We chose Noble Caledonia's Timeless Japan cruise round some of the ports of Japan because it is so much easier to cruise around this country than it is to drive.
After a day or so in Tokyo, the tour took us by bullet train (as advertised) for a two-hour journey to Niigata, the port of embarkation. On boarding the train, it became clear that the bullet train is a two-tier affair in which only the upper tier has any view out while the lower tier just looks at a concrete wall for a couple of hours. In order to save a few pounds, Noble Caledonia booked its customers into the bottom tier thus turning our only opportunity to see the interior landscape of this distant land into a journey about as interesting as a trip round the Circle Line, but without the stations. For lunch we were served a bento box containing the most disgusting food I have ever been served, another economy.
The ship itself was physically OK, within the limits of a small vessel. We were advised that afternoon tea would be able between 3.30 and 5 pm. Most of the tours were arranged so as to return a few minutes after 5pm, thus saving the ship's crew the trouble and expense of serving afternoon tea to its passengers. It would be interesting to know where these savings to the budget ended up. The officers were aloof and did not encourage contact with the passengers. Waiters and other crew were friendly and made the best of what they must have known what was going on.