We wanted to embark at the Port of Vancouver, Canada as it is a short flight from our home. The repositioning cruise offered a fantastic fare and gave us a chance to visit Japan. We planned to join a land tour once we disembarked in Yokohama. This was our first ocean crossing and it was surprisingly uneventful (weather-wise). Except Typhoon Hagibis was scheduled to arrive in Tokyo the same day we were scheduled to disembark at the Port of Yokohama. The crossing itself was blissful for us. We napped, we walked, we used the spa, we enjoyed the cultural talks, and the variety of entertainment on board.
To outsmart the typhoon, the Captain did have to cancel one port stop in order to re-route the ship out of the path of the storm. This meant an additional day of sailing, a transit through the Kanmon Straits, and leisurely sailing to allow enough time for the storm to blow itself out of our way and arriving safely one day later than scheduled to our port for disembarkation.
Holland America provided free internet time as well as free ship to shore telephone privileges for passengers who needed to re-book flights or other travel arrangements because of the delay.
We booked a Guarantee in the VB category and received a very nice upgrade. This cabin is directly above the Main Dining Room and sits mid-way between port and starboard, right at the stern of the ship. It has an extended balcony which is very nice and is sheltered from most wind. This was a repositioning cruise as well as a sailing that needed to travel to avoid a typhoon, so at times the ship was travelling at its maximum speed. When it was at full throttle, there was a lot of engine noise in the cabin. I assume this is the case for all far-aft cabins. We enjoyed our cabin and would definitely select it again.
Even though it was pouring rain, we enjoyed this experience. The guide was an experienced local and we enjoyed hearing the "insider" perspective. He was fun, knowledgeable, and helpful as we each tried panning for gold. The salmon bake afterwards was lovely.View All 56 Gold Panning Reviews