My husband had been wanting to return to Asia, and I suggested this cruise. It was supposed to be 14 days, but typhoon Hagibis delayed our departure for two days. Pro #1, Celebrity was very generous with the compensation they offered, including refundable on-board credit and future cruise credit.
However, this brings me to my first con, which is misleading e-mails. After booking this cruise, a blanket email was sent out stating that we needed a Chinese visa and we would need to be fingerprinted. I had already looked into the requirements for a Chinese visa and believed we didn’t need one with our itinerary. Upon calling Celebrity, they confirmed that we would not need a visa. When I suggested that perhaps their email should mention other options, they explained they prefer to have individual customers call in and confirm their personal requirements directly with Celebrity. (Upon reading posts from our cruise and similar cruises on Cruise Critic, this issue is a cause for concern for many travelers.)
We received another misleading email after our cruise was postponed, saying we had missed the ship and giving us information on how to catch up with it. This email was sent out accidentally to everyone, and again it caused a lot of concern.
We had a veranda cabin on deck 6. I really liked the location. It was very quiet, and convenient to the forward elevators. One floor down was Cafe Bacio, so it was easy to get a latte and a pastry in the morning. Cabin tip: there are no hooks on the walls, except robe hooks on the bathroom door. I had brought extra magnetic hooks with me which came in handy. I always bring extra hangers, too. There were no under-the-bed drawers, but we made careful use of all the available shelves, drawers, and cupboards, and found a place for everything.
It was pretty easy to take the free shuttle to the train station and take the train to the Atom Bomb Dome and Memorial Park. It is not to be missed. We walked down a side street and had a good meal at a small restaurant.
We purchased a 2-day shuttle pass, but only used it the first day. We took the shuttle and explored the Dolphin Port, then walked downtown and walked through the shopping area.
On our second day we hired a taxi to take us to the Chiran Peace Gardens, Kamakaze Museum, and Samurai Gardens. It was about an hour drive, including a drive on a melody road, and we spent a couple of hours there before returning to the ship. It cost about $200 for the four of us. Our cab driver was amazing, and used a translator app on his phone to share all kinds of information with us.
We took the ship’s offered tour to the APEC House and the Buddhist Sea Temple. It was about a 4 1/2 hour tour. I felt we covered a lot of ground and saw a lot. I would recommend it.