Again we chose this back-to-back cruise primarily because of the most interesting itinerary. This cruise started in Shanghai, China, and ended in Yokohama Japan. The Orient was new for us and it was a " port intensive " sailing visiting 7 port cities in Japan, and 3 in China with only 2 sea days. The Japanese ports of Shimizu and Yokohama were the only duplicates from the first itinerary. In Shanghai and Beijing we enjoyed overnight stays and two days in each city. The Great Wall and Tianjin square were easily accessible.
The oriental cultures have a tremendous respect for nature represented through their religions of Shinto & Buddhism. We learned much about the origins, overlaps, and uniquenesses of the Eastern cultures. Broadening our horizons we have learnt Japan is not one island, but rather consists of 7,000 islands ! The cruise was enjoyable, and cabins and ship clean,it is dated and wear is showing.... It is scheduled for a major drydock retrofit in October 2018.
Food was reasonable throughout the variety of ship restaurants. We noticed most restaurant food was only warm - the exception being the Garden Cafe immediately upon opening. One of the most significant concerns remains " head office control " limiting the chefs ability to vary menus, and provide culinary cuisine more reflective of the Asian area of travel. While it is nice to not deal with the logistics of transport, and accommodation in this variety of cities, we did miss out on experiencing the local oriental cuisines in more depth.