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4 Night Asia Cruise from Shanghai

4 Night Asia Cruise from Shanghai

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Spectrum of the Seas
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Shanghai
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Kagoshima
  • Day 4
    Cruising
  • Day 5
    Shanghai

Spectrum of the Seas

Spectrum of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International


Cruise Reviews

Mostly agree with the last few reviews on this site. Readers who are interested in the suite areas, or a short sailing out of China may find this helpful. Departure City: Shanghai is a vast city with quite of lot of things to do, but ... Read More
Mostly agree with the last few reviews on this site. Readers who are interested in the suite areas, or a short sailing out of China may find this helpful. Departure City: Shanghai is a vast city with quite of lot of things to do, but we had limited time there and explored it independently. Easy to get around on the metro if you have a map. Embarkation: very large queues were skipped, very rushed feel with large crowds milling about, but you do need to flag to embarkation staff if you have priority Disembarkation: we elected to leave late, but despite lack of priority, was swift Ship: Large, modern and spacious - feels similar to Ovation, with similar crowd concentration - elevators can be crowded at times, with pushing/shoving at peak times (eg subway in China/Japan at peak hour) - back of the ship (270 area) tends to be much quieter unless there is a show happening there - no overcrowding in the Silver/Gold areas, Solarium seems particularly empty except for a number of children and their supervising parents/grandparents Cabin - very new, modern, no damage/rust yet - very little thoroughfare, quiet, as in the Suite section, which is mostly cordoned off from the rest of the ship - close to the lounge, immediate access to the Solarium, far from other parts of the ship Dining: overall, Western-styled food is not as good as it is on other ships (we did not try Chops, though), but the Asian food is much better - room service menu fairly standard for an RCI cruise, with the addition a few Asian-styled dishes - set dining menu in all restaurants, with more options than you would find on a standard RCI cruise - Silver Dining: buffet with some Asian flavours. Had a great pork/ample combination in breakfast - Gold Dining: standard RCI breakfast menu, slightly more Asian flavours for lunch and dinner, but definitely Western options available - Sichuan Red: good Asian flavours, known for spicy food as per the cuisine (you can request milder, or no spice, although you would probably miss out on the experience) - Hotpot: worth going for the experience if you've never done it before, they provide separate pots if you prefer not to engage in communal dining, though it is better with more people, selection of cakes for desserts (didn't try), lots of Asian fruits, mangoes - Wonderland by DaDong: same environment (down to painting the menu) as other ships, food is OK (less "showy" than the usual Wonderland, peking duck is good - Teppanyaki: reasonable to watch the chef cook/theatrics, especially if you have not seen it before, meat is well cooked to your liking Entertainment: caters from Western/Eastern audiences, usually by minimising any actual dialogue. However, the cruise director speaks about 90% in Mandarin and 10% in English, usually limited to the communicating the essentials. - Silk Road: good theatrics/props/theme, lots of dance numbers with recognisable modern tunes, story is a bit disjointed, but a fun watch nonetheless, kids will love it - The Effectors show: about superheroes of special effects (choreography, sound, light, pixels), mostly decent execution representing each part, decent villain, not complex story (due to no voiced dialogue, only singing), kids will also love it - Showgirls: past, present, future - more classic RCI entertainment as the start is reminiscent of the shows in the smaller ships, but builds up to something that you might see in equivalent ships, no real story - Funny Bones comedic duo: starts slow, like a standard magic show, but the gags get much more involved with fun props, there is no dialogue and any spoken parts are purposefully unintelligible so you can interpret from the tone, body language - very clever - Shops: wide selection of shops that you might see on other similar class ships (the Royal shop, jewellry, handbags); there is also JClinic, which seems to be Japanese alternative medicine store catering only to Chinese passengers as there is no translation to English, there is also a pharmacy which sells all manner of medicines, some that I have never heard of (the packaging is mostly in Japanese). Some of the activities on Quantum Class ships that are normally free now require payment (eg iFly, trampoline, laser tag) Not many dancing activities, trivia, and no bingo If the crowd is predominantly Chinese, as ours was, you should expect a low buzz of chatter at every stage of a show. There is often a rush for seats/viewing space in the non-reserved seating and after the reserved seating is opened to the floor. Service: Friendly, attentive service in the suite lounges and specialty restaurants. Most staff will understand English. Not everyone will understand Mandarin, presumably as it is an English-speaking cruise line.. Bar service is excellent as there are absolutely no queues. It is particularly good in the Suite Lounge during Happy Hour, as most of the other guests are Chinese and don't seem to drink very much. I can't speak for service in the MDR or WJ as we did not go there. However, WJ looked very crowded whenever we went past and did not seem very appealing for that reason. Ports: Fukuoka we travelled independently in the ports - there were limited offerings for Western excursions, with most Chinese guests travelling in tour groups - the cruise terminal was a short taxi ride to Tenjin/Hakata, but you can also purchase a bus+train pass (day pass, 800 yen) from the nearby tourist centre, which allows you to take the bus to these places and around the central city area Would happily go through the same experience again, perhaps on a longer cruise as 4 days is hardly enough. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My husband and I decided on this cruise because it was so culturally immersive. We left out of shanghai and embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. Make sure you write out the name of the cruise port in Chinese if your taking a taxi ... Read More
My husband and I decided on this cruise because it was so culturally immersive. We left out of shanghai and embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. Make sure you write out the name of the cruise port in Chinese if your taking a taxi there because the drivers don’t know English. Also make sure they use the taxi meter so your not over charged. We got a balcony cabin and the room was super spacious and larger than other regular balcony rooms in other ships. We had cabin 9160 and it was awesome. The entertainment and announcements were all done in both English and Chinese and they did an awesome job. The ports were all amazing and it was the first time this ship had gone to Vladivostok and Kyoto so we had an awesome send off from the locals on the pier. All the staff onboard were awesome and super friendly. Everyone speaks English on board as well as most can also speak Chinese. The food was so yummy and the menu was huge every night! I would defiantly cruise again on this ship! The shows were well rehearsed and better than the ships in the Caribbean. The only thing was the shopping wasn’t the greatest on board. It was all super high end shops. The pools and hot tubs were never ever busy and super easy to find a chair. They do not have walking waiters by the pool or shows for drinks so be aware. There is no bingo on board either if that’s your thing. This ship is so different from the ships in the Caribbean but everything was great! There is always lots of activities to do presented in both English and Chinese. The ship never felt crowded even in the windjammer! They have a great variety of both western food and Chinese food which is awesome to give new things a try. Kyoto Japan was our favourite port of call so if you go make sure you get the motor coach into the city with royal! Vladivostok was really pretty and the locals were all very nice. You cannot go ashore without a visa or booking a tour directly with the ship so we booked a tour. Fukuoka japan was great too but the prices of merchandise was higher here. We also did explore dazaifu and you get free time to shop! Great tour! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Spectrum of the Seas Since this is a rather unique itinerary and a new ship, I thought I should give a quick review from the perspective of a regular RCCL/Norwegian/Oceania U.S. cruiser. This cruise was seven days to Tokyo with three ... Read More
Spectrum of the Seas Since this is a rather unique itinerary and a new ship, I thought I should give a quick review from the perspective of a regular RCCL/Norwegian/Oceania U.S. cruiser. This cruise was seven days to Tokyo with three ports: Osaka, Kobe, and Tokyo. We made our way to the Port of Shanghai around 11:00am. Quick drop-off of the bags (and quick delivery to our cabin) and we were into a very nice port facility. I suggest you keep your eyes on the signs as there are opportunities to fast-track through some lines. Waits were not bad and signage did inform you of what stage you were at (about five in the process due). We were on the ship before noon and explored some of the top floors and hit the pool/spa before the crowds. Cabins were ready at about 3:00 and the muster drill around 4:30 (the new video – no need to bring lifejackets or go out to the boats). We did bring a dozen water bottles (suggested) on board in our packed bags and a bottle of Chinese fortified wine in our carry-on without issue. Cabin. We selected a balcony cabin on the 7th deck. We were quite pleased with the layout, spaciousness, and design. The ship was only on its second month, so everything was nice and well-appointed. As you look at the profile of the ship, there are hundreds of balcony cabins – it is quite the site. We found we appreciated having a nice cabin as we spent more time here than usual on sea days because we needed space to veg away from many of the very loud, stressful guests. The Ship. Common areas, elevators, etc. all were very nice. Unfortunately, some of the really nice spaces on sister ships are now gone in order to make more room for casino spaces. Yes, the workout room is tiny and treadmills were never available so I spent my workout time on the walking/running track. Food. Well, that’s been a highlight in the past for cruises we like to take and I’d have to say, for someone from the U.S. this will be quite a disappointment. We had been in China for a few days prior so we felt like some “American” food so we hit the Windjammer only to find a small segment of sandwiches and hamburgers. Ok, so I grabbed a bun, tossed on a burger and pickles, found some cheese at another line and gave it a shot. I also waited for some hot french fries (ketchup packets available at another location). The burger was a solid C- grade with the fries making up at a B+. My wife got a sandwich with some unique looking deli meats for a C grade. On the way out, I did grab a slice of pizza which was pleasantly well cooked (color on the bottom!) and tasty! Moving on, we went to dinner in the MDR that night. The menu is a bit different as now there are pictures for the 3,000 or so Chinese guests on the ship. There are about 10 starters and 10 entrees to choose from. Yes, we’ve got funky stuff here (which is worth a try) but you should be able to find one or two items on each list that would be of interest (so not really much of a selection). And, there’s always the “generic” menu of Caesar salad, Onion Soup, Steak, Chicken, Salmon as an option. On one evening our waiter let us know that they’ve been informed that their guests want dinner to only take 45 minutes, so cocktails, app’s, dessert, coffee are not emphasized or really offered. That doesn’t really work for the way we like to start our evening (let alone, for a ship this size, there’s hardly a bar to be found to have a cocktail). Breakfast in the MDR is a very similar experience – very limited “normal” selection so I suggest going to the Windjammer or the Café@TWO70. The whole food emphasis is to try and upsell to the specialty restaurants. They say this cruise is under-priced due to Chinese policies/restrictions and RCCL makes up for that by charging for anything they can think of. There was a three-dinner package for $99 + 18% and a four-dinner for $125 + 18%. So, if you want to pay $40 for a meal, that’s available. We had been to all of the restaurants on a previous cruise so we only chose to do Chop’s this time. Ports. Immigration in Osaka was quite easy – yes, lines took a while but in less than an hour we were on our way (there are 4,000 people or so on the ship). We took the ship’s tour to the castle and Dotinbori street in Osaka as taxis are rather overpriced and Didi is only in Simplified Chinese (no English) in this location. That worked out well and the $65 fee was fine with us – as well as some education and history along the bus ride. We found private guides for Kona and Tokyo prior to sailing. Entertainment. This is for sure a highlight. The first night was Showgirls – Past, Present, Future in the Royal Theatre. There were so many people in this production! – at least 18 girls dancing, a dozen guys, and four singers on stage at the same time. I wouldn’t miss this one. The acrobatic team, Gold Art Duo, is also another that should not be missed. The Magician, Duck Cameron, was entertaining but nothing much new – he did make quite a few of the guests uncomfortable as he dragged them up on stage. The Aura Cover Band was quite good in the Music Hall. Unfortunately, the piano melodies with Filmore Flores was disappointing (a Canadian who got the job because he plays, sings (kinda), and speaks a bit of Mandarin. And, we really missed an acoustical guitar in a pub as that location is a Tea and Coffee shop (not many going there – this will change) on this ship. As you can guess, we passed on paying for the iFly and Northstar as we had done them on another cruise for free. The Spa. We have traveled with this cruise line over the years and greatly enjoy our time in the spa. So, believing that the experience would be similar to all our others we booked a couples’ massage for the first and last day at sea. Granted we booked a couples’ massage and thought we would be in the same room, but this room was having “situations” so we were separated, on both days. Vicky was my attendant for the first booking and she was fabulous! She provided what was expected in a deep tissue massage. Unfortunately, my husband did not have the same experience, I was not sure if his expectations were too high, but unfortunately they were not. The last day on ship we went for our other appointment, we had the same attendants, so we switched and I took Fanglu the attendant my husband had. If we had been in the same room, the attendance would have preformed the same service and it would not of varied in quality. I was extremely disappointed that the massages were so different, I was expecting this to be similar to my first. On-Board Shopping. This was pretty much a feeding frenzy when the sales were on. I would have guessed there were no stores in China the way people grabbed and hoarded as many items as possible. And, I imagine most of them were “made in China.” Crown & Anchor. Well, we’re only Platinum, but NONE of the following benefits were on board this cruise!... • Onboard Offers are preloaded to your SeaPass card. Refer to your onboard Welcome Letter for details. • Priority Check-in • Private departure lounge with Continental Breakfast • Exclusive Top Tier Event • Signature Lapel Pin …just so you know! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
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