We embarked at Hong Kong.Should have been Ocean Terminal but changed to Modern Terminal,a container port,which incurred a taxi fare of around Â£25.
Checking in was relatively easy and fairly quick.
We had booked a guaranteed o/s large cabin with allocation on arrival.(we were told the cabin no.2 days prior to departure).The cabin was a good size, queen bed,and bathroom had tub as well as shower which was good.
Public areas very clean as was our cabin.
Rotterdam Restaurant was good.On 2 nights a little slow,but overall, very good.Food was tasty and good selection.Not continually pestered by photographers, which made a change from other ships we have been on.
Entertainment average only.When in port at Shanghai,a group of girls came onboard to perform acrobatic moves.They were absolutely brilliant!! How they got into the positions that they did,was unbelievable! The best entertainment of the cruise!
Docked in centre of Shanghai,the Bund and Padong directly opposite ship.Buildings were illuminated at night which made for good photos.Spectacles very cheap in Shanghai.(prescription pair Â£12 )!!!
The old town with its pagodas was good to see.
The Great Wall in Bejing is best visited by onboard cruise tour.Long journey to get there and very difficult to negotiate if doing it on your own.The pollution in Bejing is bad.You can taste it, and there is a permanent 'fog' hanging.Summer Palace pretty but not enough time allocated to it as time spent in heavy traffic in Bejing.
Dalian our next port but never took a tour.Went shopping.
Pusan in South Korea was interesting.The ship was charging $69 each to see the Beomeosa temple and
Jagalchi fish market.We did it ourselves by taking bus 66 from outside cruise terminal to Lotte dept.store where the subway was situated (10min ride).We took subway line 1 (orange line) from Nampo(111) to Boeomosa (133) which took about 25 mins.Outside subway we took a taxi up a very steep hill(about 2.5km) to the temple.We returned in the same manner. When we reached Lotte dept store on return, it was a 10 min. walk to the market where EVERY type of fish could be viewed.The market was HUGE and well worth a vist.We returned to he ship by taxi which was very cheap.The total cost for 2 of us for everything wasÂ£14!!!! All the stations are numbered which made it relatively easy to negotiate.
Nagasaki was really nice and very easy to see on your own.We came out of the port and turned left where a tram stop was situated in the middle of the road.We got a tram into town and then changed to another to take us to the Peace Park(approx 20 mins in total). The museum,epicentre etc are all situated around the same area.From there we took another tram to see the Kofukuji temple and Spectacles bridge which are near to each other.We walked back towards the ship via a large shopping area and onto Glover Gardens,which is situated opposite the ship.Cherry blossom was out all over Japan which made everywhere look lovely.
A day ticket for the trams can be obtained for 500Yen (about 4 pounds) which allows you on any tram as many times as you wish.
Disembarkation in Kobe was smooth and we were transported to the Belle Vue Garden Hotel near Kansai airport for an overnight stay.The hotel was nice but nothing going on in the area so we decided to go to Osaka Castle.we took the local train from Isimisani station and then changed to the Osaka loop line which took us direct to the Castle.All stations are numbered and signs also in English which made the Castle relatively easy to find.The Castle was huge and very picturesque, especially with the blossom in full bloom.Nice walks around the castle with picnic areas everywhere.The journey took around 45 min. and cost about Â£15 return, for both of us.
We have cruised wth HAL before and have really enjoyed this itinerary.
It was different.
We would recommend this to anyone thinking of doing it.