The ship was clean and the Indonesian (only) staff was very friendly and gave their best.
The cabins were O.K. and the ship, though old, was very clean.
However the negative aspects were overwhelming.
The food , besides being on the cheap side (excluding the occasional crayfish) was often tasteless and the meats basically tasted all alike . Every day (for 6 weeks) the same salads, 3 kinds of cheeses, oversweat deserts, disgusting pizzas, rice and noodles of the cheapest kind and the potatoes were not even peeled (incl. the mashed postatoes). Practically no cooked vegetables, Nearly every day the only fruit were apples, melons, pinapples and occasionally nearly rotten strawberries and grapes. The pinaeapple had twice fungus and the tomatoes once. The "free" drinking water was so much loaded with Chloride ,that even the small waiters were buying they drinking water outside. Some bread and croissants were O.K. as was the orange juice in the morning.
The NON- Indonesian staff, especially at the "front desk" was often arrogant and did not care about complaints except with sweet calming words, like "we are working on it". On the way from Japan to Alaska the public rooms were so cold for days, that the passangers had to sit at the restaurant with thick coats.
All their show have been repeated 3 times during the 6 weeks cruise and were generally of low quality. Exception the Russian of Ukrainian violinest, one Japanese and and Australian piano player and maybe some shows with jokes only understandable for English native speakers.
The excursians were EXTREMELY expencive and we preferred to go on our own. The docking times at interesting places like Shanghai, Peking, Kobe (Kyoto) and Tokyo were too short in favour of docking at uninteresting places (with many tours for sale).
Our impression was, that the company wants to squeeze as much money as possible from their customers (passangers or "guests").Continuously it was tried to sell all kinds of services like massages and "beauty treatments" and drinks ,like Coca Cola and wine at inflated prices.
The company also forced us of purchasing a Visas for Cambodiy for USD 65,-- which normally only cost USD 30,-- of USD 20,--for groups. We were threatened by the people at the desk to buy that visa from them, otherwise we should leave the ship in Thailand and join it again in Hongkong even though we did not want to go ashore in Cambodia (which was anyhow for a few hours only).
In some places like Bangkok and Saigon the boat docked at containerports and unless one booked one of the exaggerated H-A. tours one could only walk around containers or take expencive Thai taxis (5 times higher than Bangkok for the distance).
This cruise was no fun and we very happy when we finally reached Vancouver to fly home from there.
On a daily basis this cruise was more expencive than comparable once with ships of similar size from other companies.
(we had to fly there at out own expences)
Excursions too expencive and no value for the money. Excursion to Bangkok overnight USD 500,-- In Korea to get up a hill by bus ,look down and back to town for USD 100,--(told to us by other passengers). It is cheaper to fly from Europe to Beijing for one week of more ,including hotel., than a two days/one night excursion with H-A.
Walking around an uninteresting Thai village. The usuall tourist shops as there are 10000 in Thailand. Nothing to see, nothing special. There was a beach, that was O.K.
There was just a container port, which was many kilometres away from any village, house or local transport. We have been to bangkok before and dont want to go there again for USD 500,-- incl. 1 night hotel
I have been there before. The place is just a beach town, with many hippies, backpackers and some friend of hashish and the like.
Generally I like Cambodia, but no Sihanoukville
Da Nang may be interesting for American war veterants but not really for other people. The (container) port is quite far away from the city and there is no public transport. Taxis are expencive as the taxi drivers take advantage of the ingnorance of the cruise passangers.
The ship docks far away from Hanoi (quite an interesting town otherwise) and the only possibility to get there is again with expencive H-A tours.
Halong Bai, the docking area is nice on a sunny day. I have been there before.
We have been to Hong Kong before and there was no need to go on a tour. For people, who have never been there it may be a highlight. THe geographical situation is beautiful and a bus ride to the top of Victory hill be public transport is nice.
The citi is modern and impressing. Old backward areas are difficult to find and the local tourist bureau would not tell you. There is an area nearby with buildings, which show the kind of Chinese houses ,which tourists might expect
There is not enough time to visit the Imperial Palca (long queus at the ticket office) and not enought time to visit the "Great Wall" unless on an expencive overnight tour with H-A. (around USD 2000,.. or more )
A very beautiful town and there is no need to take any transport ,except maybe one day street car for 500 yen or so. Nagasaki is very clean, very Japanese (I habve been living in Japan) and good for a one day visit. For the surroundings there is no time.
One needs much more time to visit Kyoto, Nara and the surrounding places. The boat did not use the beautiful Japanese Inland Sea but rather the open ocean. I guess, they did that to be able to open the on bord gamabeling casino
Tokyo is more impressive than New York, and the surroundings like Hakone and Mt. Fuji area are very beautiful. But again ,not enough time to go to most of these places.
Japan is the country of that cruis we liked best. People very polite and the food much better than on the ship (the same is true for selected reastaurants in China
Beautiful landscape a nice and clean little village ,very well maintained and organiced, beautiful little forest with impressive trees. The tab water is of a much hight quality, than the drinking(?)water of the ship.
Alaskas nature must be very beautiful, but nothing much to see from the ship.
The straight between Victoria Island and the mainland must bebeautiful, but the ship was cruising there mostly during the (dark) night.