We overall had an enjoyable cruise and always grateful to spend time at sea on a big ship. However there were a few misses on this cruise.
Eight day circle Japan cruise to/from Yokohama. Pre cruise we spent two nights in Yokohama and really liked our stay there. Nice, clean city with many nice sites to see and beautifully lit up at night with a huge Ferris wheel down by the bay.
The ship had arrived in Yokohama a day early due to a huge typhoon out at sea. We boarded on time though with no issues. It’s a great looking port building and everything seemed to flow smoothly. This was our first Princess cruise but after having sailed with many other cruise lines we were not initially wowed by the ship. Sure it was nice and had some good features, but it was looking quite old in places.
Things we liked about the ship. The indoor pool and plenty of other pools and hot tubs, the Japanese baths, the pizza, most seats in theatre had a good view, lots of bars with plenty of seating, Horizon court crew were very friendly and helpful, always plenty of action around the Atrium, guest Jamaican entertainer was brilliant, plenty of free movies on stateroom TV, comfy bed, easy to use walk in robe and food generally ok.
Things we didn’t like, the ugly blue carpet on the outer decks that was constantly wet and squishy to walk across, the ugly blue rubber matting on the balcony that looked cheap and was hard on bare feet, the rabbit warren feel of a lot of the ship including the horizon court buffet with many segregated areas and I have never seen so many wind breaks to walk around on the outer decks as much as this ship, added to this the ship just lacked a good open flow – you often had to go up to go down or vice versa depending where you were going, the food area in Horizon court was congested in the one small area, there was only one real cafe down on deck 5 which was often super busy – would have been nice to have another on a higher deck, the good looking outdoor pool in the Japanese bath area was not heated and hardly anyone used it, the dining rooms had low ceilings and just lacked a grand dining sort of feel, the dining menus and staff were good but not brilliant, the theatre productions were good but not great – could have done with a lot more exciting set changes to keep the shows more interesting, and finally the lack of friendliness and overall customer service from most of the officers – most only spoke when spoken to and would almost go out of their way to avoid you.
Missed two ports due to typhoons and earthquakes but this can’t be helped. The remaining ports were good and locals were friendly everywhere. Would have been good to spend more time in ports including Kagoshima where we wasted over two hours with Japan immigration after returning from Sth Korea.
Disembarkation was easy and went to plan- we did self carry luggage off the ship