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
3 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
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
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I have been cruising for quite a few years so much so that I have been lucky to have been to almost all the ports in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. I, not long ago came back from a cruise in South America ... Read More
I have been cruising for quite a few years so much so that I have been lucky to have been to almost all the ports in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. I, not long ago came back from a cruise in South America visiting Chile , Argentina and Buenos Aires and all ports in between including Port Stanley in Falkland Islands. I wanted to see Japan, S. Korea and Taiwan and the opportunity arose and I booked this cruise on Diamond Princess. It is a amazing ship very big in size but good in all the comforts and activities. There was one disappointment that the entertainment director was not up to standard. He came on the stateroom TV from time to time and was reading from the script, coughing and hardly making sense of what he was saying. It was better to read the program sheet than to listen to him. The entertainment was mediocre and seen better performers on other cruise ships, repetitive with the same people appearing from time to time. But the Large screen showing "movies under the stars" was good to excellent. Perhaps thee should be more movies shown when at sea and at night to give the customers a better choice of entertainment. The food in the Horizon restaurant was of good quality, hot and appetizing. The waiter service in the restaurant was good to excellent and always met with a smile. Hard working staff all round. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We are three couples from Canada, we have chosen this 16 days itinerary because of its diversity – Busan/Korea, Taiwan and Japanese Islands. Our cabin was a standard balcony which we've been in few times with Celebrity and is ... Read More
We are three couples from Canada, we have chosen this 16 days itinerary because of its diversity – Busan/Korea, Taiwan and Japanese Islands. Our cabin was a standard balcony which we've been in few times with Celebrity and is adequate for our needs. Only one floor of stairs up to the Horizon Court buffet, one more floor to the gym and a very short walk to the atrium elevators for other trips. Everything was functional. Arriving Kobe port terminal we had a long wait at for embarkation as there was a lot of procedures to get through but this was no fault of the cruise line and it was all handled by Port authority. The same procedure everytime we change the country from/to Busan Korea and Taiwan, the Japanese and Taiwanese authority demanded a lot of procedure making embarkation/disembarkation longer. The food was just above average, too much seafood and Japanese foods in the main eateries for my liking but what we did have there was good. The ship had four restaurants all serving the same menu every night which seems a bit strange. Restaurant and bar staff were extremely good customer service staff and very helpful. Breakfast in restaurant started late at 7am and finished too early (9am) so we went only a few times. Lunch buffet was generally the same every day and did not offer a lot of choices. We ate most of breakfast and lunch in the Horizon Court restaurant. There was always lots to choose from and the menu changed daily. It was always crowded and some peoples opted to share table with us, and it was great meeting new people. We dined once in The Steak House, steak was amazing. Before boarding the ship we have chosen the 2nd setting with table for 4 for the first week and a table for 6 in the 2nd week. After the first night diner sitting in The Pacific Moon we asked to change to International Dining room with 2 waiters – James Bond and assistant waiter (I don’t remember the name). The meal portion was generally small and we could ask for a second dish if we feel more appetite. What's good on Diamond Princess is dining at Horizon Court buffet where there was a lot of fruit and vegetable. As it is a 'Japanese ship' so they have sushi, ramen, rice, miso soup and udon noodle everyday. One particular weakness on Diamond during our trip was coffee because it's too diluted/light. Entertainment was quite good. We went on just a few shows in the first leg of the trip and that repeated the same in the second leg. Entertainment was pretty acceptable as the production shows were well attended and the performers looked as if they had been together for a while. Service was pretty standard. We were 3 couples staying in rooms A200, B625 and L222 and we all seemed to have red spots/itching in our leg skins after few nights in beds of Diamond Princess. We thougth that the beds had some tiny bugs which must be properly exterminated. As the ship was built by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding according to the Japanese standards, therefore the bathroom and the shower were tiny for Western passengers. My wife liked the room steward because he was very attentive at times and always tried to please our requests. We took Princess excursions in the first 4 ports and cancelled the last four. We were deeply disappointed in all of them, except the Nagasaki one. The excursions seemed to be tailored towards walking and sightseeing, not for my favorite things. After the first stop in Nagasaki we really enjoyed the white Chimabara temple and the walk to the Samurai village with experienced guide tour. The 3 following tours were Miyazaki, Kochi and Tokushima we got disappointed because the landscaping and shrines are almost the same shape and architecture. It is not worth to visit all of them. Instead of taking the Osaka castle excursion we took the bus and special rapid train on our own to Kyoto visiting the Golden Temple. A stunning sight. What we liked most were Hualien, Kaoshiung and Taipei the best. In these places we hired private taxi cab for Taroko Gorge National park, Kaoshiung stunning temple and colorful Lotus pond. The last stop in Taipei we had a nice ride around town with an excellent tour in The National Palace Museum, tasting local Taiwanese lunch ending up at the Taipei 101 story building, it rained heavily as we could not take nice pictures. What we complained most was the check-in procedure in the Port Terminal. It was really a mesh. The terminal personnel ran back and forth to get people queuing in an inefficient and unnecessary manner. Please review carefully your deficient reception structure by the time of embarkation , which is a mess , a total chaos for the first-time ship passengers ! There was so much to do on board, it was hard to choose what to go to on sea days but we were certainly never bored! The morning exercise with a big screen on 14 floor beside outdoor pool was a great help. Despite our age, between 55 to 68 we enjoyed the Zumba sessions with Japanese instructor. The dancing lessons were also enjoyable like Cha cha cha and Walz. We are glad we did it once, but would not do this itinerary again combining 2 legs – first leg of 7 nights and second leg of 9 nights. We really enjoyed the Nagasaki of the first leg and 3 Taiwanese cities of second leg. Overall, service was very good. Diamond is not really that old as what some reviewers said, we think it's the same design of all Princess cruise, they look like that, traditional and classy, and thus majority of cruisers are probably in their 50s and above. That is also one reason why we choose Princess, everyone moving at a relaxing pace and we just feel like we are in our world. This was our fifth cruise and first with Princess it was our fourth most favorite, hence the three star rating. Pretty average. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this cruise because we had never been to Japan or the Ryukyu Islands before. Husband and I flew from Perth, Western Australia to Osaka (KIX) via Singapore and were picked up by Diamond Princess shuttle bus for transport from ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had never been to Japan or the Ryukyu Islands before. Husband and I flew from Perth, Western Australia to Osaka (KIX) via Singapore and were picked up by Diamond Princess shuttle bus for transport from airport to ship docked at Kobe. The Terminal at Kobe was very crowded when we got there but embarkation was quick and efficient with lots of staff on hand. We were delighted with our Deck 11 Ocean View deluxe cabin overlooking the bow. We only expected a window but instead had full length double glass doors with access to a little balcony that overlooked the bow of the ship, just under the bridge. Access to the balcony was limited to when the ship was in port, our room steward locked it when ship was at sea but we made good use of it during port days especially when the ship sailed in the late afternoon when we would go out on the balcony and experience her heading out of port. Only downside was this cabin was a long walk from the nearest lift and a long trek to the stern of the ship where the Horizon Court dining room is. But worth it. We went to the late session (7.45pm) Fine dining every night and found the menu and service excellent with a mainly Western cuisine plus favorite International dishes on offer plus a side menu of Japanese dishes. Good wine list. There were 3 formal nights during the 14 day cruise and we were delighted to see some of the Japanese ladies in their Kimono's. Passengers were a mix of Japanese, European, American, Canadian, British and Australian. Over 50% were Japanese but they kept mainly to themselves and family groups, those we did come into contact with were extremely polite and accommodating. Lots of different dining rooms on ship, some with surcharge. We did not go to any of these, food in dining room was superb and Horizon Court offered huge choice of Western & International dishes with 'make your own' Sushi bar and Noodle bar on the side. Crew all spoke English, and all the Shows in Princess Theatre were in English. Any films shown had Japanese sub-titles. New show in the Princess Theatre every night for a 7 days, one at 7.45 and repeat at 9.45pm with some brilliant artists. Unfortunately the shows were repeated the following week, Lots of entertainers in the bars and lounges with plenty to choose from. Not many enrichment talks unfortunately, port information all on cabin TV and sadly our TV did not work some of the time (due to dodgy Internet reception) Plenty of Japanese based activities such as how to do Origami or wear a Kimono etc during day time. Jewellery store, Watch store, designer handbags, Perfume and Make-up all duty free, plus small store selling essentials, souvenirs, tee shirts etc. All in US dollars. All power points on board took American 2 pin plugs so take an adaptor that fits your device. Ship called into Okinawa, Ishigaki, Keelung (Taiwan), Kobe, cruised the Sea of Japan, Busan (South Korea) Nagasaki, Aburatsu, Kochi and Tokusima. We did 5 shore excursions with Princess. Would have liked to have done more but found the cost excessive. Ship docked at all the ports except Ishigaki where tenders had to be used to ferry passengers ashore and delays occurred because of a high swell and strong winds. Disembarking at the other ports was quick and easy and ship provided buses for those who did not go on a tour to transfer passengers into town. There were also markets set up by the locals on the dockside in every port, plus free WiFi. The tours we did all had English speaking guides who were fun and obviously enjoyed their jobs. Best tour (and most expensive) was from Nagasaki to Arita (porcelain factories) Highly recommend this one, scenery was breathtaking, a rare look at rural Japan and Arita a picturesque old Japanese town dating back to 1600. No temples or castles on this tour. Shopping in Japan is a delight and the Japanese handicrafts are exquisite but be warned, they are NOT cheap. HINT.... Make a list of the value of each Yen bank note in your own currency as they have 10,000 - 5,000 - 1,000 bank notes plus 500, 100, 50 and 10 Yen coins.(10,000 and 1,000 notes easy to mix up as they look alike) Lots of vending machines selling cold bottled water and flavored drinks on shore costing about 120 to 150 Yen. Have coins on hand. Best to change your currency to Yen at a bank or money changer before you get to Japan. Exchange rates on ship not good and not as easy to find a money changer in Japan as it is in Indonesia, Singapore or Malaysia. Some shops will change money for you but rates are not good. I changed all my money into Yen & currency for Taiwan & Busan at Changi Airport on the way to Osaka. Disembarkation in Kobe at the end of the cruise was quick and very efficient. We did an Disembark tour to Osaka Castle and bus dropped us off at airport at 2pm. Anyone who did not enjoy this cruise must be a grump, but unfortunately there are always passengers on these cruises that spoil it for others such as those who do not return to the ship or tour bus on time and create delays. Diamond Princess was in top notch condition proudly displaying her new logo on the bow. Crew did everything they could to please and help passengers, great food, good company, new places to visit on a floating palace, what more could you want? This is our 4th cruise with Princess and Yes we will go again and again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
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

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