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4 Night Asia Cruise from Hong Kong

4 Night Asia Cruise from Hong Kong

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Spectrum of the Seas
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Hong Kong
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Okinawa
  • Day 4
    Cruising
  • Day 5
    Shanghai

Spectrum of the Seas

Spectrum of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International


Cruise Reviews

My husband and I took this cruise - our first without our kids who are now both in university. We chose this cruise because we have always wanted to visit Japan but the idea of travelling there on our own was a bit daunting. We have ... Read More
My husband and I took this cruise - our first without our kids who are now both in university. We chose this cruise because we have always wanted to visit Japan but the idea of travelling there on our own was a bit daunting. We have cruised several times before and thought this would be a good introduction to Japan. We booked this without knowing we'd need a visa for China and truthfully, it might have put us off if we had known. The visa application was very long and expensive - but I'd definitely go through it again. We flew from London to Shanghai and had one night in Shanghai before the cruise started. We arrived Saturday morning, and after a short food break in the hotel, we walked around for a few hours. The next day we took a taxi from our hotel to the port in Baoshan. As westerners, we seemed to be ushered into a different line than the Chinese passengers and it was extremely quick (it felt discriminatory if I'm honest). We arrived at the port at 1:30 pm and were on the ship within an hour. We had booked a junior Silver Suite and it was lovely. We had a bathtub, sink/mirror and separate shower in one room, and a toilet and sink/mirror in another which was ideal. The cabin itself was spacious, tastefully decorated and felt more like a hotel room than any other cabin we'd had before. On the second day I asked our cabin attendant for a feather pillow and was very happy to find one on the bed later that day. The ship is beautiful, but we were slightly disappointed that the main dining room seemed to lack the "wow factor" of other ships we'd been on; no grand staircase and the decor was a bit plain. That was probably the only part we were disappointed with as there was comfortable, stylish seating all over the ship and finding a quiet spot wasn't difficult. As Silver Suite passengers, we had access to the private solarium which was beautiful, comfortable and very quiet. We were disappointed that we were not assigned a table in the Main Dining Room for the duration of the cruise as that had been a highlight of past cruises; getting to know our waiters and fellow dining companions. On the first night we sat on our own, although there were 5 couples in all sitting in a row, seated at the same time and served at the same time. It was almost like sitting at a large table, but not quite. We ate twice in the Main Dining Room and twice in the Windjammer and both were OK, but we felt the food was slightly below par compared to other ships we'd been on. As Silver Suite passengers, we had access to the Silver Dining Room (something we didn't really know much about before the cruise started) and the quality here was superior to both Main Dining Room and Windjammer with a buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus an a la carte menu in the evening. The a la carte menu was the same each night, but it was good quality food. We also had a few snacks in Cafe Two70, Sorrento's and Splashaway Cafe as well as special coffees in both Leaf & Bean and La Patisserie and were happy with the quality of all. Overall we were happy with the quality of the food, but this is mostly due to the Silver Dining Room (seafood lunch buffet on day 7 was a definite highlight) and we both feel the Main Dining Room and Windjammer should have been a bit better. As a note: the Bionic bartender was super busy on the first night, but really quiet throughout the rest of the cruise, so if you want to try it out (even just for the sake of getting a video) wait until at least the second day. Although there were several available dinner packages for the restaurants with supplements, we did not try any of them. As for the entertainment, we watched Showgirls, The Silk Road and The Effectors and all were very good, but The Silk Road we especially good - beautiful visuals and lots to look at. We also enjoyed the virtual fireworks and the piano player in the lift was fun, too. The only on-board activity that we tried was the climbing wall - my husband is a climber, so he had a few goes on several of the days. He found the sea days tended to be much busier than port days. One of the things I had wanted to hear about in other reviews is what to expect re: Chinese passengers. I have to say that my experience might not have been the norm, but I did not find the Chinese passengers to be rude; I witnessed only one spitting incident (into a bin by the lifts) and two incidents where we had to push past Chinese guests to get off the lift as they had rushed on before we could get off. It might have been that I was bracing myself for the worst, but I think that I was needlessly worried. I will leave my comments about the ports at the end, I'm not always interested in what people do/think of the port stops, so I'll put them at the end in case you want to finish reading here (presuming you've read this far Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I wrote a longer write up as a post to tell people about the Gold and Silver Class benefits on the ship. We stayed in a Grand Loft Suite on deck 15, we also had an Owner's Suite for some relative on the same deck. These were the ... Read More
I wrote a longer write up as a post to tell people about the Gold and Silver Class benefits on the ship. We stayed in a Grand Loft Suite on deck 15, we also had an Owner's Suite for some relative on the same deck. These were the best decorated rooms we have ever had on RCI, particularly the loft suite. The bathrooms were all lovely. As a new ship it was pretty much immaculate. The only thing I didn't like was the open bedroom in the loft where you could hear someone watching the TV below. Gold dining was pretty similar to Coastal Kitchen, service was fantastic. In general the food on the ship, however was mediocre. It was often under seasoned and lacking flavour. Chops was disappointing. Teppanyaki was excellent however. Sichuan Red was good but very spicy, although you could change this. It was too authentic Chinese for my liking. The Windjammer was constantly very busy and unpleasant. We only went in to look. The Silver Dining area buffet available to suite and Diamond guests was much more pleasant. Pizza at Sorrento's was the best I have had on a RCI ship. Entertainment was surprisingly good despite often being in Chinese. My wife and I took part in The Love and Marriage Show and they did it in English also for our benefit. We were told the policy was to add in English if needed. Bars were empty and the 7pm shows very busy. It was quite quiet after 9pm which I found pleasant. Some people may find it too quiet. We didn't find people too pushy, it seems that the policy in China is to get into the lift at the same time people get out. But really it wasn't an issue, just part of being on a busy ship. Embarkation was very slow due to Chinese paperwork which is much more extensive than elsewhere. You cannot disembark until 1 hour after the ship arrives in port. Most people on board were locals so they all started to get off as soon as possible ignoring stated times. The gym was small, but was not busy and seemed fine to me. Public areas were generally quieter than on other ships. Everyone seemed to be at The Windjammer. Pools were also quiet. We enjoyed the stops in Japan, Nagasaki and Kagoshima. We took a tour in Nagasaki and had a lovely guide for English speaking people. I found it haunting and sad. We walked around in Kagoshima and took the local tram. This was easy and way better value than the ship's tours. People were lovely. It was the shortest cruise I have been on and I personally found 5 days a little short. Overall we really enjoyed it and would happily go back, my only real gripe was the food. It seems to me that these Chinese cruises are also cheaper than elsewhere for similar cabins so I thought it was good value. For Europeans flights are probably cheaper to China than the US. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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
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