I wrote a longer write up as a post to tell people about the Gold and Silver Class benefits on the ship.
We stayed in a Grand Loft Suite on deck 15, we also had an Owner's Suite for some relative on the same deck. These were the best decorated rooms we have ever had on RCI, particularly the loft suite. The bathrooms were all lovely. As a new ship it was pretty much immaculate. The only thing I didn't like was the open bedroom in the loft where you could hear someone watching the TV below.
Gold dining was pretty similar to Coastal Kitchen, service was fantastic. In general the food on the ship, however was mediocre. It was often under seasoned and lacking flavour. Chops was disappointing. Teppanyaki was excellent however. Sichuan Red was good but very spicy, although you could change this. It was too authentic Chinese for my liking.
The Windjammer was constantly very busy and unpleasant. We only went in to look. The Silver Dining area buffet available to suite and Diamond guests was much more pleasant.
Pizza at Sorrento's was the best I have had on a RCI ship.
Entertainment was surprisingly good despite often being in Chinese. My wife and I took part in The Love and Marriage Show and they did it in English also for our benefit. We were told the policy was to add in English if needed.
Bars were empty and the 7pm shows very busy. It was quite quiet after 9pm which I found pleasant. Some people may find it too quiet. We didn't find people too pushy, it seems that the policy in China is to get into the lift at the same time people get out. But really it wasn't an issue, just part of being on a busy ship.
Embarkation was very slow due to Chinese paperwork which is much more extensive than elsewhere. You cannot disembark until 1 hour after the ship arrives in port. Most people on board were locals so they all started to get off as soon as possible ignoring stated times.
The gym was small, but was not busy and seemed fine to me. Public areas were generally quieter than on other ships. Everyone seemed to be at The Windjammer. Pools were also quiet.
We enjoyed the stops in Japan, Nagasaki and Kagoshima. We took a tour in Nagasaki and had a lovely guide for English speaking people. I found it haunting and sad. We walked around in Kagoshima and took the local tram. This was easy and way better value than the ship's tours. People were lovely.
It was the shortest cruise I have been on and I personally found 5 days a little short.
Overall we really enjoyed it and would happily go back, my only real gripe was the food. It seems to me that these Chinese cruises are also cheaper than elsewhere for similar cabins so I thought it was good value. For Europeans flights are probably cheaper to China than the US.
The cabin decor was very modern and lovely, it was the first time we have had a wooden floor in a cabin.
Both bathrooms were outstanding. The downstairs one had a whirlpool bath although it seemed a little short. The upstairs bathroom had a massive double shower with body jets.
We had a sofa bed but it was only a single. We were fine as three people, the steward said that they bring in a crib for a fourth.
There was way more storage than you are likely to need and a nice large table.
Movies were free due to it being a suite.
I didn't like the open bedroom aspect of the loft cabin, my wife loved the cabin though due to the decor.
We arrived three days before the cruise and stayed 1 night at Shanghai Disneyland and two nights in town.
Disneyland was very pleasant and quiet.
We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel and then a 5 star hotel all for only around $300 a night.
Nice little town that was easily navigated on our own. Quaint tram system.
Peace park is less interposing than ground zero and the atomic bomb museum which were part of the same tour.View All 26 Nagasaki Peace Park Reviews
You will never go on a tour from a cruise ship that has a more profound effect on you than this. Visiting ground zero and seeing the devastation caused by the atom bomb is quite an experience.View All 24 The Atomic Bomb Museum Reviews