28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was my seventh cruise (all over the last ten years) and probably my favourite. I think Princess has "ruined" my husband and me for P&O, because after experiencing what a cruise can be like with Princess, we won't be ... Read More
This was my seventh cruise (all over the last ten years) and probably my favourite. I think Princess has "ruined" my husband and me for P&O, because after experiencing what a cruise can be like with Princess, we won't be going back to P&O. We had a narrow "window" of time to work with, and chose this cruise because we were able to fly in and out of Japan on frequent flyer points. The cruise, being five nights, was not really long enough (an extra couple of days would have been super!), but it was just lovely! Probably around 75-80% of passengers were Japanese (makes sense given the location), and I found learning a little of the language and culture to be a delight. The rest of the passengers were mainly from the U.S., U.K., Australia and various European countries. This is probably not an ideal cruise for those who want a "party boat", although there were opportunities on board to do that. The demographic was largely people in their fifties and older, with obviously some families and younger couples. It was quiet and relaxing, just what we needed. The ship was lovely. Everything was super clean. Our balcony cabin (B333) was great. I have a bad back, yet found the bed super supportive and comfy. Our cabin steward was excellent. We loved having a balcony and will probably ensure we go that way in future. Even the extra "window" having a balcony offers adds greatly to the sense of space. Bathroom was pretty standard for a ship cabin. Small but perfectly adequate. Soap, shampoo etc were in plentiful supply, as were soft fresh towels. The ship, although pretty much at capacity, never seemed overcrowded. There were plenty of places around pools and also indoors to sit and relax, listen to music, play trivia and so on. Lines at the buffet in Horizon Court were also minimal, which was great. The Princess theatre seating was very comfy and consisted of individual padded chairs, rather than long bench-style seating as we are used to in ship theatres. This was great because it meant no-one was trying to squish in where they couldn't really fit. Food, on the whole, was really good. Some of the desserts were extraordinarily good, both in looks and taste. There was ample choice for people who liked traditional Japanese fare, and also for those who don't. Also plenty of vegetarian options, plenty of salads, make-your-own sandwiches and rolls and so on. The Pizzeria near the outdoor central pool was popular, as was the Grill. The hot chips and burgers there were made to order and were really good. No charge! We received a voucher to go to the Steakhouse and a booking had been made on out behalf. As it was no extra expense to us, we gave it a try. Sorry to say, but it was a disappointment. My husband's steak was very "average" (erring on the yuck side actually) and even the decor wasn't that special. We preferred the dining room to be honest. The service, ambience and food were all better there, and they were all included in the cruise fare to boot! Entertainment was very good. The latin ballroom dancers Alex and Magdalena were outstanding, and we attended their Salsa dance class and loved it. The rock violinist was great, as were the shows by the Princess singers and dancers. The vocal/guitarist Jelord was lovely and he even took requests. There were also two female violinists who often played in the Atrium and they were also very good indeed. Trivia was fun. We found the cruise director himself to be lacking in both personality and (perceived anyway) care factor, but his Japanese counterpart was lovely enough to make up for it. We prepaid our gratuities before embarking, and we also bought the "soft drinks and more" package for each of us. It was good value and drink service was quick and friendly. We also bought the all-inclusive photo package. Buying before embarkation cost around $AU250, but if we had bought on board, it would have been much more, at $US250. This gave us prints of all photos taken, plus the digital files. Due to the photo department not having enough USB drives, our photos were supplied on a CD, and there were a few issues getting this done, but on the whole, it was well worth it. We ended up with many lovely photos and in our opinion, the package was WELL worth the money. There were a few issues along the way to do with immigration. Embarkation and the end of the cruise were both fine, but in between, we had to queue up to go through Japanese immigration when leaving Japanese waters, major queuing and ridiculous lines when entering South Korea, and then were expected to be off the ship by 7:15am in Nagasaki (different people were given different times). I am sure this could all be handled way better, with much less inconvenience to passengers. Legal requirements obviously must be met, but I don't think I have ever seen such poorly organised arrangements in my life. That was the one thing about the cruise I really didn't like. On the whole, it was a truly lovely time. Spotlessly clean ship. Friendly, helpful staff. Yummy food. Great entertainment. Great photos to remember the occasion. Will definitely be cruising with Princess again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Great cruise and Itinerary The only thing different about this cruise from other Princess cruises is that the portion size for dinner is smaller than what you are used to. We were warned about this from our waiter. No worries however, ... Read More
Great cruise and Itinerary The only thing different about this cruise from other Princess cruises is that the portion size for dinner is smaller than what you are used to. We were warned about this from our waiter. No worries however, because if you are still hungry they will bring out another serving.! The only problem we encountered is that the tv in the room kept freezing while watching movies at night. This was a little frustrating. The entertainment was okay. Not the best but not the worst. If you like the casino, it was closed for most of the cruise. Japan does not allow gambling while in their waters. The excursions offered on the ship were nice and the tour guides spoke English very well. There was a lot of walking involved and a lot of stair climbing. I suggest getting in shape prior to travel.If you want to see Japan, this is the way to go. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I have been cruising for quite a few years so much so that I have been lucky to have been to almost all the ports in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. I, not long ago came back from a cruise in South America ... Read More
I have been cruising for quite a few years so much so that I have been lucky to have been to almost all the ports in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. I, not long ago came back from a cruise in South America visiting Chile , Argentina and Buenos Aires and all ports in between including Port Stanley in Falkland Islands. I wanted to see Japan, S. Korea and Taiwan and the opportunity arose and I booked this cruise on Diamond Princess. It is a amazing ship very big in size but good in all the comforts and activities. There was one disappointment that the entertainment director was not up to standard. He came on the stateroom TV from time to time and was reading from the script, coughing and hardly making sense of what he was saying. It was better to read the program sheet than to listen to him. The entertainment was mediocre and seen better performers on other cruise ships, repetitive with the same people appearing from time to time. But the Large screen showing "movies under the stars" was good to excellent. Perhaps thee should be more movies shown when at sea and at night to give the customers a better choice of entertainment. The food in the Horizon restaurant was of good quality, hot and appetizing. The waiter service in the restaurant was good to excellent and always met with a smile. Hard working staff all round. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
On June 13-23, 2017, my wife, 11 year old daughter, 8 year old son and I sailed on the Diamond Princess out of Kobe. This was my 19th cruise, and I have sailed on RCCL, Princess, Disney, and NCL previously. Most of the people on this ... Read More
On June 13-23, 2017, my wife, 11 year old daughter, 8 year old son and I sailed on the Diamond Princess out of Kobe. This was my 19th cruise, and I have sailed on RCCL, Princess, Disney, and NCL previously. Most of the people on this cruise were retirees from Japan, with only about 5% from mostly England and Australia. Very few Americans onboard. The Japanese are very polite, mannered and well dressed. How refreshing to have such a cruise experience! We are Ruby on Princess. Pre-cruise we spent 5 days in Tokyo, and added Shanghai afterwards for Disney. Transfers to the Kobe port: We flew from Tokyo to Itami Osaka airport and purchased from Princess transfers for all 4 of us. Princess requested and we gave them all of our flight information. However, upon arrival at Itami, the Princess representative was nowhere to be found. I also told my children to look for someone holding a Princess sign. We could find none. It was about noon, which was approaching the cutoff time for the transfer. I then asked at airport information, and they said there was another terminal so maybe they were there. I then RAN to the other terminal, leaving the wife, kids and luggage behind. I asked at the information desk there, and she just happened to point out the Princess rep standing there hiding her sign in her paperwork. I explained that I could find no Princess rep at our terminal, knowing that we were an hour away with our ship leaving at 5. Eventually the Princess rep from my terminal then met us, and she showed me her sign with our names on it, yet nothing about Princess, and I said I never saw her holding a sign. She said she saw me talking to the information desk there- to which I then thought why didn’t you approach me and ASK! The terminal was not very busy and we, a American family of 4, were the only Americans around, and stood out like sore thumbs. So upon arrival at ITM start ASKING those standing around if they are the Princess representative because they DON’T HOLD UP THEIR SIGNS. Embarkation: We arrived around 1pm and they organized check in based upon your port arrival time. We then waited about an hour until we were called to check in. Disembarkation: The easiest and most organized ship departure ever! Princess wanted $75 each to transfer to KIX by bus. $300 for a 2 hour ride seemed excessive. Instead we took the high speed ferry from Kobe airport across the harbor to KIX. Very EASY to do. As you exit the cruise terminal there are helpful people who will direct you the short walking distance to the subway/train station. They told me flat out don’t take a taxi as it is too expensive, and the train is cheap and easy. Turn right as you exit the cruise terminal, and you can see the above ground train/subway station there. Just a short covered walking distance easily done even with our small children and luggage! At the station there were workers who would help you buy the tickets which were only about $3 each. Take the elevator up to the platform where there were more workers to direct you to the right train. (And contrary to older posts, you don’t have to take the train back to the mainland station to transfer to the train to the Kobe airport.) Orange line does not go to Kobe airport, only the grey line. Trains come every 5-10 minutes. 6 very short stops to Kobe airport. The train station is attached to the Kobe airport terminal. Upon arrival you can see the ferry terminal to the right, which is within walking distance even with wheeled luggage. Instead we took the free ferry bus which comes every 30 minutes. GO down to the first level, and the bus to the ferry terminal is just outside to the left. Then purchase ferry tickets at the ferry terminal- the 4 of us cost about $30. You get a discount with your passport. The ferry ride is about 35 minutes, and the boat is very large and comfortable with plenty of room. They will help you with your luggage. Upon arrival at KIX they have buses that take you the short ride to KIX, although close by, the distance did not seem walkable with luggage in my opinion. Bus stops at terminals 1 and 2. Ship: Our first time on the Diamond Princess. She is fairly new and was refurbished in 2016. She was in good shape. We would sail her again. However, there was a 15 minute ship power failure while docked in Abashiri. Good thing I packed a small flashlight! Internet: I signed up for internet for 640 minutes for $200. No unlimited plans available! Connection is only wireless, and speed range was usually just OK but not great. Food: Because we booked so late, we were stuck at the 7:45 pm dinner seating, which didn’t work well for us since we are early to bed. We never saw a 9pm show, but did go to 6:30 and 8 pm shows by eating at the buffet or the steakhouse. The Steak and Italian restaurants each charge a $29 premium per person. The steakhouse was worth it! Pools- Not a lot of activity seen in them, including in the covered pool as the water was generally cool, even on several of the sunny days. The pools are not heated except on the last day the covered pool was hot tube temperature! The hot tubs were a hit. Sports with the kids: Ping Pong was a favorite in the covered pool area. Enjoyed working on the cruise ship 1000 piece puzzle there while waiting for our turn to play ping pong. Great idea as many passengers participated. Putt Putt and a basketball court were on the top deck. Kids Club- Similar to our experiences on other ships. They divide the kids by age but there were less than 60 kids under the age of 18 on this cruise. So our kids had the place to themselves with just a few others in their age range. Important to note is that when we had PRINCESS excursions around 7:30am, the club would OPEN just to accommodate as long as you were taking a Princess excursion. Otherwise, we would not have been able to go on several of our excursions. They also will keep your kids during mealtime, taking them to lunch/dinner for free. Usually we would take our kids early to eat dinner, and then drop them off at the club while we went to dinner. And unlike other cruise lines, here we did not have to pay for the club to take them to a meal if they are there during a mealtime. What to do with the kids when you go ashore- You can leave your kids at the kids club while you go ashore. As I said above, if you are taking a Princess excursion that departs before kids club opens, if you tell them in advance, kids club will open to take your children early free of charge. Entertainment- Princess singers- In the “I got Music” show, the women while dancing were not well synchronized, and there were 2 dead spots in songs. Overall, the quality of these singers was not on par with previous cruises. However, “The Piano Man” was an excellent performance by the Princess singers. The acrobatic show by the couple was very good. Laundry room- Another reason we love Princess. The laundry room with 2 irons/boards was close by our cabin. Laundry cost $3 to wash, and $3 to dry. Use room key to get tokens, soap etc in laundry room. Photos- we purchased the 10 for $169 but added more so should have bought the pre cruise offer for $199 for all photos. Includes digital copies as well as the hard copies from the ship. Weather- We were very fortunate to have mostly overcast, cool weather (60’s-70’s) our entire cruise. I did not bring a jacket or long sleeve cover, and wore shorts on all excursions except for Russia. There were some sunny afternoons as well. It only drizzled one morning in Hakodate but then stopped with overcast skies. Cool air made the walks that much more enjoyable. Overall - We enjoyed visiting Japanese ports that are not well traveled, and would recommend this cruise for those who are looking for just that experience. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We travelled on 3 Diamond Princess cruises out of Kobe... 1. Busan, Kyushu, Shikoku. 2. Ryuku Islands, Taiwan. 3. Hokkaido. Total of 27 days on the ship but we stayed 8 days in Kyoto between the 2nd/3rd cruises. Overall enjoyed the ... Read More
We travelled on 3 Diamond Princess cruises out of Kobe... 1. Busan, Kyushu, Shikoku. 2. Ryuku Islands, Taiwan. 3. Hokkaido. Total of 27 days on the ship but we stayed 8 days in Kyoto between the 2nd/3rd cruises. Overall enjoyed the experience very much. Below a few thoughts... Pros 1. Great itinerary! Really enjoyed exploring the diverse sites around Japan and Taiwan. 2. Three different cabins - no complaints - aircon worked well - no extraneous noises. 3. Generally good sea conditions including good visibility 'scenic crusing' through the Japan Inland Sea and later along the Shiretoko Peninsula/Kuril Islands. One rough stretch on the return trip from Hokkaido and Kobe but plenty of warning from the Captain - occuring through the night helped! Cons 1. No Anytime Dining - Very disappointed ‘anytime dining’ is unavailable while the Diamond Princess is in Japan - just two ‘fixed dining’ options available - 5.30pm too early especially on shore days - 7.45pm too late. Very few turned up to dine up at our pre-allocated fixed dining table so we opted to dine in the Horizon Buffet most nights. 2. No guest lecturer - disappointing as Japan is a country with such interesting and diverse history, culture, geography - sea day lectures would have been very welcome. Princess shuttle buses We prefer to explore on our own so took full advantage of the reasonably priced Princess shuttle buses at most ports along with very helpful english-speaking staff at wharf-side/city tourist offices. Princess tours In general over-priced but did book 3 Princess excursions... 1. Shikoku, Tokushima - wanted to visit the 1st temple on the 88 Temple Shikoku Pilgrimage - thought the tour was worthwhile especially as as no shuttle was provided that day. 2. Taiwan, Highlights of Taipei - worthwile mainly for the guide who expertly guided us through the busy National Museum and some other key sites during a deluge! 3. Russia, Drive to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk - worthwhile, found the visit to the capital quite interesting - people we talked to who went on the Korsakov walking tour found it rather uninspiring. Some notes from ports we explored on our own ... 1. Busan, South Korea - we had awfully long and poorly-organised queues off the ship but worth the wait for the free shuttle into the interesting fish restaurant/market area. 2. Nagasaki, Kyushu - so easy to walk off the ship and explore the atomic bomb area and more via the excellent public tranpsort - Glover Garden area was worth visiting and an easy walk (assisted by uphill escalators) from where the ship is docked. 3. Miyazaki, Kyushu - it's a long way from the shuttle drop off at Abaratsu! - like many, we just explored Abaratsu - interesting stalls at the wharf with Miyazaki specialities. 4. Kochi, Shikoku - friendly local women provided a free pressed flower card making stand in the main shopping mall - a lovely surprise appreciated by many cruise passengers. 5. Tokushima, Shikoku - festival dancing down on the wharf started well before the ship sailed - they encouraged passengers to participate - lots fun. 6. Ishigaki, Ryuku - took a ferry out to Taketomi Island - visited the museum across the road from the ferry termial - then took the free minibus shuttle to the bike hire shop then off to explore including Kondoi Beach an the local weaving centre. 7. Hualien, Taiwan. Pine Gardens was interesting - walkable from the shuttle point - it’s where Japanese kamikaze pilots wined/dined before setting off on their WW2 missions but watch out for the tiny kamikazi midges! As a result I had over 100 large bites which drove me crazy for over a week! My friend left with only 3 tiny bites... 8. Kaohsiung, Taiwan - worth getting up early to see the ship enter the harbour/port area. 9. Aomori, Hokkaido cruise. Took a bus out to the fascinating Jomon Archaeological Park (free ipad for extra site info with id). Then back to the city to see the Nebuta Festival Float Museum. Save some time to visit the interesting Aomori Museum of History before boarding - the museum is located right on the wharf! 10. Abashiri, Hokkaido. Took a bus out to the Drift Ice Museum (with cute clione 'sea angels'). Then walked a short distance down the main road, passing through forested areas, to the Museum of Northern Peoples for an insight into the Ainu, Japan's indigenous people. Back at the shuttle point, it was interesting to watch the charter fishing boats return and unload their catches. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We are three couples from Canada, we have chosen this 16 days itinerary because of its diversity – Busan/Korea, Taiwan and Japanese Islands. Our cabin was a standard balcony which we've been in few times with Celebrity and is ... Read More
We are three couples from Canada, we have chosen this 16 days itinerary because of its diversity – Busan/Korea, Taiwan and Japanese Islands. Our cabin was a standard balcony which we've been in few times with Celebrity and is adequate for our needs. Only one floor of stairs up to the Horizon Court buffet, one more floor to the gym and a very short walk to the atrium elevators for other trips. Everything was functional. Arriving Kobe port terminal we had a long wait at for embarkation as there was a lot of procedures to get through but this was no fault of the cruise line and it was all handled by Port authority. The same procedure everytime we change the country from/to Busan Korea and Taiwan, the Japanese and Taiwanese authority demanded a lot of procedure making embarkation/disembarkation longer. The food was just above average, too much seafood and Japanese foods in the main eateries for my liking but what we did have there was good. The ship had four restaurants all serving the same menu every night which seems a bit strange. Restaurant and bar staff were extremely good customer service staff and very helpful. Breakfast in restaurant started late at 7am and finished too early (9am) so we went only a few times. Lunch buffet was generally the same every day and did not offer a lot of choices. We ate most of breakfast and lunch in the Horizon Court restaurant. There was always lots to choose from and the menu changed daily. It was always crowded and some peoples opted to share table with us, and it was great meeting new people. We dined once in The Steak House, steak was amazing. Before boarding the ship we have chosen the 2nd setting with table for 4 for the first week and a table for 6 in the 2nd week. After the first night diner sitting in The Pacific Moon we asked to change to International Dining room with 2 waiters – James Bond and assistant waiter (I don’t remember the name). The meal portion was generally small and we could ask for a second dish if we feel more appetite. What's good on Diamond Princess is dining at Horizon Court buffet where there was a lot of fruit and vegetable. As it is a 'Japanese ship' so they have sushi, ramen, rice, miso soup and udon noodle everyday. One particular weakness on Diamond during our trip was coffee because it's too diluted/light. Entertainment was quite good. We went on just a few shows in the first leg of the trip and that repeated the same in the second leg. Entertainment was pretty acceptable as the production shows were well attended and the performers looked as if they had been together for a while. Service was pretty standard. We were 3 couples staying in rooms A200, B625 and L222 and we all seemed to have red spots/itching in our leg skins after few nights in beds of Diamond Princess. We thougth that the beds had some tiny bugs which must be properly exterminated. As the ship was built by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding according to the Japanese standards, therefore the bathroom and the shower were tiny for Western passengers. My wife liked the room steward because he was very attentive at times and always tried to please our requests. We took Princess excursions in the first 4 ports and cancelled the last four. We were deeply disappointed in all of them, except the Nagasaki one. The excursions seemed to be tailored towards walking and sightseeing, not for my favorite things. After the first stop in Nagasaki we really enjoyed the white Chimabara temple and the walk to the Samurai village with experienced guide tour. The 3 following tours were Miyazaki, Kochi and Tokushima we got disappointed because the landscaping and shrines are almost the same shape and architecture. It is not worth to visit all of them. Instead of taking the Osaka castle excursion we took the bus and special rapid train on our own to Kyoto visiting the Golden Temple. A stunning sight. What we liked most were Hualien, Kaoshiung and Taipei the best. In these places we hired private taxi cab for Taroko Gorge National park, Kaoshiung stunning temple and colorful Lotus pond. The last stop in Taipei we had a nice ride around town with an excellent tour in The National Palace Museum, tasting local Taiwanese lunch ending up at the Taipei 101 story building, it rained heavily as we could not take nice pictures. What we complained most was the check-in procedure in the Port Terminal. It was really a mesh. The terminal personnel ran back and forth to get people queuing in an inefficient and unnecessary manner. Please review carefully your deficient reception structure by the time of embarkation , which is a mess , a total chaos for the first-time ship passengers ! There was so much to do on board, it was hard to choose what to go to on sea days but we were certainly never bored! The morning exercise with a big screen on 14 floor beside outdoor pool was a great help. Despite our age, between 55 to 68 we enjoyed the Zumba sessions with Japanese instructor. The dancing lessons were also enjoyable like Cha cha cha and Walz. We are glad we did it once, but would not do this itinerary again combining 2 legs – first leg of 7 nights and second leg of 9 nights. We really enjoyed the Nagasaki of the first leg and 3 Taiwanese cities of second leg. Overall, service was very good. Diamond is not really that old as what some reviewers said, we think it's the same design of all Princess cruise, they look like that, traditional and classy, and thus majority of cruisers are probably in their 50s and above. That is also one reason why we choose Princess, everyone moving at a relaxing pace and we just feel like we are in our world. This was our fifth cruise and first with Princess it was our fourth most favorite, hence the three star rating. Pretty average. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This cruise was chosen for the excellent itinerary. We were able to travel the long distance to this part of the world and have a long, 16 day cruise after spending time in various locations pre-cruise. Several other cruises and tours ... Read More
This cruise was chosen for the excellent itinerary. We were able to travel the long distance to this part of the world and have a long, 16 day cruise after spending time in various locations pre-cruise. Several other cruises and tours didn't offer this length and this seemed very convenient given the distance from the US. We especially loved the "minority" status as most passengers were either from Japan or Australia, Europe, etc. The cruise was well-paced with interspersed sea-days after several touring days. However, this was our first Princess cruise and we would not do another. The food was extremely sub-par, we didn't like fixed dinner seatings, and the entertainment was very disappointing. The service was excellent throughout the ship except for the formal dining room. The room service menu was very limited. Princess did occasionally offer some Cultural Japanese classes (such as beginning Japanese Calligraphy). However, these were often so crowded that people couldn't always get a spot without standing in line for a "ticket" which earned them a place. Sometimes, this meant obtaining the ticket on a different day than the class. Not what I want to do on a vacation! There were no Enrichment lectures which seemed unfortunate when one is obviously wanting to learn about this part of the world. Read Less
PrincessCruises3, Social Team, Princess Cruises has responded
Hi sierra3, we apologize for your disappointing experience with Diamond Princess onboard activities. We will pass on your comments to our team. We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you onboard again!
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this cruise because we had never been to Japan or the Ryukyu Islands before. Husband and I flew from Perth, Western Australia to Osaka (KIX) via Singapore and were picked up by Diamond Princess shuttle bus for transport from ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had never been to Japan or the Ryukyu Islands before. Husband and I flew from Perth, Western Australia to Osaka (KIX) via Singapore and were picked up by Diamond Princess shuttle bus for transport from airport to ship docked at Kobe. The Terminal at Kobe was very crowded when we got there but embarkation was quick and efficient with lots of staff on hand. We were delighted with our Deck 11 Ocean View deluxe cabin overlooking the bow. We only expected a window but instead had full length double glass doors with access to a little balcony that overlooked the bow of the ship, just under the bridge. Access to the balcony was limited to when the ship was in port, our room steward locked it when ship was at sea but we made good use of it during port days especially when the ship sailed in the late afternoon when we would go out on the balcony and experience her heading out of port. Only downside was this cabin was a long walk from the nearest lift and a long trek to the stern of the ship where the Horizon Court dining room is. But worth it. We went to the late session (7.45pm) Fine dining every night and found the menu and service excellent with a mainly Western cuisine plus favorite International dishes on offer plus a side menu of Japanese dishes. Good wine list. There were 3 formal nights during the 14 day cruise and we were delighted to see some of the Japanese ladies in their Kimono's. Passengers were a mix of Japanese, European, American, Canadian, British and Australian. Over 50% were Japanese but they kept mainly to themselves and family groups, those we did come into contact with were extremely polite and accommodating. Lots of different dining rooms on ship, some with surcharge. We did not go to any of these, food in dining room was superb and Horizon Court offered huge choice of Western & International dishes with 'make your own' Sushi bar and Noodle bar on the side. Crew all spoke English, and all the Shows in Princess Theatre were in English. Any films shown had Japanese sub-titles. New show in the Princess Theatre every night for a 7 days, one at 7.45 and repeat at 9.45pm with some brilliant artists. Unfortunately the shows were repeated the following week, Lots of entertainers in the bars and lounges with plenty to choose from. Not many enrichment talks unfortunately, port information all on cabin TV and sadly our TV did not work some of the time (due to dodgy Internet reception) Plenty of Japanese based activities such as how to do Origami or wear a Kimono etc during day time. Jewellery store, Watch store, designer handbags, Perfume and Make-up all duty free, plus small store selling essentials, souvenirs, tee shirts etc. All in US dollars. All power points on board took American 2 pin plugs so take an adaptor that fits your device. Ship called into Okinawa, Ishigaki, Keelung (Taiwan), Kobe, cruised the Sea of Japan, Busan (South Korea) Nagasaki, Aburatsu, Kochi and Tokusima. We did 5 shore excursions with Princess. Would have liked to have done more but found the cost excessive. Ship docked at all the ports except Ishigaki where tenders had to be used to ferry passengers ashore and delays occurred because of a high swell and strong winds. Disembarking at the other ports was quick and easy and ship provided buses for those who did not go on a tour to transfer passengers into town. There were also markets set up by the locals on the dockside in every port, plus free WiFi. The tours we did all had English speaking guides who were fun and obviously enjoyed their jobs. Best tour (and most expensive) was from Nagasaki to Arita (porcelain factories) Highly recommend this one, scenery was breathtaking, a rare look at rural Japan and Arita a picturesque old Japanese town dating back to 1600. No temples or castles on this tour. Shopping in Japan is a delight and the Japanese handicrafts are exquisite but be warned, they are NOT cheap. HINT.... Make a list of the value of each Yen bank note in your own currency as they have 10,000 - 5,000 - 1,000 bank notes plus 500, 100, 50 and 10 Yen coins.(10,000 and 1,000 notes easy to mix up as they look alike) Lots of vending machines selling cold bottled water and flavored drinks on shore costing about 120 to 150 Yen. Have coins on hand. Best to change your currency to Yen at a bank or money changer before you get to Japan. Exchange rates on ship not good and not as easy to find a money changer in Japan as it is in Indonesia, Singapore or Malaysia. Some shops will change money for you but rates are not good. I changed all my money into Yen & currency for Taiwan & Busan at Changi Airport on the way to Osaka. Disembarkation in Kobe at the end of the cruise was quick and very efficient. We did an Disembark tour to Osaka Castle and bus dropped us off at airport at 2pm. Anyone who did not enjoy this cruise must be a grump, but unfortunately there are always passengers on these cruises that spoil it for others such as those who do not return to the ship or tour bus on time and create delays. Diamond Princess was in top notch condition proudly displaying her new logo on the bow. Crew did everything they could to please and help passengers, great food, good company, new places to visit on a floating palace, what more could you want? This is our 4th cruise with Princess and Yes we will go again and again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Choose because friends were celebrating anniversary and wanted this itinerary. Did not care for the cruise. Ports were ok but heat hard to take. Food in main dining room mediocre , tasteless with limited choices. In buffet if you wanted ... Read More
Choose because friends were celebrating anniversary and wanted this itinerary. Did not care for the cruise. Ports were ok but heat hard to take. Food in main dining room mediocre , tasteless with limited choices. In buffet if you wanted smoked Salmon had to request and the they had to goto deck 5 tog get it. Shrimp cocktails or simple Caesar salad was by special request to your. Our cabin b627 was small bathroom very small and shower with showere curtain little room. No toiletries were provided other then showere gel and shower gel shampoo. Hard to get shampoo out and onto hand. Refrigerator in room empty so you could not get a drink, I realize you would have to pay but not given the option. Cabin Stewart was very good. The shows were good except that three were repeats and since many w ere back to back there should have been new programs. Especially Ike's tiki Dave alone and with hie wife. The repeat show was when he appeared solo. The other repeat was the dance duo. Bravo was excellent also had several repeated numbers but second a how added the violonist. He was great. The cruise the director was just there. The Japanese interpreter was better and I don't speak Japanese. On the pool deck there was no service, no towels placed on chairs no one coming around to see if you wanted a drink. It was completely sef serve. Also. Missed the small newspaper that gives you a roundup of major news events world wide. When getting off the ship in first ports water was not available for purchase and it was very hot. A plus was the Japanese style bath in the spa area. All did not enjoy this cruise and would not sail princess again. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I would have to say this was hands down the worst cruise my husband and I have ever been on. My husband summed it up best by saying it was extremely underwhelming. The ship itself was pretty good, it's an older ship and could use to be ... Read More
I would have to say this was hands down the worst cruise my husband and I have ever been on. My husband summed it up best by saying it was extremely underwhelming. The ship itself was pretty good, it's an older ship and could use to be updated but overall it seamed well kept. The service from the crew on the other hand was awful. It seemed like they went out of their way to be unhelpful. I'll start with our dining experience. We spent the first night at Sterling Steakhouse which was really good and service was excellent. The next night we went to our assigned dining room. We soon found out they had set the 3 of us (my husband, 2 year old son, and I) at a table for 6 with 4 other people. Leaving us scrambling to find a 7th seat, while the maitre'D was unhelpful and seemed to be blaming the head waiter for the mix up. The next night when we came in the table was still only set for 6. By the 4th night of our 5 night cruise they had finally fixed the problem and when we came in there were 7 seats at the table. The food in the dining room was less than spectacular, most nights nothing on the menu seemed all that appealing. The food on the buffet was also not very good. The last night we ate at the Crab Shack. We had previously dined at it on the Golden Princess back in February and had loved it. On the Diamond it is apparently located at the front on one side of the buffet dining room. It took us a while to find it, there were no signs up for it, the only why we found it was because we recognized the uniforms of the servers from our previous cruise. From the moment we set down everything felt very disorganized. When we ordered we tried to order our 2 year old a kid's meal. The waiter looked at us with a blank stare, like we had just asked for something crazy, and went to talk to the maitre'D about our request. The maitre'D then came over and offered to get him something from the buffet. A little confused we agreed. Quite a while later he came back with a plate of fruit for our son, most of which were things my son wouldn't eat. (For perspective, the Stirling Steakhouse is in the back of the same dinning room and they did not hesitate to bring him a kids meal when we ate there.) The soup was called Manhattan Clam chowder but was more of a vegetable soup. My husband and I ordered the king crab bucket. On the menu it was described as king crab legs and peel and eat shrimp. When it came there were 2 king crab legs and a whole bunch of muscles and clams. Since I was not wanting clams I asked the waiter about it and got the same blank expression I did about the kids meal. So when the maitre'D came back around I asked him. I saw him and some of the waiters looking at the menu and then he went back to the kitchen. He came by our table and said they would bring out some shrimp for us with on other explanation about the mix up. Overall the food wasn't very good and the service was terrible. Definitely not worth the extra money! We did however find excellent service at the Sterling Steakhouse and Sabatini's. We were in a suite so we got to eat breakfast at Sabatini's. The maitre'D there was absolutely fabulous! The picture area was extremely disorganized. On the last night, I know that can be a busy time but it was not all that crowded at the time, we were trying to find some of our pictures and couldn't. My husband asked the man working the counter for help and he pointed my husband to a section that was clearly wrong. After looking a while longer I asked another staff member for help, he actually attempted to help me but the section was so disorganized he told me to just have the person at the counter reprint them. So I waited in line until the guy who had been so unhelpful to my husband could "help" me. He would't, I told him what was going on and what the other man had said and he said he could not reprint them unless I had ordered them and would not help me find a way to see them. I finally just walked away having not seen my photos and not buying the ones I was intended to buy. Usually leaving a ship is the hardest part of the cruise but I was more that ready to get off of this boat. Overall our experience on this ship has left us not wanting to take another Princess cruise anytime soon. Read Less

Find a Cruise