We chose this cruise based on the itinerary and a past Princess cruise which we had enjoyed.
The embarkation process in Yokohama was a shambles with long queues for check in, then more long queues for immigration. Once onboard our cabin was ready for us.
The cabin size and bathroom were adequate and it was clean.
The bed was very hard and uncomfortable, and the bed linen was so threadbare it was breaking into holes! No crisp white sheets on this cruise! But the towels were good.
The dining onboard was disappointing, compromised by the fact that the staff were catering to Japanese Culinary taste as well as western, and the Japanese outnumbered westerners on this cruise. Salads in the Buffet were plentiful, but vegetables in the dining room meals were not.
The ship is large, has many bars and open seating areas, but does not have any quiet lounge areas where you can sit and converse or read a book, Yoy might find a quiet area but then an art auction starts, or trivia, or !!!!! It would have been nice to have a crows nest lounge quiet area but that was not available. SItting on deck in April was not an option either.
The shows that we went to were good and the onboard performers were of a high standard.
The activities staff were friendly enough, but gave you the impression that too many people were turning up to take part and they wanted to get it over with a.s.a.p.
We enjoyed playing table tennis in an indoor area, (cruises usually put the tables on deck) and it was the one thing that we were able to do with players of many nationalities that overcame the language barrier. Japanese passengers were very polite and on shore very helpful.
We had researched our ports of call and the highlight of our cruise was Sakaiminoto. A failure of the Japanese immigration computers led to long queues to go ashore, some people did not get off the ship until 1pm. THe Capt apologised and told passengers to put it behind them and get on with enjoying the rest of the voyage! We took a $5 shuttle from the ship to the railway station and boarded a free shuttle to the Yuushien Gardens. This was a delight! and on showing our passport it was 1/2 price entry. It was not an option on a ship tour.
Ship tours were expensive and we only did two but on the whole exploring on our own was better.
Onboard, we were captives to buy things! Drinks, Photo's, Art, Clothes, Beauty Treatments, and high value jewellery, as well as lots of junk.
The ports in Japan were excellent, Busan in South Korea not so, just shops, a not so green park, and ship tours to a temple.
Disembarkation was smooth, fast and well organised. Mainly I suspect due to us being on a Princess bus to the airport and we were the first bus, YEA!
Overall, Japan was great. The people very polite, quiet and friendly. The country abounds with natural beauty, their parks and gardens are cared for and there is no litter anywhere.
The roads are good, pedestrians are very disciplined and cross only on crosswalks on the green signals. We would not cruise with Princess again.
Bed very hard. Bed Linen terrible so thin it was going into holes. Bathroom was clean, but would recommend ladies you take your own shampoo.
TOkyo is busy, clean, public transport is excellent and easy to use ticket machines in English. people are helpful if they see you looking at a map or bewildered they will ask if they can help, especially young people who do like to practice their English.