This cruise was titled "The Festivals of Japan" and it only happens once per year. If you have a chance to sail on this ship at the appropriate festival time, grab it!!! Four of the ports of call visit coastal communities during their festival times when you will see singing and dancing in extraordinary costumes and viewed by tens of thousands of spectators. What was particularly special about this cruise is that you are fully immersed in Japanese culture. Of the approximately 2500 passengers, approximately 10% were not Japanese, and of the 10%, we were split between Americans, particularly Hawaiians, Australians, Canadians, some Brits and Europeans. Announcements were made in Japanese first and English second.
The food primarily is Asian, but there was lots of choose from for more traditional American tastes. There is always a salad bar, lots of cut up canteloupe and honeydew, 2 soups at lunch and dinner--one asian and one not. I would say that the food was 4 star--quite good! I loved the afternoon scones with cream and jam which you can have in the International Dining Room or at the buffet Horizon Court. Portions in the dining room are particularly tiny, but you can always ask for more. Since I'm a big eater, I preferred the Horizon buffet so I can sample everything and go back up for seconds for those items that I preferred.
The ship is a nice size--not too big and not too small. I have cruised about 6 times now and I don't particularly see much difference between rooms on different ships. I had an interior room to save some money and it was more than adequate for one person and the layout was comparable with other lines.
The cabin was basic but fine. Large flat screen tv. Grohe shower. Lots of space to hang clothes and lots of hangers. Safe in room. Room steward was amazing.
Stayed in the Ginza area--which was great! It's like 5th Avenue, New York and even found a Dean and DeLuca for lunch!