1 Kobe Romantic Cruise Reviews

This was my seventh cruise (all over the last ten years) and probably my favourite. I think Princess has "ruined" my husband and me for P&O, because after experiencing what a cruise can be like with Princess, we won't be ... Read More
This was my seventh cruise (all over the last ten years) and probably my favourite. I think Princess has "ruined" my husband and me for P&O, because after experiencing what a cruise can be like with Princess, we won't be going back to P&O. We had a narrow "window" of time to work with, and chose this cruise because we were able to fly in and out of Japan on frequent flyer points. The cruise, being five nights, was not really long enough (an extra couple of days would have been super!), but it was just lovely! Probably around 75-80% of passengers were Japanese (makes sense given the location), and I found learning a little of the language and culture to be a delight. The rest of the passengers were mainly from the U.S., U.K., Australia and various European countries. This is probably not an ideal cruise for those who want a "party boat", although there were opportunities on board to do that. The demographic was largely people in their fifties and older, with obviously some families and younger couples. It was quiet and relaxing, just what we needed. The ship was lovely. Everything was super clean. Our balcony cabin (B333) was great. I have a bad back, yet found the bed super supportive and comfy. Our cabin steward was excellent. We loved having a balcony and will probably ensure we go that way in future. Even the extra "window" having a balcony offers adds greatly to the sense of space. Bathroom was pretty standard for a ship cabin. Small but perfectly adequate. Soap, shampoo etc were in plentiful supply, as were soft fresh towels. The ship, although pretty much at capacity, never seemed overcrowded. There were plenty of places around pools and also indoors to sit and relax, listen to music, play trivia and so on. Lines at the buffet in Horizon Court were also minimal, which was great. The Princess theatre seating was very comfy and consisted of individual padded chairs, rather than long bench-style seating as we are used to in ship theatres. This was great because it meant no-one was trying to squish in where they couldn't really fit. Food, on the whole, was really good. Some of the desserts were extraordinarily good, both in looks and taste. There was ample choice for people who liked traditional Japanese fare, and also for those who don't. Also plenty of vegetarian options, plenty of salads, make-your-own sandwiches and rolls and so on. The Pizzeria near the outdoor central pool was popular, as was the Grill. The hot chips and burgers there were made to order and were really good. No charge! We received a voucher to go to the Steakhouse and a booking had been made on out behalf. As it was no extra expense to us, we gave it a try. Sorry to say, but it was a disappointment. My husband's steak was very "average" (erring on the yuck side actually) and even the decor wasn't that special. We preferred the dining room to be honest. The service, ambience and food were all better there, and they were all included in the cruise fare to boot! Entertainment was very good. The latin ballroom dancers Alex and Magdalena were outstanding, and we attended their Salsa dance class and loved it. The rock violinist was great, as were the shows by the Princess singers and dancers. The vocal/guitarist Jelord was lovely and he even took requests. There were also two female violinists who often played in the Atrium and they were also very good indeed. Trivia was fun. We found the cruise director himself to be lacking in both personality and (perceived anyway) care factor, but his Japanese counterpart was lovely enough to make up for it. We prepaid our gratuities before embarking, and we also bought the "soft drinks and more" package for each of us. It was good value and drink service was quick and friendly. We also bought the all-inclusive photo package. Buying before embarkation cost around $AU250, but if we had bought on board, it would have been much more, at $US250. This gave us prints of all photos taken, plus the digital files. Due to the photo department not having enough USB drives, our photos were supplied on a CD, and there were a few issues getting this done, but on the whole, it was well worth it. We ended up with many lovely photos and in our opinion, the package was WELL worth the money. There were a few issues along the way to do with immigration. Embarkation and the end of the cruise were both fine, but in between, we had to queue up to go through Japanese immigration when leaving Japanese waters, major queuing and ridiculous lines when entering South Korea, and then were expected to be off the ship by 7:15am in Nagasaki (different people were given different times). I am sure this could all be handled way better, with much less inconvenience to passengers. Legal requirements obviously must be met, but I don't think I have ever seen such poorly organised arrangements in my life. That was the one thing about the cruise I really didn't like. On the whole, it was a truly lovely time. Spotlessly clean ship. Friendly, helpful staff. Yummy food. Great entertainment. Great photos to remember the occasion. Will definitely be cruising with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017

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