7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We enjoyed the cruise around Japan with the view to visit Hirosaki Castle Park for Sakura or Cherry Blossom which usually peak between 22Apr to 1May. It was our main highlight and we cherished the beautiful sakura. Short 15min walk from ... Read More
We enjoyed the cruise around Japan with the view to visit Hirosaki Castle Park for Sakura or Cherry Blossom which usually peak between 22Apr to 1May. It was our main highlight and we cherished the beautiful sakura. Short 15min walk from port, 40 min direct train trip from JR Aomori to JR Hirosaki and 20 min walk to Castle. Park entry was free. Views were fantastic. Public holiday due to Emperor Hirohito abdication and Emperor Naruhito ascending to throne, meant the place had lots of food stalls, crowd and festive ambience. Feel very safe and pleasant throughout. Cruise overall was alright. Weather and food was good, generally. Enjoyed the Princess production shows like To Be Born Wild ( rock n roll ) and Secret Silk ( great display of props but audio vocals were muffled eventhough seated in centre of thearte ...needs imporvement). Other guests entertainers were a bit dull but I give credit to Dominic Duo at the Wheelhouse Bar. We danced to their tunes. Food quality and service in the main dining room were alright but not always in the Horizon Court as it is very busy with people and lacks the ambience. Food quality can be unappealing sometimes. Same goes with breakfast room service. Did not use the pizzaria but enoyed the matcha ice cream from the parlour. Port visits were not that attractive but there were farewell local dance and Samurai performances in Sakata and Aomori. People were very welcoming and taxi drivers were very polite and very fair in their fares and please take back any small change and receipt given out of politeness to them. No need for tips. Service with a smile. We did a bit of shopping in downtown Busan after we figured how to use their Metro. Get entry to right train platform as you can't walk over to the correct platform if wrong like other city metros. We wasted our ticket but it is alright. A small price to pay for the adventure. Busan was lively downtown in Art Street. 1 USD to 1000 Won ans 1 Aud to 800 Won. Prices are in their 000s. A small drink at a street vendor cost me 3500Won or 3.5USD. Views across Kanmon Straits between Kyushu and Honshu, was interesting if you happen to know about the great sea battles fought here that created the Kamakura Shogunate in 11th Century. However, I much prefer the nightime view of Busan Bridge which changed colours every 30 seconds. Our ship sailed under it at about 10.30pm. on its way to Sakata. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise was a mistake.The cost of the shore excursions was over the top in price.We were following one shore excursion and you could not understand the Tour Guide anyway so thank god i didnt pay for that.Every time they had an ... Read More
This cruise was a mistake.The cost of the shore excursions was over the top in price.We were following one shore excursion and you could not understand the Tour Guide anyway so thank god i didnt pay for that.Every time they had an announcement over the ships intercom you had to then listen to the whole thing again in Japanese and some times this could take up to 5 mins. Another let down was the rundown condition of the Club Class Mimi Suite we had.It is starting to show its age and for what you pay it just isnt good enough.You could hardly open the door to the balcony, the area around the fridge was horrible with screw caps hiding holes from who knows what.Cabinet doors that did not stay shut. Draws that did not slide to open and the list just goes on and on.But i think the main problem was the Shower being over the bath.Do they not get that most of the people on board are elderly and find it extremly hard to use this setup.The only thing that saved this trip for us were the people in the Club Class restaurant who were the best and they are George Gilbert and Pachi i thank them very much for making every meal experience amazing,Thank you again Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Leisure 2 week cruising on two separate 1-week legs: first leg around Hokkaido and Russian Siberia (which I did not do). Second leg: cruise around Honshu with a stop in Korean port of Busan. Loved the grilled uni, whelk and scallops at the ... Read More
Leisure 2 week cruising on two separate 1-week legs: first leg around Hokkaido and Russian Siberia (which I did not do). Second leg: cruise around Honshu with a stop in Korean port of Busan. Loved the grilled uni, whelk and scallops at the Hokkaido fish market stops. Same room,B408, on Baja Deck midships with a balcony, port side. Embarking at Yokohama unpleasant with a large air hangar- type building with no a /c. Port shore excursions expensive. Did my own sightseeing. Need to pay $10 per passenger for shuttle bus from most pier to downtown areas in Japan.Need to get local maps at the port terminals and know the Mass transit bus, train and applicable ferry services. Do advance tour book reading of Lonely Planets one month before and know some quick Japanese phrases in their glossary. I did Hiroshima Atom Bomb Museum and Memorial by tram and the famous floating shrine, torii, by ferry. I like the last stop, Sakata, where I had free sake and, a Green tea demo by friendly hs kids practicing their English and helping lost tourists get back to the shuttle (me). I went to the 100 yen floor of a local department store to get souvenirs for my friends and co-workers back in the States. The folks in Sakata gave us a farewell dance by ladies in traditional kimono. Saw a dragon dance. Saw a mock samurai sword fight. An orchestra played American military and patriotic tunes as they waved farewell to us at sunset dockside as the ship pulled out. Got that on video with balloons released. Touching. Overall food in the MDR ok. Buffet on Horizon Deck with a ramen noodle bar was better. Formal night ok as some folks dressed up to the max. Repeat fares and theater performances on both legs a minus. Another minus was a medical evacuation of a fellow passenger which caused a 6-hour delay in returning to Yokahoma for the completion of my first leg of cruise. Those passengers completing their cruise had to reschedule their airline flight departure for later flights if available!!! Lesson learned : buy travel insurance as most of those passengers needed it. Me, I got a $25 refund on my costly internet service in the event of calling my airline as I made my flights independent of Princess Cruises. A plus as I dragged my bags off ship first at 730am and hailed the first taxi to Haneda (not Narita) for $90USD for my wife and I, for a 1030am flight to Hong Kong. Flexibility is key for unanticipated delays like typhoons alerts and medavacs. Also add 2 days before and after for pre- and post-excursions of Tokyo and Hong Kong. JimWofFlushing, USA. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Celebrity is one of our favourite cruise lines. The staff are always friendly and so helpful. The facilities on board are all good. Our cabin was as expected. The captain is one of the best we have experienced on all the cruise lines. The ... Read More
Celebrity is one of our favourite cruise lines. The staff are always friendly and so helpful. The facilities on board are all good. Our cabin was as expected. The captain is one of the best we have experienced on all the cruise lines. The entertainment team were excellent especially Paul the cruise director, who was a very talented performer in his own right. We ate breakfast and lunch mostly in the Ocean View which always had a good selection of food. The areas were always kept clear and it was never too difficult to find a table. The Main restaurant on deck 4 for the select dining was easy to use. The staff were well organised if the restaurant was busy we had a beeper to call us to the restaurant when they were ready for us. Once or twice we had to request the food to be a little warmer but the staff were very obliging. Melwin the somellier was excellent, remembering our favourite wines and was very attentive. Anwari was one of our favourite waiters too. My husband booked the Tuscan grill for my birthday but it was very disappointing. The food was served cold. Considering there were only 20 people in the restaurant the service and food should have been far better. Although the staff replaced the meals it took the edge off our celebrations. Due to this we would not bother again and would not recommend the restaurant. It was well overpriced for what we had, The ports and shore excursions were good. Travelling with friends on this occasion made it a very memorable cruise Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
It was a good trip and nice. Some of staffs were excellent, but not all of them. Entertainment show is only provided 1 per day at the theater. (it should be twice because there are 2 of seated dining choice (5:30pm & ... Read More
It was a good trip and nice. Some of staffs were excellent, but not all of them. Entertainment show is only provided 1 per day at the theater. (it should be twice because there are 2 of seated dining choice (5:30pm & 7:45pm). So we didn't much enjoy daily show on time, and it was too late to get seat when we got there after our dinner. We expected more menu selections especially dessert. Some shore excursions includes meals on trip but not an optional at all, not for passengers who has allergies, food restrictions/limitations, health issue &religious matters--they should've had at least vegetarian, gluten-free... Shore excursion = ok, but 1 of our 3 guided tours was not good. Our guide was not knowledgeable and less prepared. Time length of visit each place was too short, and our guide did not check 9didnot know) a museum's closing time! so that we spent only 20 minutes at a beautiful Japanese garden/museum --we ran around to take pictures!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We did the 16 night cruise from Tokyo to Shanghai with an excellent itinerary. Access to public transport from all the ports was easy and readily available. Embarking and disembarking was relatively easy and all went very smoothly except ... Read More
We did the 16 night cruise from Tokyo to Shanghai with an excellent itinerary. Access to public transport from all the ports was easy and readily available. Embarking and disembarking was relatively easy and all went very smoothly except for Hong Kong. The ship ported in HK at 11AM. Apparently. some passengers did not have visas for China so no one could disembark until that was sorted out. We got off the ship at 3PM and had to queue over an hour for the shuttle buses as there were only three. The entertainment on board was very good and varied. We did not do any excursions arranged by NCL as we manged to travel around easily on our own using local taxis and trains. We had a mid ship Oceanview stateroom which was an adequate size for two people. We were on the right hand side of the ship, avoid this side if you can, as it docks on this side and can be very noisy on port days. We received an excellent service from all staff especially in the restaurants and the reception desk. The standard of the food was average, Holland & America had better quality food and presentation. Please find attached some of the daily itineraries. Great cruise to see the Sakura blossom. I suggest you download the Travel Japan Wifi app before you travel on the Cruise if you want to use free WiFi in the ports. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was a quick look at Japan with 3 days in Tokyo first. The Diamond Princess is very comfortable and looks beautiful but the layout can be confusing and we do prefer the smaller ships. Service was always friendly and efficient ... Read More
This was a quick look at Japan with 3 days in Tokyo first. The Diamond Princess is very comfortable and looks beautiful but the layout can be confusing and we do prefer the smaller ships. Service was always friendly and efficient and,compared to other lines we have been on, EVERY crew member greeted us on passing. We found having the majority of the passengers being Japanese worked OK but the 2 languages took away some spontaneity. We missed the lectures which we always enjoy. Horizon Court seemed to have less daily variety with the extra Asian offerings included. The morning cereal had less and less choices and they ran out of Vegemite (shock horror) All the entertainment was very good but we found the programming of sports and entertainment disappointing as we often missed favourite activities due to clashes. The shore excursions varied from great to ordinary and the organisation of meeting points as well as the customs requirements went smoothly. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary and a past Princess cruise which we had enjoyed. The embarkation process in Yokohama was a shambles with long queues for check in, then more long queues for immigration. Once onboard our ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary and a past Princess cruise which we had enjoyed. The embarkation process in Yokohama was a shambles with long queues for check in, then more long queues for immigration. Once onboard our cabin was ready for us. The cabin size and bathroom were adequate and it was clean. The bed was very hard and uncomfortable, and the bed linen was so threadbare it was breaking into holes! No crisp white sheets on this cruise! But the towels were good. The dining onboard was disappointing, compromised by the fact that the staff were catering to Japanese Culinary taste as well as western, and the Japanese outnumbered westerners on this cruise. Salads in the Buffet were plentiful, but vegetables in the dining room meals were not. The ship is large, has many bars and open seating areas, but does not have any quiet lounge areas where you can sit and converse or read a book, Yoy might find a quiet area but then an art auction starts, or trivia, or !!!!! It would have been nice to have a crows nest lounge quiet area but that was not available. SItting on deck in April was not an option either. The shows that we went to were good and the onboard performers were of a high standard. The activities staff were friendly enough, but gave you the impression that too many people were turning up to take part and they wanted to get it over with a.s.a.p. We enjoyed playing table tennis in an indoor area, (cruises usually put the tables on deck) and it was the one thing that we were able to do with players of many nationalities that overcame the language barrier. Japanese passengers were very polite and on shore very helpful. We had researched our ports of call and the highlight of our cruise was Sakaiminoto. A failure of the Japanese immigration computers led to long queues to go ashore, some people did not get off the ship until 1pm. THe Capt apologised and told passengers to put it behind them and get on with enjoying the rest of the voyage! We took a $5 shuttle from the ship to the railway station and boarded a free shuttle to the Yuushien Gardens. This was a delight! and on showing our passport it was 1/2 price entry. It was not an option on a ship tour. Ship tours were expensive and we only did two but on the whole exploring on our own was better. Onboard, we were captives to buy things! Drinks, Photo's, Art, Clothes, Beauty Treatments, and high value jewellery, as well as lots of junk. The ports in Japan were excellent, Busan in South Korea not so, just shops, a not so green park, and ship tours to a temple. Disembarkation was smooth, fast and well organised. Mainly I suspect due to us being on a Princess bus to the airport and we were the first bus, YEA! Overall, Japan was great. The people very polite, quiet and friendly. The country abounds with natural beauty, their parks and gardens are cared for and there is no litter anywhere. The roads are good, pedestrians are very disciplined and cross only on crosswalks on the green signals. We would not cruise with Princess again. Read Less

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