We (DH, Mum and I) booked this as a repositioning cruise with minimal ports as we LOVE our sea days!
Mum had an inside cabin D715 and we had an aft mini suite E721
Embarkation in Yokohama was quite smooth. Just had one gripe and that was when they were calling numbers we could not see or hear. We knew that something was being said but not what was being said. They really do need to organise their PA system better.
Yokohama weather was very cold.
1st Port of Call - Shimizu
This was a Princess excursion as we wanted to see as much of Mt Fuji as we could. We went to the second station (before we set sail they cancelled the first station due to weather issues). It was a carpark and the souvenir shop was closed! Toilet stop only.
Our best view of Mt Fuji was when we arrived back at the ship. And what a magnificent view it was!
2nd Port of Call - Hong Kong
After three days at sea we arrived in iconic Hong Kong and tied up at the Kai Tak Terminal.
We had booked the HOHO bus with friends way before we had left home. We caught a Princess shuttle to the Star Ferry Terminal. Got on the first HOHO bus to the cable car stop and the line was impossibly long! Luckily a HOHO employee was walking the line and taking people to the front. We still waited a good 45mins to get to the top, and the view was well worth it. But the amount of people up there was over the top and we came straight back down after getting pics.
We then went around the island and this was fantastic. We really were not expecting to see all the lushness of jungle, beautiful vistas and amazing bays. We thought Hing Kong was all about sky scrapers, so this was a wonderful port for us.
Hong Kong we will be back!
3rd Port of Call - Nha Trang
Only one sea day before arriving at Nha Trang where we had booked a private excursion in to a village. Two weeks before we arrived they had had a typhoon hit land and caused masses of destruction. Their fish farms were annihilated and they will have to start from scratch. There was so much rubbish around as the water level had risen and they were still in the throes of a massive clean up.
The Nha Trang people were going about their day with smiles on their faces even after everything they had been through, and I feel very blessed with what we have in Australia.
4th Port of Call - Phu My
The day after Nha Trang we arrived in Phu My where we had again booked a private excursion (from Tommy's Bar), and we got to see the lay of the land around where the Battle of Long Tan had played out.
This was a very emotional tour and made me very aware of what sacrifices our Australian service men and women made. It also opened my eyes to what the Vietnamese people went through during and after the war there.
Feeling blessed to be Australian again!
5th Port of Call - Singapore
On our sea day to Singapore the captain let us know that our stop at Bali was going to be dropped. The volcano (Mt Agung) was getting too active again, so unfortunately we were going to have an overnight stay in Singapore! **sigh** **roll eyes**
Well if we have to!
We couldn't have chosen a better port to have an overnighter in. We did Singapore on our own using the MRT. Got a two day tourist pass that we used until our feet hurt.
I love that you can get anywhere just using the MRT.
Did all the usual things as Mum hadn't been to Singapore before - Gardens by the Bay (at night), river cruise on a bum boat, Chinatown, Bugis, Clarke Quay,and of course shopping!
6th Port of Call - Darwin
After four days at sea we caught up with friends who live in Darwin, and enjoyed the day relaxing beside their pool. It was so humid and we couldn't believe we had left Yokohama in heavy coats to now be in Darwin dressed in shorts and t-shirts.
After five sea days we were in Sydney - what already! We couldn't believe the time went so fast. What does one get up to on sea days?
Well most days we ran out of time to get everything done. We played mahjong, did trivia (and had an absolute ball even though we hardly knew any of the answers), swam, watched recently released movies, saw great shows, enjoyed the entertainment around the pool areas, and so much more!
I need to say something about the Japanese spa IZUMI!
It was a truly amazing experience. We would go at 9am so that we had the one hour of nude time, and one hour of outside time. The nude time was in a female only environment, and you have a thorough shower first and then into the jacuzzis and saunas.
The windows beside the jacuzzis were HUGE! It felt amazing to sit in a spa and look out at such an expanse of ocean. They use a blue light in the water to keep it bacteria free instead of chlorine, and I found it very soft on my skin. The mist sauna was just the best, but because they only had one we only got to use it every second day. The men and women changed sides each day so we all got to use the mist sauna (everything else was the same, spas, dry sauna and showers).
Two hours in Izumi cost AUD$15 or five visits of two hours for AUD$60
I loved it and it helped me to not only relax, but also helped me to stretch the muscles in my body as I suffered a stroke in April 2016.
Our MDR experience was just amazing! The food, and our wait staff (Efren and Rizalito) were just fantastic and really helped me keep to my diet. I need to keep my salt intake really low as it gives me vertigo and when I eat in the MDR I have never suffered a vertigo attack. They take your dietary needs very seriously, and for that I really thanked them!
Overall we were thrilled with this cruise. It surpassed our expectations and took us to ports that we had not been to before.
Well done Princess - we'll be back!
I really enjoy having a bath, so it was a joy to be in an aft mini suite. DH loves sitting on a balcony with binoculars in hand, and this balcony seemed larger than most. It was completely covered so we were able to get out onto it even when the weather wasn't the best.
Our cabin steward, Romano, met with us at the beginning and asked us what we needed. He did exactly what we asked (top sheet on the bed, don't change the towels until we put them on the floor, and only make our bed once a day in the afternoon) and was a joy to meet in the corridor. He worked so hard to make sure everyone got a wonderful experience and a clean cabin.
We love having an aft cabin, and we got some wonderful views being on the starboard side.
We did have issues with the tv, and gave up trying to watch it some nights. But overall it wasn't too bad.
The bed and especially the new pillows were so so comfortable. Princess you have outdone yourself with those pillows! Only one gripe - why don't you have them for sale?