4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
There is not enough time to see anything on land, even on tours. Food is so so and the same dishes are repeated over the week. Drinking water is not free in the restaurant and ridiculously expensive. Entertainment on board is boring and ... Read More
There is not enough time to see anything on land, even on tours. Food is so so and the same dishes are repeated over the week. Drinking water is not free in the restaurant and ridiculously expensive. Entertainment on board is boring and are outdated even for seniors. The cruise ship is too small and not ther is enough to do. Even the swimming pool is so small, just like a whirlpool. In general, the restaurant and bar staff are very friendly and accommodating. Most of them are happy to serve, even if you can tell that they hardly have any break. The service is the only one I have really good to say. Embarkation and going through immigration takes so long, at least an hour, when you only have 4-5 hours after disembarking. Overall, it’s a waste going on this cruise. If you expect to see Japan, fly directly to Japan and skip this cruise. There are also hidden fees that they won’t tell you until you are booked. They will also require for the tips on top of the cost. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This was supposed to be the cruise of a lifetime for me and my wife. It was our 30 year anniversary and we couldn't have been more exciting. We boarded in Yokahama Japan looking forward to our mini-suite, Queen bed and all the ... Read More
This was supposed to be the cruise of a lifetime for me and my wife. It was our 30 year anniversary and we couldn't have been more exciting. We boarded in Yokahama Japan looking forward to our mini-suite, Queen bed and all the comforts of Princess Cruises. We arrived at our room D732 and excitedly entered only to be surprised by a room that looked much smaller than advertised with twin beds, no bathtub, 22inch TV screen facing beds! What happen to our Queen bed, bathtub and greeting Champaign, Fruit and Chocolate? I knew there was a mistake and promptly informed our stateroom attendant who promised to return with a supervisor, which didn't happen for over 2 hours. I finally when to the front desk to explain the.mistake, we booked a mini suite. We were told that they were very sorry but the ship was full. There was no way we were going to take a 23 day (anniversary) cruise sleeping in separate beds, no tub in a handicapped room! We ask if we could disembark, cancel the cruise, we we're told that it was too late and that they would I've us a.s.a.p. whatever that means! every day for the next week I went to the front desk hoping for Golden Princess help us. When they finally sent someone to our room, it was with the idea to put our 2 twin beds together. We would have been ok with that but we were told that it can't be done because the beds would block the balcony! So D732 is not a mini-suite not capable of queen bed configeration. So we prayed and waited.... We also noticed (after a couple days) that we were very cold. We realized that the balcony door was sliding open letting cold air in. We reported it right away. A fix it guy came but informed us that he could not fix it because they didn't have that needed parts. It took 2 weeks before the problem was (not fixed-term rigged) addressed. During that same time that we were cold, sleeping in different beds we noticed that the heater in the room did not work, which we reported right away. The response was to.give us ”extra” blankets until they could fix the problem... Which they did 12 days into a 23 sat cruise. So, you can imagine the anxiety, stress and depression we we're dealing with. On top of all that, my wife when to use the toilet and found it was not working. I had had enough and stormed to the front desk but this time there was a ton of people in line ahead of me complaining that there bathrooms weren't working. We were ask.to use the public bathrooms until they got it fixed. The ship is old and decapitated and should be dry docked for.good! .I talked with.many of the understaffed crew who down to the last one started that they are having more problems now with the ship than they ever have. Buyers beware: Anyway so back to D732. If you go right now to Princess Cruises .com and look up there state rooms, you can type the number of a room and pictures will come up to give you an idea of what the room looks like. When you type in D732 a picture of a gorgeous room comes up with a glowing duscription.... If you go a little further you will notice a ”more information” button. If you go here... several layers down you will find out that nothing previously started pertains to this room... Though they book it as a ”queen mini-suite” it is not. Princess should be ashamed of using these methods to deceive people. I can not even begin to describe all the troubles, hardships and suffering we dealt with in D732 but even the crew of this ship say that this room should not be used. Our 30-anniversary Golden Prencess cruise nightmare. I would not wish it on my enemies. I hope that no one has to go through this suffering for 23 days on any cruise but you have.been warned. Stay away from the Golden Princess it is an old ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this cruise to visit Northern part of Japan. Staffs were all friendly and efficient. It is impressive to see many staffers are bilingual - announcements were in English and Japanese. The only disappointment was Diamond no ... Read More
We chose this cruise to visit Northern part of Japan. Staffs were all friendly and efficient. It is impressive to see many staffers are bilingual - announcements were in English and Japanese. The only disappointment was Diamond no longer offer anytime dinning. Also there was NO port of call session for introduction of the ports. However port info and map did gave out late evening prior to arrival. New in Princess - they recently introduced "Club" services that we're not aware of at booking. Basically some cabins are designated as "Club" level - members dine at a designated dinning room for breakfast and dinner throughout the cruise. Elite lounge has good view and services were excellent - special discount drinks from 5-7pm. Overall it was an enjoyable cruise. We're Elite members - have not cruised with Princess for couple years due to disappointment in previous one. Diamond changed our mind ! Read Less
39 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This cruise was titled "The Festivals of Japan" and it only happens once per year. If you have a chance to sail on this ship at the appropriate festival time, grab it!!! Four of the ports of call visit coastal communities during ... Read More
This cruise was titled "The Festivals of Japan" and it only happens once per year. If you have a chance to sail on this ship at the appropriate festival time, grab it!!! Four of the ports of call visit coastal communities during their festival times when you will see singing and dancing in extraordinary costumes and viewed by tens of thousands of spectators. What was particularly special about this cruise is that you are fully immersed in Japanese culture. Of the approximately 2500 passengers, approximately 10% were not Japanese, and of the 10%, we were split between Americans, particularly Hawaiians, Australians, Canadians, some Brits and Europeans. Announcements were made in Japanese first and English second. The food primarily is Asian, but there was lots of choose from for more traditional American tastes. There is always a salad bar, lots of cut up canteloupe and honeydew, 2 soups at lunch and dinner--one asian and one not. I would say that the food was 4 star--quite good! I loved the afternoon scones with cream and jam which you can have in the International Dining Room or at the buffet Horizon Court. Portions in the dining room are particularly tiny, but you can always ask for more. Since I'm a big eater, I preferred the Horizon buffet so I can sample everything and go back up for seconds for those items that I preferred. The ship is a nice size--not too big and not too small. I have cruised about 6 times now and I don't particularly see much difference between rooms on different ships. I had an interior room to save some money and it was more than adequate for one person and the layout was comparable with other lines. The evening shows which I attended were quite enjoyable, although I tended to watch "Movies under the Stars" and munch the freshly popped popcorn. There is a gym and golf course but I did not use these activities. My main reason for writing this review is to help people with the shore excursions. In almost every port, Princess provided free shuttles into town. So, I would suggest savings yourself some money and just doing excursions on your own. For more detail: Akita: the shuttle drops you off at Kenmin Kalkan which is the Akita prefecture hall and the central location for the evening Kanto festival. I brought my own folding chair and was laughing at my friends who sat in the hot sun waiting 2 hours for the festival to start. I showed up right when the festival began, at 7:15, found a place to sit, and left just before the end to avoid the crowds upon leaving. Once again, I was on the free shuttle back to the Diamond Princess. Aomori Nebuta festival: The festival is performed twice--during the day from 1 to 3pm in the town and then in the evening on the water. My group paid for seats, but in fact they had to stand and had difficulty seeing the floats. I went during the day for free on the shuttle and found some shade from the relenting sun but was up close and personal! I hate to complain about the heat when I was in the shade and performers were dressed in elaborate costumes and they were dancing in the sun!! The children dancing are my favourite! Once again, I brought my chair. The shuttle drops you off at a wharf one block from the parade. In the evening, the bridge is raised so you either have to go into town prior to the 5pm lifting of the bridge or you can't go. Once you are at the festival, you have to stay past 10pm until the bridge is lowered. I'm so glad that I went in the afternoon!! At the end of the festival, the people of Aomori make a splendid fireworks exhibition which can be seen from the ship. I would suggest seeing the parade in the afternoon and saving the $129 fee, but you can make your own decision. Sakaiminato: the Princess docks at Showa south warf with complimentary shuttle to Sakaiminato station. Busan, South Korea: the shuttle whisks you to the Phoenix Hotel, right across from the Fish Market and BIFF square. Again, no need to take a tour. I went on a tour to the Beomosa Temple, which was very nice, and then we spent and hour in the Market. It was enough for me. Busan was a surprisingly modern city and the tour to the temple took us on the 50 minute drive through the city, so it was interesting to see this. Kochi: the shuttle bus takes you close the action and drops you at the bus terminal in town. From there you can walk to the Castle area, particularly in the "malls" which have shopping and respite from the sun. I did this in the morning and came back to the ship for the afternoon. Then, around 6:30 pm when the sun went down, I headed back to town for the festival. It was simply too hot to be out in the sun during the day. Tokushima: this is the one city where I would recommend signing up for the Festival. The shuttle does not go into Tokushima, but it goes to Komatashima and from there you can take a train to get to Tokushima, but I was worried that the train would be full. (you can check the train schedule at hyperedia.com. ) I spent the day on the ship and paid for the festival tour at night. I didn't take the shuttle just to explore the area as I didn't think that there was much to see at the Komatshima shuttle stop. Yokohama: I took the free shuttle from the ship to Sakuragicho Station. Many of the people in my group took the shuttle from Princess to the airport but their flights weren't until 5pm. I didn't wan to sit in the airport for 8 hours. At Sakuragicho station, there is an information booth and they will store your luggage for 500 yen (approx $5) for the day. From Sakuragicho, I walked around the harbour area--seeing the giant ferris wheel, went to the Red Brick Warehouse, through Yamashitacho park, up through China town and back to Sakuragicho station. This walk took about 2-1/2 hours. Then I found a shuttle bus from Sakuragicho station to the airport!!! I was so happy to find this, rather than drag my luggage to Yokohama station and then to the Limousine Bus to the airport. Warning: the airport bus direct to Haneda only operates in the morning, but it turns out that it picks up a short 5 minute walk from the station at the Yokohama Royal Park Hotel--which looks out over the amusement park. This is a high end hotel and the concierge was marvelous and held my luggage for the 10 minutes while I waited for the bus. The bus is run by the Keiku bus line and I used my Passmo card to pay for it (740 yen). The bus goes to the Red Brick Warehouse, Yokohama Prefecture office, Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu and Rose Hotel Yokohama, which is in Chinatown. Definitely bus a Passmo or Suica card at the airport when you arrive in Tokyo. I put the equivalent of $30 on it, and when you go back to the airport to leave Tokyo, you can go on the 2nd floor of airport to the Keikyu office and they will give the cash back which is left on the card. When I arrived in Tokyo, I took and the airport bus which went close to my hotel and it also goes to various stations. I was a bit afraid of the trains and didn't want to lug my luggage up and down multiple platforms and risk getting lost! I stayed in the Ginza area for 3 days prior to the cruise. P.S. If given the choice, definitely fly to Haneda which is approximately 20 minutes from Yokohama or Ginza whereas Narita is very far and very expensive to get to. Another tip: rental a pocket wifi. This way I had internet everywhere that I went including some times when the ship was on the water. This is much cheaper than the ship wifi. I understand that some USA people can get unlimited wifi for $29 but in Canada, it is much more expensive and limits on the usage. If you go, you will have a great trip!!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Festivals of Japan Cruise. Great way to see different festivals. Saw the itinerary the year before on the northern cruise around Hokaido and said we gotta go on this one. Booked it. Four festivals in the cities of Akita (Kanto Festival), ... Read More
Festivals of Japan Cruise. Great way to see different festivals. Saw the itinerary the year before on the northern cruise around Hokaido and said we gotta go on this one. Booked it. Four festivals in the cities of Akita (Kanto Festival), Aomori (Nebuta Festival), Kochi, and Tokushima. Two other stops in the town of Sakaimoto and the citiy of Pusan, So. Korea. We took the Diamond Princess the year before so very familiar with the ship. I like the how it's geared for the Japanese, the cool toilets if you're in one of those cabins, the Japanese bath. Ramen available. You could tell how Princess really did their homework working the the various cities to be able to get the cruise passenger to and from the festival. During the Nebura Fireworks show, there was mention thanking the Diamond Princess for donating the fireworks that were going off. You've never seen a fireworks show till you've seen this one, almost two hours long with the floats going around the bay. What I liked was that we got to experience the night life at each on of these cities. Most cities you go in on a cruise you're in there in the morning and out the evening. Not this one, left the cities 11 - 12 at night, I loved it hospitality that each of the cities offered. In Kochi, the winning team of the dance festival came out and performed before our sail away. It was like 11pm at night. This cruise needs to be on your bucket list. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
I did the 10 night Hokkaido Cruise with Nebuta Festival on the Diamond Princess. Initially booked a standard balcony cabin but was offered an upgrade to a full suite pre-departure for a small fee so I accepted. Embarkation: I turned up ... Read More
I did the 10 night Hokkaido Cruise with Nebuta Festival on the Diamond Princess. Initially booked a standard balcony cabin but was offered an upgrade to a full suite pre-departure for a small fee so I accepted. Embarkation: I turned up at 1pm as directed to on my card and went straight to the front of the elite and suite area and boarded immediately. I had my own carry on luggage in hand being a 60 litre travel bag and back pack which contained all I needed for my cruise including formal attire. Safety Drill: I mention this because on this sailing it became a inconvenience where I noticed many passengers tuning out and becoming rather impatient with the long and mundane announcements at this safety muster. Any safety information critical to be passed on would have been lost as passengers lost interest due to the length an ridiculous and needless information being sprouted at this drill. The announcement was in both Japanese and English and myself being able to speak Japanese recognised that the Japanese announcements were more direct and to the point and had much less waffle and hot air and irrelevant garbage passed on in the English announcement. I am also elite with Princess and have been to many of their muster drills and feel that they expanded on it far too much that passengers lost interest. The safety issue was that no one was paying attention by the end. Ship: The ship was in excellent condition with the rooms well looked after. I did not notice any damage, cosmetic or wear and tear and nothing significantly wrong with the ship caught my eye. In fact it would be hard to believe the ship is at least 11 years old. Dining: Due to 1,300 passengers being Japanese and a mix of European and around 400 British, 400 Americans and 300 Australians the entire dining was traditional with a set table. This worked fine and was much like the standard dining Princess offered. On the first night I had a complimentary pass to the steak house which was located in a rear portion of the Horizon Court. In my personal opinion I feel that any time dining could have been offered on this ship given the mix of nationalities. I can speak Japanese and many of them could speak some English. It would have been nice to allow passengers who agree to anytime dining to sit with each other who could speak the language and interact over dinner. Entertainment and Activities: We had three production shows this cruise due to late nights in some ports we had some local performers come on board to present shows as well. The entertainment was the same great standard Princess offered. On the port visit to Aomori they had the summer Nebuta Festival running which was the theme of the cruise. This festival was easy to get to on the free shuttle and it was easy to find street side free seating along the parade route. Many passengers opted for the high priced excursion here but that was totally unnecessary as it was in walking distance from the ship also. Service: This cruise there were very few drink waiters walking around on the upper decks by the pool so I had to approach the bar if I wanted a drink. Below decks there was adequate staff who would come. Service was outstanding and very friendly. I had opted for the pre-payment of gratuities and there was no pressure for more money and there still was a service charge to all drinks but still it was very reasonable prices. The bar staff got to know me by name and would have any previously bought bottles ready for me on arrival. They had good suggestions about drinks as well. Ports and Excursions: Being a cruise around Japan there had to be an international port being Korsakov in Russia. It was basically essential for us to take an excursion in this port if we did not have a visa. I found this port rather boring with nothing impressive to see and merely a convenience port for getting "international" status of the cruise. In all other Japanese ports I did my own thing and managed to explore more attractions than what the ships shore excursions offered at less than a quarter of the cost. I am able speak enough Japanese to get by and was able to use their trains and buses without incident and was able to effectively cover all interest points listed in the Princess shore excursion brochure plus more points not listed. As Japan has a very reliable public transportation system and a little to no crime rate I felt very safe and comfortable doing my own thing and would happily do it like this again. Overall I really enjoyed the cruise and it definitely had the Princess feel to it. I enjoyed travelling around Japan and would love to do more of this type of cruise again next year and am so glad they have a ship like the Diamond Princess doing this. Before and after the cruise I was able to do my own self exploration of nearby Tokyo, Yokohama and Yokosuka. Read Less

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise