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15 Night Asia Cruise from Kobe

15 Night Asia Cruise from Kobe

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Diamond Princess
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Kobe
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Fukuoka
  • Day 4
    Pusan (Kyongju)
  • Day 5
    Kagoshima
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 7
    Tokyo (Yokohama)
  • Day 8
    Cruising
  • Day 9
    Akita
  • Day 10
    Kanazawa
  • Day 11
    Sakaiminato
  • Day 12
    Pusan (Kyongju)
  • Day 13
    Cruising
  • Day 14
    Osaka
  • Day 15
    Toba
  • Day 16
    Tokyo (Yokohama)

Diamond Princess

Diamond Princess - Princess Cruises

Pros

Far more cultural immersion opportunities than on the usual cruise ship

Cons

English speakers are often in the minority, particularly on shorter cruises

Bottom Line

A great, easy way to discover Japan and its culture


Cruise Reviews

Sail Date: May 2019
Chose this cruise because we wanted to explore Japan and these dates suited work commitments. Diamond shone, food was fabulous in the MDR and the ship was sparkling clean. Entertainment was the usual Princess offering with the need ... Read More
Chose this cruise because we wanted to explore Japan and these dates suited work commitments. Diamond shone, food was fabulous in the MDR and the ship was sparkling clean. Entertainment was the usual Princess offering with the need to grab a seat in the theatre 30 minutes early for the first show. We were disappointed to have a couple of excursions cancelled due to lack of interest (we were told) but went ashore on our own and had great personal walking tours regardless. Second time we booked an oceanview cabin, and on Diamond both the size and location on Plaza deck proved great. Same deck as our dining room, the International cafe and just under the casino. What more could you want? The lack of little snacks at the IC on Diamond is just a touch irritating if you want to have a morning cup of tea though? Find this all together odd ........ All in all a lovely cruise to Japan but we have now ‘been there’. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We arrived in Kobe the day before the cruise and spent the night at the Okura Kobe hotel down by the waterfront area. An excellent hotel with unusually large rooms for Japan and a mixed Japanese/International breakfast. Our room had a view ... Read More
We arrived in Kobe the day before the cruise and spent the night at the Okura Kobe hotel down by the waterfront area. An excellent hotel with unusually large rooms for Japan and a mixed Japanese/International breakfast. Our room had a view of the port and the cruise terminal from the 26th floor and also the exceptional Japanese toilet, which we wanted to take home! There was also a Starbucks on the waterfront next to the hotel which was handy for my wife’s coffee fix at midday before we set off for the ship. A 10 minute taxi ride had us at the terminal and we were processed fairly quickly and onboard in approx. 30 minutes, so off to a good start. The ship overall was well cared for despite its age with only minor signs of wear and tear, but nothing that would put anyone off. I particularly like the grand class for the internal layout and the large full walk- around promenade deck. We had a club class mini suite on the starboard side mid ship, having had the same on the Crown on our last Princess cruise. Lots of space, large balcony and decent sized bath. Also, probably, the only larger cruise ship with Japanese toilets! The main benefit of the c.c. for us is the dining experience. The Diamond does not do anytime dining in the main dining rooms unless you are c.c. in the Santa Fe dining room on deck 6. The dining experience was very good although the food maybe wasn’t always as good as on previous cruises. The head waiter, Raj, prepared an “off menu” choice each night within the dining area and on one night {after a little persuasion} he also cooked a selection of Indian foods from his homeland which was much appreciated. Due to the jet lag and some early rises we only made 2 of the shows but thoroughly enjoyed “The secret silk” and the high quality singing show on the last night. {sorry, forgot it’s name} The passenger demographic on this cruise was probably 60% Japanese with also a large number of people with Japanese heritage from the States etc. and a much smaller number of Australian/brits/Canadians. The atmosphere on board was probably the most courteous we have seen. On one cultural themed event my wife got to try on a kimono helped by volunteer passengers and the entertainment staff, many of whom spoke Japanese, which she loved. Most of the ports of call on this port intensive cruise were unknown to us beforehand but that was part of the appeal. Our first stop was Kochi. The Princess tours did nothing for us and were very expensive for what you got so we arranged a local volunteer guide along with some fellow passengers in advance and she met us off the shuttle bus in town. We spent several hours with her showing us the castle and the temple/botanical gardens on the hill outside town. We also had a traditional Japanese meal kneeling/sitting on the floor. Everything was in Japanese so we took pot luck! Probably saw more through the eyes of a local than on an organised tour. Onto Hiroshima the next day and we booked a Princess tour called “tram and foot” which, although we got to see the main sights in the centre of the city, was not what we had expected. The 2 ladies who ran it were polite and well meaning but I don’t know if a previous passenger had wandered off because we were herded around like an infant school class who had never crossed a road before! It started raining heavily towards our last stop at the beautiful Japanese gardens so we were glad of the bus nearby. Onto day 3 and Matsuyama. This was the first time the ship has called at this port. The ship arrived at the dock at approx. 530 in the morning to a large group of people singing, a band playing and children waving flags! This was happening a short distance from our balcony and certainly gave us {and most others} an earlier wakeup call than we had planned! We saw the funny and, well intentioned side of it, and hope the others who had been loudly wakened did too! As is tradition the Captain received a plaque from the city to be displayed onboard. We took the ship shuttle the short distance to the train station and then the train into the centre of the city. The locals had really put out the welcome mat for us all with lots of English speaking staff to give directions or helpful advice. We wandered about on foot and used the trams to explore and had a great day climbing up to the castle and seeing the old buildings around the city. They also offered a free trip on the Big wheel on top of the Station building when buying the train/tram tickets for the day. On getting back the port, again the locals had gone out of their way to welcome the passengers with shows and local crafts, tea ceremony demonstrations etc. which lasted even after we pulled away from the dockside. In addition they opened the port to the curious locals to come along and hundreds did to enjoy the entertainment and wave us off. A truly moving and memorable experience. Day 4 and the port of Aburatsu for the Miyazaki area. We chose another Princess tour covering both the castle and a small Island with a temple on it. The main reason for a Princess tour was the shorter time in port and the distances involved to get to the main sights. The weather was better and the tour guide treated us like the adults we all were. The castle was nothing special but we enjoyed the Japanese lunch at the Holiday Inn and the Island nearby that was linked via bridge. Final port day and a lunchtime arrival in Busan, South Korea. We booked an independent tour along with a few other passengers and had a great guide, Beth {not her real name which was too hard to pronounce}. She had lived in England and Edinburgh {our area!} for several months whilst studying and her English was very good as was her delivery of information. We were driven about the main sights including the cultural village which some say reminds them of Santorini {only if you’ve been drinking and never been to Santorini!} and had a Korean barbecue meal with the locals. Passed under the neon lit up bridge as we left port. An enjoyable day. A day at sea where we passed through the Kanmon Straits in the morning and under another bridge before hitting the open sea and some relaxation and a try on the totally useless putting green. Easy disembarkation and taxi back to the same hotel we had started from followed by a few days in Kyoto with family and another few days stop over in Dubai on the way home to adjust to the time difference {and enjoy the 40 degree heat}. Overall a good cruise made all the better by the amazing people of this country. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I've been on 9 cruises so far and this was my first cruise to Japan. I travel alone since everyone else is working and I am retired. This was my 5th Princess Cruise. The ship was clean and beautiful with all the woodwork and marble ... Read More
I've been on 9 cruises so far and this was my first cruise to Japan. I travel alone since everyone else is working and I am retired. This was my 5th Princess Cruise. The ship was clean and beautiful with all the woodwork and marble in great condition. However my dining experience was another matter. I ate lunch and dinner aboard Diamond Princess 18 May 2019. My set dinner time was at 5:30 pm. I got some bad sour cream on the bake potato at dinner. I threw up around 3-4am the following morning. I threw up several times in 4 sessions. I went to medical the next day and was then quarantined for 2 days and missed 2 days of my cruise due to the food poisoning. I missed the most important excursion at Hiroshima. I was also given a bill from medical for $191. I spoke to Princess about this insult to injury and was called by an arrogant woman who was the food and beverage director. She denied any and all responsibility for my food poisoning saying that no one else got sick so it wasn't her food and Princess would not cover my medical bills. I told her did this food poisoning just magically happen??? Also, a lot of passengers would never report it because they do not want to be quarantined. She did not want to hear it. I wonder if she did any investigation. How long did that serving dish with the sour cream sit out prior to 5:30 pm? How many people in my section were served from that serving dish of sour cream before it was dumped or changed? I know of two people who got sick from the food during the cruise. The food and beverage director did not have a clue!! After being cleared by medical I was so upset about the arrogance of Princess food and beverage director that I immediately went to the future cruise desk to cancel my next Princess cruise to Alaska in July. I was told I would incur penalties so I said forget cancelling it but I would never sail on Princess again!! I was a Platinum Member but this complete deniability by any wrong doing by Princess is disgusting!! It is a reflection of their attitude toward a lot of issues, one which is in the news today about polluting the oceans then arrogantly advertising how they care so much about the environment!!! Really your company pollutes the Oceans and you say you care for the environment!! Just my experience aboard the Diamond Princess which is the exact opposite of my wonderful dining experience aboard Grand Princess in March. Thank You Diamond Princess for letting me see how bad things really can be!! The entertainment and activities were average cruise productions, nothing to jump up and down about. Also, there were only 3 major shows which repeat every week so for me it was disappointing since my cruise was 2 weeks. The excursions were interesting but expensive, but it's Japan so you will be paying more. Also, expect a lot of walking on most excursions since a lot of the sites are on hills. Another point is expect going through immigration several times during your trip since you enter and leave Japan throughout the cruise. I would not come back to Japan again because there are a lot of places I still want to go to. Japan is crowded with a lot of pushing and shoving, think of Disneyland and that is what it is like. It is a one time visit place for me. Read Less
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