We booked on the Beijing to Bangkok cruise which has some amazing ports of call. We have done several cruises but never have we seen such a serious mechanical vibration which emanated from the engine room on the port side on the Diamond Princess. This spread through all of the decks and caused plates and tableware to rattle constantly. Luckily, our cabin was slightly aft of midships and so the vibration was less, but never the less unacceptable.
It was bad enough to vibrate some cutlery and glassware across our table in the steak restaurant on deck 14!! We only ate there once. It was not just when we were moving, it was there all the time. The ship also had "a propulsion failure" during the cruise which caused us to slow down, but this was fixed overnight. Maybe the two are connected. The A/C was patchy with some areas of the ship ice cold. The "Movie under the stars" screen packed in as well. This ship needs some major mechanical repairs.
Diamond Princess has poor sanitation control. No sanitizer was provided as we boarded at each port. It seems obvious to me that if you are visiting poor hygiene areas you will carry the bacteria back onto the ship. Lots of passengers had "cold like" symptoms by the end of the cruise. No sanitizers were provided for the restaurants, the only place they were to be found was the Horizon Court buffet on deck 14. Hand wipes were provided in the Internet room but this is a silly idea, hand sanitizers are needed here too, before you enter.
We found service on the Diamond Princess very patchy, not what we have experienced on other Princess ships. Service in 2 of the dining rooms in the evenings was excellent, service in the other one was dire. Table service at breakfast was very slow too. Bar service in the Explorers lounge was a hit and miss experience and on too many occasions I had to go to the bar in order to get a drink after waiting ages for a waiter that never appeared. The waiters were just chatting to each other at the bar. This area is badly in need of a sharp supervisor. In the end we stopped going into this lounge. By way of contrast, the service in the Crooners and Wheelhouse lounges was excellent.
We enjoyed the port tours with one exception. In Singapore the customs officials insisted on face-to-face passport checks. We were on a 4.5 hour tour starting at 9.30am. We didn't clear customs till 11am. But the tour came back at the normal time and so we lost 1.5hours off our tour. Very poor organisation, Princess should have kept the tour to 4.5 hours.
Brett the cruise director and his team were excellent and so was the entertainment. Not all to our taste, but I will say that Sammy Goldstien, the resident singer and entertainer in Crooners, was one of the best that we have ever seen. The Australian comedy magician, Phil "trust me" Cass, was excellent too, as good as we have ever seen on the strip in Las Vegas. The 5 production shows were all new to us and excellent.
Finally, the ship ran out of several types of wine. By day 10 we were down to one page of white wines and no rose wines at all!!! We bought a $29 wine package and we ended up with only a choice of lower price wines thereby eroding the so called saving. How can a cruise ship run out of wine?