Sailing on the Diamond Princess was not only memorable - but something that in my mind simply indelible! First, our stateroom welcomed us with the most comfortable bed and plump pillows everyday - with the added bonus of having fresh linen everyday! The Horizon Court lured us every morning with the delicious aroma of both cold & hot entrees to entice us out of our resolve to stay on diet plus the fact that the wait staff made each morning a good one with their smiling faces and offers of help every step of the way.
Our sit-down dinners at the Vivaldi combined elegance of the dining room, trained 'formal' wait staff and thoughtfully prepared food to give my group a nightly delight that we looked forward to every night.
Although we could not be as gung-ho as all the other guests on board as far as the numerous activities are concerned, we did enjoy the more relaxed activities of playing bingo, attending the port information sessions, lounging by the pools to chat or just even read our books till we fall asleep for our naps! There is no chance for you to wonder what's up because of the PA announcements that encourage you to come to the Atrium for a game of ring toss or paper plane chase. All in fun - there's so much fun even as a spectator!
The shore excursions we went on were perfect for a group with an elderly with walking difficulties - the ratings which identified the type of excursion helped us a lot! Loved the fact that the ship docked at Aemori-shi on the first day of the Nebuta Festival!
The only blemish in our Diamond trip is the fact that there was a storm at our "tail" which followed us to Ishinomaki, the scheduled first port. My group applauded the Captain's decision to "skip" said port because the Port Authority communicated to the Captain that they will be closing the port - so if we docked, we would have been forced to stay the course of the storm!
Another blemish was the long queues and seemingly disorganized way our re-entry to Aemori, Japan was processed. Took us 2 long hours to get to the desk of the Immigration Officials to get our re-entry stamps! Still do not understand why this process took that long when our entry to Vladivostok, Russia was seemless!
As for service, from embarkation to disembarkation, I bow to the type of service the Diamond crew offered to all the guests.
After all is said and done, this Diamond sailing may not have been perfect - but what Diamond is worth its salt without some imperfection? This Diamond still sparkles!
Don't really know what cabin category is - so there!
Loved the fact that our balcony cabin is at the top of the other balconies (since I could look down and see the other balcony cabins) - gave me the feeling of perfect privacy.
Always clean and beds made and towels changed every time we get back to it - which is like heaven to me.
The ease with which to go from the ship to any point in the place is surprising. The people in the place are so helpful. The taxi drivers are so honest.
Hakodate itself is a wonderful stop - had such a calming effect on me. You can also go shopping if you have a mind to it - but if you want just to find a place of 'peace' there are several areas where you can just sit and feel the "quiet"!
Port of embarkation and toured the place by ourselves
Had a Highlights of Aomori excursion then we went back on our own. The shuttle service for a reasonable fee provided by PCL is priceless and forward-thinking. We were able to go back to the town to watch the festival parade that was happening!