1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Princess Cruises
  4. Princess Cruises Cruise Reviews

7 Princess Kobe Cruise Reviews

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
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
Sail Date May 2019
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
Sail Date May 2018
We travelled on 3 Diamond Princess cruises out of Kobe... 1. Busan, Kyushu, Shikoku. 2. Ryuku Islands, Taiwan. 3. Hokkaido. Total of 27 days on the ship but we stayed 8 days in Kyoto between the 2nd/3rd cruises. Overall enjoyed the ... Read More
We travelled on 3 Diamond Princess cruises out of Kobe... 1. Busan, Kyushu, Shikoku. 2. Ryuku Islands, Taiwan. 3. Hokkaido. Total of 27 days on the ship but we stayed 8 days in Kyoto between the 2nd/3rd cruises. Overall enjoyed the experience very much. Below a few thoughts... Pros 1. Great itinerary! Really enjoyed exploring the diverse sites around Japan and Taiwan. 2. Three different cabins - no complaints - aircon worked well - no extraneous noises. 3. Generally good sea conditions including good visibility 'scenic crusing' through the Japan Inland Sea and later along the Shiretoko Peninsula/Kuril Islands. One rough stretch on the return trip from Hokkaido and Kobe but plenty of warning from the Captain - occuring through the night helped! Cons 1. No Anytime Dining - Very disappointed ‘anytime dining’ is unavailable while the Diamond Princess is in Japan - just two ‘fixed dining’ options available - 5.30pm too early especially on shore days - 7.45pm too late. Very few turned up to dine up at our pre-allocated fixed dining table so we opted to dine in the Horizon Buffet most nights. 2. No guest lecturer - disappointing as Japan is a country with such interesting and diverse history, culture, geography - sea day lectures would have been very welcome. Princess shuttle buses We prefer to explore on our own so took full advantage of the reasonably priced Princess shuttle buses at most ports along with very helpful english-speaking staff at wharf-side/city tourist offices. Princess tours In general over-priced but did book 3 Princess excursions... 1. Shikoku, Tokushima - wanted to visit the 1st temple on the 88 Temple Shikoku Pilgrimage - thought the tour was worthwhile especially as as no shuttle was provided that day. 2. Taiwan, Highlights of Taipei - worthwile mainly for the guide who expertly guided us through the busy National Museum and some other key sites during a deluge! 3. Russia, Drive to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk - worthwhile, found the visit to the capital quite interesting - people we talked to who went on the Korsakov walking tour found it rather uninspiring. Some notes from ports we explored on our own ... 1. Busan, South Korea - we had awfully long and poorly-organised queues off the ship but worth the wait for the free shuttle into the interesting fish restaurant/market area. 2. Nagasaki, Kyushu - so easy to walk off the ship and explore the atomic bomb area and more via the excellent public tranpsort - Glover Garden area was worth visiting and an easy walk (assisted by uphill escalators) from where the ship is docked. 3. Miyazaki, Kyushu - it's a long way from the shuttle drop off at Abaratsu! - like many, we just explored Abaratsu - interesting stalls at the wharf with Miyazaki specialities. 4. Kochi, Shikoku - friendly local women provided a free pressed flower card making stand in the main shopping mall - a lovely surprise appreciated by many cruise passengers. 5. Tokushima, Shikoku - festival dancing down on the wharf started well before the ship sailed - they encouraged passengers to participate - lots fun. 6. Ishigaki, Ryuku - took a ferry out to Taketomi Island - visited the museum across the road from the ferry termial - then took the free minibus shuttle to the bike hire shop then off to explore including Kondoi Beach an the local weaving centre. 7. Hualien, Taiwan. Pine Gardens was interesting - walkable from the shuttle point - it’s where Japanese kamikaze pilots wined/dined before setting off on their WW2 missions but watch out for the tiny kamikazi midges! As a result I had over 100 large bites which drove me crazy for over a week! My friend left with only 3 tiny bites... 8. Kaohsiung, Taiwan - worth getting up early to see the ship enter the harbour/port area. 9. Aomori, Hokkaido cruise. Took a bus out to the fascinating Jomon Archaeological Park (free ipad for extra site info with id). Then back to the city to see the Nebuta Festival Float Museum. Save some time to visit the interesting Aomori Museum of History before boarding - the museum is located right on the wharf! 10. Abashiri, Hokkaido. Took a bus out to the Drift Ice Museum (with cute clione 'sea angels'). Then walked a short distance down the main road, passing through forested areas, to the Museum of Northern Peoples for an insight into the Ainu, Japan's indigenous people. Back at the shuttle point, it was interesting to watch the charter fishing boats return and unload their catches. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Staff was great except one very rude tech guy in internet signup area. He grabbed my wife's tablet, made unrequested and un-needed changes including deleting some shortcuts having nothing to do with the cruise while saying "let ... Read More
Staff was great except one very rude tech guy in internet signup area. He grabbed my wife's tablet, made unrequested and un-needed changes including deleting some shortcuts having nothing to do with the cruise while saying "let me do my job". Loved the free shuttles in most ports when I didn't have a princess excursion. Loved the self service washers and dryers. Air bubble controls in every hot tub were disabled (Japanese don't like bubbles?) so could not have normal Jacuzzi type experience anywhere on ship. TV had no account information or ability to book excursions etc, and to watch a movie you had to first watch a commercial for their princess brand beer or some other self promo each time. Princess phone app ok but very limited functionality (did not show dinner or show reservations or excursions without you manually adding them and some events would just disappear randomly from app), sometimes app did not work at all. Very limited excursion desk hours making for as many as 60 people I counted in line once. Once they closed one of the two buffet lines just before it hit noon, resulting in very long food lines as well. Standing room only for many shows they held in atrium that should have been in one of the theaters or other venues. Poor event scheduling in general. In entire 17 night cruise only had one 'special dinner' with Beef Wellington, Lobster, and Escargot. A lot of dinners had to keep choosing the every night selection like pasta or other. Generally mediocre food (other more frequent Princess cruisers commenting that their food has been going down hill). Room was ok except toilet washlet that really doesn't fit (see cabin review). Also, always ask for receipts from the bars to check against your bill. So in summary, some good, some bad, some ugly. Selected this cruise because of all the Japan ports they stopped at, which is the only reason I gave this cruise an average rating and would recommend this cruise, and now the ports will likely be the only reason I ever cruise Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Quote below from a previous review-and I could not agree more ! '"This ship is too big; there are just too many pax for comfort. Perhaps we'll try Seabourn next time. Evenings were pretty much a constant stream of people ... Read More
Quote below from a previous review-and I could not agree more ! '"This ship is too big; there are just too many pax for comfort. Perhaps we'll try Seabourn next time. Evenings were pretty much a constant stream of people making their way from one 'entertainment' to another. The very large and luxurious theater was full a good half hour before show start. The much touted shore excursions were to this Australian, grossly overpriced " Also, personally found the four different dining rooms depressing compared to having one large split level bright one-such as I am used to on HAL-the Diamond's are all dark with low ceilings and for me-claustrophobic! Preferred eating at the buffet-where there was a much better selection than the limited DR menu offered The experience was marred by the majority of Japanese being non English speaking, with Westerners being a real minority and consequently movies dubbed in Japaneses and live entertainment needing to be constantly translated-resulting in a feeling of being an outsider The above was anticipated due to the itinerary-but did hope for a more international group to also be on board, as interaction was extremely limited The lack of any enrichment program / lectures, was very noticeable on sea days-that happened to be raining too ! In summary-not a ship I would repeat Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
The Good: The itinerary for this cruise was very interesting and took us to some locations not on the usual tour routes for Japan and Taiwan. Even though I had to pay a 100% supplement as a solo cruiser, the price was still fairly ... Read More
The Good: The itinerary for this cruise was very interesting and took us to some locations not on the usual tour routes for Japan and Taiwan. Even though I had to pay a 100% supplement as a solo cruiser, the price was still fairly good. And since the beginning and ending ports were the same (Kobe), it was easier to get a well-priced round trip ticket to Kansai. The cabins on this ship are not large but I found the storage was quite good. The television had an on-demand system which is wonderful as you no longer had to guess when a movie or ship’s video would be shown. There were also some “live” channels as well. It was nice to have MSNBC and BBC News to counter the idiotic Fox News channel. My cabin attendant, Lancy, was absolutely wonderful. The Shore Excursion department on board was very well managed. Each tour was called individually for passengers to get their bus number and then they were seated in the theatre in order in rows. When the tour bus was ready, each row was called in order to disembark which eliminated the usual pushing and shoving out the door. The Horizon Court, where I ate all but one meal, was one of the best managed ships’ buffets I’ve ever encountered. The serving staff was very friendly and quite quick to clear the tables. And they did an amazing job of satisfying the various ethnic food needs of the diverse passenger backgrounds. Each meal had a fairly balance mix of Japanese, American and other Asian items. The individual items did vary in quality from O.K. to quite good. There was always a salad bar with mixed greens, not just iceberg lettuce. And the Japanese noodle counter was always popular. The desserts varied but were often a bit too fussy for my tastes; however, I loved the simple cupcakes they offered at lunch time. Besides I often went for the chocolate malts at Swirls to satisfy my sweet tooth. The library was fairly well stocked with fiction in both English and Japanese. There was little in the way of non-fiction however. The only on board activity that I found of an intellectual substance was the photo workshop offered by the ship’s photographer. He was very good and I learned a lot. The two main swimming pools were open 24 hours a day—at least technically they were—which was great for an early morning swimmer like me. However, maintenance crew sometimes closed them for cleaning and you could not always predict when that would happen. The Bad: The Kobe cruise terminal experience was a bit disorganized. On embarkation day the usual health forms were not out in the waiting area, but inside the check-in room on a small table. This meant as check-in began everyone had to make a dash to the table and then try to fill out the form while standing in line; and since many new cruisers did not know about the forms, they lined up without them. Those of us with elite/express check-in did not have time to fill the forms out before we got to the check-in counter. Also on change-over day, those passengers who were in transit were given a special card to pass through the terminal. However, we were sent through the customs line even though we had no baggage and had not been given customs forms. Here again it was a mad scramble to fill out a form standing up while holding up disembarking passengers behind us. When we returned to the terminal, no one seemed to know where we were supposed to go to return to the ship. We were sent down and up an elevator and escalator twice before it got worked out. Since Kobe is the “home port” the Diamond, you would think they would have all these glitches worked out by now. Two of the three shore excursions in Taiwan were quite awful. In Hualien, I took the Taroko Gorge and Shopping Tour. The description mentioned a cultural performance, visiting a marble factory, and then time for shopping. The cultural performance was horribly tacky. We were then loaded back on the bus and driven all of about 75 yards to a shed where there was a 5-minute photo stop to see marble being cut. Then back on the bus and driven about another 100 yards to a giant over-priced marble/jade store where the sales force was quite aggressive. Those of us on tour had expected to be taken to an interesting local market area—not this factory store. In Keelung/Taipei there was a bit of a repeat experience. The Highlights of Taipei tour was suppose to consist of a visit to the National Palace Museum (which was fabulous), the Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine (well timed for us to see the changing of the guard), and finally we were suppose to have 45 minutes at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. Instead we got 15 minutes at this last place, but an additional 40 minutes stop at another bloody marble/jade store for shopping and a photo stop at Taipei 101. Neither of these two stops was on our printed itinerary. The Fitness Center was far too small for a ship with 2500+ passengers and it did not open until 7 am. I have never been on a ship where the gym opened that late; usually it’s 5 or 6 am. This late opening meant that on port days you really did not have time to use the gym, shower, eat breakfast and still get off on tour on time. The Horizon Court could really do with more two-person tables. At peak times, such as when tours returned at lunch time, you often saw folks wandering around looking for a place to sit. Because of the differing languages on this cruise, passengers seemed to be uncomfortable asking to sit at a large table that had empty seats. The beds in the cabins are very firm. If you want or need a softer bed you need to request a pillow-top or “egg carton” foam added. The inside cabins do not have an armchair even though one is shown on the floor plan on the website. I was very frustrated with the almost total lack of an intellectual content in the on board activities. There were only brief port lectures, but most of those were in Japanese only with a few English notes on the slides. The Future Cruise person seemed to be assigned solely for the benefit of the Japanese passengers. She had no brochures in English. I had read on the Cruise Critic forum that booking would open up for Princess’ exotic 2016 cruises on May 24th, I went to her to ask about them. She had no idea what I was talking about. Indeed she had never even heard of Cruise Critic! I could not stand the noise level in the Atrium which was frustrating as you could not avoid this area if you wanted to use the internet café, the library, the coffee bar, or needed to go to any of the service desks. There was loud music even going at 4 or 5 in the morning—why? And then when the cruise director was holding an event, he had his microphone cranked up full volume to be heard over the music. The Ugly: The Diamond Princess Customer Services Manager needs to be fired immediately. When I began getting sick in my cabin, I went to the front desk to ask about moving to another cabin. I explained that there was something coming in through the air system that was making me sick. [We later discovered this was caused by a passenger smoking in the laundry room a few doors down]. I even offered to pay for an upgrade if that was necessary. I have to use a CPAP respiratory machine at night which concentrates the air into my lungs; this means that any pollutants in the air system can cause medical issues. For five days I got the runaround. I demanded to meet with the Customer Services Manager, but she could not be bothered. I was allowed to speak to a “supervisor” who told me there were no cabins available. But then one minute after he left, another front desk person offered another passenger the chance to select an upgrade from a number of cabins. So he had outright lied to me! My wonderful cabin attendant tried to get his supervisor to help as well. Eventually I was moved to another cabin but not before I ended up sick enough to have to go to the ship’s Medical Center, where the doctor confirmed that I had severe allergy symptoms and needed two prescription medications. That cost me $180, all because the Customer Services Manager refused to do her job. While I was waiting at the front desk one day, I met another passenger who was in a motorized scooter. She had been having trouble with her handicapped cabin and had made several trips to the front desk without getting any assistance. She had tried to get a meeting with the Customer Services Manager as well, but was unable to get an appointment. I met up with this passenger a few days later and she told me that she and her husband had had to write the Captain two letters before anything was done to address the problems. In summation: The upshot of this “ugly” is that I returned home and cancelled my fall Princess cruise even though it will cost me several hundred dollars in airline cancellation/change fees. I have no desire patronize a cruise line that shows no concerns for passenger health, that believes lying to passengers is an acceptable practice, and that apparently practices discrimination. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click