Embarkation: Was very smooth and organised. We arrived at 10:45 and were in the Horizon Buffet at 12:30. Check-in staff was very polite and inviting. Our rooms were ready soon after.
Stateroom: Was on the Emerald deck aft, with a large balcony. The room was very tidy and clean and shortly after our Steward Rex came and introduced himself. He is very conscientious about his work and had our ice bucket filled every day. The bed and pillows were very comfortable and the closet was very large, shower is small with a curtain, we made due.
Staff: Were the best. They couldn't do enough for us.Greetings and smiles all the time. They work hard and deserve our utmost respect. In the Horizon Buffet, we mention Andrijana Nad, a beautiful, charming and hard-working young lady from Serbia. She stands out as our favorite server in the morning. 10/10 The entire staff was however very competent. Tables were cleared very quickly and they would get us anything we wanted (tomato juice etc).
Guests; 50% Asian, large group of Australians. Others were mostly from USA, UK, and Canada.
The ship: is beautiful, nice size, many bars and restaurants. It is however dated a bit (hot tubs do not work well, need replacing as well as the leather worn chairs in the theater. The crew works very hard maintaining it well. The layout is a bit confusing at first. Use level 7 to get from one end to the other.
Food: In the dining room Santa Fe, we enjoyed our meals there, superb service and perfect portion sizes. We also had dinner a few times in the Horizon Court, lots of variety of entrees and deserts. All very tasty and perfect for us.
Entertainment:The production shows were excellent and (except for the 1st- a little too contemporary for us), and Bravo being the best. We also enjoyed Chris Watkins,Tommy Proulx, Aiden and Evelyn, Monique Dehaney and Dream Zone. Musicians on board were all fabulous. Lee Childers, the cruise director did a very good job entertaining us. The ship's Captain Todd McBain kept us informed everyday of the weather, the ports of call, all in a very calm fashion. Thank you Captain!
We would like to mention the first Princess Patter. Great idea to list all entertaining guests and musicians on board. !!!
Singapore: Stayed there 4 days prior to the cruise. What a beautiful city-lush and green everywhere. People are very friendly and helpful. A good blend of old and modern. We did the Hop-on Hop-off and visited the entire city and surroundings. Went up the Marina Sands Hotel for a drink. What an amazing hotel!!! Visited Chinatown twice and Clark Quay-beautiful but expensive. Very hot and humid. Do carry water with you at all times. The metro system is easy to use.
Bangkok: We took a ship tour to Pattaya-Sanctuary of Truth. It is huge, ornately carved of teak, situated oceanfront. Amazing and all hand-carved by mostly women. A must to see. Later, we had 1.5 hour for shopping. We would have liked to shop in a local market instead of a large modern mall. We feel that we would have helped the local economy more by purchasing their hand-made wares!! Good tour and reasonably priced.
Ho Chi Minh: This city is far from the port. We didn't want the long hot 2 hours drive to the city. My husband took the free shuttle to a little town shopping area close to the pier and walked around some. He returned early and said he enjoyed his time there.
Hong Kong:This is a HUGE city with thousand of skyscrapers. We opted for the cruise tour: Hop-on Hop-off. The shuttle brings us to the Ferry Pier where we board our bus. We did the red and green line in the one day. Price of 58$ also included tickets for the tram up the Peak and a Sampan ride (small chinese boat) at Aberdeen stop. Returned to ship at 5pm. Very good day! Beautiful skyline at night.
Shanghai: We took a ship tour to visit a Temple, Garden and local market. Our guide was very good, organized and time went fast as we visited and admired so much.
Busan: My husband took a half-day ship tour to visit a Temple (many steps-I don't do steps) followed by more shopping... He enjoyed the tour.
Nagasaki: We docked close to the city. We walked around for a few hours. It was raining and gloomy. An OK port.
Beijing: We arranged our own transfer to our hotel in the city and stayed there 4 days. We booked a day tour with Viator ( Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and the Great Wall). A very long day but super interesting and amazing sights. We walked around a lot (The hutong), shopping street close to our hotel. Enjoyed this busy city. Again, this is a very large city, with much traffic. Takes some time to get used to the Chinese pace of life.
All in all, this was an superb cruise and Princess delivered well. We will not hesitate to cruise again with them.
Did our own exploring
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