Diamond Princess Cruise Review by johnh: South China Sea - Superb!
Member Since 2007
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South China Sea - Superb!
We started with a couple of days in a freezing cold but sunny Beijing to see the Great Wall and all the other Great Sights, including the excellent Silk Road Market,all brilliant!! We had a 2.5 hour car ride to the container port at Tianjin, but found the embarkation process quick and easy compared to our last experience in Miami.
Our cabin was about what we expected, but the bonus was a super comfortable bed. We were on the top deck (Baha deck 12)and had been warned that we should expect some noise from the pool/buffet deck above early in the morning when chairs got moved around, but we had no disturbance at all. Only draw back was being charged for water
We thought the organised excursions were overpriced, but the daily port lectures by the excellent Elizabeth Moran meant you could "do your own thing" with confidence, and far cheaper.
We couldn't go to Busan, S. Korea as advertised because of local issues with the North, but the extra day in Singapore more than More made up for it. Nagasaki and it's people were lovely. Shanghai - unbelievably good. Ditto Hong Kong, although we were the 3 years ago, still plenty to do. You needed to be a bit street wise in Nha Trang. Saigon excellent. Didn't do Bangkok having been before, went to a very tacky Pattaya instead. Kho Samui OK. Singapore; top of the order.
On Board we had formal dining almost every night sharing our table with a great family from Canada with whom we had great fun throughout the cruise.
Food was excellent at all times, and the Crew and Staff dealt with a Norovirus outbreak very efficiently. Plenty to do on sea days, if you want to. Drink prices seemed reasonable and the "cocktail of the day" was judged a bargain!Watching a movie at night out on deck under blankets - tip top. Great party night.
In fact from the Skipper right down to our steward, you could not find fault with anyone.Everyone was so helpful and made the trip fun. The earthquake in Japan happened 4 days after we had been there, and some guests were concerned about a tsunami, but the Captain kept us informed at all times and so "no worries"
Others have made comments about the size of the ship means docking in really boring, miles from anywhere, container ports. As a result you have to be bussed or tendered in to anywhere decent, which can impact on your time ashore. It is certainly a pain, but did not spoil our overall enjoyment of the cruise.
Finally, disembarkation at Singapore was reasonably smooth, a slight delay of 20 minutes from schedule.
We could do it all again tomorrow!! Less
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