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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see more of Japan. There's six of us in the group (3 couples). We we like cruising (especially with Princess) and the timing fitted our schedule and the itineraries are excellent. We did a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see more of Japan. There's six of us in the group (3 couples). We we like cruising (especially with Princess) and the timing fitted our schedule and the itineraries are excellent. We did a 2-days pre-cruise tour of Osaka and Kyoto. The beginning the Japan walkathon we have to do. On 6/20, we boarded Diamond Princess at Kobe Port and the embarkation went on smoothly. Our cabin C507 (Mid-Aft) is perfect choice because we have to spent so many days to spend ashore. Our queen size bed is very comfortable and smell fresh. We chose the 5:30 pm dining at Vivaldi Restaurant which has a perfect location, closer to the lobby of the cruise ship. The services provided by the servers are excellent. They remember our tea and water preferences throughout the duration of the cruise. We love the food selection and the Bento Japanese Box for breakfast. This is quite an experienced, because this is the first time we have this type of meal. Until the end of the cruise we had this food every morning (with variety of fish each time). The live entertainment are awesome. You will never get tired watching Princess singers and dancers. There's variety of shows every night; magic, comedy, opera singers, band, etc. If you love to dance, there's ballroom and disco band to go to . During At Sea Days, we did Zumba, line dancing and participated at some games held at the Piazza. You can also watch Fruit & Ice Carving. Lots of things to do and see. Room Steward will clean your room twice a day. You never want to leave Diamond Princess. But everything has an end. Our disembarkation went very smoothly. By the time we get to the waiting area, our color coded schedule has been called. We love Princess so much, we put a deposit for our next cruise. Once you put a deposit towards the cruise, you will receive an on-board credit automatically. Since we love cruising with Princess, we had two cruises to come. We could hardly wait for our next cruise and shore excursions adventures! Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Princess contractors in ports were cheating customers insisting you have to sign register for tickets to get on free bus. Ship's management, which was well aware of situation, refused to adjust $45 on bill that fraudulently stolen. ... Read More
Princess contractors in ports were cheating customers insisting you have to sign register for tickets to get on free bus. Ship's management, which was well aware of situation, refused to adjust $45 on bill that fraudulently stolen. Spent $50,000 with Carnival Corp. this year. Asian food in dining room was outstanding, service good, improved wine program great, bought gold 12 bottle package. Beef entries were outstanding, salads were tasteless, with no salad main courses on menu. Buffet is repetitive, many treys stay empty, mostly tasteless food. Inside room was small but adequate, shower very small, new bedding is comfortable. Ship's service is very inconsistent and unprofessional. Supervision on floor is non-existent, when you get a manager they always say they don't have any authority. Would do this ship again except for the $45 issue, lets you me know how much they value customers, this was our 5th and last Princesscruise, we are 4star on HAL will continue with concern. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this itinerary for our first trip to Japan, and the timing worked with school vacation. We traveled as two families, with 2 teenage girls. We spent 14 days on the Diamond, with two back to back 7 day cruises originating in Kobe. ... Read More
We chose this itinerary for our first trip to Japan, and the timing worked with school vacation. We traveled as two families, with 2 teenage girls. We spent 14 days on the Diamond, with two back to back 7 day cruises originating in Kobe. We spent 3 days in Tokyo pre-cruise, and then flew to KIX with a Princess shuttle to the port. The timing was perfect, and we did not have to wait long to board. Free WiFi seems to be in all the ports in Japan, if you want to save money on internet charges. We did purchase the Princess premium package, and the internet was better than previous cruises, but still slow at times with some trouble logging in particularly when in ports. Our first cruise was 1,500 Non Japanese, 1,100 Japanese and the second week was 2,500 Japanese and 300 Non Japanese. The Movies Under the Stars, some shows and the menu repeated on the two weeks. I would have liked a different menu, but didn't mind the rest. We ate at 7:45 PM which allowed time to relax after a day in port, but didn't allow much time for shows, and rain made a movie in the cabin more attractive (the new TV's give you a lot of choices). The ability to sing and dance with the Japanese guests was tremendous, and we enjoyed our ability to interact (despite language barriers) with them. Activities offered for learning more about Japanese culture were numerous, and trivia was usually in both languages. Meals in the dining room were OK, our wait staff was so kind and entertaining that we ate there even when the menu was not the attraction. Our teens did not attend the teen club after finding out there were only 47 teenagers 13 - 17 signed up, with only 6 who were 17. The teens spent time on various activities and in the gym which was less crowded than other cruises. The ports are mostly far from the attractions and cities, so a taxi or shuttle are necessary if you are not on a tour. Princess does offer a shuttle bus for around $15 at most ports. We did not know this, and so signed up for a mix of Princess and private excursions pre-cruise. Japan is easy to navigate, and on a future trip I might do more on my own. In Summary, we would cruise Japan again, either in the North or perhaps for the summer Festival cruise. We enjoyed the staff on the Diamond, and would have no hesitation returning. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see more of Japan, we like cruising (especially with Princess) and the timing fitted our schedule. Spent a week in Shinjuku before we boarded, so had re-acclimatised to Japanese food and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see more of Japan, we like cruising (especially with Princess) and the timing fitted our schedule. Spent a week in Shinjuku before we boarded, so had re-acclimatised to Japanese food and culture before we arrived to board the Diamond Princess. We were in our stateroom within 30 minutes of arriving at the dock. Everything was clean, ordered and minor changes we asked of our Room Steward were done without question or fuss, while we were at lunch. Because we had done our research we knew that we had signed up for two, seven day cruises, beginning at Kobe, stopping again at Kobe mid way and disembarking again at Kobe but with a different itinerary of ports for each week. The Diamond Princess has been based in Japan for the season, so we knew that the cruise would cater mainly for the Japanese market and so expected that the majority of the passengers would be Japanese and that was the case. Of 2800 passengers, some 1500 were Japanese, about 800 were from the US and Canada and about 500 from Australia and elsewhere. Announcements were made first in English, then in Japanese. Written correspondence was available in both languages. Evening shows and entertainment were in English. We had four ports the first week, including Taipei in Taiwan and then back to Kobe for a day and five ports the second week which included Busan in South Korea. We did our own thing in half the ports, working out where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see and then doing it. The Princess excursions were expensive, but well organised and guided. We were glad of a sea day as our final day, just to rest up a bit before we disembarked. The dinner menu in the dinning rooms catered for both Japanese and western tastes with enough variety for all but the unadventurous or very fussy. Serves are small, but we always go to late sitting (7:45pm) and when you're sitting down to a five course meal with wine and good conversation, you don't need huge plates of food. Our table waiters were excellent, bringing extras to the table when we asked and with their recommendations of dishes and wine. Horizon Court is what it is . . a buffet, catering for a multitude of tastes. The quality of the food is of a good standard again catering to both Japanese and western passengers. We went to the Sterling Steak House for one dinner. The restaurant is set up in a partitioned off section of the Horizon Court but it's well done. The tables are set and the waiting staff are of the same caliber as you would expect in a restaurant. The meal was excellent and well worth the cover charge. All in all a great three weeks away and another enjoyable Princess Cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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
27 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
5 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Chose this ship because it sailed to ports in and around Japan that I wanted to visit. Getting around in Japan is easy, we traveled from Kyoto on the day of the cruise by rail, you can take the shinkansen directly to Kobe or take a ... Read More
Chose this ship because it sailed to ports in and around Japan that I wanted to visit. Getting around in Japan is easy, we traveled from Kyoto on the day of the cruise by rail, you can take the shinkansen directly to Kobe or take a slightly slower train via Osaka which is what we did. Get of the train one station before Kobe and there is a tram which takes you directly to the ship, the tram cost about 200 yen, easy as. The ship is in good condition, but not as nice as some we have been on. Don't expect a party boat though, the Japanese are very conservative and most bars were as quite as the grave. Dining was a mixed bag, but mainly good. Breakfast as usual was plentiful with a good variety of western and Japanese food, The bacon was all american, wafer thin usually cold and cooked to cardboard, most mornings the eggs were luke warm, but you could order a hot omelette. Free ice cream Pizza and burgers all day to 10 pm. No such thing as a spicy curry on this or any other ship for that matter. Entertainment was very good but repeated itself after 7 days. Some entertainment was provided in the atrium but space was very limited and not up to the standard of other ships. As usual all staff were excellent, happy and glad to be of service. Shore excursions. Very very expensive if you team up with another couple, you can do it for yourselves in a taxi, by train or by bus for much less. Over all great ship, great ports and We enjoyed the cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary which was great and have travelled with princess a few times before.This cruise came up to our expectations which was good. The cruise was a back to Back cruise so the second weeks ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary which was great and have travelled with princess a few times before.This cruise came up to our expectations which was good. The cruise was a back to Back cruise so the second weeks entertainment was virtually a repeat of the first week but this was not a problem as we saw the shows when it suited us which was good. The ports of call were great. The staff on Diamond princess were terrific. Could not want for better . They were always cheerful and helpful , which is what we have come to expect from Princess. We had one little hick up with our dining which was rectified before the second night on board by the dining room staff which was much appreciated. Great ship and facilities. The embarkation and Disembarkation was smooth and fast. We were on board and in our stateroom within half an hour of arriving at the port. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this based on the advice of friend, its price point and the destinations in Japan. It was a back to back cruise, therefore two cruises, not made clear to me before we sailed. Not sure yet if it qualifies me for two cruises for ... Read More
We chose this based on the advice of friend, its price point and the destinations in Japan. It was a back to back cruise, therefore two cruises, not made clear to me before we sailed. Not sure yet if it qualifies me for two cruises for the purpose of obtaining points to upgrade my Princess premium status, or one. We were in cabin B710 with a balcony, nicely appointed. Cabin staff was excellent, thanks Hector. They were attentive, thorough and available, even when I locked myself out of my room. Since our friends were in the next cabin the opening of the door between us allowed us extra space on the balcony. But the ship, although clean, had a dated drab living room appearance, similar to what my grandma might have had (though I am myself elderly now 71). One of the bars, the Wake (did I name it correctly?) below the aft decks, was closed the entire voyage and not announced at any time. There were three onboard additional choices besides the dining rooms and the buffets, of which we tried two of which neither were very good. One, the Crab Shack, was only open one night of the 12 we were onboard and consisted of tables sectioned off at the tail end of the buffet. Food was just plain awful, too salty and not tender. Lack of taste to the shrimp. the touted "king crab" was not from Alaska and we were later informed it came frozen from Maine. They baked it with cheese - ouch! The other was Sabatini's, an Italian cafe. Veal was less than tender and overcooked. The lobster wasn't fresh either and my wife left it on her plate. Princess would do better than to charge the $29 per plate in these "specialty" restaurants rather than promote them separately. I'd frankly like the money back. Food in the buffet and dining room was just average, the too often roast beef either undercooked or overcooked, looking too raw to be appetizing. Some of the fruit wasn't fresh, most of it out of season or tasteless. Only one main choice though many extra stews, etc. Bread was fresh. In the dining room the portions were small, perhaps to cater to the Japanese tastes of which there were more than enough on the boat, the cruise originating in Japan, moving south toward Japanese ports, then Miyakajima, Okinawa and Taiwan. Dining staff also excellent and one night we asked for Southern Fried Chicken which was arranged for a lunch - the best meal on the trip, a thanks to Mark the maitre'd. Entertainment was lacking for anyone under 30. The shows were repeated such that of twelve nights we only saw four shows. A pretty lady opera virtuoso from the Phillipines was starring and no fault can be attributed to her opera choices. But as a pop star or when belting out standards she left something to be desired. Other shows were just average, the dancing OK and lead singers the same. Boat's orchestra, however, was one of the best I've heard aboard a cruise ship. Last night's entertainment was the Craigs, a duo of a strongman and former Olympian doing gymnastic gyrations and comedic oratory. Just plain amateurish, including an almost ten minute intro where nothing occurred onstage. I felt that they lacked sufficient material for a forty minute show. Not to mention that the local high schoolers could do more and better at that. Sorry Craigs, after 5000 performances and an appearance on Ellen it's time to retire. Why the boat docked in Miyakajima for six or eight hours (I forget) is still a mystery to me. Nothing exotic or different there except . . . maybe . .. the snorkeling. Taxiing to the supposedly best beach on the island I did snorkel for about forty minutes. The fish were good and it was better than average, water warm with a $15 charge for the gear. Still we waited almost an hour to board a tender to the dock (insufficient number of boats for the passengers) and another 40 minutes for a taxi (not enough of those on the island either - no busses as they run only every four hours) in front of the local dockside hotel which posted a "no cruise passenger" sign. I mean really, Miyakajima? Other ports of call were worth the visit - we sailed to see Japan and we did see it. But of twelve days at sea only nine were on land, including three coming and going ( we embarked, stopped and re-embarked from Kobe before returning there). An extra day in Keelung might have been a better choice. So only three ports the second leg and three the first, again wishing I had known it was back to back departures. Last there was the ocean itself. We were told (by bridge officers) that the ride south was a rarity, great warm weather and calm seas. But the ride back (and I'm a deep water sailor since boyhood) was quite rough; 40+ knot winds with high seas with 7 - 10 foot swells shaking the boat for two days and one night. Overall Princess has fallen down: older ship (built in 2004), food off the mark and Miyakajima do not make for a luxury cruise. I was pleased that the highlight of this voyage was a private tour of the bridge, occasioned by Third Officer Brandon, so thanks again for that. But would I take this boat again? I'd say that since Princess was acquired by Caravan that they have fallen down ( we are premium members after six or eight cruises with them since 1992). Too much emphasis on profit and not enough on the passengers. If you want to see Japan, try a land trip and go by rail. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
All you need to know about joining a Princess Cruise in Japan. 1. Yokohama Cruise Terminal to Central Tokyo. As at June 2018 the Port of Yokohama runs a free shuttle bus to Sakuragicho Station. The Shuttle Bus is parked right outside ... Read More
All you need to know about joining a Princess Cruise in Japan. 1. Yokohama Cruise Terminal to Central Tokyo. As at June 2018 the Port of Yokohama runs a free shuttle bus to Sakuragicho Station. The Shuttle Bus is parked right outside the exit door of the Yokohama Cruise Terminal. Port staff are their to help with your bags and answer questions in English. The trip from Sakuragicho Station to Yokohama Station takes 10 minutes, the Sakuragicho Station is one stop south of the main Yokohama Station and the fare to Yokohama is 140 Yen for an adult. The train leaves from Platform 4. Elevators and escalators are available to assist you in mananging your luggage. A Taxi to Yokohama Station takes 20 to 25 minutes and costs approx 40 to 50 Australian Dollars, depending on Traffic. Most Taxis only take 2 large bags in the boot, so please consider this before deciding to share a taxi with others. If you are going to Central Tokyo eg Shibuya, Shinjuku or Ikebukuro ( change lines at these Stations fot the Main Tokyo Circle Line called JR Yamananote for the main Tokyo Station or Uneo). Go thru the exit gate and turn left, you will see a ticket vending machine on a wall. Push the English button, usually top right. A ticket from Yokohama to Ikebukuro is 640 Yen. The line is the Shonon - Shinjuku Line a train leaves at 8.48 am, next at 9.04 am so they are frequent. If you have a problem with the machine, between the ticket exit gate and the ticket machine their is an Information Office, they will provide maps, advise ticket cost and tell you the correct platform. Once you have your ticket, go back thru the Ticket Gate you used to exit from the Sakuragicho Train. Now turn left and go to Platform 10. There is both a lift and escalotrs to assist with luggage. Please note you need to catch a green and orange coloured train. Many trains leave from this platform, so make sure you get on the Green and Orange Train. The trip takes 55 minutes to Ikebukuro Station which is on the North West side of central Tokyo. Taxis are plentiful at most Station exits in Tokyo, please check they take credit cards, most do, the Japanese word for Credit Card is Cardo. 2. Yokohama to Narita by NEX Narita Express Train. To get to Narita Airport the best way is by the NEX Narita Express from Yokohama Station. A return ticket ( valid for 14 days) for an adult is 9,000 yen and a child 4,328 yen. The trip from Yokohama Station to Narita takes 1.5 hours and you must book a seat and the deal ios for sale only in Japan. If you want more information please go to www.jreast.co.jp/e/ 3. From Osaka Airport (kansai) to Kobe Cruise Terminal When you arrive at Osaka ( Kansai) Airport follow the boat signs, you will go down one floor and it looks like you are going to exit the building but just before the exit on the left you will see a booth selling the high speed ferry tickets for the Kansai - Kobe Bay Shuttle Service. Single adult 1,850 yen, chhild 9,30 yen. If you show your passport you will recieve a huge discount and pay only 500 Yen. Turn left, then first right out of the Terminal the free buses to the ferry Terminal will be outside. Staff are their are to direct you to the correct queue for the Ferry. The trip takes 5 minutes to the ferry dock. Ferry trip is 30 minutes. Seating is comfortable. Once you arrive at the Kobe Ferry Dock, you are taken on a free Bus to Kobe Airport. You now tkae the Portliner train from the airport to the Port Cruise Terminal stop P03 which is 6 stops from the Kobe Airport Station about 7kms. The walk from the Cruise Port Terminal Station to the ship embarkcation point is less than 100 meters. A Taxi from Kobe Airport to the Cruise Terminal is 30 to 40 Australian Dollars depending on Traffic. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This cruise gave us the opportunity to see parts of Japan we hadn’t visited. The break down of passengers would have been approx. 80% Japanese, as expected with 20% from many other nationalities. We found the cruise interesting, ... Read More
This cruise gave us the opportunity to see parts of Japan we hadn’t visited. The break down of passengers would have been approx. 80% Japanese, as expected with 20% from many other nationalities. We found the cruise interesting, entertaining and a lot of fun. We do not speak Japanese and communication was not a challenge, just a lot of fun getting to know the people and their manner. Politeness was always at the forefront. We Had close contact with a number of Japanese folk, lunch with a group of 4women we met on a tour, and elderly couple who spoke some English and many others during the days/nights. The shops on board were as good or better than anything we have seen previously and I give the singers and dancers a 10 out of 10. Public rooms as always were very clean tidy and well presented. STAFF also as always were there to help with a smile and some great conversation. 10/10 for Staff/Crew. The ship, Diamond Princess was like a new ship in appearance and facilities. We did have, in our section a few toilet blockages (due to,lack of care by a passenger) whoever these were attended to immediately and cleared. Other than that the cruise was close to perfect. The weather, although often overcast was warm to hot and overall good throughout our 12 days onboard. Our Captain was friendly, very informative and a man who obviously enjoyed his job. He spoke with a degree of passion about his ship and crew and made everyone feel like part of his family. We couldn’t have asked for a better cruise and would recommend this to anyone interested in history and culture to take a similar cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We have just returned from a wonderful cruise to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan on the Diamond Princess. We totally disagree with all the complaining reviews of the ship. We loved it. The food was excellent, the cabin better than ... Read More
We have just returned from a wonderful cruise to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan on the Diamond Princess. We totally disagree with all the complaining reviews of the ship. We loved it. The food was excellent, the cabin better than expected and the bed extremely comfortable. All the crew at every level were friendly, welcoming and very efficient and helpful. The ship was smart and clean and we enjoyed meeting the other passengers. We have been on many many cruises and, while we prefer small ships, we found that size was not a problem on the Diamond Princess. Though it was busy, we rarely queued at all for food in Horizon and were always able to disembark as soon as we wanted to except at the one tender port. The downsides: We don't like fixed dining as the times are not convenient. We never go on the ship's organised excursions as they are ludicrously expensive and one is herded around in big groups, wasting time waiting for others and then being rushed through the most interesting places. On this cruise we found it very easy to find our own way around, especially with the excellent advice of Luca the Destination Expert plus a great deal of our own research in advance. This was also much much cheaper - public transport was efficient and very easy to use. We don't drink on cruises as the bar prices and service charge are far too high, especially given that drinks should be duty free, We don't cruise for the shows. If they are good then that is a bonus, if we are bored we discreetly leave. We cruise for destinations we want to go to at a reasonable price and the convenience of not having to pack and unpack in order to travel around plus good food without having to search for restaurants in unknown places! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I don't mind a night at a Holiday Inn or Days Inn while on the road, but a 12 day cruise in that category is way too much. When the carrots and peas are on the salad buffet instead of those small corn things and water chestnuts, you ... Read More
I don't mind a night at a Holiday Inn or Days Inn while on the road, but a 12 day cruise in that category is way too much. When the carrots and peas are on the salad buffet instead of those small corn things and water chestnuts, you know you are in trouble. In a word, the food was CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP QUALITY TOO.. They did have smoked salmon (lox to us), but that was hidden away and I had to ask for it (too expensive to put out). The cruise was NOT marketed to US audience as two back to back cruises (six days each) and for a Japanese passenger. 95% of the passengers were Japanese with everything (including the ship) retrofitted for them, I wanted to see the culture, but that was more than a little much. 2,000 Japanese on the ship makes for a nightmare. Think 30 of them pushing and shoving trying to squeeze into a 15 person elevator! To their credit, the stewards, servers, and other crew were very nice and helpful. The mechanic showed up to change out our stained and gross toilet right after we called. In general, the ship was as tired as we were after the cruise. It didn't please me that we paid the "US market" price while other passengers paid the greatly discounted prices marketed to their 95% other passengers. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Our second time on the Diamond and an even better experience than two years ago. There was a real feeling of friendliness, generated by the whole crew, that made the sailing experience exceptional. Whoever is in charge is doing a great ... Read More
Our second time on the Diamond and an even better experience than two years ago. There was a real feeling of friendliness, generated by the whole crew, that made the sailing experience exceptional. Whoever is in charge is doing a great job and is fortunate to have an exceptional crew Embarkation was quick and efficient. Loved the sake barrel tradition before the sail away and the large numbers of Japanese passengers on both the cruises made them the trip even more interesting and informative. Our cabin was a standard balcony looked after by Arnold, who was first class in all respects: we've never had a bad Steward but Arnold was one of the very best. We dined in the Vivaldi restaurant every evening. The food varied from good to excellent, although having a couple of repeat menus on a 12 night cruise was a little disappointing. Our waiters, Marlou and Jefforine were simply wonderful, they took time and care and were always cheerful and positive. Although they were efficient they went about their business in a relaxed, friendly manner and appeared to be genuinely happy to talk to us. Without doubt they enhanced the whole dining experience. Everything worked well, we arrived at our ports on time and enjoyed most of our stops. The on board destination expert gave us useful and relevant information that enabled us to travel independently in most instances. We will use Princess again Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This cruise was disappointing in several areas. Clearly, the Diamond Princess is set up to cater to the unique (and unusual) needs of Japanese passengers. Service is poor if you aren't Japanese and the entertainment venues were ... Read More
This cruise was disappointing in several areas. Clearly, the Diamond Princess is set up to cater to the unique (and unusual) needs of Japanese passengers. Service is poor if you aren't Japanese and the entertainment venues were overrun with geriatric Japanese line/ballroom dancers. We waited over 90 minutes to disembark for a Princess tour with the explanation that there were not enough tenders and the on-board Japanese groups (they use tour guides on the ship) had to be taken care of first (sort of defeats the purpose of booking an excursion through the ship at tender ports!). This 12 night cruise was actually a 7 night followed by a 5 night. The second part of the cruise (5 days) was extremely repetitive from the entertainment, to the food (which declined in quality), to the service. Our dining room was so poor (70 minute wait for the main course on a formal night and then the lobster was old, apparently reheated, and not even grilled; further the menu is half Japanese food severely limiting the non-Japanese options each night) that, my wife and I, for the first time in 7 cruises, abandoned the dining room for the buffet over the last three nights of the cruise. We specifically booked this cruise because friends had spoken highly of Princess (our previous cruises were on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, and Carnival). Several fellow passengers on this cruise, one with 19 Princess cruises, told us that the Diamond Princess was not indicative of Princess as a whole. Additionaly, the shore excursions, while enjoyable, were much higher than comparable excursions on other lines. FYI, I tried to find alternative excursions but without 6-8 peopele I didn't have much luck. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I've been wanting to go to Japan for many years. I have a friend in Tokyo but, still, this destination never came to the top of my destination list. This summer, however, my college-age daughter had a summer abroad program in Tokyo ... Read More
I've been wanting to go to Japan for many years. I have a friend in Tokyo but, still, this destination never came to the top of my destination list. This summer, however, my college-age daughter had a summer abroad program in Tokyo so my husband and I decided the 3 of us would go a week early and check out Japan! I'd always heard that cruises were not the best way to see Japan because so much of what you'd want to see is too far inland from the ports. I can't argue with that, but I can say that when we stayed for 2 weeks after the cruise and traveled on our own, it was quite challenging! Mainly because of so few English speakers, even in tourist areas. We've done a lot of traveling over the years and I normally opt for escorted tours when I think there will be language obstacles, but the tours I looked at for Japan were very expensive. We just did those two weeks on our own, with the help of my friend from Tokyo when we were in a pinch. With her help, we were able to see Kyoto and Nara and really enjoyed both. Going on the cruise, though, is something I'd recommend as a great taste of Japan, at a reasonable price and you didn't have to worry about managing in a country that is so foreign to Americans. So, this was my 9th cruise. It's been a while since I was on Princess, but it turns out there are some perks if you are a repeat cruiser with them. Their database didn't go back far enough to find my last cruise, but they said I could send photos to the company to prove I'd been a customer in the past. (Perks go up with number of cruises you've taken.) I thought the ship was lovely. But most cruise ships are. They all have their special things. I can't say that any one cruise line really stood out, but the ship was nice. This was the second time I've had a balcony. Once you've had one, it is hard to go back! Previously, a window was good enough. This room was an upgrade through our agent and was supposed to be one level under a suite. We were in cabin C531. Room was configured with twin beds (can be pushed together), and a bed that dropped out of ceiling. Ladder to get up there didn't seem totally stable, but fine for a 20-year-old to use. I wouldn't have been comfortable climbing up there! The steward put the bed back into the ceiling after the 2nd night, but then there was no place for our daughter to lounge or nap in the room. After that, we just asked him to leave it down. Not optimal for person sleeping underneath, but not bad. Better than paying for daughter to have her own room! We went on one week of a two-week loop cruise; May 27 - Jun 3. We chose this week because it worked with the timing of when my daughter had to be in Tokyo for her summer program. Our ports were Okinawa, Ishigaki, and Taipei. Our ship had almost 2700 guests. During our week, there were about 200 English speakers. No problem, but it was unexpected. We spoke to people who had done both weeks and they said that the previous week there were about 700 English speakers. (There were more ports the first week, which attracts foreigners, and Japanese cruisers preferred more days at sea...or that's what I was told.) Only advantage to more English speakers for us was that there would be more opportunities to meet and converse with other travelers. One disappointment was that at dinner, we were the only 3 at our table. I thought we'd be seated with other travelers and could compare notes. If that is important to you, you better request it. So instead, we typically had either breakfast or lunch in the international dining room, where we would be seated with others who spoke our same language. Even then, it wasn't always easy to be seated with others unless you walked in close to the same time. I did request to be seated with others and they were always willing to accommodate. The service we received on the ship was always excellent! We had really nice servers at dinner! I think that the food was more suited to Japanese preferences, though there were always yummy things to choose from. Regarding the portions, they were are on smaller side, but they were also unlimited so I preferred getting to sample a wider variety and then asking for more of my favorite. I thought the buffet was good. We went several times for lunch. Something for everyone. Didn't see much entertainment. We had the second seating for dinner and we couldn't seem to make it to the shows until it was 'standing room only.' Didn't want to see it that much! The show we did see was good. Note: the behind the scenes tour of theater and kitchen where interesting. Other on-board activities we liked were the trivia games and we especially liked the movies under the stars! I wish they had had a room set up with jigsaw puzzles like they did on our last cruise to Alaska on Holland America. Also, for the first time, we bought the unlimited non-alcoholic beverage package for the cruise. There were several "mocktails'" that were yummy. Plus you could get sodas (no diet coke, but they did have Coke Zero). Hot chocolate was included, too. You paid a tip, but only on the total, not on each drink, so we thought it was well worth it. Could only buy it the first day of cruise. I think it was $7 per day, put 15% tip on the total. Alcohol Package was a lot more expensive. We just bought individual cocktails if we wanted them. Also, you could bring a bottle of wine per adult when you boarded. I think that was your only opportunity. (Drinking age in Japan is 20) Excursions: We did an excursion in Okinawa through the ship. If I look up the title, I'll never finish this review! We went to a ''living museum'' type of place where they showed crafts, served tea samples, and had entertainment in the form of a Japanese show. You could explore at own pace or walk with guide. We did half-and-half as we lost the guide when we tried to buy shave ice and couldn't figure out the machine to place order! Shave ice was delicious. (Tip...even though there are women to prepare your order at window, you order on a panel where you put in your money and push button for what you want. I think it then gave you a receipt that you gave to the counter help.) The show was entertaining, especially the Lion-Dog. At end you could stand in line and have them take a photo (with your phone or camera, no charge) with the whole cast. Cute! Also went to see Shikinaen Royal Garden on that excursion. Quite lovely, but not a show-stopper. Over all, we enjoyed it! Plus, it was nice getting general info from the guide on the bus! (BEWARE...Some excursions are given in Japanese and some in English. English tours were more expensive and some people complained. I assumed it was because they paid a premium for English guides as there were very few English speakers that we came across in Japan.) In Ishigaki, we just walked into town. Went to the open market called Euglena Mall. Cute enough. Brought some souvenirs but highlight was getting a frozen juice bar at a shop just a block down from mall at Fruit Jewelry Factory. (Not a jewelry store...Check it out on Yelp) They had many food items for gifts, too. In Taipei, we just bought the bus trip into town. Unfortunately, I bought the Japanese version and it was too late to change by the time I discovered mistake! On the other hand, it was less expensive than English tour for the same thing! Turned out fine. As long as we knew where to pick up bus back to ship at end of day, we were good! Bus dropped off and picked up at Taipei 101 Buildilng...a very easy landmark to find! When we arrived, we started down the escalator to have a Starbucks drink and get our bearings! We ended up in same building for lunch. Steamed dumplings and other delicious items. No menus in English, but at least there were pictures we could point to. Also, you can pay to go to a top floor and look at the view. We didn't but in the area where you buy tickets, there were lots of cool souvenirs to buy. Lastly, the tour guide had about $20 worth of money from Taiwan that you could buy with Japanese yen. That made exchange convenient. Used money to pay for lunch and a couple of souvenirs. So bottom line...with you enjoy cruising in general, I do recommend doing this cruise. Especially if it is the only way you'll see Japan! I'd probably have done the opposite week that had a stop in South Korea and seen more ports in Japan. PS I didn't care for Sushi restaurant...not to my American taste. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Restaurant food was mostly served warm I did not complain about this as I am Chef and understand the difficulties of serving large amounts of covers in a limited time frame. But on stating that a great improvement needs to happen there is ... Read More
Restaurant food was mostly served warm I did not complain about this as I am Chef and understand the difficulties of serving large amounts of covers in a limited time frame. But on stating that a great improvement needs to happen there is no excuse for serving warm soup a simple probe thermometer would prevent this.I started to wonder if this was a ploy to get guests to eat faster as they did not have to wait for the food to cool down. Fritte misto is not a dish that should be cooked and kept warm as mine was the batter was not crisp and the other ingredients warm including the chips another item that should not be kept warm. Even McDonalds has a system to ensure this does not happen.Perhaps more training is needed , better supervision or a system introduced to ensure this does not happen. Lunch in the main dining room. The food was better than the dinner meal as the service was not so rushed. Again some of the food was only warm,soup yet again. I enjoyed most of the meals I ate here and the quality was acceptable. Enjoyed most of the meals I ate at the self serve buffet variety, freshness and quality was good. Hard to get a table at times drinks from the bar took a long time to arrive. I solved this by waiting for my drinks to arrive before eating. Two issues I had rock hard pancakes one morning another system failure. As stated being a chef I am well aware of hygiene issues, wiping down a table with a cloth that has been sitting in soapy water is not acceptable, not that tables were wiped down a lot. Sometimes they were reset without being wiped, no sanitiser was ever seen by me to sanitise tables. So your foodsafe program is not being adhered to. I realise stocking of bars is limited but a few more Australian beers would be appreciated plus the choice of a light alcohol beer. The Japanese took over and were served regardless of your place in line. Length of hours in port at Okinowa was changed from the original itinerary with no notification until the night before. Again Ishagaki port hours were changed considerably with notification only received the night before.No reason was given as to why a change of an hour & a half latter than stated itinerary, this is a big difference especially for people who had private tours organised like myself. A complete shambles ensured with the tender process after waiting for over 1.5 hours we finally left for shore at 11.10 a complete waste of the day. No apology was made or any explanation given as to why the holdup happened. Terrible customer relations the PA system could have been used to explain the delay as a lot of guests were getting very angry and pissed off because no explanation was given. The Princess App has a Messenger service why not utilise this. While mentioning the messenger service an alert needs to be added to the service such as vibration or sound as nobody looks at there phone every 5 min. to check for messages. Overall even though most of my comments are negative the comments are to help Princess improve, as without feedback nothing can be improved. We still enjoyed the cruise, staff were great as usual, service was excellent . The itinerary included some great ports well worth a visit plus we caught up with some friends in Taiwan. Will stick with Princess in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, and the ports were everything we hoped for and more. Unfortunately, the cruise itself was the worst we've been on, for several reasons: Princess wanted £60 pp each way for transfers between ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, and the ports were everything we hoped for and more. Unfortunately, the cruise itself was the worst we've been on, for several reasons: Princess wanted £60 pp each way for transfers between the ship and airport. Thank goodness we saw this for the rip-off it was and decided against booking these. We found our own way for a few £ each. Similarly, the shore excursions were much more expensive than usual, so we chose to make our own way despite not knowing a word of Japanese. We were glad we did as Japan is easily navigable for English speakers - all stops on public transport are written/announced in English. On board, the dining experience is one of the highlights of cruising for us, but we were disappointed as soon as we entered the tiny dining room (1 of 5 small separate, grim ones) instead of a large, glamorous one. We soon realised it was worse than it seemed, because whenever the waiters walked past our table, our chairs moved because the floor was so spongy! The food was mediocre at best and the portions were tiny. We only managed one show in two weeks because showtimes almost always conflicted with dinner. The only time there was a film 'under the stars' actually on after dark, it was a children's film, so we never experienced what would have been a welcome diversion on the dullest cruise we've ever been on. We've never had so little to do on a cruise before! We couldn't even enjoy a quiet drink after dinner in a cosy cocktail bar because there wasn't one! In the tender port of Ishigaki, we queued 2.5 to get off the ship. (The stop was only 5.5 hours) and by the time we finally got off the ship (there were only three tenders going) we didn't have time to do what we'd planned. In Keelung, we queued 30 minutes in the searing heat to embark and when we asked the head of hotel what the delay was, he blamed the customers for all coming back at the same time! Imagine blaming the customers when the liner lays on the excursions to all arrive back at the same time - we thought we were being responsible coming back an hour before we had to, only to get caught up in a backlog like we've never seen before - and get blamed for it too. Most significantly. my best suitcase was ruined beyond repair by careless handling during disembarkation. It caused me huge delay and inconvenience trying to get it home. In the two months since, all Princess has done is try to frustrate me into giving up on getting it replaced, sending me in endless circles on a wild goose chase. To add insult to injury, they even suggested my suitcase was already broken (as if!) and that I might be making a fraudulent claim. To Princess, cruisers are walking wallets to be emptied and once they've had your money, they don't give a toss if they ruin your belongings - AVOID! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
To start we only did the first 7 days of the itinerary listed above. We started in Kobe then went to Kochi, Hiroshima, Beppu, Kagoshima, and Busan. We initially chose this cruise because it went to Hiroshima which is a port we wanted to go ... Read More
To start we only did the first 7 days of the itinerary listed above. We started in Kobe then went to Kochi, Hiroshima, Beppu, Kagoshima, and Busan. We initially chose this cruise because it went to Hiroshima which is a port we wanted to go to, but the port that I loved most was Busan. It was such an amazing city and there was even a port festival going on while we were in port and it included fireworks. What a special surprise! We had a mini suite which allowed us to spread out in our cabin, but I'm not sure it was worth the upgrade amount that we paid. One great thing that I loved was that there were so many movies that were available in the stateroom on-demand. They were completely free and there was a great selection. Overall the ship was largely the same as other princess ships I have been on and the food was the same, although there were great Asian touches in food and entertainment that catered to Japanese tastes. Overall this was a great introduction to a part of Japan and South Korea that I have never been to before. It makes me want to go back and explore more. The only downside was that there was only 1 sea day. I usually like a number of sea days so that I can use the amenities offered on the ship and can relax without feeling like I'm missing out on anything on shore. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
A Seabourn on-board credit of $250 @ guest was provided for on-going pool deck area and pool repairs with patio restaurant interruption. In our opinion, the compensation offered was inadequate for the scope of repairs and interruption. ... Read More
A Seabourn on-board credit of $250 @ guest was provided for on-going pool deck area and pool repairs with patio restaurant interruption. In our opinion, the compensation offered was inadequate for the scope of repairs and interruption. Seabourn's response to our survey review on this inadequaecy included the following: "We ... apologize for the onboard maintenance on Deck 8 that disturbed you during your recent sailing. Because our ships sail continually, certain tasks and improvements must be performed while at sea. We attempt to accomplish all necessary work in a manner that is least disruptive to our travelers, and we regret any inconvenience you encountered. With this, we regret that the compensation offered to you did not meet your expectations. ... While we are unable to offer additional compensation in this situation, we hope you will accept our deepest regrets for your disappointment." The necessary deck area repair was mentioned in a February negative review. Had we known that this disturbance, disappointment and interruption would have occurred, we would have avoided this sailing. The amount of compensation provided by Seabourn was very inadequate. Food was overall great, drinks as well. Entertainment was excellent; service top notch. Thomas Keller was THE SAME; Seabourn needs to revisit their contract with Keller. Will not eat there any more. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise because of very good past experiences on Seabourn, particularly on the 210 passenger “little sisters”. When they introduced the larger (450 passenger) ships the loss of the country club ambiance was significant. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of very good past experiences on Seabourn, particularly on the 210 passenger “little sisters”. When they introduced the larger (450 passenger) ships the loss of the country club ambiance was significant. One glaring but understandable change was the dramatically reduced use of passenger’s names, it was a very common and pleasant feature on the smaller ships but it would be unreasonable to expect it to continue with 450 passengers names to try and remember. It was a bit disappointing that on a 21 day cruise the bar staff didn’t eventually pick up on at least a few of the names of the nightly regulars. The other disappointing aspect of the bar service was that regardless of how busy the the place was, the Observation Bar closed at exactly midnight, no excuses, no exceptions, we’re closed! The strict closing time of the Observation Bar meant having to relocate to The Club for late night drinks, but you needed to hurry because after midnight they close as soon as the guest count drops below six people. Also, late arrivals (11:30pm or later) were clearly not welcome, particularly if you were a medium sized group. The staff didn’t groan but the facial expressions and negative body language were unmistakable. The turning up the lights, the partial closing of the shutters and the mopping behind the bar were other less than subtle indicators that we should leave. Given that all drinks are complimentary, it did occur to me that Carnival’s bean-counters may pressure the bar staff to shut down early and that puts those otherwise good staff in the unwelcome position of having to turf out guests who are reluctant to leave. This repeated experience was in sharp contrast to the hospitality enjoyed on previous Seabourn cruises. Similar issues were noted in the main dining room which was clearly understaffed and where a number of servers seemed inexperienced and overwhelmed. Most of the obvious rookie staff maintained a very good attitude, trying hard to be polite and cheerful at all times. Unfortunately, some of the senior staff appeared to have difficulty handling the stress and could be quite sullen or irritable. Once again I suspect the bean-counters are responsible for this. The food in all of the restaurants usually varied between good and very good, with an occasional course which qualified as truly outstanding. I did have a couple of disappointing steaks but that was only due to being served “medium well” instead of the requested “medium rare”. In the past Seabourn has allowed me to go “off menu” on those very rare occasions when none of the night’s offerings appealed. This is no longer allowed without 24 hours notice. Unfortunately I don’t know what will be on tomorrow’s menu or what food I’ll be in the mood for. I understand that going off menu is not something they want to widely encourage but having that option available was one of the things which used set Seabourn apart. Whilst on the subject of food, the main restaurant’s attempt to produce a decent soufflé was pitiful. I ordered several during the first week of the cruise, each time hoping somebody in the kitchen would realize that sponge cake and soufflé are not the same thing, even if the sponge cake is hollow and you open up the thick sponge top-layer to pour in the sauce. This resembles assembly line food, not the “A la minute” preparation which they claim. And now for a slightly sad but still mildly amusing incident related to the faux soufflé. When served with a sponge cake masquerading as a Poire William soufflé, it arrived very obviously alcohol free. “No problem” I foolishly thought, “I’ll just order a shot of Poire William and add it myself”. The obliging young server went away to fetch some but returned with the news that there was none available anywhere on the ship. The server’s discomfort was palpable when I asked for a shot from the generous supply that the kitchen must have on hand for tonight’s featured soufflé. A few minutes later the server returned in the company of the sommelier who (with a straight face) informed me that for soufflé they only use Poire William powder, hence my request for a shot could not be fulfilled. I do enjoy an occasional bit of fun so I feigned great interest in the powder product and requested the name and address of the manufacturer so that I could order some for home use. I suggested a cellphone picture of the label would be perfect. Unsurprisingly, the sommelier did not return with the requested information and avoided me for the rest of the cruise. In summary, my wife and I had a very enjoyable cruise, thanks in large part to some wonderful fellow passengers and several marvelous crew members. We still think Seabourn rates highly but the cutbacks are evident, from little things like the reduced quality of the caviar to the more serious problem of understaffing and early bar closings. We have paid a deposit for a future cruise in the hope that smarter management will reverse the decline but, if the bean counters continue to cut corners, it will probably be our last cruise on this once great cruise line. Perhaps this is all part of a plan to move towards a younger and less demanding demographic with which to fill their much larger and more impersonal ships. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This was our 1st cruise on Seabourn. We had heard great things from people we met on other cruises about Seabourn and wanted to give it a try. We live in Asia so the 21 day Kobe Japan to Alaska cruise sounded great. We flew to Osaka and ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise on Seabourn. We had heard great things from people we met on other cruises about Seabourn and wanted to give it a try. We live in Asia so the 21 day Kobe Japan to Alaska cruise sounded great. We flew to Osaka and took the high speed ferry across to Kobe. Stayed one night in Kobe and headed for Kyoto the next day on the train. A little rainy but had a great time in Kyoto for 2 days seeing the sights and then back to Kobe. The next day we made our way to the cruise center where the Sojourn was patiently waiting for us. Check in was the best we have ever experienced. As we made our way into the building we were welcomed and directed to the checkin area. We had no wait time at all for the check in and boarded the ship. We were greeted by the Hotel Director and Cruise Director Sophie then offered a flute of champagne. We had 2 hours before our stateroom was ready so we had lunch in the Colonnade and explored the whole ship. I will say the ship is beautiful and well maintained. We were in 533 which was the most forward stateroom on deck 5. We had a wonderful balcony and the room was excellent. Large bathroom with double sinks, bathtub, separate shower and all done in marble / granite. A walk-in closet with personal safe and bathrobes and slippers. The bed was excellent, very comfortble. The living area, which closed off from the bedroom with heavy drapes, consisted of a sofa on one side and table and 2 chairs on the other. TV and the bar/refrig were situated between the two room segments. The bar & refrig had our favorite liqueurs, beers and sodas. A bottle of Champagne was on ice for us. All in all we loved the stateroom! Wandering around the ship we amazing at the beauty of the design and the quality of the materials to constructct it. Wonderful! We had a non-eventful safety briefing in the dining room and the ship departed for our first stop in Japan. Weather was a hit or miss situation during our Japan stops. We loved Japan and the friendly people. We plan to return soon. The Pacific crossing was 7 days and we definitely were happy to get off the ship in Kodiak. Kodiak was having their annual Crab Festival and the freshly cooked crabs were delicious. The weather in Alaska was excellent, we got lucky. Hubbard Glacier was on a perfect almost cloudless day and the captain rotated the ship a couple times so everyone could get a great view. Juneau was perfect weather too unlike the last time there when it was heavy rain the entire day. Mendenhal Glacier was well worth the time, especially Nugget Falls. The cable up to Mt. Roberts was a great view and mostly a gift shop and hiking trails on the top. Dining on the ship was pretty good overall. The Colonnade was alright but we thought it buffet area was too limited. In 21 days we only went here 3 - 4 times. Breakfast we normally ordered in the room. Lunch we like the patio or were off the ship. Dinner we dined mostly in The Restaurant and found it most of the time excellent. We had Evalu as our server who was outstanding. Seabourn was trying a new system which was the servers worked alone without an assistant but had fewer tables. I don't think it was as good & was harder on the server. They said it was a test. One thing we will comment on is the quality of meat in the dining room. ( We have noticed this on several different cruise lines.) Seems they reduce the quality of the steaks in the dining room and you need to go to the specialty restaurants to get truly good steaks. The meat seems to be lower quality cuts tenderized and this effects the taste of the meat. Any way this pushed us to go the Thomas Keller's Grill. Thomas Keller's had superb steaks and the lobster ( though I have seen shrimp bigger) and the service was second to none. Jonathan keep our glasses filled with our favorite beverage. However.... when it came to the Ceasar Salad it was the worst I have ever had, hard to recognize it as a Ceasar Salad. Too much olive oil poured over it as it was being mixed. Tried their Chopped Iceberg salad with blue cheese dressing. It was terrible. Half a head of lettuce with the center filled with olive oil and vinegar. Then you add the blue chees dressing?? The second time to TK I asked that no oil or vinegar be used and the salad was then superb. We ate 4 times at TK and was not impressed on the first visit but loved the last three because we asked that they alter the preparation. ( no salt or pepper on the steaks, all oils or any dressing on the side for the salads. It was funny in that the main chef brought my altered salad to me... probably wanted to see who was upsetting Thomas K. ) LOL Seabour Square was the meeting place with the coffee bar, Internet station, retail stores, future cruise & guest relations. Entertainment was good but we only went twice in 21 nights. Issues that tainted a perfectly good cruise: Our stateroom location was terrible. From the very first night we had noise all night. Not the neighbors but the doors. We were located across from a very busy crew access door and the heavy water tight doors were adjoining our room wall. We heard banging doors all night. After talking with guest relations they adjusted the crew doors and that fixed that part of the issue. However the water tight doors were closed every night at 11pm or 12am and anyone going down the hallway need to go through these doors. The doors automatically closed hard to insure they were tight. This issue never was remedied. Also the work being done on the pool deck was loud and the chemical / glue smell was terrible so nobody was able to enjoy the pool area or patio grill. They did give every cabin a $500 OBC and apologized which was nice but did not make up for the loss to the cruise experience. So bottom line is that we had a nice cruise which was marred by a few items. The first was cancelling Glacier Bay in Alaska which was the main reason we booked this cruise. Will we go on Seabourn again? Yes.... but we will be more careful on cabin selection and we will complain more forcefully if there is a problem. Seabourn ships are more like big Yachts and they are beautiful. Service is excellent. Food is excellent if you tell them how you want it. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose to take this cruise after a good cruise on Sun princess. unfortunately after selecting a Suite our expectations were not met. The suites are larger and come with some more benefits than club class or other staterooms but it was a ... Read More
We chose to take this cruise after a good cruise on Sun princess. unfortunately after selecting a Suite our expectations were not met. The suites are larger and come with some more benefits than club class or other staterooms but it was a great disappointment when it came to the dining options and quality. The speciality restaurants were mixed, with the Steak House coming as a great steak, and attentive staff....the breakfast for suite guests was again great, but you should miss the other options including the buffet. The ship was clearly catering for a predominantly Japanese clientele, not surprising, but the activities were not memorable, and don’t worry about the coffee it is terrible. I bought a coffee card and on the last day expecting to keep it for a future cruise was advised any credit was gone on the last day. The excursions were reasonable but expensive. Laundry was included for the suites and this was a real benefit. The balcony although large was in bad condition, and the reminants of paint and wood scraping stayed for more than 3 days without being cleaned up. Spa treatments were average and I suspect a number of new therapists were onboard. For my massage the therapist dropped the bamboo massage sticks three or four times, not very relaxing. We had a large bathroom but the adapted toilet seat made it uncomfortably small and a challenge to use. The grout in the shower had a lot of discolouration so they really do need to check the quality of cleaning. Most of the crew were great, so let’s put it down to a relaxed hotel manager and Management team. After this cruise we intend to cancel two future cruises with princess,and go looking for a better option. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Old ship. Very little food choice and uninteresting. Absolute terrible shows. We were really disappointed with this cruise having expected much more according to the princess brochure. Very little food choices in the buffet. Had plastic ... Read More
Old ship. Very little food choice and uninteresting. Absolute terrible shows. We were really disappointed with this cruise having expected much more according to the princess brochure. Very little food choices in the buffet. Had plastic tooth pick in the seafood salad and when complained they didn’t really do anything or truly care. The ship is starting to look old and tired. My bed sheets had three huge holes in the sheets and the beds were not that comfortable. I had to keep asking for amenities to be replenished each day. Princess are obviously trying to cut costs back to an absolute minimum that’s for sure. The shows were what really took the cake. Except two big production shows the others were both embarrassing and awful. Worse than bad talent contest. Can not believe they would put such bad shows on a ship. Unbelievable. Will NEVER go princess cruises ever again. This was the fifth time and the last! Read Less

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