I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the price. The first 14 nights were spent cruising around Japan with a stop in Vladivostok. The next 15 nights included two more ports in Japan and then 6 sea days crossing the north Pacific to our first port in Alaska, Kodiak. I have to say, the first 14 days were very busy with tours and I really enjoyed the sea days to rest up! I flew into Narita Airport and took the Limousine Bus directly to my hotel in Yokohama. The desk for Limousine Bus was directly across from where you exit the secure area of the airport. The ticket to Yokohama was around $35. The bus picked us up right outside the door. Very convenient. It was about a two hour ride to the New Grand Hotel in Yokohama. We were dropped right in front of the hotel. I had a double room in the tower for about $260 per night. Right across the street from the hotel is a pretty park and the harbor. The cruise ship terminal is within walking distance, but I chose to take a cab, about $7.
Getting on board was pretty efficient. My first stop was the Lido Buffet for lunch. The buffet is not self serve, but seemed to move along quite well. The buffet staff were very helpful and were happy to fetch anything you may have forgotten to pick up as well as replenish drinks. Most of my dinners were in the main dining room. I had anytime dining and was traveling by myself. I was always seated at a table with other English speaking travelers. The staff in the dining room were great! They were so friendly. Of course with anytime dining, you don't get that personal touch that you would get with fixed time dining. My favorite food place was Dive In, the burger joint out by the pool. The burgers and hotdogs are done as you order them and are great. The French fries were the best. Overall, the food was very good. However, I didn't care for the lasagna. I had one dinner in the Pinnacle Grill and it was outstanding. Get the soufflé for dessert.
I was very impressed with the crew on this ship. They were all so friendly and helpful. I had the best cabin stewards, Wayan and Alex.
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