts, tea ceremony demonstrations etc. which lasted even after we pulled away from the dockside. In addition they opened the port to the curious locals to come along and hundreds did to enjoy the entertainment and wave us off. A truly moving and memorable experience. Day 4 and the port of Aburatsu for the Miyazaki area. We chose another Princess tour covering both the castle and a small Island with a temple on it. The main reason for a Princess tour was the shorter time in port and the distances involved to get to the main sights. The weather was better and the tour guide treated us like the adults we all were. The castle was nothing special but we enjoyed the Japanese lunch at the Holiday Inn and the Island nearby that was linked via bridge. Final port day and a lunchtime arrival in Busan, South Korea. We booked an independent tour along with a few other passengers and had a great guide, Beth {not her real name which was too hard to pronounce}. She had lived in England and Edinburgh {our area!} for several months whilst studying and her English was very good as was her delivery of information. We were driven about the main sights including the cultural village which some say reminds them of Santorini {only if you’ve been drinking and never been to Santorini!} and had a Korean barbecue meal with the locals. Passed under the neon lit up bridge as we left port. An enjoyable day. A day at sea where we passed through the Kanmon Straits in the morning and under another bridge before hitting the open sea and some relaxation and a try on the totally useless putting green. Easy disembarkation and taxi back to the same hotel we had started from followed by a few days in Kyoto with family and another few days stop over in Dubai on the way home to adjust to the time difference {and enjoy the 40 degree heat}. Overall a good cruise made all the better by the amazing people of this country. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Chose this ship because it sailed to ports in and around Japan that I wanted to visit. Getting around in Japan is easy, we traveled from Kyoto on the day of the cruise by rail, you can take the shinkansen directly to Kobe or take a ... Read More
Chose this ship because it sailed to ports in and around Japan that I wanted to visit. Getting around in Japan is easy, we traveled from Kyoto on the day of the cruise by rail, you can take the shinkansen directly to Kobe or take a slightly slower train via Osaka which is what we did. Get of the train one station before Kobe and there is a tram which takes you directly to the ship, the tram cost about 200 yen, easy as. The ship is in good condition, but not as nice as some we have been on. Don't expect a party boat though, the Japanese are very conservative and most bars were as quite as the grave. Dining was a mixed bag, but mainly good. Breakfast as usual was plentiful with a good variety of western and Japanese food, The bacon was all american, wafer thin usually cold and cooked to cardboard, most mornings the eggs were luke warm, but you could order a hot omelette. Free ice cream Pizza and burgers all day to 10 pm. No such thing as a spicy curry on this or any other ship for that matter. Entertainment was very good but repeated itself after 7 days. Some entertainment was provided in the atrium but space was very limited and not up to the standard of other ships. As usual all staff were excellent, happy and glad to be of service. Shore excursions. Very very expensive if you team up with another couple, you can do it for yourselves in a taxi, by train or by bus for much less. Over all great ship, great ports and We enjoyed the cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary which was great and have travelled with princess a few times before.This cruise came up to our expectations which was good. The cruise was a back to Back cruise so the second weeks ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary which was great and have travelled with princess a few times before.This cruise came up to our expectations which was good. The cruise was a back to Back cruise so the second weeks entertainment was virtually a repeat of the first week but this was not a problem as we saw the shows when it suited us which was good. The ports of call were great. The staff on Diamond princess were terrific. Could not want for better . They were always cheerful and helpful , which is what we have come to expect from Princess. We had one little hick up with our dining which was rectified before the second night on board by the dining room staff which was much appreciated. Great ship and facilities. The embarkation and Disembarkation was smooth and fast. We were on board and in our stateroom within half an hour of arriving at the port. Read Less
45 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I liked the look of the itinerary. However, there was no porter service at embarkation. The two Korean ports were a first for this ship, and nearly no one spoke English in the ports. All onboard activities, including entertainers ... Read More
I liked the look of the itinerary. However, there was no porter service at embarkation. The two Korean ports were a first for this ship, and nearly no one spoke English in the ports. All onboard activities, including entertainers and cruise activities were conducted in Chinese. And there were no onboard acknowledgments for Elite Captains Circle members. The ships signage is predominantly in Chinese, and the ships map we were given was also in Chinese. Of the 4,000 + passengers aboard, less than 200 spoke English. Service was an issue, as not enough of the staff spoke Chinese, so language barriers slowed service throughout the ship. The room are nice, and the stewards were helpful. But make no mistake...this a "charter" cruise. Princess was the operator, but not running the ship. All menus, tours, dining and entertainment are geared to Chinese tour guests. If you're expecting a Princess Cruise, you will be severely disappointed and feel cheated. Read Less
48 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Most disappointed Princess Cruise after previous Sapphire, Royal, Regal and Diamond. We found the ship crowded with long queues, Bellinis and Vine became waiting area with tour guides and passengers, everyone rushing here and there, ... Read More
Most disappointed Princess Cruise after previous Sapphire, Royal, Regal and Diamond. We found the ship crowded with long queues, Bellinis and Vine became waiting area with tour guides and passengers, everyone rushing here and there, talking, burping and sneezing loudly. It was really chaotic and people took pictures everywhere including climbing up and down the equipment at the gym, and that there was this occasion where two ladies around their 60s and 80s were taking pictures in front of a backdrop and wouldn't stop posing and laughing until they lose balance and fell down with the backdrop and the Princess photographer was dumbfound. If you skipped the traditional and anytime dining queues, you'll also find long queue at the buffet lines strangely, we had to queue for buffet including waiting in front of sections that we were not picking up any food. Hand sanitizing was not policed after day two. Worse was World Marketplace buffet line was not open for the first (Nagasaki) and second (Yeosu) port day lunch, only the bistro was opened and at Yeosu, they had not enough food and we had long queue for nothing! Three pots of soup finished, empty sandwiches counter, and gone everything with the chef busy scolding and poor older cruisers who had problem walking, waiting, queuing, and surviving till their turn left with no food! Speaking of staffs, most of them were poorly trained, at times you feel like you're in Prison Break or Orange is the New Black, like our cabin steward, International Cafe, Alfredo, Crown Grill and LaMer, we had very bad experiences. But of course, not to mention some very nice staffs like Harmony, Internet service, Photography team, Spa, Gongcha and Noodle Station. The first day we entered our cabin, we already found bread crumbs on the floor. Hot water (shower)was gone on our floor 12 and the customer service had problems understand and paying attention to our call for help due to the same problem with many staffs on this ship, they assumed none can speak English so they were not paying attention to what you're saying! So we waited for 3-4 hours and called 5 times to highlight to them the problem, help only came after so many hours of wait. Same like the buffet staffs, if you say "May I have warm water please?" I got a reply "ah! Water! Hot or cold?". I interpret as "Ah!(you can speak English!" So "Hot or cold?(am not listening!!!)" And I replied "Just now I asked you-may I have warm water please" So after a few rounds of struggle, my friend suggested that I must do what they do, be rude and shout loudly what you want, for example "COKE! ONE!" And I learn not to be polite and speak in full sentences never mind they are from the Phillipines or wherever countries that should be familiar with English. The manager was most rude when we approached to make a reservation, he was speaking to his staffs and he gave us a hand gesture to wait and fiercely told us that he will be attending us in a bit. Dirty public toilets, smelly, clogged most of the time, soap finished. Shows at theatre were exactly like what other cruisers mentioned, they repeated the same shows. Well, no members lounge for disembarkation. And Keelung port was really bad and chaotic as well. So, no more Majestic for us, maybe will stop cruising with Princess for a while. Read Less
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