After our comfortable flight with Emirates to Osaka we had a night to relax in our hotel.transfer to the port of Kobe seemed to be well organised but on arrival at the embarkation it was absolute chaos.It took nearly 90minutes to board .endless queuing despite documents being in order.Not a good start to a 5 Star Cruise!
Our stateroom on the Verandah deck was as expected.our stewards were extremely helpful. No complaints.
However the food in the Rotterdam and the Lido were not of the same quality we had on previous cruises.we had fixed dining in the Rotterdam every night and soon discovered that the food was not served hot . We complained to the maitre d and had a very indifferent reply .(how dare you !) The stewards were very efficient being let down by the kitchen.
Entertainment was ok nothing outstanding .daily activities were adequate .
Travel guide information was good but information for the independent traveller was not very forthcoming .many of our fellow passengers did not like to be herded in large groups on shore excursions .The prices were so inflated too.
Nagasaki was ideal to explore on your own using public transport.the ship docked conveniently within walking distance.
Shanghai was the best port of call.We docked opposite the Pearl Tower. A fantastic view from our stateroom. We choose HAL because the smaller ships can dock in places not suitable for larger vessels.
However Hong Kong was The Great Anti climax.instead of the Ocean Terminal we docked at a container port without any facilities. Not only were we robbed of the spectacular entry into Hong Kong Harbour but wevended up in a backyard! The cruise information on your webside tells you that ships are docking at the Ocean Terminal,Downtown.
As a result disembarkation was a debacle. No taxis were available and your choice was you and your luggage were transferred to the Ocean Terminal.What a joke! The second choice an overpriced bus transfer to your hotel ($34 per head !) costcutting by HAL and a further opportunity of taking money of its passengers