1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Asia Cruises
  4. Asia Cruise Reviews

205 Hong Kong to Asia Cruise Reviews

This was our sixth cruise with Azamara. We have also cruised with Oceania, NCL, HAL, Windstar, Louis, Katarina and several river cruise operators. This cruise was 16 nights, from Hong Kong to Singapore. Embarkation was smooth. In the ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise with Azamara. We have also cruised with Oceania, NCL, HAL, Windstar, Louis, Katarina and several river cruise operators. This cruise was 16 nights, from Hong Kong to Singapore. Embarkation was smooth. In the early afternoon we got a taxi from our hotel to the Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. This terminal is very conveniently placed. We were cornered by a lady from the local tourist board wanting us to do a survey, so that delayed our boarding, otherwise it would have been quick! The Journey was looking in pretty good state. We had an ocean view cabin on deck 4, which we have been on before, and this is a position we are quite happy with. Our room stewards did a good job. We enjoy Windows, the buffet restaurant, for dinner. They have a different theme every night and we enjoy the variety and find the food tasty. Some of the wait staff in Windows acted as if they didn’t want to be there, others were always smiling and helpful. We did eat twice in the MDR, Discoveries. Service was a little slow, and we found the menu a little limited and somewhat repetitive. For the first few days of the cruise we had heightened sanitising procedures in place because of some cases of GI at the end of the previous cruise and at the beginning of our cruise. The crew worked hard to maintain this level of precautions and the captain regularly updated us on how many cases of GI had been reported. There were 2 lecturers. We only went to one of them as the other one’s topics were a bit too specialised and not of interest to us. The one that spoke on the ports we were visiting was okay, but not a particularly exciting speaker and we did not learn much from him. As usual we enjoyed the Q&A sessions. There was one with Heike Berdos, the Hotel Manager; it was a pity it was so poorly attended. She gave us a lot of info and it was interesting to hear from her. The one with Eric De Gray, the Cruise Director, turned into a bit of a music lesson, with not too many questions fitted in, but it was still interesting. The last one was with the captain, Johannes Tysse, which repeated many of the questions asked of Heike, but still worth attending. The Azamazing evening was in Ho Chi Minh City. We were bused from the port to the Binh Quoi Village. The village is a tourist village, but tastefully done. When we arrived there were many people at the eating stalls and some local craftsmen & entertainers. At the back of the village we attended a concert of traditional Vietnamese music and dancing. It was well set up, with large TV screens on each side so that people sitting at the back could see the concert. There were drinks and snacks provided. We had eaten dinner before leaving the ship. The White Night Party was on the first night in Bangkok. This was the usual buffet meal served on deck around the pool, with local dancers performing. We actually ate in the MDR, as we find this more relaxing – we have previously been frustrated with the long queues at the buffet on deck. After dinner in the MDR we go out on deck to watch the local concert, followed by the crew parade. The entertainment included concerts by both the onboard and visiting entertainers which we had seen before. As usual we enjoyed many of the concerts, but some were not to our taste. We like the space which is now called “The Living Room”. This is where we sat in our free time. We did 7 Azamara shore excursions, all of which delivered as expected and we enjoyed. The guides were generally good, though we had trouble understanding one of the guides in Bangkok. Disembarkation was easy. We left the Journey about 8am and were through baggage pickup, immigration and customs in about 10 minutes. Singapore is a good start or end port. It was easy to get to our hotel on the MTR. We enjoyed this cruise. Azamara remains our preferred cruise line, indeed we booked another cruise while on board. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This was our 3rd Azamara cruise and we eagerly anticipated the opportunity to celebrate Christmas & New Year on board Azamara Journey. Embarkation in Hongkong was one of the easiest we have ever experienced. Our hotel (Marco Polo) ... Read More
This was our 3rd Azamara cruise and we eagerly anticipated the opportunity to celebrate Christmas & New Year on board Azamara Journey. Embarkation in Hongkong was one of the easiest we have ever experienced. Our hotel (Marco Polo) was linked by a new shopping centre walkway to the new cruise terminal but as the immigration hall was not in operation Azamara arranged on board processing. We arrived at midday. Within half an hour we were enjoying a welcome drink and buffet lunch in Windows. Our ocean view stateroom on deck 4 was ready at 1.30pm and our luggage arrived almost immediately. We were welcomed by our steward Danny and his assistant Agostino who gave us excellent service throughout the cruise. We were only a small group (26 people) for The Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle cocktail party but the Captain & senior staff still took the time to attend - we were impressed. A highlight prior to our 8.30pm departure was a grandstand view of the Victoria Harbour Symphony of Lights from the deck of Azamara Journey. Azamara has rigorous hygiene & sanitation protocols which were instituted for the first 4 days of the cruise (no self service of food & beverages) We avoided any outbreak of Norovirus & greatly appreciated the extra work & effort by all the crew. Service and food in Windows, Patio and Discoveries were all of a high standard. Captain Tysse and Cruise Director Eric de Grey were both brilliant always highly visible, friendly & superbly professional. As we expected the ship was tastefully decorated for Christmas. Christmas Eve (a sea day) was very festive. We had an excellent Christmas brunch and Christmas carols with Eric and the entertainment team. On Christmas Day we anchored in Halong Bay (a tender port) for an overnight stay. Anticipating an exciting program of Christmas Day celebrations we had booked a Halong Bay shore excursion for the following day. We did not want to miss out on any of the Christmas Day festivities (we also chose not to take the 3 hour drive to Hanoi). We were sadly disappointed! No special entertainment had been planned during the day - neither the piano or guitar entertainers. Discoveries restaurant was closed and Windows and the Patio only had their usual menu. The ship was like a morgue. A crew member said approximately 100 passengers remained on board expecting Christmas Day with all the trimmings. It was a non event until activities resumed with a Christmas quiz at 4pm. and Christmas dinner and very entertaining pantomime in the evening. I put in a written complaint expressing my dissatisfaction at the lack of a daytime Christmas Day program. I received a call from Hotel Director Heike Berdos. Her explanation was that as we were in port on Christmas Day It was the usual port day program and instead they had organised Christmas brunch & entertainment on Christmas Eve! I pointed out that a lot of passengers had come on this cruise to celebrate Christmas Day and also as we were in a tender port a lot of passengers either did not want to or were unable to go ashore. Some passengers were also disappointed with New Years Eve as a highlight in the marketing promotion was “see the New Years Eve fireworks in Saigon” a bit difficult as we left Saigon at 4pm! As the Captain had predicted the weather got rough once we were in open waters. However there was a great party mood on board and we all donned (courtesy of Azamara) our New Years Eve party hats and the entertainment staff had done a great job with the decorations. Despite the conditions the wait staff in Discoveries did a heroic job - not sure how the folks fared up on deck 10 in Aqualina and Prime C ! Like many others owing to the ships motion we never made it up to the Livingroom to see in the New Year. We enjoyed the Azamazing and White Night evenings which are a usual feature of an Azamara cruise however Christmas & New Years Eve cruises are marketed as premium cruises at premium prices and are regarded as an opportunity for a special celebration. Even on “low key” ships such as Azamara we expected a festive Christmas lunch. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this trip as we wanted to spend Christmas doing something different, and wanted to see a bit of SE Asia. We’ve previously cruised a few times with Celebrity (which we loved) & once with Silversea (ditto). We really ... Read More
We chose this trip as we wanted to spend Christmas doing something different, and wanted to see a bit of SE Asia. We’ve previously cruised a few times with Celebrity (which we loved) & once with Silversea (ditto). We really enjoyed every aspect of the cruise, including some we weren’t sure about when we booked - did we REALLY want to spend 2 nights in Halong Bay, or get up before dawn to see the floating market near Bangkok, etc.? Well, the answer is that we did, and thought the whole thing was fantastic. Almost everyone onboard and on this forum rates the crew very highly, and we agree. It was a revelation to see so much of the Captain, who seemed to be everywhere & keeping an eye on what was happening. Also Eric de Gray did a fantastic job both as a performer and in organising things like the really memorable & highly organised Azamazing evening. Credits too to the band, who seemed to be able to play anything, at any & all times. We had some issues with our stateroom (see below), but all in all, the few downsides of this cruise were more than outweighed by the many great aspects, and we would strongly recommend a cruise on Azamara Journey. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I did this cruise because I wanted to try a a smaller ship , I did enjoy less guests and found it to be more friendly, plus the extra nites in different ports. Liked the idea of there dress code. Our Cabin was ok although a little ... Read More
I did this cruise because I wanted to try a a smaller ship , I did enjoy less guests and found it to be more friendly, plus the extra nites in different ports. Liked the idea of there dress code. Our Cabin was ok although a little wider at the end of our beds would be nice, storage was adequate, beds and linen comfy. The bathroom like most ships a little small especially the shower.I thought the toiletries were very average. The entertainment was generally good, Eric helped make things more entertaining loved his jokes. Service was very good.. Shire excursions were a little expensive compared to some of the very good local tour Operators whom I found very professional . My biggest dissappointment of the whole trip was the quality of the house wines which we do pay for it is all in the price of the cruise. .The first and second evening at dinner the wines were undrinkable ,we spoke to the Maitre D who sent the bar manager who offered us other choices which were acceptable and they kept the same wines for us each nite. The quality of the house wines were a big hot topic with other guests on the cruise. I have booked another cruise on the Journey and look fordward to my 2 daily glasses of decent wine. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Chose this cruise to travel with family already booked. First time we have cruised with Holland America. Great selection of Ports. The ship was easy to move around. Staff excellent. Cabin was great with door opening onto lower promenade ... Read More
Chose this cruise to travel with family already booked. First time we have cruised with Holland America. Great selection of Ports. The ship was easy to move around. Staff excellent. Cabin was great with door opening onto lower promenade deck. Ideal for us. Dining was excellent with no delay in sèating. Fantastic food. Entertainment and activities limited for us. Could be improved. Main complaint was the air conditioner not operating. Too cold for first three days despite four complaints. The got too hot and this was not resolved.we know from a message on our phone that previous occupants had same issue. Poor service by technicians. Port s and shore excursions great. No problem embarking and disembarking at ports. Well organised. Handing back of passports for Thailand poor. Huge delays. Should be better than this. Would consider cruising again but would look at all alternative with better entertainment and activity options. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We just finished our cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore over Christmas and New Year. What a great way to spend the holiday! We loved the ship. Just the perfect size. We thoroughly enjoyed all our excursions but, as we used private ... Read More
We just finished our cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore over Christmas and New Year. What a great way to spend the holiday! We loved the ship. Just the perfect size. We thoroughly enjoyed all our excursions but, as we used private tours, cannot comment on the ship's excursions. We booked an inside cabin and were pleasantly surprised how spacious the room was. Our cabin attendants were good and the waiters at our table in the Main Dining Room were fantastic. The food as always was really good. The staff on HAL and the service they provide has been outstanding on all of our cruises. The bartenders always have a smile and love to have a chat. The New Year's Eve party was a blast and the rest of the entertainment was ok. We did not find any fault with any of our holiday on HAL. We will definitely sail with Holland America again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We choose this cruise to coincide with a significant birthday and to make the festive season special. A last minute change of itinerary meant we visited some some less visited ports in Japan. The passengers were a mix from all over the ... Read More
We choose this cruise to coincide with a significant birthday and to make the festive season special. A last minute change of itinerary meant we visited some some less visited ports in Japan. The passengers were a mix from all over the world, not the North American majority normally present on a Regent cruise. This was probably due to its starting and finishing point. We enjoyed the ports and excursions although felt despite the on board decorations, it was not really festive. Christmas dinner, turkey notwithstanding, could have been any night; Regent left an impersonal 'Happy Holidays' card in our room. I guess we expected a bit more song and dance. Our early issues with spotty service were dealt with on board. The entertainment, however, has had a mammoth budget cut. The 'shows' had no sets or props - just video backings. The ;Signature Orchestra' had been halved to a band. And excellent as the musicians were, they lacked the depth of a larger ensemble. The food was of a high standard everywhere, particularly in the signature Compass Rose MDR. The revamp of the MDR however included LED lighting usually set at the UV blue colour normally associated with insect killing machines or anti drug injection sites. H'mm. Regent's biggest asset is their staff and they continued to shine. An enjoyable cruise with few reservations. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
My husband and I were on this cruise with our best friends. It took a little bit of organising at first as it wasn't clear about which restaurants were complimentary as there isn't a main dining room on this ship - just a ... Read More
My husband and I were on this cruise with our best friends. It took a little bit of organising at first as it wasn't clear about which restaurants were complimentary as there isn't a main dining room on this ship - just a combination of 4 different restaurants. The facilities on the ship were above expectations. The only bad experience we had was on our last night of the cruise which should have been a highlight. We booked and paid for dinner at Wonderland before we embarked on our cruise only to find out on the night that the advertised menu was not what was being served but an Asian cuisine by Chef Da Nong and the advertised menu was to begin the following day. The service was impeccable and the server was very patient with our Western taste buds. There was nothing magical or spectacular about the dishes we received. The point of the Wonderland restaurant as we understand it was to be wondrous & magical. The cuisine was obviously high end Asian cuisine but unfortunately, it was definitely not to our taste. Not to mention three of our party were ill through the night and the next day which made disembarking quite a stressful event. If we had been informed of the different menu we would have not attended this restaurant and spent our last night at another such as Jamie's Italian which is a favourite of ours. The Royal IQ app had it's glitches but we understand it is still quite new so the teething problems are expected. The wow band was great for getting into your room but did seem to be a negative thing when ordering drinks at the bars as most of the time you would have to take it off your wrist so they could scan it. My advice would be to have a tap panel easily accessible to the guest for payment at EVERY bar (eg tap & go for your atm card). The bands are usable on future cruises so they are a one-time investment. One thing we did miss on this cruise was the pool deck entertainment that we have experienced on previous cruises including the live band, deck bbq's and lunches, etc. We would definitely cruise on this ship again and now that we know how it all works, our experience would be even better. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Balcony Stateroom - Ship same design as P&O Azura and Ventura with balconies jutting out below. A kettle but no tea and coffee available but can take from buffet to use. Kettle so old and rusty decided to avoid using. Balcony large ... Read More
Balcony Stateroom - Ship same design as P&O Azura and Ventura with balconies jutting out below. A kettle but no tea and coffee available but can take from buffet to use. Kettle so old and rusty decided to avoid using. Balcony large enough to be very comfortable. Staff were excellent and helped make this a memorable cruise. Friendly, helpful, respectful throughout the ship every day. Restaurant food as good as any at sea. Restaurant quality, with time to enjoy a leisurely dinner over a couple of hours. Not rushed. Dine at own pace. Staff responsive to timing requests. Buffet not to same standard. Plenty of choice but quality not as good as other ships and nowhere near as good as the restaurants. Small buffet area but staff controlled the area well. Dining - Freedom Dining. Could not access all restaurants on Freedom. Despite staff admitting Savoy and International restaurants were “no where near full”, access was denied. Resulted in huge queues at other restaurants. Freedom dining hampered by allowing telephone reservations from 9am for tables and people then did not turn up. Reluctance to use pager system when busy. So bad we switched to International restaurant not usually used for Freedom. Average bar options compared to other lines. No draft beer at any bar. Ran out of 3 choices of beer during cruise. Sabbatinis - USD29 per person. Underwhelming pay option when compared to other ships. Chose this option on nights one and three because of the Freedom Dining access problems. Enjoyable but many tables too close together when restaurant half empty. Reluctance to use available tables, preferring to cram everyone into the same section. Steakhouse - Total joke for a paid restaurant option at USD 29. It is located in the Buffet at the end and roped off. No ambiance. Totally dreadful idea which deserves to fail. Casino - No craps table. No poker table. Roulette table. Table card games. Bubble Sic Bo (a form of “bubble” craps). Fruit machines. Nice atmosphere. Inexplicably - no bar. Good waiter service but no bar at a casino is a strange decision. Ship is tired and I understand having a refit in 2018. It needs it. Great itinerary Hong Kong to Singapore. Passengers a real mix of nationalities. Formal nights not particularly observed. More of a Thomson Cruises and Wetherspoons type of passenger, who sneak Gin and Vodka on board in water bottles - these were adults acting like teenagers. Very few owned a Dinner Suit on Formal nights let alone a tie. Shorts and tee shirts everywhere. Lots of moaning people from the UK and New Zealand - I have no idea why they bother travelling. The staff, itinerary and restaurant food were the winners and we had a fantastic time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We recently finished a 14-day Hong Kong to Singapore cruise on the ms Volendam. We have sailed with Holland America before and, as always, the staff and the service they provide cannot be beat. The food was also very good. However, the ... Read More
We recently finished a 14-day Hong Kong to Singapore cruise on the ms Volendam. We have sailed with Holland America before and, as always, the staff and the service they provide cannot be beat. The food was also very good. However, the ship itself is showing its age and, fortunately, is going in for upgrades and refurbishing before the next cruise. We had an obstructed view cabin and the air conditioning never worked for the entire cruise. Considering that the temperatures were very hot the entire cruise and humidity was very high, this was a major concern. They did not seem to be able to address it but did give us a $300 credit at the end of the cruise to make up for it. There were also problems with several of the units in the fitness centre and we were told that they would not be addressed because the ship was going in for major work at the end of our cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed all our excursions but, as we used private tours, cannot comment on the ship's excursions. Holland America does need to put some extra effort in handling tenders though -- the set up for getting tender tickets and the process for boarding the tenders was handled extremely poorly at both ports where tenders were required. Come on, HAL -- this isn't something that you haven't done thousands of times! As noted at the start, our cabin attendants were fantastic, as were the waiters at our table in the Main Dining Room. The staff on HAL and the service they provide has been outstanding on all of our cruise. We will definitely sail with Holland America again but will be sure to check the status of a given ship before booking our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We always wanted to see Japan, have been all thru' China & Thailand before , the rest of the cruise was a very pleasant Bonus, especially Vietnam, loved the food and the people there. I tell you that having Dr. Kam's lectures ... Read More
We always wanted to see Japan, have been all thru' China & Thailand before , the rest of the cruise was a very pleasant Bonus, especially Vietnam, loved the food and the people there. I tell you that having Dr. Kam's lectures was so amazing, what a wonderful man he is, a real bonus for HA. I also would like to comment on Markus who gave the Gem-stone talks this boy knows his work, so fun. I journal for every cruise so I take notes on every lecture and presentation. I always want to learn. Josh and Phil were great too, took their notes as well. The entertainment was awesome, loved the Volendam dancers and singers, good variety. Movies pretty good. The cruise director never could spell her name, was awesome so fun at the trivia contests. The Captain too was great, he hd a lot to deal with, especially in Shanghai. All of the crew were superb going the extra mile for all of us. I heard some of the beef was tough but on the night we had surf and turf it was excellent. In general the food was good, could be a little hotter but it is hard to do for so many people, soup always hot and delicious, and the bread pudding, to die for. I just want to say some of the comments I have read were not pleasant, not all people are pleasant, you can please some of the people etc. It was a busy tour, but we made it and what a great place to end it but in Singapore---Wow what a beautiful place!!!!!!!!! Evelyn and Russell Green Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We have sailed Silversea a number of times and love the on board experiences, the suites, the food, drinks, and, especially the service. We booked this one as back to back so we were on for an extended time. Our prior experiences with ... Read More
We have sailed Silversea a number of times and love the on board experiences, the suites, the food, drinks, and, especially the service. We booked this one as back to back so we were on for an extended time. Our prior experiences with Silversea was on the Wind and the Cloud which we absolutely loved. The size was near perfect for our tastes and our next cruise will again be on either of those. The Shadow is just slightly larger than our preference so that is the principal reason. We note that several people have commented on the ship looking weary, I would have to agree with that but, it’s nothing that can’t be remedied. Otherwise, it was all good. I can’t speak highly enough of the service and also the Cruise Director on board. We have sailed over 35 times and Kirk was the best Cruise Director ever. The entertainment was perfect for us. One criticism is the lounge chairs were “staked out” way too early and that made it very inconvenient especially for people who have a low tolerance for the sun. That didn’t happen on the Cloud or the Wind, perhaps because of the smaller size Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
The Celebrity Millenium itself was fine we were in Aqua class with Premium liquor and Premium dining packages - well worth it, as the finer restaurants were very good. Buffets were good for breakfasts, otherwise very buffetlike! ... Read More
The Celebrity Millenium itself was fine we were in Aqua class with Premium liquor and Premium dining packages - well worth it, as the finer restaurants were very good. Buffets were good for breakfasts, otherwise very buffetlike! Entertainment on board was very good. We were on the 14 day Hong Kong to Singapore trip, with stops in Vietnam and Thailand. We found their ships excursions to be poor. Long bus trips to cities like Hanoi and Bangkok, and Halong Bay we didn't see much of the bay, but spent a lot of time in a touristy cave walk. Overall very disappointed in tours. If I were doing it again, when the ship is in port overnight, I would book my own private tour for the first day - much better quality and price, no crowds and you are not worried about getting back to the ship on time, since its staying in port that night! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Chose this cruise as my husband wanted to take me to the Far East. The millennium was ok a little dated but catered for our needs. We were in Concierge class which was kept clean, we had to ask on several occasions for our complimentary ... Read More
Chose this cruise as my husband wanted to take me to the Far East. The millennium was ok a little dated but catered for our needs. We were in Concierge class which was kept clean, we had to ask on several occasions for our complimentary champagne, Celebrity used to have this in your stateroom on arrival. Countries visited were very interesting but big draw back was the distance from where the ship docked to the places of interest, on average 2-3 hrs each way. Ate in the speciality restaurants most of the time, main dining room chaotic and poor quality food. Ocean view cafe great for breakfast and lunch. Entertain was good some nights. Staff were great, only came across one arrogant bar man. Shore excursions from the ship were good but expensive, cheaper to do your own thing, we used private hire taxis you are not tied to other people then. Hong Kong was brilliant. Vietnam was an eye opener. Danang and Hoi Ann brilliant, went to the war museum in Ho Chi Min. Didn’t like Bangkok when we visited Thailand. Singapore was amazing, loved Sentosa island and Raffles. Champagne brunch in the Ritz Carlton best ever. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this for the destination ports. This was our first trip with Celebrity but not our first cruise. The logistical arrangements were virtually flawless. Flights, transfers, pre and post cruise hotels very good, shore excursions ... Read More
We chose this for the destination ports. This was our first trip with Celebrity but not our first cruise. The logistical arrangements were virtually flawless. Flights, transfers, pre and post cruise hotels very good, shore excursions mostly excellent, staff and officers on board very good and the entertainment was varied and impressive (mostly). The good;- . Cabin nice and roomy considering it was in the lower price range. The room steward, Lydia, was friendly and did a very good job. I heard some comment that the ship was "tired" but it looked ok to me. The facilities were good. We used the gym, the sports deck, the Cosmos Lounge (during the day), the Thalassotherapy area and the Ocean view Café for all meals. We did not use any of the other restaurants - and we didn't really use any bars as we didn't drink alcohol. The Captain was visible and kept us all informed regarding the weather and route. We had a typhoon on route, and the captain devised a revised schedule which put us a day behind but kept the ports of call intact - and at all times the decisions, and the reasons for them, were clearly explained and communicated (and seemed eminently logical and sensible). The evening entertainment in the celebrity theatre was first class (mostly - just one black spot - see below). The variety of the shows and performers was fantastic - and when artistes were seen off stage around the boat they were approachable and chatty. The food was good (just one bad point - see below) but we confirmed ourselves to the Ocean view café (due to my gluten issue - which I explain more below). The range of food on offer was good and varied and included some local themed meals. The shore excursions were good and I have no complaints about the variety of these or the assistance we received from time to time by the shore excursions team. One minor quibble - see below. The bad;- The entertainment was excellent throughout - we had singers, a trapeze act, a concert pianist, a Stevie Wonder tribute act, a modern violinist and an excellent illusionist. The resident troupe of singers and dancers were very strong and put on three great shows. The black spot was a truly awful "action comedian" called Steve Carte. he purported to be a juggler but dropped so much I would not have been much worse - and his humour was simply not funny and included jokes taken from episodes of Only Fools and Horses - so that must mean they are at least 20 years old. I did think it may be just lost in translation (we are English and American humour passes us by) but there was very little reaction from the audience so I think it must just have been a bad act. Food was generally good - however I am wheat intolerant so I stick to a gluten free diet. We had Celebrity Select anytime dining - but the range of suitable food on the menu in the Metropolitan Restaurant was so limited that I was finding I didn't fancy it - so we ate constantly in the Ocean view cafe. However it wasn't clear what was gluten free in there so for the first few days we were guessing and hoping for the best (and when we asked the catering staff didn't seem to have much idea). Then the dishes began to be labelled indicating which were gluten free, vegetarian and so on. I think perhaps someone may have complained? Anyway, once this had been labelled life became much easier and there was a good range of stuff available which I could eat - and it was good stuff. There was a "Gluten free" station - but that only ever had puddings - gluten free mains were dotted about with "normal" food - so it was a case of lapping to see what was there. I would have been easier for me had the gluten free fayre been clustered in one station - and may have reduced some of the crowding in the café (which became a bit tiresome at times as people milled and dithered about). The excursions were good and well organised. On occasion however the disembarkation for this (where we were all gathered in the celebrity theatre waiting to be called) was a little tiresome and on one occasion we waited for about an hour (although to be fair I cant really see how else this could be sensibly managed). The travel arrangements were good - however one minor gripe was at the very end of the holiday where we were booked into a hotel after disembarkation awaiting our transfer to the airport. the hotel room had to be vacated by 6pm, but the transfer was not scheduled until 8.15pm - so we had to hang around with cases in the lobby of the hotel for over two hours with suitcases. There were a lot of Brits booked on a 23.15pm flight - and the hotel lobby had only about 6 seats - so it was a long wait. There was an outbreak of disease on board and may went down with bad stomachs. There was cleaning and disinfecting on an industrial scale towards the end of the trip and everything became a bit sticky to the touch. We religiously washed our hands as recommended throughout - but we saw many who did not. We were both ill but managed our own illness responsibly with drugs we had brought with us. There was messaging in both English and Spanish regarding cleanliness - I would suggest that this should perhaps also be given in French - as we saw a number of French speakers not taking care of hygiene - although I am not suggesting they were the cause. On the French point, we had a number of excursions where French speakers were present - but the trips were in English. As a consequence the French tended to talk loudly over the guides having their own conversations between themselves - thus rather spoiling it for others (and partly as some of the guides English was a little difficult to tune into). I wonder if French based versions of some of the trips could be considered - or at least a disclaimer making it clear that French will not be catered for on the excursions? . Overall we enjoyed the trip and would certainly use Celebrity again (but we pick our trips based on ports of call rather than brand). Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We wanted to see Asia and this seemed a good way of having a taste of Vietnam and Thailand. The ship was good, food was fine though not outstanding. The service was excellent, I couldn't fault a single member of staff. The ... Read More
We wanted to see Asia and this seemed a good way of having a taste of Vietnam and Thailand. The ship was good, food was fine though not outstanding. The service was excellent, I couldn't fault a single member of staff. The captain did an admirable job keeping us safe from Typhoon Damrey that caused so much damage in Vietnam. It altered our schedule but we didn't miss any ports. We had several days in Hong Kong before the cruise, this enabled us to see many of the sights on offer. These are our thoughts about the ports of call but they might be different for someone else Hong Kong • We got an octopus card at the airport, ( where you get train tickets) it covers all travel, 7-11 shops and more. Seniors get a green card and half price travel it costs $HK70, $50 returnable for the card (less $9 admin) and any unused money returned. It is transferable so you can pass on the card to (senior) friends and lasts for 3 years • The Octopus card can be used on all transport systems as well as lots of other places - see website • If a transfer isn't included in your ticket the airport buses are good and efficient, comfortable, easy for cases and you can see the scenery $20 each (£2) ( Octopus card) • Taxis are cheap but if there are cases, tolls or tunnels it adds up. Often as little as £3 but £60 from the airport • For Big Buddha book ahead for the gondola ride, cheaper and easier • Seniors are $100 HK (£10) for over 60s at Disney, if you go get there before 10.30 am when it opens and as seniors you can't book ahead. Best not to go at weekends if avoidable and afternoons get busy and big queues form. We only queued more than 5 minutes for Its a small World • The MRT gets busy but it is efficient • The Star ferry is free for seniors with Octopus card if you travel on the lower deck. • The Kai Tak cruise terminal is not easy to negotiate and not a particularly good design. To go out from the cruise ship be prepared to walk a long way around the terminal. there is lsometimes a shuttle provided to the MRT but taxis are about $50 HK (£5) to the MRT ( Kowloon Bay) and if you share one it gets you there quicker. • There is Wifi at the terminal but a long walk round to get it. • The symphony of lights is at 8pm, best place to watch is near the star ferry and the museums/cultural area • At the side of Hollywood Plaza is the Nan Lian Gardens - a beautiful oasis and well worth visiting the gardens and the nunnery. The ships shuttle goes there, it is not far from the cruise terminal but not walkable. Halong Bay • We booked a 4 hour junk tour, it was excellent. We went to caves inside the karst. Vast, beautiful and very interesting • American dollars were acceptable • In the afternoon we went into the town on the tender. There is not much where you tender but we were approached by a group doing small tours. He quoted us $40 US for a two hour taxi tour (just the 2 of us), the bridge, Halong City, coffee bar for us to get excellent wifi, museum, photo stops, along with 4 brides being photographed, tour of the fishing villages, and Halong market. Our guide waited everywhere with us and although limited English he was lovely and drove safely through mad roads and hundreds of motor bikes. I would recommend it. Celebrity charge $68 each for a similar tour. • There is a funfair spread across the bay joined by cable cars, it didn't seem very busy. • We would have loved to visit Hanoi but it involved 3 hours driving each way and we really wanted to see Halong Bay. the people who went to Hanoi enjoyed it but got back after 9 pm after a 7 am start and looked shattered. If Hanoi is as busy and hectic as other Vietnamese cities I am not sure it is worth it. Chan May • The choices are Hue or Hoi An, we asked daughter and she said Hoi An, a merchant town is really interesting. We booked Hoi An on your own which gives you 3/4 hours there to explore • The coach for 50 picked us up at the port. The port is not in Da Nang but a tunnel ride and a long drive from there. It took about 100 mins to drive to Hoi An. The port has very little, a few market stalls. Some private taxis were there but if you don't book a tour, private or ships, there is nothing to do except stay on board. • We had a lady Jan, as our guide and she sang to us and recited Vietnamese poetry. We enjoyed watching Vietnamese life as we travelled but we both felt sleepy with the bus movement. She gives you a ticket to allow you into the merchant houses. The first one was a big sell and we couldn't get out fast enough. Then we explored on our own. • Our first impressions of Hoi An were dirty, noisy, litter, busy etc but after a while we absorbed the atmosphere and started to enjoy the gentle smiling people. There were bikes and scooters everywhere carrying everything imaginable. Health and safety doesn't exist. • We sat down to 2 litres of beer that cost slightly over a pound each and used the wifi. There are some lovely things to attract you, paintings galore. They start at say, $30 US, you offer half that, then you end up settling at about 2/3rds the asking price. Some of the clothes are good too. • In Hoi An there were loads of restaurants and the food looked very good and not expensive. • The toilets in the cafes were clean and good. Public toilets, you are expected to leave a few dong we are told. • I never did work out the money and how much we were spending...and do you know? I don't care! What is money for? The Vietnamese economy does need it • Hoi An was flooded the next day due to Typhoon Damrey - sadly people died. The area we walked on was under a metre of water by Saturday night. Final stop in Vietnam Phu May • We wanted to see the Cu Chi Tunnels, part of the Vietnamese war so we booked it in advance. It is a 9 hour tour so a very full day. Very interesting. • Ships tour provided water, wipes, lunch ( very nice Vietnamese food) and lots of information • Saigon, Ho Chi Minh is a nightmare city, it takes nearly 2 hours to drive through it and the motorbikes are a revelation. • Phu May has nothing nearby, you have to go on a trip to see anything. • A number of people booked private tours, fine unless you have to re-arrange • Vietnamese mozzies only come out at night, we are told, but we were in forest areas so best to spray up just in case. Laemchabang / Bangkok • We wanted to see Bangkok and meet up with a friend who lives there so I did some research and chose a reliable taxi firm and booked a return journey to the city and a hotel in Bangkok ( The Well Hotel) We found out later ( it wasn't online) that the ship does a transfer with a book your own hotel option for $69 US each. • It went wrong because of Typhoon Damrey so we booked the 'do it yourself overnight stay' a 2 and a half hours transfer depends on traffic. Hotels.com changed the booking to the next day. The ship did help guests with phone and email access in order to change their arrangements • There is very little near Laemchabang - the nearest town of interest Pattaya is quite a journey so it is a place to book a tour or something. Fellow guests booked a trip to gardens near Pattaya with an elephant show and a cultural show which they said was fantastic - their best trip ever- 5 and a half hours but they wished it had been longer • Traffic in Bangkok is horrendous. Taxis are good and cheap but get gridlocked. The sky train is good to get to the river but gets busy. Choose a hotel on the river or close to the sky train station. One suggested to us was Fueng Nakorn Balcony - £43 a night and is walkable to Wat Po and the Grand Palace. • Ho ho tourist boats are good, 140 Baht for a day pass or 50b (£1.25 )for a journey they leave every half hour and start at 9am. You might have to wait about for them. Sky train 140b for a day pass. 44 for a single journey depending. • Grand Palace gets very busy. You need legs covered up, no shorts or vest tops. They are strict and you need to take hats off at times. We spent about 90 mins there. • Be prepared for waits, be patient ( very hard for me) • Passports are needed by the hotel. They collect them on entry and as you leave. They are strict and often they wanted to see inside our backpacks at the palace and at stations. Singapore • We booked our flights independently so we also booked 2 nights at The Wanderlust Hotel, a rather zany hotel. • The ship docks at Marina bay. You can see the city and can walk together gardens of the bay but it is a long walk 2/3 miles. The MRT is only 500m away along a covered walkway. You can buy EZ cards there for $12 S each $5 is not refundable. The cards are valid for 5 years and are transferable. Each journey cost less than a dollar (Singapore) You can buy a 1 day or 3 day tourist card with a $10 deposit but you can only redeem the deposit at certain stations at certain times so it wasn't worth it. • Taxis are cheap, only about £5 to most nearby places. • A highlight last time was the Gardens in the Bay and we will definitely spend another day there this time, visit both domes, well worth the charge. If you book online you save 18% The rest of the gardens are free and make a lovely interesting walk. • Walking over the Helix Bridge at night, magical. • The lotus flower is actually an art/ science museum, very interactive and we spent a couple of hours there. Cost $10 S • Singapore Sling at Raffles is very expensive, (£30+ each) just visit, eat the peanuts, sling the shells on the floor and soak in the atmosphere. Have a Singapore Sling on board ship instead. It is being refurbished when we were there. • Universal Studios, we had booked it, no idea what to expect but online you save a lot, seniors go half price and the ticket is flexible. - We had a fantastic day there. It was easy to get onto the Sentosa Island. You can walk there or catch the express. We were early, 2nd in the queue and it enabled us to do plenty before queues started forming. Weekdays are better than weekends. Take a poncho for protection on the rapids. Carry as little as possible. Lockers are available but usually cost. The shows are great, don't miss them! • Sentosa Island seems worth investigating if only we had time • The night safari is brilliant we are told, but we didn't manage to do it. Sorry this review is so long but I hope it helps someone doing any advance planning. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Always wanted to go to Hong Kong and Singapore so the itinery on this particular cruise appealed to me.The ship is a good size ,not too big,it is showing signs of wear and tear in places ,but kept very clean .The entertainment could have ... Read More
Always wanted to go to Hong Kong and Singapore so the itinery on this particular cruise appealed to me.The ship is a good size ,not too big,it is showing signs of wear and tear in places ,but kept very clean .The entertainment could have been slightly more varied ,but I presume due to an average older guest it was geared towards them.Went with our son age 19 ,so he was surprised( as was I) not a more varied age range. The excursions were good on the whole,the guides brilliant,but do feel there could have been longer time in places and also more places to visit.For instance on one tour we were taken to a modern shopping Mall ( like in any country),when across the other side of the city where many historic sights ,which we didnt have time to get too. The Dining Hall staff were great ,cant fault them,they work so hard.The choice of food didnt vary much ,could have had more choice,but good quality ,well presented food. A couple of members of staff were quite surly ,and actually almost rude ( wont mention names). But all others where 100% brilliant. The cabin was smaller than on other ships we have been on,and the shower was very rundown looking ,grouting all worn and dirty,needed replacing. We never got the animal shaped towels ...dont they do that anymore?! On the whole a good cruise,best of all was the ‘Behind the scenes Tour’, well worth the money.The Captain is a Star in his own right! Wouldnt go on the ship again ,unless it has a complete revamp. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We explored our departure and ariival cities on our own. We used some of the ship's excursions and also those provided by Abercrombie & Kent. The ship definitely needs to be ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We explored our departure and ariival cities on our own. We used some of the ship's excursions and also those provided by Abercrombie & Kent. The ship definitely needs to be refurbished - it's old and tired looking. The gym, spa and beauty parlor also needs to be modernized. Our cabin was nice and spacious - just a bit dark and very small veranda that needed to be better maintained. The TV in the room didn't work well and the ship should provide more than 1 hour of wifi service per day. The food and service in Main Dining Room was very good. La Terraza restaurant was OK and the buffets offered during the day were mediocre. Room service was very good!! Our meal in Le Champagne was outstanding! The evening in La Terraza on the 19th featuring the visiting French chef was excellent! The Grill during lunch was OK but the wait staff were frequently overwhelmed with the number of guests to serve. The SilverSea singers were very talented and enjoyable, the pianist, Nataliia was excellent but the guitarist/singer Charlie's repertoire was not current. The girls in the Beauty Parlor should speak better English. Our wait staff were all great as were the butler and his assistant. The Concierges need more training on what if offered in the Ports of call. It's time for the Cruise Director to retire. We would go again perhaps on a newer ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was my first cruise on the Voyager of the Seas ,I cruised in the past with RC mainly on their Oasis class so I did not know what to expect , the reviews here did not helped much to reduce my worries. I want to say my worries were ... Read More
This was my first cruise on the Voyager of the Seas ,I cruised in the past with RC mainly on their Oasis class so I did not know what to expect , the reviews here did not helped much to reduce my worries. I want to say my worries were for nothing , this is a big ship well maintained , I did a lot of tours over the ship and could not find many places that the ship "show its age" even comparing to the new RC ships (my last cruise was on the Harmony of the seas). So we really enjoyed this ship and for shore the ports it brought us to. There are also some downsides for sure : On the first two days there were many queues mainly to the shore excursions and guess services, I guess people did not planned ahead and book them online , Regarding the guest services , they could have done better job by adding more people to the desk (there was a long line and not all the station where manned). I heard some people at the beginning of the cruise saying the name of the ship should changed to "Queues Of the Seas). but after the first two days the queues gone. The food was good , although we mainly were eaten at the buffet we went to Giovanni table once and it was excellent. The port we went to were very interesting. The entertainment was good but disappointing comparing to the previous ships I was cruising with , but again I was cruising mainly with the Oasis class that had Broadway productions and the aqua show. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Not having cruised before, I wanted to try a short cruise from Hong Kong. I had an interior stateroom on deck 9 without a virtual balcony. I didn't mind this as I didn't plan to spend a lot of time in the room apart from sleeping ... Read More
Not having cruised before, I wanted to try a short cruise from Hong Kong. I had an interior stateroom on deck 9 without a virtual balcony. I didn't mind this as I didn't plan to spend a lot of time in the room apart from sleeping or napping. I preferred to sit up on deck to watch the passing scenery. The China coastline along the way to Sanya was quite spectacular. Organisation of the shore excursion to Sanya on day 2, which I had reserved, was a little bit of a shemozzle, but it all worked out okay. On day 3 the Windjammer buffet opened at 7:00am for breakfast, despite the ship being scheduled to reach Da Nang at 8:00am, with the shore tours also commencing from 8:00am. There was pandemonium in the Windjammer cafe as people struggled to get their food and then find somewhere to sit and eat. Unfortunately there were insufficient places because everyone was working to the same schedule. People were standing up to eat. Some of us took our plates out onto the deck where there were one or two free tables. Royal Caribbean should open the dining facilities for breakfast at least 2 hours before arrival at ports along the way. I would probably travel again with Royal Caribbean, but I do hope they sort out the dining arrangements. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose the cruise because of a great experience in 2016 Istanbul to Venice aboard Le Lyrial. The ship and crew were excellent.Kamel was full of energy and fun. The food was excellent although some of the menu selections were odd ... Read More
We chose the cruise because of a great experience in 2016 Istanbul to Venice aboard Le Lyrial. The ship and crew were excellent.Kamel was full of energy and fun. The food was excellent although some of the menu selections were odd for an asian cruise. I would like to have been offered some Asian European fusion options. Our prestige stateroom was clean and well appointed but uncomfortably smaller than we had on Le Lyrial. No larger options were available when we booked. The entertainment was very good. Shore excursions were disappointing; millions of busy people on motor bikes are amusing for only so long. Ha Long Bay and Hoi An were the pick of locations visited. The reality does not measure up to the travel brochure pictures and descriptions. Guides were obviosly very knowledgable and proud of their country but commentaries generally too detailed to the extent of being tedious. Better to cover more ground, see more and hear less statistics , data and dates. Embarcation in HK was terrible; mind you the contrast between the clean and welcoming ship and the drab grubby waiting area ashore may have been a cunning ploy. Internet services were poor. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Chose the cruise for the itinery. The staff was very friendly. The ship is old and neeeds a refurbishing. We liked the different entertainment around the ship. The singers and dancers were really terrific esppecially their last show about ... Read More
Chose the cruise for the itinery. The staff was very friendly. The ship is old and neeeds a refurbishing. We liked the different entertainment around the ship. The singers and dancers were really terrific esppecially their last show about Broadway. As frequent travelers on Holland America we are not used to extra dining venues and things like a smoothie bar by the pool. The pool areas were great. The deck area that goes around the lower deck was worthless. You could not walk around it without construction and stairs being there. The library on this ship is a joke. Try going onto a Holland America ship and seeing a real library. I guess they want us to do other things than read and relax. The computer room was nice. The breakfast buffet and lunch needs more seating. How dare Celebrity change the price on the drink package the day we start the cruise and expect us to pay additional on top of what was paid in advance. Greed is not good. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We are a mature couple. We enjoy cruising but tend to choose by the destinations we want to visit rather than cruising for cruising sake. We flew into Hong Kong from Birmingham via Zurich. I booked the all flights independently making a ... Read More
We are a mature couple. We enjoy cruising but tend to choose by the destinations we want to visit rather than cruising for cruising sake. We flew into Hong Kong from Birmingham via Zurich. I booked the all flights independently making a 50% saving on the flight price quoted by Celebrity. We stayed at the Langham for 3 nights and really enjoyed Hong Kong. On joining the ship I was suprised at the lack of clarity regarding visas for Shanghai. I eventually booked the ships excursion as this seemed the only way to get to Shanghai. I was not charged the $10 visa fees that some passengers had to pay. The confusion was so great that I met people who had paid up to $300 for a Chinese visa, precruise, only to be told that they could only visit Shanghai on a Celebrity Excursion. The ship looked a bit tired when compared to the Soltice ships but it had a good feel about it. We have always had balcony cabins on previous cruises but on this occasion, at the time of booking, there was only an inside cabin available. This proved more than adequate for our needs. The Captain and the officers were very visible throughout the ship. The ship was spotless and the crew in all areas were excellent. We were on "anytime dining" the main restaurant staff were excellent and the food was of a reasonable standard. However portion size varied greatly depending on your choice. We used the Ocean View. restaurant for breakfast the food was typically buffet fare. It was a bit chaotic but we always managed to get a suitable table. Placement of some items of food seemed a bit odd. i.e Melon and Pinapple placed half the length of the ship apart. The entertainment on the ship was mixed. The ships own cast were excellent as were the house bands. Two of the acts brought onto the ship were poor, Sonzs of Soul looked like they had just met, The comedian Mark Walker was so poor that it became an embarrassment. Also the magician Alexander the Great was not great, I even now know how to saw a woman in half. I would strongly recommend anyone doing this cruise to do visit the ports of call independently rather than booking an excursion with Ship. All the ports have excellent public transport systems which are relatively straight forward to use. The information is all out there and with some preplanning all the locations are perfectly doable. This includes Tokyo. As an example Celebrity charge $249 for Kyoto with Bullet Train, you can get the Bullet Train from Shin Kobe Station to Kyoto for $25. I am 74 and my wife is 71 we managed to visit all the locations, other than Shangai, under our own steam without any real problems. My only real gripe was that there seemed a distinct lack of waiters on this ship. Those there were all working very hard but you could still wait up to 20 minutes to get a drink. Now I don't mind going to the bar and waiting in line , but I do object paying 18% gratuity on top of an already inflated price for a service I did not receive. We left the ship in Yokohama for a 3 night stay in Tokyo. My original thought was to take the train but eventually decided to take a cab. This cost $100 for 2 people and 4 bags. This was expensive but worth it. The Tokyo Stations are huge with multiple exits, this is no problem with a rucksack but would be impossible with 4 suitcases. Tokyo was fabulous and we used public transport to visit all the major sites. Our Hotel booked the Airport Limousine service for our transfer to Narita Airport this cost about $27 each. Overall we had great adventure and it was perfect way for us to enjoy our Golden Wedding. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We would like to recognize outstanding service we have received from Patricea from Guest Relations. Thanks to her from the first five minutes on the ship we were able to enjoy the cruise to the best possible effect due to circumstances in ... Read More
We would like to recognize outstanding service we have received from Patricea from Guest Relations. Thanks to her from the first five minutes on the ship we were able to enjoy the cruise to the best possible effect due to circumstances in which our baggage was delayed (airline's fault) and she took care of absolutely everything. To be honest Patricea was so good that she was thinking ahead of us of what we might need even before we realized our needs. This is what you can call going an extra mile in customer service. She is a role model for all Guest Services agents, not only on your ships but generally speaking if I was to give an example of the best service I have received in my life it would be Patricea. Honestly I can't speak enough about her. Thank you Patricea. Worth mentioning here is also Suhamin, our room attendant on Millennium, he was very tenantive, always smiling and recognizing our names, always ready to help and offering his services. Also our Main Dining Room waiter was very good, always smiling and seriously sad when we had to skip the dinner etc. We would need to mention things which were not really helpful in overall experience on Millennium. First of all entertainment - as much as we loved Inner Mood and Dale (not sure his surname) overall this part of the cruise was the worst. We realize that maybe we were well below average age of fellow cruisers and there were not too many guests on the decks to enjoy entertainment after midnight, but to be honest this was the first time when we have experienced situations where after midnight there was no place to go to enjoy some music, chat with friends/other cruisers and even order a drink... We were working hard for a year beforehand to go on this cruise and we did not want to go back to our cabins just after midnight. There should be at least one place where we could stay. I think you may say that the Cosmos lounge was the place, but you couldn't be more wrong... DJ Roxtar's music taste is well beyond "Disco" type (ACDS, Acid Drinkers and similar). Not much a disco music, not even mentioning the average age of cruisers. Also when it comes to all bars (including Cosmos and Rendezvous) - they were starting cleaning/closing/sorting things/collecting candle lights and menus from tables (even those occupied), opening the curtains/switching off the lights just after midnight and even in situations when there were still guests in the bar itself. Couple of times we were told that we cannot order any cocktails as they are closing... Seriously? Also when it comes to Martini Bar - the staff there were quite rude couple of times, ignoring customers, not taking orders or forgetting about sea pass cards. A number of times I have left this bar without ordering as I was ignored. There were also issues when it comes to availability of Premium drinks, even in the Premium bars. Not something you were expecting when upgrading to Premium package. When it comes to immigration procedures - Kobe was a nightmare... I know we needed to go through the full immigration procedure and there was a lot of people going out of the ship, but it is just hard to believe that there was absolutely nothing that could have been done to speed up the process given the fact that we docked in Kobe at 1 am. We were called to terminal at 11 20 and after queuing for more than an hour we left it after 12 30. Seeing Captain and other senior officers after the immigration desks comforting the passengers and apologizing for the delay was a great experience, but again - hard to imagine that this could not be speed up. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We had always had trouble free cruising in the past. This time was different mostly due to fog and Delta Airlines. Our trip started with flying in to Seattle to meet up with some friends and then on to Hong Kong. We were close to Anchorage ... Read More
We had always had trouble free cruising in the past. This time was different mostly due to fog and Delta Airlines. Our trip started with flying in to Seattle to meet up with some friends and then on to Hong Kong. We were close to Anchorage on the way to Hong Kong when the plane developed an elevator problem. After landing in Anchorage, it only took Delta 22 hours to find a replacement airplane and get us underway again. For this each passenger was awarded a bonus of 17,00 frequent flyer miles. We missed our first day in Hong Kong which was to include a custom tour. The second day we boarded the ship and traveled around the city using the subway to get around. The third day, we did a a generic tour of the usual sights. It was very cloudy and the sight of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak was partially obscured. We were in Aqua Class with the excellent restaurant, Blu. Service and food was typically very good. Our cabin was quiet and well cared for by our steward, Yusuf. The ship is older and lacks the newest bells and whistles. We don't mind as long as the ship is well maintained. I actually say a bit of mold in our shower and a few places with cracked paint and rust on the ship's exterior which is part-and-parcel of being around salt water. Unlike some reviewers here, I don't let such nits ruin my vacations. Our first stop was Taiwan - one day in Taipei and one-half day in Keelung. We took private tours in both cities with interesting stops. The Palace Museum in Taipei had superior exhibits. It was especially interesting since my friend Phil's father was involved in assembling the collection. Mao's regime was so upset at the removal of artifacts from the mainland that Phil's dad was sentenced to death in absentia (obviously, he never returned to the mainland). In Keelung we sampled some excellent street food in the night market. The glitch was almost constant drizzle in both cities. Next we sailed to Naha, Okinawa where the highlight was the Shurijo Castle. We spent about an hour-and-one-half there and then wandered around the commercial district for a while before going back to the ship. We then sailed to Shanghai. Shanghai was one oft he highlights of the trip. Our guide took us to the location where they have a 3-D model of the city and how it is being developed. The city is extremely dynamic and I expect it will eventually be the world's largest city. We also visited the marriage market where parents seek mates for their children. We then had a very good and not expensive Dim Sum lunch followed by a visit to an important Buddhist temple. We finished a a silk factory where we learned about silk production. I usually don't buy much on trips, but when I saw the prices on silk blankets, I asked my wife if she wanted one and we bought one. Little did we know trouble lay ahead. We returned to the ship in bright sunlight but shortly after we set sail we hit pea-soup fog. We couldn't get out local pilot back onto his service vessel, so there we sat for 18 hours. This meant we couldn't make Nagasaki and maintain the rest of our schedule. We spent three days at sea before making port in Kobe. We were supposed to clear immigration in Nagasaki so Kobe wasn't properly staffed. We stood in line for 90 minutes and missed out train for Kyoto. We finally got to Kyoto and found our guide for an abbreviated day of looking at historic and cultural sites. The next day the same guide met us for a few hours of seeing Kobe before we set sail for Shimizu. We managed to have an excellent lunch of Kobe beef before we left. Shimizu is a port for those wanting to see Mt. Fuji. What we weren't told is that Fuji is cloud covered about 70% of the time. Luck was not not with us making this a place that would be easy to skip. We ended the cruise in Yokohama. We took a taxi to our hotel in Tokyo ($78 per person). We were able to cut those expenses to Haneda airport when we left by taking a van to the monorail station. This time four of us got to the airport for about $63. Tokyo had great weather for our second and third day there. We visited the Imperial Gardens, several temples and shrines, and the Skytree observation tower. Using the subway was cheap and relatively easy. We found good food near our hotel at surprisingly low prices for a city like Tokyo. Our trip finished with an echo of how it had begun with Delta. Our plane was several hours late in leaving Tokyo for home. Delta did give us $36 dollars worth of food vouchers. When we got home (MSP) some wonderful happened. We were able to use the Mobile Passport app to clear customs and immigration in less than eight minutes. I would the ship a four star plus. Delta Airlines a two star and our tour guides four stars. The locations: Hong Kong four stars plus Naha three stars Shanghai five stars Nagasaki wash out Kyoto five stars Kobe four stars Shimizu one star Tokyo five stars Read Less
Sail Date April 2017

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click