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987 Princess Diamond Princess Cruise Reviews

We booked the nine day version of this cruise as a complement to a land tour of Japan. In most respects, it met our expectations, but there were definitely some aspects that were disappointing. This circumnavigation of Japan was an ... Read More
We booked the nine day version of this cruise as a complement to a land tour of Japan. In most respects, it met our expectations, but there were definitely some aspects that were disappointing. This circumnavigation of Japan was an excellent, well-balanced itinerary out of Yokohama. What impressed us the most was the number of ports (three in total) visited on the Sea of Japan coast. This is an area of the country that does not seem to see many cruise ships, so it was an appealing aspect of the itinerary. We also appreciated the opportunity to visit South Korea through the port of Busan. For future cruises, it would be nice if Princess could add a port on the island of Kyushu. We booked shore excursions through Princess for each port. Generally, these were well-organized and efficiently run. There was a good variety of offerings, with something for everyone. The process of getting off and back onto the ship was relatively painless, although we were a bit in the dark about the process of retrieving goods that were taken and held by security until the end of the cruise. More information on this procedure would have been welcome. In terms of the running of the ship and service onboard, there were positive and negative aspects. On the positive side, the Princess waiters were excellent, with outstanding service in the Savoy dining room, although the cuisine could be a bit hit-or-miss. The food was generally very good, although two evening meals were substandard due to under or over-cooking. With half of the passengers being Japanese, there were many more Asian dish choices than what one would normally see. The service in the Horizon Court buffet was equally good. We had one evening meal at the Italian premium restaurant, Sabatini’s. Again, the service was excellent, but the food was a little disappointing. For example, the lobster served in the Savoy dining room was superior to what we had in the premium restaurant. Finally, we were regulars at the afternoon tea service in the International Dining Room and really enjoyed the white glove table service and tasty goodies that one usually finds at high tea. The cabin housekeeping service was also a bit unpredictable. Our first cabin steward was sub-par, to the point that we were about to complain. However, after two days, we got a new cabin steward who was so dedicated and attentive that he made up for the first one. The entertainment was good. There were three production shows, of which two were very good. We also enjoyed the other acts, especially the rock violinist, Katei. We really appreciated the demonstration of traditional Japanese comic storytelling, rakugo. We were disappointed that Princess did not take the opportunity of being in Japan to showcase more Japanese talent, such as a J-Pop group or a Kabuki theatre performance. On the negative side, the ship appears tired, with several evident maintenance issues and some areas of the ship being downright filthy. One of the ladies' toilets near the atrium was constantly malfunctioning, and ceiling fans in the dining section of the Lido were covered with so much encrusted dirt that it would have failed a health inspection. We saw at least one instance where a wall had to be torn out to fix the plumbing, and many parts of the passageways showed damage from years of wear and tear. Some of this should certainly have been addressed by the crew, while other issues will require the resources of a full refit. Other parts of the cruise also misfired. On both occasions that we chose to catch a movie on the pool deck on the big screen, the sound system malfunctioned. We also had a total screw-up with room service delivering the wrong items to our cabin. Additionally, we were also taken aback by the way that Princess seems to be nickle-and-diming more aspects of the cruise. For example, the Japanese baths which are unique to this ship were advertised as an appealing feature, until we discovered that you had to pay for each visit, more or less like spa experiences. On the whole, we enjoyed our cruise on Diamond Princess. The itinerary was great, and the crew for the most part was excellent. Nevertheless, the ship needs a lot of work, and we were disappointed by other aspects of the cruise. As a result, only an average score was earned, with lots of room for Princess to improve this unique Japanese experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because it went to places in Japan we could never get to easily in the time. We enjoyed all the excursions and took advantage of the opportunities they afforded. Definitely worth it for the excursions. But the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went to places in Japan we could never get to easily in the time. We enjoyed all the excursions and took advantage of the opportunities they afforded. Definitely worth it for the excursions. But the stateroom was half the size of staterooms on P&O cruise ships. The shower was over the bath which is not suitable for people with mobility issues. The bathroom was so small you couldn’t get changed in it. The toilet was in the bathroom not separate which was an issue when sharing with a friend. The Club Class dining was average with no options for Japanese cuisine. Got charged for a Yoga class which I walked out on because the instructor was doing starjumps. Not exactly yoga. Had a reasonably priced wine option for the first couple of days and then a more expensive wine was the only choice. Went from $35 to $51 which made a significant difference. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I love this cruise, not only you visit many exceptional cruise ports, you experience the Japanese cuisine and interact with many Japanese guests (60%) on the voyage 80% of The cruise ports are far away from the port terminals. Cruise ... Read More
I love this cruise, not only you visit many exceptional cruise ports, you experience the Japanese cuisine and interact with many Japanese guests (60%) on the voyage 80% of The cruise ports are far away from the port terminals. Cruise port shuttles are expensive. It would be nice if Princess to cover this cost The services are exceptional but the ship shows it age The layout of the main decks 5, 6 are so confused. You have to use deck 7 or 5 to go to a certain restaurant or spots on deck 5, 6 The 7:30 pm show is at the preferred time schedule. Seats all are taken 15 minutes before the show. The seats are very tied, narrow, no room to serve drinks before the show I love Japanese cuisine served on the cruise. There are more Japanese guests than American guests, we feel like we are submerged Japanese culture totally. Love it Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I had not been on the Diamond since its first year in Alaska. The ship is in good shape and has been renovated to the tastes of the Asian clientele it now mostly serves. Our trip from the airport took about 2 hours and was a pleasant ... Read More
I had not been on the Diamond since its first year in Alaska. The ship is in good shape and has been renovated to the tastes of the Asian clientele it now mostly serves. Our trip from the airport took about 2 hours and was a pleasant drive. We wee on the ship and in our room in about 15 minutes total time from walking off the bus. Our room was a standard room B612. The lamps have a plug now so it makes life easy in the electronic age. Our room was clean, and they only make the beds, they did not change out pillows or anything like on some others. The steward also did not put the luggage protector on the bed, so maybe that isn't done either. Despite being Elite we did not get our upgraded amenities in the bathroom until I asked at day 3. He also did not provide our section the shopping bag unless we asked. The beds were comfortable for me and our room was right below the covered pool so we did start to hear the chair set up around 4am every morning. The ship leaks in places, especially after it rains, I had my cashmere sweater get soaked down the back one evening in the HC when the ceiling leaked. Speaking of the HC, the service for us was terrible. It seemed at times that they would ignore some passengers while catering to others. At one point I took a water pitcher and refilled my water and some other nearby tables. The table situation is also crazy, they allow saving of empty tables, were talking a stretch of 30 tables could be empty and "saved" which meant you were stuck with a tray of food and nowhere to sit. Food was boring, the menu was lacking and began to repeat early. Not much variety here The internet was okay, but that is the case with internet at sea. The internet manager was the rudest person I met on the ship. Many of the staff was wearing Carnival shirts the entire cruise. Seemed odd, I know they are the parent company but it didn't seem Princess. The ports were nice, but many were very remote, so the drive to town could take a bit. Some towns were not the greatest for touring on your own and needed to take a excursion. The tour guides English is not the best, they can be quite difficult to understand and a few things were lost in translation, One one log bus ride, the guide attempted to play a game. I would have rather had the silence. Also, on long tours you may not get back at the time you expect. On one day we were the last people on the boat. The best part of the trip was leaving the ports. Many put on shows for those of us lucky enough to be on the port side. Singing, dancing and even a bit of a show. When the Diamond docked in one port for the first time, we were welcomed by the governor, the mayor, and many other dignitaries. There was a presentation on the ship and a dance performance by children that lasted nearly 45 minutes in the humidity on concrete. Then we had a band play until we left. It was quite nice I really liked Captain Genaro Arma, he was the best captain I have seen or heard. He was very involved in the day to day operations giving the guests the updates himself. He showed up where he said he would be, he had some signed Stanley the Bears you could purchase in the gift shop and seemed to love his job. I would have felt safe in any weather with him at the helm. Our last day at sea we had a problem and it was quite upsetting . They called our cabin and said that they after cruise excursion we booked we could not have. They could not accommodate our transfers to the hotel after or our luggage on the bus. They also said that they could not honor our transfers from the hotel to Narita and they cancelled everything. Leaving us in a panic at sea. It was past 5 in California and there was a hurricane in Florida so we could not get in touch with anyone. We ended up having to buy new airline tickets and transfers to get home since. When we got home Princess said the ship was wrong, so now we are left in limbo about the costs we incurred. The shore excursion staff and the Captain Circle host were of no help. It wasn't the best cruise, and it will be a while before I cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Very nice ship. Service and food at restaurants below average. Full wine list was not available from day one. Ripped-off having to pay 18% service fee on all drinks etc. Cost of shuttle bus expensive. A number of crew members trying to ... Read More
Very nice ship. Service and food at restaurants below average. Full wine list was not available from day one. Ripped-off having to pay 18% service fee on all drinks etc. Cost of shuttle bus expensive. A number of crew members trying to gouge money by inviting to attend paid activities etc. Due to the late arrival of the ship there was total chaos and incompetency by staff at embarkation. Very little or no information as to why it was taking so long to embark while passengers were sweating under 35 degree temperatures in the waiting lounge without air-conditioning. Although it was no fault of the staff for the late arrival, staff were absolutely hopeless in organisation embarkation. Only received notification of the late arrival of the ship 2 hours before we were due to embarkation. Many passengers were complaining about the poor quality of food in restaurants and the 18% service fee. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
1. The day before the cruise a Typhoon hit Tokyo. We understand that you cannot do anything when mother nature hits but there was no communication, no notifications or emails from Princess explaining that there is a delay in the cruise ... Read More
1. The day before the cruise a Typhoon hit Tokyo. We understand that you cannot do anything when mother nature hits but there was no communication, no notifications or emails from Princess explaining that there is a delay in the cruise ship coming back into port due to the Typhoon and that there was any delay in embarkation. There should have been an initial email warning of the approaching Typhoon and a subsequent email stating the delay on embankment. In this case we could have spent the day doing other things than sitting around a hot and sticky cruise terminal from 10am until 6pm waiting to embark. 2. The conditions while waiting at the cruise terminal was appalling. There was no air-conditioning. If there was, it was negated by the opened front doors as you approached being left open bringing in the hot air. There was no airflow once inside and the air was stale, hot and sticky. I nearly passed out from the heat and I even witnessed a few older people passing out. To me this is simply unacceptable. It could be likened to a scene from a war camp! 3. There was no offer of any water, wet towels or anything to help with coping in these conditions. It made the wait very uncomfortable and upsetting for everyone there. This was a cruise we were really looking forward to but so far the disappointment and state of the organisation of the cruise was the start of the cruise from hell. 4. Once we finally got onboard, we were then told that there would be a delay in departure until later that night. Then we were told that they could not organise a pilot or tug until 2am at this time we were starting to get fed up and just wanted to get back off the ship in disgust. We were then informed that we would be departing at 6am the next morning and that they were still waiting on 250 cruise passengers and 30 staff members to arrive at the port. 5. This meant that we had to miss the first stop at Ishinomaki which we were really looking forward to and it meant yet another day at sea. We were very disappointed with the way this was handled. 6. The days at sea were really long. The princess patters on the days were filled with activities that did not appeal to the majority of the Caucasians that were on the ship. My father (72 years old) who was travelling with us was so bored during the sea days that all he did was sit around the explorers lounge and drink. The only highlight of the day was the trivia and even then it was not that exciting to talk home about. 7. Our first port stay in Hakodate started off terrible. What we were not informed about is that the ship itself was docked so far away from the main attraction areas that you had to purchase a shuttle ticket of USD$15.00 per person, get in a cab or just fork out on a tour. This was the common theme for all the port stays ahead and with 4 people to pay for, it ended up being a very expensive cost which was not factored into our budget. This was really upsetting. 8. We were highly disgusted at the decline on services provided from our last cruise with the Diamond Princess which had free shuttle buses, offered bottles of water as you got off the ship to explore for the day and bottles of water on return back to the ship. The location of the ports was in walking distance of all the main attractions in Japan and you did not have to keep putting your hand in your pocket to pay for the shuttle services or cab fare. This particular cruise was a real letdown and we felt we were getting ripped off at every place we visited. 9. The most stressful part of the cruise was the time it took to get through immigration. Standing in queues in the heat for hours with no water or wet towels offered, just to get a passport stamped was not pleasant and cut majorly into the time we had at the ports. The worst locations were in Busan and Hiroshima. Hiroshima had the time scheduled from 7am until 6pm. They were late in setting up the immigration in the makeshift terminal (which looked like worn out abandoned warehouses), as such, we were unable to step onto the port to get through immigration until 10am. By the time we got through immigration it was 12pm then we had to make a mad dash to Hiroshima (which took another 20 mins via cab and train) to try and see anything before we had to turn around and be back on the ship before 5:30pm. At this point, the cruise itself felt so disorganised and we were really stressed that we just wanted to get off the ship and demand our money back. 10. In Hiroshima, there is a cruise terminal right in heart of Hiroshima that has the trams and buses just outside the cruise terminal door and access to Hiroshima and all the sight seeing is plentiful. We wondered why they parked at a port so far away from the Main station at first but we soon realised that Princess would not make any money from the Shuttle buses or ship tours if moored in the main terminal. This just made us more and more furious. 11. As previously stated, we have cruised on the same ship before and thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and stress free cruise from Singapore to Yokohama. We never had the immigration issues that we had this time. Never had to wait in queues and had more time in ports because the process was different. On the last cruise we handed our passports to the cabin staff for immigration to be done and we simply showed our cruise card as we went off and back onto the ship. I am not too sure what has happened to change the way the immigration is done but to say I was disgusted in the current process is an understatement. I would liken the current process to Faulty Towers. 12. Another sticking point was the length of time at each port. Some of the port stops had very little to do with long port stops while other ports had heaps to do but very limited time to do it. The length of stay in Hakodate was from 10am until 11pm which was far too long to stay in the township which you can complete in half a day. As we had already been at this location before we can attest to that. 13. Maizuru is also a port that has nothing to do unless you fork out a tonne of money to travel or go on a tour. We were struggling to find something interesting to do at the port for the 10 hours we were there but in the end we ended up looking through a red brick museum telling us the history of how red bricks are made and looking through a few odd shops and returning really early to the ship. Really, really boring port. It would be better if the port stay was somewhere like Kanazawa where you have more interesting things to see and do. 14. The one good part of the trip was the port stay in Busan. We chose to go on a ship tour here and went to the UN cemetery and Museum. 15. The letdown about the ship tour in Busan was the length of the tour. It was too short. We would have liked to spend more time in the museum to learn about the wars and conflicts that South Korea went through but instead the tour guide was only interested on telling us about how the country was formed and what they are doing now. When I asked about seeing the war history. The guide stated that they “do not talk about that” and purposely walked us past all the rooms that contained the war history. We were stunned at the response and upset that we could not see what we came to see. The guide also took us to the Lotte Shopping Centre which was not what we wanted to do and we sat around for an hour and a half waiting to get back on the bus to return to the ship. We were informed the next day from other passengers that the shuttle bus was free. This is the only port where there was a free shuttle bus but no one was informed of this at the time and knowing that we could have re-visited the museum later in the day at no extra cost made us very angry as there was no communication and no proper direction given from staff at the time we were in port. 16. We were also rather unimpressed by the food selection available on the ship. It appeared to be roughly the same menu everyday with minor adjustments here and there. Not very appetizing and the taste was lacking. Our family went to the Steakhouse one night for dinner which made a pleasant change but everywhere else the food just did not rate. We were bitterly disappointed with the food on this cruise compared to the previous princess cruise which was 100 times better, with tastier food and more food selection. 17. On the final day we were so happy to be finally off the cruise from hell that we had our bags packed the night before and was excited to leave the ship for good. Because we were so distraught, stressed and disappointed with the whole cruise we are now reluctant to go back on a princess cruise again. The whole experience was so horrific and it is a cruise we will never forget and not in a good way. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was a reunion cruise for 5 college friends and spouses. We arrived at Yokohama cruise terminal around noon and was told to come back at 3pm. A typhoon had hit Tokyo the night before and the ship actually left the port to weather out ... Read More
This was a reunion cruise for 5 college friends and spouses. We arrived at Yokohama cruise terminal around noon and was told to come back at 3pm. A typhoon had hit Tokyo the night before and the ship actually left the port to weather out the storm. It was noon and people were still dis-embarking. The port was over crowded with disembarked passengers and embarking passengers. Worse of all, it was 90 something degrees outside and the port does not have air conditioning. Everyone was sweating like pigs and felt it it too. No one new what was going on. Princess could have done a better job of letting people know what was going on and what was to come. All we saw were staffs walking around with clipboards yelling for passengers waiting for buses. I guess transfer buses were late to take passengers out of the terminal. Princess set up a table at the corner of the terminal with cold water. I don't think many people knew about it. Sometime after 3pm, they started to allow priority passengers to enter the check in area. The entrance was stormed by people eager to be called next. Staff members were holding people back. The place was a mad house. The check in process was very quick. We were so tired and upset, we did not stop to get pictures taken. We found our cabin and was pleased to find our luggage already inside the stateroom. The room was clean. Furniture appeared dated. Carpet shows worn traffic pattern. The shower head was spraying water every which way. We called it in and when to dinner We were going to meet at Vivaldi. It was open dinning since everything was running late. A few of us got there and asked for a table for 10. Maitre D said he could only do table for 6 and table for 4 and they are on different sides of the dining room. We were too tired to argue and said ok while we waited for the rest of the party. When all of us were there 5 or 10 minutes later, Maitre D said he cannot do 6 and 4 anymore, only 8 and 2 and far apart; that rational escapes me. My wife and I took the table for 2 and the rest of the 8 took the table for 8. What a way to start the cruise. I suspect if we waited a few more minutes, it would be 9 and 1. We did get a table of 10 for the rest of the cruise. The meal portions were small. Most of us ordered a second portion. Breakfast and lunch were mostly at the Horizon buffet. Food choices were not that abundant and taste was somewhat bland. We sat in the back of Horizon where there were large tables. Unfortunately, it is always too warm there. I really the made to order omelets at breakfast and the ramen noodle for lunch. I wish there was sushi more often. It was only available on one day. The immigration process at Maizuru (the port before Busan, South Korea) was very lengthy. We waited on line for over an hour. The captain acknowledged the long wait time and only said it was beyond their control. This was the same thing he said about the embarkation madness. He always finishes with the statement that this is the friendliest crew of the seven seas. My experience was a little different. I would greet staff member as we pass in the hallway, and they don't greet me back. The nightly entertainments were very good. We did not use the Princess excursion but booked from outside vendors before the cruise. The best part of the cruise was reconnecting with my old friends. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
With a Typhoon to deal with which made the transfer to the ship difficult, a missed first port due to logistical issues we still will say that this cruise became one of the best we have ever experienced! The captain and the crew pulled out ... Read More
With a Typhoon to deal with which made the transfer to the ship difficult, a missed first port due to logistical issues we still will say that this cruise became one of the best we have ever experienced! The captain and the crew pulled out all stops to make it so. Their friendly visibility, extra cocktail party put on by the captain went a long way to creating an enjoyable atmosphere, thank you Captain Arma. Our dining experience was perfect and we dined at sabatini and the Japanese restaurant and both were very impressive in service and quality of food almost to a level of very fine dining category, the cocktail party was fun and very enjoyable we have been to many of these parties but this one was special and the captain and his executive officers made the difference Chris and Trent were very friendly and courteous, thanks for your wonderful company. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My parents and I chose this cruise because of the enticing marketing brochure we received in the mail. It was a disaster the first day -- at embarkation. While there was a looming storm, the embarkation staff and procedures were a ... Read More
My parents and I chose this cruise because of the enticing marketing brochure we received in the mail. It was a disaster the first day -- at embarkation. While there was a looming storm, the embarkation staff and procedures were a nightmare. No one could give us any accurate information on when embarkation was to begin. We were advised early on that we had to be at the dock by noon to check luggage and get settled. Well, five hours later, we are all like caged animals in the waiting room that must have been over 100 degrees with thousands of passengers waiting. There was no airconditioning and the Princess staff didn't even offer any courtesy water to drink or anything. We could not go out of the pier because embarkation could start anytime -- again, no one could give us any definite time. My 81-year old parents were both disabled and this cruise ship is not the friendliest to disabled people at all. At embarkation, there were no available wheel chairs until we got into the ship already. Next, they nickel and dime you for everything -- from wifi, which is free on most cruises we've been to; to bottled water -- in the room, in the dining areas! It would have been better if Princess just charged for everything upfront with the package than charging extra for everything. Also, their shuttle buses from the ship to the town center of various ports were quite expensive. Again, this is usually a courtesy-free service with other cruise lines. The only saving grace of the cruise was the food and the staff. The staff was excellent especially the dining staff and the food was excellent as well. It was also chaos at disembarkation in Yokohama. The line at the customer service desk was so long and they were short-staffed. It took us another two hours before we were able to disembark. I had a very bad incident at the lobby bar. I had ordered a VIRGIN drink as I am highly allergic to alcohol. The people around us all heard me clearly when I asked the wait staff to make sure and ask the bar tender to mix a non-alcoholic beverage. Those around me were teasing me about being always the "designated driver". When my drink arrived, it was spiked with alcohol. I went into anaphylactic shock and had to be rushed to the ship's infirmary were I was given high doses of anti-histamine. I didn't have my epi-pen handy at that time. I didn't like the fact that the waiter lied and continuously lied about my ordering a non-alcoholic beverage when he said he would ask the bar tender if it was possible to order my drink as a non-alcoholic beverage. The tours were also expensive and not worth the money we paid for the tours. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
You would think that a ship updated solely for the Japan market would do Japanese-related things (restaurants, food and menu, ports of call) well. No such luck. Everything was poorly done - even the extra charge sushi restaurant was ... Read More
You would think that a ship updated solely for the Japan market would do Japanese-related things (restaurants, food and menu, ports of call) well. No such luck. Everything was poorly done - even the extra charge sushi restaurant was artificial. Very disappointing. Also, we were shocked to see that there were very long lines to get into the buffet (Horizon Court). The pool side grill didn’t have or serve hot dogs or “pies” (the UK snack). The cruise itinerary was changed because of a typhoon - we skipped Ishinomaki. The stop in Busan, South Korea was not necessary. An extra day in Kyoto would have been nice - there was so much to do and see. Finally, the pre-cruise hotel in Tokyo, although a lovely hotel, was in the middle of nowhere. The Princess rep was useless and even the hotel Concierge could not suggest any sightseeing tours that we could take for a day. The key word is disappointing. All of that said, our on-board experience was fine. There were any number of onboard activities, and the port lecturer did a great job of preparing us for the different ports of call. The themed Japanese baths were a great addition, and were integrated into the rear deck pool, sauna and sun deck. The three dining rooms we visited have been updated; the furniture is modern and comfortable. We remain impressed with the level of customer service on-board. The Carnival acquisition has not been good for Princess passengers, but this critical aspect remains outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
itinerary was what we wanted in Japan , but Russian port a waste of every ones time and money. The ship is dated as are the cabins , hard to see what had changed since a refit a few months ago, seems the same as it was few years ago. ... Read More
itinerary was what we wanted in Japan , but Russian port a waste of every ones time and money. The ship is dated as are the cabins , hard to see what had changed since a refit a few months ago, seems the same as it was few years ago. Staff were all good. Food average Princess , quality not up to past Celebrity cruises.Buffet ditto and main dining rooms dated as were cabins. Lost one port due to Typhoon , but crew handled it well. Entertainment was handled well with both Japanese and English spoken at all shows and else where on board. Princess still doing nothing for Cruise Critic Roll Call groups , unlike the opposition ! Vegetarian had limited choice in the main dining rooms and not much changed today to day in the buffet. The production shows were average to say the least and we had seen they before anyway.They only had three of these so if you are on board for more than a 8 days they are repeated ! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We spent 3 days in Japan before the cruise started. The staff and service boarding and disembarking the ship were excellent and efficient. The ship was in good condition and very clean and the entertainment was of a good standard. ... Read More
We spent 3 days in Japan before the cruise started. The staff and service boarding and disembarking the ship were excellent and efficient. The ship was in good condition and very clean and the entertainment was of a good standard. There was very little activities organised while onboard which was disappointing. Some were advertised as 'unhosted'. Would have loved some pool volleyball, basketball or table tennis organised fun events to promote involvement and connections. Pools, bars and lounges were excellent. Unfortunately the shore excursions were rushed and the english tour guides spoke little english and seemed very unprofessional. Holding small maps and family photos up where only first 5-6 rows could see. We travelled with my parents and enjoyed the adults only pool areas were a great idea. I would defiantly cruise again, as a great way to holiday but have learnt better ways to approach aspects. With some refinement it would be an excellent way to holiday. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Having booked a 17 night cruise it turned to be a back-to-back 9 night and 8 night - not what my paperwork says! This meant the second half had the same menus and entertainment as the first half. I heard a lot of people complain about ... Read More
Having booked a 17 night cruise it turned to be a back-to-back 9 night and 8 night - not what my paperwork says! This meant the second half had the same menus and entertainment as the first half. I heard a lot of people complain about this. The ship could do with a freshen up but is quite acceptable. My outside cabin was a good size - no complaints there. The food in the dining room was very good but in the Horizon self service, the food wasn’t hot. A barely warm cooked breakfast isn’t great. The ship company shows lacked the wow factor of other lines but the music round the ship was excellent, especially the violin duo. Service was excellent. The staff work so hard. We didn’t do any ship tours. We had 3 private excursions which seemed to be better than the ship ones and we arrived ahead of the crowds every time. Princess charges for shuttle buses which you’re stuck with as the berth is usually a long way from town. All in all it was a very interesting cruise and we met some great people. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We booked last minute as the cruise was a great price. We had 4 days in Tokyo before the cruise.The weather was very hot and humid but it was good to leave our winter behind for a couple of weeks.we boarded the ship very smoothly only ... Read More
We booked last minute as the cruise was a great price. We had 4 days in Tokyo before the cruise.The weather was very hot and humid but it was good to leave our winter behind for a couple of weeks.we boarded the ship very smoothly only took about 10 minutes.Our balcony cabin was a nice size and very clean.We missed a port and the fireworks were cancelled due to the typhoon.We were given a future cruise deposit off booking another cruise by nov 2020, a nice gesture from princess. We did our own exploring and found it easy to get around and the Japanese people are helpful and courteousThe highlight for us was Miyazaki(aburatsu) We got the local bus from the bus station where the shuttle had dropped us Went to Obi castle So much to see coy-carp swimming along the storm water channel we also visited 7 museums all in the same area,it was very peaceful and hardly any tourists.The ship was very nice ,food in both restaurant and horizon was mostly good.We went to the crab shack which was very good.All the crew were great especially our cabin Stewart Silawan.our room was lovely and clean and she kept it nice for the whole cruise.Found the princess shuttles quite pricey.would have been better to pay per couple not pp. As we were on the Sapphire last year the entertainment was almost the same found the sound system very poor on this cruise.Missed not having the international cafe. My only regret is that the cruise wasn’t long enough.wish we had booked the next leg. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We booked a 17 day cruise, which was actually two back-to-back cruises from Yokohama. Prior to joining the cruise, we spent 3 days in Tokyo. With hindsight, we might have been better with one cruise then time in Kyoto, as the menus and ... Read More
We booked a 17 day cruise, which was actually two back-to-back cruises from Yokohama. Prior to joining the cruise, we spent 3 days in Tokyo. With hindsight, we might have been better with one cruise then time in Kyoto, as the menus and entertainment were basically repeated after 8 days. Diamond Princess has been given a Japanese style make-over but is still a really nice ship. The original Crown Grill is now a Japanese speciality restaurant and about half of the passengers were from Japan. Unlike its sister ship, Sapphire Princess, there is no International Café and we missed the Any-time Dining offered by the rest of the fleet. Japanese food was always available, to cater for everybody’s taste. With Australians being the next largest group, we sometimes wondered which country we were circling. UK and USA passengers were minority groups. Rough weather delayed our start by one day and, sadly, the firework display in Kumano was cancelled. As independent travellers, we were frustrated by the lack of information provided for each port. On all previous cruises we had found the nightly port briefing summary sheet useful but virtually nothing was provided. The “port experts” (Wendy and Dave Upton) were both hopeless and failed to answer most of our questions. Wendy had a scatter-gun approach to her presentations and Dave’s were largely motherhood information. Before stopping at the port called Aburatsu (Miyazaki), they said that the city was just 10 km from the port but it was actually an 80 minute train journey. None of the Princess trips go there and, fortunately, we did not attempt it. Entertainment was average but we enjoyed the Bravo show (both weeks), which is one of the best we have seen on our many Princess cruises. The Born to be Wild production was also good, as they managed to use the big LCD display sensibly. Princess have economised by using singers from their production shows to give a solo performance in the theatre and there was very little alternative entertainment in the Explorers lounge in the evening. Service and food were consistently good but cut backs are more noticeable on each cruise. Lobsters on formal nights are so small that you need two and wine prices are high for very average wine. The itinerary was a bit variable, with several interesting ports and a few with very little of interest. We found the trains and trams easy to use and the locals were extremely helpful, especially in the tourist offices. The two stops in Busan meant that we had to go through the immigration formalities twice, which was a bit tedious, but we liked the town. With the August heat (30 degrees C) and rain we were glad that we had not opted for a balcony. We find the Princess beds to be very comfortable but the duvets are far too warm and the ship is invariably too cold. Overall, it was a really enjoyable cruise but the lack of port information was clearly avoidable and we were glad we had done some earlier research and come prepared. We found there was no need to opt for any of the over-priced Princess excursions as we could reach the same sights independently. Using the Princess shuttle bus is, however, generally unavoidable, and the 10 to 20 USD charged sometimes seemed a bit steep for these short trips. The menu and entertainment for the second cruise was basically a repeat of the first, even though 900 passengers stayed on. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Poor guest services. Reported room with noises. Later a broken water pipe outside our door. Two days with noisy air dryer outside door with cords going past door entrance. Complained to guest services and they did nothing. Just smiled and ... Read More
Poor guest services. Reported room with noises. Later a broken water pipe outside our door. Two days with noisy air dryer outside door with cords going past door entrance. Complained to guest services and they did nothing. Just smiled and said they would fix it. A few days later the hair dryer was smoking and sparking and killed the electric outlet to dryer. They brought in a handheld dryer until they could replace the permanently attached one. Then back to the air dryer on the floor again. This has been the worst cruise experience and feel overcharged and inconvenienced without even a hint of credit or room change offer. Since there were Carnival and Princess name plates on staff I feel we got a low budget Carnival cruise but paid for a Princess experience. I have traveled a lot. Princes always seemed to be fair but this trip in combination with Carnival staff was horrendous. A bad storm was coming into Japan so we passed two ports and headed towards our final port. It was a bummer. The other bad part was not being able to get off in Yokohama early to maybe see Tokyo. We were stuck on a ship, redirected to a different port then skipped two other ports to just sail until we reached our destination. Also, do not use the EZair as they gave us the worst flight times in early morning, twelve hour, seven hours and an overnight layover to get to Japan, then an early morning return flight. Do not understand why they use American airlines to get there and Delta for the return flight. Would have been nice to have only one airline to deal with. Terrible flight times and not coordinated with port arrival and departures. Consider this your warning or heads up on the poor EZair flights. Will never use EZair again. Diamond Princess boat is old from 2004. Stated refurbished in Feb 2019, but I could not see what was updated. The atrium staircase is worn out. Carpets and furnishings are dated. No any time dining on Diamond in Japan cruises. Twenty dollars extra charge for lobster and crab for dinner. It is really more a Carnival low budget cruise than a Princess experience cruise. The dining room takes the filet mignon and slices into small pieces to call it medallions. Skimpy portions in dining room. Horizon food court has the typical flavorless food items. Worn out napkins. Bed was comfortable and had many layers of pillow toppers on it. Shore excursions are pricey. Many ports there are low cost shuttles to the fireworks and parades. I recommend the low cost shuttle versus the over priced excursion and reserved seat (shared bench) to the fireworks and parades. The shows are very small actually a person juggler, one person magic act, small music numbers, nothing really to write about. Long gone are the days of full production shows. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Had a great time cruising and visiting various ports around Japan and Busan South Korea. Had a slight change to itinerary courtesy of typhoon Krosa, but the captain made the right call. Safety of the ship, guests and crew must always be ... Read More
Had a great time cruising and visiting various ports around Japan and Busan South Korea. Had a slight change to itinerary courtesy of typhoon Krosa, but the captain made the right call. Safety of the ship, guests and crew must always be the first priority. There was so much history and the Japanese people are such a friendly and courteous nation. My husband celebrated his 70th birthday in Yokohama and the Vivaldi Dining room staff sang him a modified version of happy birthday to you. We enjoyed watching several activities on board, with one of my favourites being the Egg Drop Challenge. I came to the conclusion that the Japanese people are very inventive as only a couple of eggs broke. I also enjoyed the Marriage Match game which highlighted that the longer married couples were better at remembering their first kiss etc. Would recommend this cruise even though it is during typhoon season. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
spent a week in Yokohama before the cruise, which was very nice. Embarkation was smooth and very quick. Cabin was great especially as you now get a kettle in the room, great if you carry you own coffee, well presented steward was ... Read More
spent a week in Yokohama before the cruise, which was very nice. Embarkation was smooth and very quick. Cabin was great especially as you now get a kettle in the room, great if you carry you own coffee, well presented steward was excellent. the T.V. now positioned on the wall also gave extra space and for a change there were some newer titles and interesting things to watch. Dining was traditional at a set time and our waiters and the maître d′ were brilliant I have allergies and they were careful to make sure that my food was correct so friendly. Only attended one lot of entertainment, as have been underwhelmed by shows before and found them to be too loud. Unfortunately this was also the case again, the show I did venture to see the singer was dreadful repeated words sung the wrong words came in at the wrong time and again way too loud. I lasted two songs before leaving along with quite a few other people. other activities such as learn basic Japanese, origami trivia ice carving were very good, and a special mention for the food presentation and galley tour this was very enjoyable the chef was very good cooking three meals but in a lighthearted and entertaining fashion, had more laughs at this than at the comedian. Ports very interesting did get annoyed at shore excursions, prices were higher if you wanted to be guided in English, and you spent less time at the interesting site, or attraction so that there was plenty of time for shopping. as an example in Okinawa we opted for the castle tour, spent an hour and a half at the castle and two and a half hours at the tourist market, which even the tour guide admitted was only for tourists and overpriced. Might be good for some but personally do not travel just to shop. Disembarkation went very smoothly and I was very impressed that you did not just take your luggage once ashore but that you had to show identification to a person there to prove which cases were yours. DId back to back cruises (16 days)so the entertainment and menu did repeat, but did enjoy the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 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
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
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
Sail Date June 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
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
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
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
Sail Date May 2019
Diamond Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 3.5 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.5 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.6
Enrichment 5.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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