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4,784 Asia Cruise Reviews

Mostly agree with the last few reviews on this site. Readers who are interested in the suite areas, or a short sailing out of China may find this helpful. Departure City: Shanghai is a vast city with quite of lot of things to do, but ... Read More
Mostly agree with the last few reviews on this site. Readers who are interested in the suite areas, or a short sailing out of China may find this helpful. Departure City: Shanghai is a vast city with quite of lot of things to do, but we had limited time there and explored it independently. Easy to get around on the metro if you have a map. Embarkation: very large queues were skipped, very rushed feel with large crowds milling about, but you do need to flag to embarkation staff if you have priority Disembarkation: we elected to leave late, but despite lack of priority, was swift Ship: Large, modern and spacious - feels similar to Ovation, with similar crowd concentration - elevators can be crowded at times, with pushing/shoving at peak times (eg subway in China/Japan at peak hour) - back of the ship (270 area) tends to be much quieter unless there is a show happening there - no overcrowding in the Silver/Gold areas, Solarium seems particularly empty except for a number of children and their supervising parents/grandparents Cabin - very new, modern, no damage/rust yet - very little thoroughfare, quiet, as in the Suite section, which is mostly cordoned off from the rest of the ship - close to the lounge, immediate access to the Solarium, far from other parts of the ship Dining: overall, Western-styled food is not as good as it is on other ships (we did not try Chops, though), but the Asian food is much better - room service menu fairly standard for an RCI cruise, with the addition a few Asian-styled dishes - set dining menu in all restaurants, with more options than you would find on a standard RCI cruise - Silver Dining: buffet with some Asian flavours. Had a great pork/ample combination in breakfast - Gold Dining: standard RCI breakfast menu, slightly more Asian flavours for lunch and dinner, but definitely Western options available - Sichuan Red: good Asian flavours, known for spicy food as per the cuisine (you can request milder, or no spice, although you would probably miss out on the experience) - Hotpot: worth going for the experience if you've never done it before, they provide separate pots if you prefer not to engage in communal dining, though it is better with more people, selection of cakes for desserts (didn't try), lots of Asian fruits, mangoes - Wonderland by DaDong: same environment (down to painting the menu) as other ships, food is OK (less "showy" than the usual Wonderland, peking duck is good - Teppanyaki: reasonable to watch the chef cook/theatrics, especially if you have not seen it before, meat is well cooked to your liking Entertainment: caters from Western/Eastern audiences, usually by minimising any actual dialogue. However, the cruise director speaks about 90% in Mandarin and 10% in English, usually limited to the communicating the essentials. - Silk Road: good theatrics/props/theme, lots of dance numbers with recognisable modern tunes, story is a bit disjointed, but a fun watch nonetheless, kids will love it - The Effectors show: about superheroes of special effects (choreography, sound, light, pixels), mostly decent execution representing each part, decent villain, not complex story (due to no voiced dialogue, only singing), kids will also love it - Showgirls: past, present, future - more classic RCI entertainment as the start is reminiscent of the shows in the smaller ships, but builds up to something that you might see in equivalent ships, no real story - Funny Bones comedic duo: starts slow, like a standard magic show, but the gags get much more involved with fun props, there is no dialogue and any spoken parts are purposefully unintelligible so you can interpret from the tone, body language - very clever - Shops: wide selection of shops that you might see on other similar class ships (the Royal shop, jewellry, handbags); there is also JClinic, which seems to be Japanese alternative medicine store catering only to Chinese passengers as there is no translation to English, there is also a pharmacy which sells all manner of medicines, some that I have never heard of (the packaging is mostly in Japanese). Some of the activities on Quantum Class ships that are normally free now require payment (eg iFly, trampoline, laser tag) Not many dancing activities, trivia, and no bingo If the crowd is predominantly Chinese, as ours was, you should expect a low buzz of chatter at every stage of a show. There is often a rush for seats/viewing space in the non-reserved seating and after the reserved seating is opened to the floor. Service: Friendly, attentive service in the suite lounges and specialty restaurants. Most staff will understand English. Not everyone will understand Mandarin, presumably as it is an English-speaking cruise line.. Bar service is excellent as there are absolutely no queues. It is particularly good in the Suite Lounge during Happy Hour, as most of the other guests are Chinese and don't seem to drink very much. I can't speak for service in the MDR or WJ as we did not go there. However, WJ looked very crowded whenever we went past and did not seem very appealing for that reason. Ports: Fukuoka we travelled independently in the ports - there were limited offerings for Western excursions, with most Chinese guests travelling in tour groups - the cruise terminal was a short taxi ride to Tenjin/Hakata, but you can also purchase a bus+train pass (day pass, 800 yen) from the nearby tourist centre, which allows you to take the bus to these places and around the central city area Would happily go through the same experience again, perhaps on a longer cruise as 4 days is hardly enough. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We choose this cruise due to the itinerary it stopped in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore. The ship was on its way to Australia. This ship is not ready for the Australian market. Very focused on its Asia market. Service was ... Read More
We choose this cruise due to the itinerary it stopped in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore. The ship was on its way to Australia. This ship is not ready for the Australian market. Very focused on its Asia market. Service was terrible and slow. Very disorganised staff who didn’t know how to apologise. Had to go looking for service. Drinks took ages to be served. Took 3 hours to get on ship. Most of that in a corridor standing and given no explanation for delay. They checked our passports 4 times! Embankments and disembarkments were very slow and disorganised. In Hong Kong we took a shuttle from port and only had three quarters of an hour in a city mall. In Vietnam we had to wait 3 hours for us to get on a tender. So we cancelled next port visit which we were disappointed. Not enough chill out areas. Some of them got closed for private functions which left few options. Room bathroom had nasty smell. Reported 5 times nothing changed except the strength of the air freshener. Activities only focused on Chinese travellers. Entertainment for the 3 shows we saw was very good though. There was a contingent of Australians on board that almost everyone were moaning about the same things. Not a ship to recommend unless they can prepare better for the Australian market. Travel agents beware of sending your travellers on this cruise Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
First time traveling with Celebrity Cruises and first time traveling to Japan. SHIP The ship is newly remodeled and they did an excellent job. It's a smaller ship so I found it easy to navigate. - 10th floor: spa and ... Read More
First time traveling with Celebrity Cruises and first time traveling to Japan. SHIP The ship is newly remodeled and they did an excellent job. It's a smaller ship so I found it easy to navigate. - 10th floor: spa and buffet - 4th floor: casino, theater and main dining EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION Easiest embarkation process EVER! We had checked-in online and had our Celebrity express pass. After going through security we literally walked onto the boat and our card keys were on our cabin. We got on the boat around noon. - Taxi from Yokohama station to Daikoku Pier was roughly $45 - We used the free shuttle on the disembarkation that took us from Diakoku Pier to a Sakuragicho station. I would recommend this route for both directions. NARITA AIRPORT - We got to/from the Narita Airport using Narita Express. - We purchased the roundtrip for roughly $40 (requires foreign passport). Its very quick BUT there are some hiccups with this - Because our return date change due to the typhoon, we had to wait in line at the JR office to change the dates. For some reason the Nagasaki office couldn't change the date but she stamped our tickets so we could take them to the Yokohama office to change the dates. This was stressful. Some agents speak english and some do not. I had to use google translate to communicate with the agent and she also had some device in which she spoke Japanese into and it output English on the screen. The queues were long - You don't have to put your luggage on the front of the car, you can take them to your seats and squeeze them in with you. For some reason I thought I had to put the luggage up front and those were always full. - On my return to Narita the train, the train was on was stopped due to a human-related accident. I had no idea what the agent was saying but the person next to me spoke English and helped me. I had to leave the train and exchange my ticket with the operator and catch the train across the platform...or I could have stayed on the train until service resumed which was estimated to be 30-40 minutes later. CABIN We stayed in cabin 2102 (ocean view) and were very happy with it. - plenty of charging ports - plenty of space for 3 people - replaced the typical shower curtain with an actual glass door. - I didn't hear much non-standard noise like banging or anything so I think this is a pretty good room if you require more quiet for sleeping. - Cabin provided blow dryer, umbrella and reusable bag - TIP: the only outlet in the bathroom is for a shaver, so you may need an extension cord if you use anything like a waterpik or some other things. - TIP: the body soap is worthless, bring your own. - Our cabin had no plumbing or A/C issues, but I did notice that cabins on the 2nd floor towards the back of the boat did smell like sewage in the hallway when I walked by. DINING I felt that the food was great on the ship. The buffet has many options, including gluten free. The french fries are excellent (available outside by the pool). There's also more healthy options by the solarium on 10th floor. For dinner we mainly took to the main dining room. We had no problems with poor service or cold food. We enjoyed main dining very much, but also ate at the 6pm hour which is earlier. We only did one specialty dining - crab platter during lunch at sea. It was $45 a person and you get 2 alaskan crab legs, 2 crab cakes, crab bisque and garlic bread. It was too much crab to eat all at once. I would pass on this again if I could. ENTERTAINMENT There's a nightly free slot tournament at 8, in which I won $50 free slot play. Also lost my own money on the slots but it was fair give & take and worth the entertainment. The nightly shows are excellent. The singers are strong performers and always in tune. And the performances themselves are mature and not too gimmicky. TYPHOON We went during typhoon hagabis and our trip was rerouted to Nagaski and extended 2 days. It was chaotic on the boat with everyone trying to reschedule their flights/hotels and not knowing what was going to happen. Celebrity handled it well. They opened the satellite phones and reimbursed all calls. Also they setup a computer station with 8 laptops and gave free internet access for the remaining cruise to help everyone. I was very happy with how they handled the situation. I fortunately booked with Celebrity using Flights by Celebrity. Going forward I will always use this option. I booked with them cause the price was $50 less expensive than booking directly with the airline. But during the typhoon, Flights by Celebrity automatically rescheduled by flight and provided free hotel, and hotel & airport transfer for the change. It was a true blessing and I would suggest you use them for this single reason alone. There were plenty of people who could not get in touch with their airlines or had issues rescheduling. CELLULAR DATA Originally I thought I wouldn't need cellular data if I had prepared enough. Looking back I'm glad I didn't go that route. I changed carriers in the US from cricket wireless to google FI. Google fi offers free cellular roaming in the standard package. I had service most days except for At Sea Days. And I used the service at every port, especially google Maps. My phone bill for the month was only $35.53 which also include 2 short international calls during the Typhoon. ($0.20 per minute) I highly recommend you have data. TIP: I have a iphone SE and use google hangouts for texting family so that communication would be on the data plan and not international rates. I plan to switch to google pixel in the future to take advantage of all of the Google Fi features. PHONE APPS - Google translate - Google Maps - Google hangouts - Zoho Notebooks: I used this for destination addresses to show taxi drivers - I had downloaded but did not use: Maps.me, Google Duo, Japan Direct PORTS/SHORE EXCURSION - Best sushi was eaten at Tsukiji outer Market in Tokyo at Sushizanmai. Everything I read said the market opened early but I would suggest you not go till 8am when most things were open. We went at 6am and most stores were closed. - Best dim sum was in Yokohama chinatown. The soup dumplings were the best. - Favorite port was Osaka because I love street food and shopping. We took the subway to Dotonbori. Plenty of consignment shopping too if you are looking to purchase luxury items. - In general we did most ports on our own and used the subway. We purchased IC Cards from Narita Airport. - If you do any excursions I would recommend you book through Celebrity so that they can adjust your excursions as necessary 1. In Aomori we were scheduled to dock at 9am but didn't get in till 10:30 cause of high winds. It took hours to disembark cause we had just come from Busan and everyone on the boat had to be processed by immigration. We did not get off the boat till 2pm. I'm sure they handle this better for people who had excursions. 2. In some stations we got an extra hour which was nice Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had a long stopover in Hanoi so decided to do a cruise on Halong Bay. We couldn't have chosen better. The staff were friendly and polite and nothing was too much trouble. The dining area was spacious so we didn't feel we ... Read More
We had a long stopover in Hanoi so decided to do a cruise on Halong Bay. We couldn't have chosen better. The staff were friendly and polite and nothing was too much trouble. The dining area was spacious so we didn't feel we were surrounded by other people, good selection of beer, wine and cocktails. The food was delicious and plentiful with up to 5 courses and a BBQ/buffet one night. The seafood was fresh and mouth watering. The boat was clean with a relaxing and spacious interior and deck area. Shore excursions included being rowed around the bay or kayaking for the more agile. We saw amazing views and limestone caves. We spent a day with Lisa one of the guides on the day boat. She is the perfect guide, engaging, friendly and knowledgeable. After a day out I booked a massage. 60 minutes of total relaxation. Quite possibility the best massage I've ever had. I highly recommend this cruise. Everything was taken care. A very relaxing break after a busy 4 weeks in Europe. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because it went to places in Japan we could never get to easily in the time. We enjoyed all the excursions and took advantage of the opportunities they afforded. Definitely worth it for the excursions. But the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went to places in Japan we could never get to easily in the time. We enjoyed all the excursions and took advantage of the opportunities they afforded. Definitely worth it for the excursions. But the stateroom was half the size of staterooms on P&O cruise ships. The shower was over the bath which is not suitable for people with mobility issues. The bathroom was so small you couldn’t get changed in it. The toilet was in the bathroom not separate which was an issue when sharing with a friend. The Club Class dining was average with no options for Japanese cuisine. Got charged for a Yoga class which I walked out on because the instructor was doing starjumps. Not exactly yoga. Had a reasonably priced wine option for the first couple of days and then a more expensive wine was the only choice. Went from $35 to $51 which made a significant difference. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We booked the nine day version of this cruise as a complement to a land tour of Japan. In most respects, it met our expectations, but there were definitely some aspects that were disappointing. This circumnavigation of Japan was an ... Read More
We booked the nine day version of this cruise as a complement to a land tour of Japan. In most respects, it met our expectations, but there were definitely some aspects that were disappointing. This circumnavigation of Japan was an excellent, well-balanced itinerary out of Yokohama. What impressed us the most was the number of ports (three in total) visited on the Sea of Japan coast. This is an area of the country that does not seem to see many cruise ships, so it was an appealing aspect of the itinerary. We also appreciated the opportunity to visit South Korea through the port of Busan. For future cruises, it would be nice if Princess could add a port on the island of Kyushu. We booked shore excursions through Princess for each port. Generally, these were well-organized and efficiently run. There was a good variety of offerings, with something for everyone. The process of getting off and back onto the ship was relatively painless, although we were a bit in the dark about the process of retrieving goods that were taken and held by security until the end of the cruise. More information on this procedure would have been welcome. In terms of the running of the ship and service onboard, there were positive and negative aspects. On the positive side, the Princess waiters were excellent, with outstanding service in the Savoy dining room, although the cuisine could be a bit hit-or-miss. The food was generally very good, although two evening meals were substandard due to under or over-cooking. With half of the passengers being Japanese, there were many more Asian dish choices than what one would normally see. The service in the Horizon Court buffet was equally good. We had one evening meal at the Italian premium restaurant, Sabatini’s. Again, the service was excellent, but the food was a little disappointing. For example, the lobster served in the Savoy dining room was superior to what we had in the premium restaurant. Finally, we were regulars at the afternoon tea service in the International Dining Room and really enjoyed the white glove table service and tasty goodies that one usually finds at high tea. The cabin housekeeping service was also a bit unpredictable. Our first cabin steward was sub-par, to the point that we were about to complain. However, after two days, we got a new cabin steward who was so dedicated and attentive that he made up for the first one. The entertainment was good. There were three production shows, of which two were very good. We also enjoyed the other acts, especially the rock violinist, Katei. We really appreciated the demonstration of traditional Japanese comic storytelling, rakugo. We were disappointed that Princess did not take the opportunity of being in Japan to showcase more Japanese talent, such as a J-Pop group or a Kabuki theatre performance. On the negative side, the ship appears tired, with several evident maintenance issues and some areas of the ship being downright filthy. One of the ladies' toilets near the atrium was constantly malfunctioning, and ceiling fans in the dining section of the Lido were covered with so much encrusted dirt that it would have failed a health inspection. We saw at least one instance where a wall had to be torn out to fix the plumbing, and many parts of the passageways showed damage from years of wear and tear. Some of this should certainly have been addressed by the crew, while other issues will require the resources of a full refit. Other parts of the cruise also misfired. On both occasions that we chose to catch a movie on the pool deck on the big screen, the sound system malfunctioned. We also had a total screw-up with room service delivering the wrong items to our cabin. Additionally, we were also taken aback by the way that Princess seems to be nickle-and-diming more aspects of the cruise. For example, the Japanese baths which are unique to this ship were advertised as an appealing feature, until we discovered that you had to pay for each visit, more or less like spa experiences. On the whole, we enjoyed our cruise on Diamond Princess. The itinerary was great, and the crew for the most part was excellent. Nevertheless, the ship needs a lot of work, and we were disappointed by other aspects of the cruise. As a result, only an average score was earned, with lots of room for Princess to improve this unique Japanese experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I love this cruise, not only you visit many exceptional cruise ports, you experience the Japanese cuisine and interact with many Japanese guests (60%) on the voyage 80% of The cruise ports are far away from the port terminals. Cruise ... Read More
I love this cruise, not only you visit many exceptional cruise ports, you experience the Japanese cuisine and interact with many Japanese guests (60%) on the voyage 80% of The cruise ports are far away from the port terminals. Cruise port shuttles are expensive. It would be nice if Princess to cover this cost The services are exceptional but the ship shows it age The layout of the main decks 5, 6 are so confused. You have to use deck 7 or 5 to go to a certain restaurant or spots on deck 5, 6 The 7:30 pm show is at the preferred time schedule. Seats all are taken 15 minutes before the show. The seats are very tied, narrow, no room to serve drinks before the show I love Japanese cuisine served on the cruise. There are more Japanese guests than American guests, we feel like we are submerged Japanese culture totally. Love it Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Foreign exchange conversion a rip off on ship. Exchange your currency and pay cash. The staff looking after our suite were great. Our towels were always ion a new creative shape which was amusing. We didn't like having to walk ... Read More
Foreign exchange conversion a rip off on ship. Exchange your currency and pay cash. The staff looking after our suite were great. Our towels were always ion a new creative shape which was amusing. We didn't like having to walk through the casino areas with our children. The food was hit and miss. Pretty average and then every now and then you get a good meal. Activities were fun and well managed. Other passengers would push in, but the staff couldn't cope. The pool closed a few times for 'cleaning'. The staff said probably poo or vomit in pool.....'yuk!'. Unfortunately the passengers push in at every opportunity - dinner queues, each port, embarkation etc etc. The staff try to manage them, but they just keep pushing. The staff said this is a problem on every cruise. i was left with a sour taste when they over charged my final payment balance by more than $200 (20%) because of the currency conversion. Not a good way to finish. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I read many reviews and was really worried that our hard earned money was going to be wasted but found completely the opposite. The ship is new and very attractive everywhere. The cabin was clean and while a tad small had everything we ... Read More
I read many reviews and was really worried that our hard earned money was going to be wasted but found completely the opposite. The ship is new and very attractive everywhere. The cabin was clean and while a tad small had everything we needed or could possibly want. The crew were amazing, helpful, hard working and always ready to be making the whole experience wonderful. Plenty to do and we watched two amazing shows. Lots going on and the Zumba morning class was totally amazing. Lots of variety of things to do including bowling,games areas, climbing and lots of water fun things to do.Embarkation and disembarkation was easy and well managed. Both of us use a walking stick and at all times we felt acknowledged and "looked after" even though we were well able to manage independently. The lifts were plentiful and always available whereas on some cruises we have found many have been Priority use and so out of action. Each day we were in a different port and there was absolutely no hassle getting on or off the ship and that includes the one day we had to be tendered to shore.Food in the buffet was plentiful and nicely presented. A good range of cultures were catered for including Halal food. The other free restaurants were great and again not limited to Western or Asian tastes.We did not try the places requiring payment as there was no need. We are both fairly discerning eaters and seriously found no issues at all. The whole trip was total fun, very oriented to looking after the passengers, well organised and the ship itself is an absolute dream. Seriously I could not see what the issues I had read about were---we loved every second. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The embarkation check in process was abysmal. We had submitted our pre-boarding forms electronically along with photos and brought copies with us. When we got to check in, NONE of that work paid off. Their computer system could not call ... Read More
The embarkation check in process was abysmal. We had submitted our pre-boarding forms electronically along with photos and brought copies with us. When we got to check in, NONE of that work paid off. Their computer system could not call up the data provided electronically, so we had to supply it AGAIN while the person entered it finger by finger on the keyboard. Then their system could not read our passports and THAT information had to fingered in. After 20 minutes of this misery, the system would not print out a confirmation and cards. We were directed to another check in person and the ENTIRE PROCESS WAS REPEATED for another 15 minutes. Neither of the ship's IT people were able to help or explain. As Discoverer level loyalty cruisers, we did expect a better performance by the check-in people. Our cabin was well maintained by the crew assigned to it. The on-board WiFI system is much better than in the past. More reliable and much easier to use. As is the norm for Azamara, the buffet and main dining rooms serve good meals and the service is very attentive. The buffet changes each night to a different country cuisine. When the meals are not what we were interested in, we have the option of eating al fresco in the Patio Grill. Nightly specials are very good there. We did not use the room service for meals. WE did not go to the specialty restaurants on this cruise. We have in the past and found that the meals in the other venues of the ship are just as good and more casual as they do not require reservations. We always buy the top shelf beverage package and found at least one bartender at each bar had some skills in mixing drinks. We do not go to the production shows when cruising, but prefer to go to the smaller venues around the ship where music is playing at the bars. This trip was no exception and the music was fine. This cruise did not have an Azamazing evening. There was a White Night. The crew always does a great job with the food and entertainment that night. We took only private shore excursions and because of the many ports which were cancelled, it was real scramble to get refunds at the last minute from the vendors What has happened to Azamara since expanding their fleet by 50% last year? Their backroom operations in Miami are horrendous. On this voyage nearly 40 people were told that they could get a China visa through a group visa with Azamara. When the ship arrived at the first Chinese port - no visas, so the people either had to leave the ship and fly away or stay in their cabin for the next 8 days. More backroom problems came about when passengers were given the wrong port departure and arrival locations for this voyage. Hotel reservations and ground transportation plans were utterly worthless when it was discovered that Harumi in Tokyo was the departure point, rather than Yokohama which was the information provided by backroom personnel. Also, impacted was Hong Kong where Kai Tak was given as the disembarkation point when in fact it was Harbour City. These are not incidental oversights to travel plans, but severe problems when planning many pre- and post- cruise activities/costs. Why did Azamara choose to sail during the local typhoon season? A devastating one hit Tokyo (the embarkation port) 3 days prior to boarding, another one hit central Japan 3 days after boarding, another one hit between China and Japan on the 10th day of the cruise. Over 1/2 of the originally advertised ports were skipped by the captain and the whole trip was a hodgepodge of unplanned ports, repeated ports and twice as many sea days. Totally worthless. A few months before final payment was due, passengers were advised that the ship was not going as planned to South Korea because of some restrictions applied by China. A misleading narrative was provided in the letter. Factually, in March of 2017, two years before the passengers on this voyage got a letter, RCCL, the parent company of Azamara, published their new corporate policy through Reuters News Service that they were terminating South Korea ports on China cruises. The entire cruise industry knew in the first quarter of 2017 that ports in South Korea were not to be included in direct cruising with China. Why did it take Azamara 2 years to tell the booked passengers and why did they continue to offer/advertise the cruise with the South Korea ports when it was in violation of corporate policy and Chinese law? Travelling with Azamara should not require the passengers to check and double check the planned itinerary because of the above ineptness of the company. While the company can bemoan that this voyage cost them too much to conduct, the passengers bore the financial brunt of shore-side incompetence. When the cost of air flights equaled the cost of the cruise for most passengers, Azamara did not seem to care that their mishandling of the whole voyage from start to finish resulted in those losses. The ship crew was not at fault for any of the above problems as this voyage was doomed by the planning and shore-side offices. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I had not been on the Diamond since its first year in Alaska. The ship is in good shape and has been renovated to the tastes of the Asian clientele it now mostly serves. Our trip from the airport took about 2 hours and was a pleasant ... Read More
I had not been on the Diamond since its first year in Alaska. The ship is in good shape and has been renovated to the tastes of the Asian clientele it now mostly serves. Our trip from the airport took about 2 hours and was a pleasant drive. We wee on the ship and in our room in about 15 minutes total time from walking off the bus. Our room was a standard room B612. The lamps have a plug now so it makes life easy in the electronic age. Our room was clean, and they only make the beds, they did not change out pillows or anything like on some others. The steward also did not put the luggage protector on the bed, so maybe that isn't done either. Despite being Elite we did not get our upgraded amenities in the bathroom until I asked at day 3. He also did not provide our section the shopping bag unless we asked. The beds were comfortable for me and our room was right below the covered pool so we did start to hear the chair set up around 4am every morning. The ship leaks in places, especially after it rains, I had my cashmere sweater get soaked down the back one evening in the HC when the ceiling leaked. Speaking of the HC, the service for us was terrible. It seemed at times that they would ignore some passengers while catering to others. At one point I took a water pitcher and refilled my water and some other nearby tables. The table situation is also crazy, they allow saving of empty tables, were talking a stretch of 30 tables could be empty and "saved" which meant you were stuck with a tray of food and nowhere to sit. Food was boring, the menu was lacking and began to repeat early. Not much variety here The internet was okay, but that is the case with internet at sea. The internet manager was the rudest person I met on the ship. Many of the staff was wearing Carnival shirts the entire cruise. Seemed odd, I know they are the parent company but it didn't seem Princess. The ports were nice, but many were very remote, so the drive to town could take a bit. Some towns were not the greatest for touring on your own and needed to take a excursion. The tour guides English is not the best, they can be quite difficult to understand and a few things were lost in translation, One one log bus ride, the guide attempted to play a game. I would have rather had the silence. Also, on long tours you may not get back at the time you expect. On one day we were the last people on the boat. The best part of the trip was leaving the ports. Many put on shows for those of us lucky enough to be on the port side. Singing, dancing and even a bit of a show. When the Diamond docked in one port for the first time, we were welcomed by the governor, the mayor, and many other dignitaries. There was a presentation on the ship and a dance performance by children that lasted nearly 45 minutes in the humidity on concrete. Then we had a band play until we left. It was quite nice I really liked Captain Genaro Arma, he was the best captain I have seen or heard. He was very involved in the day to day operations giving the guests the updates himself. He showed up where he said he would be, he had some signed Stanley the Bears you could purchase in the gift shop and seemed to love his job. I would have felt safe in any weather with him at the helm. Our last day at sea we had a problem and it was quite upsetting . They called our cabin and said that they after cruise excursion we booked we could not have. They could not accommodate our transfers to the hotel after or our luggage on the bus. They also said that they could not honor our transfers from the hotel to Narita and they cancelled everything. Leaving us in a panic at sea. It was past 5 in California and there was a hurricane in Florida so we could not get in touch with anyone. We ended up having to buy new airline tickets and transfers to get home since. When we got home Princess said the ship was wrong, so now we are left in limbo about the costs we incurred. The shore excursion staff and the Captain Circle host were of no help. It wasn't the best cruise, and it will be a while before I cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is a great intimate soft adventure but with all the luxuries. We shared the experience with 144 other passengers but you never felt crowded. Every sail away the sails were raised along with emotions. Dining was very good with a six ... Read More
This is a great intimate soft adventure but with all the luxuries. We shared the experience with 144 other passengers but you never felt crowded. Every sail away the sails were raised along with emotions. Dining was very good with a six course meal should you choose with full waiter service. Drinks were well priced with house drinks at 3.5 Euro along with an excellent wine list from house bottles through to Cristal champagne. Something for every budget. The breakfasts and lunches were buffet style with so much to choose from. Tenders to shore in most ports where other ships could not go including deserted beaches. The sports team boys provided many activities from sailing to water skiing all included. By Day two all the staff knew your name. Music by Jerby was excellent, from piano to guitar to late night dancing, including a fun passenger and crew party night. Cruise Director Irina was great fun (Ciao Ciao) and Edwin a fantastic Bar Manager/Sommelier. If you want something different from a mega cruiseliner this is it. The ship is very stable and while there is a slight rumble from the generators you get used to it. Passengers were mostly well travelled in the forty plus bracket. Many were repeat customers which says something. There were no kids on our voyage. Very inclusive and welcoming to all including our LGBT group of six. As the Captain said, “you can take a hundred photos, but it is what you take home in your hearts that matters!”. Highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were expecting the best ever cruise and our personal experience is as follows: The good things: - The ship is beautiful, fairly new and nicely appointed. - The dining and room staff are great and will do anything for you. - ... Read More
We were expecting the best ever cruise and our personal experience is as follows: The good things: - The ship is beautiful, fairly new and nicely appointed. - The dining and room staff are great and will do anything for you. - The itinerary of our 17 day cruise from Bali to Hong Kong was well thought out and perfect for us. - The whole ship is clean and tidy. - The rooms are well sound proofed. - the bathroom and seperate toilet are small but adequate. - The Blue Lagoon bar is an unusual and nice experience. - The captain is great, very available/approachable and down to earth. - The cruise director is great. - The singers and dancers are great although lacked live music support. - The bridge is accessible for most of the time which is a nice experience. - The number of passengers, max of about 180, means you get to know a lot of people. - Free style dining is good in two dining areas. - A good variety of shore excursions. - The included drinks are acceptable. The not so good things: - gratuities are not including which is a surprise given the cost of the cruise. - Whilst the Blue lagoon bar is a good experience, don’t expect to see sea life through the windows as this seems highly unlikely. - Our stateroom was a bit on the small size. - Our dress mirror was held on by duct tape, fixed 2 days later. - Poor information about dress code. - Poor shore excursion information. - Prize for winning the quizzes, a free bottle of champagne, the same as is freely available to everyone at the bar so not a prize at all. - The food choice is limited and is definitely hit and miss. Much of the French cuisine really didn’t suit us. The bacon was hard and absolutely dreadful. I still have sore gums from chewing it. - Nylon brush bristles in mushroom soup one evening, our table and the adjacent table and another diner who ate the bristles thinking it was celery - no apology or offer of an alternative. - The shore excursion Ponant staff that accompany the trips seem oblivious to their inaptitude and need some serious training in hospitality. Some examples: - a single long bench seat with shade at a view point fully occupied by Ponant staff and elderly guests left to stand out in the sun. - on a boat tour to a beach, the tour operator asks us to swim ashore or use a canoe because there were other boats filling the available beach space. The boat was full of elderly people but the Ponant staff member said and did nothing. I refused several times on behalf of the passengers and eventually got them to move another boat on shore to make way for us. 15 mins out of our 45 mins stop wasted. - another boat’s passengers were told that the canoes at a stop had to be paid for and the Ponant staff didn’t know that they were included. That boat voted to go somewhere else and they missed out on a visit by canoe to the most beautiful hidden lagoon. - on two occasions we had to wait for the Ponant staff at the end of a tour stop as they were too busy chatting to their friends. Everyone was there but the Ponant staff. There was much talk about the poor performance of these staff amongst a number of the passengers. - we heard various stories of rude bar staff and experienced directly one occasion where the staff were outside at the handrail on entry to Hong Kong and my wife asked them to make a little space for her and she was rudely told this area was not for guests. In fact it was usually not for guests but opened up for guests during the harbour entry and was full of guests. Eventually they went off in a huff. - Where was the piano player? A beautiful grand piano with no one playing it. Not good and was really needed to support the singers. - We were rudely awoken with room service breakfast ordered by another cabin. The passenger had mistakenly written our cabin number on their order but their correct name. Surely the hospitality staff should cross check names. Not good. Out of 14 cruises and 8 cruise companies this was close to being our worst experience. That’s not to say we didn’t have a good time, we did, but it should have been so much better. Sorry to say, 5 out of 10. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My parents and I chose this cruise because of the enticing marketing brochure we received in the mail. It was a disaster the first day -- at embarkation. While there was a looming storm, the embarkation staff and procedures were a ... Read More
My parents and I chose this cruise because of the enticing marketing brochure we received in the mail. It was a disaster the first day -- at embarkation. While there was a looming storm, the embarkation staff and procedures were a nightmare. No one could give us any accurate information on when embarkation was to begin. We were advised early on that we had to be at the dock by noon to check luggage and get settled. Well, five hours later, we are all like caged animals in the waiting room that must have been over 100 degrees with thousands of passengers waiting. There was no airconditioning and the Princess staff didn't even offer any courtesy water to drink or anything. We could not go out of the pier because embarkation could start anytime -- again, no one could give us any definite time. My 81-year old parents were both disabled and this cruise ship is not the friendliest to disabled people at all. At embarkation, there were no available wheel chairs until we got into the ship already. Next, they nickel and dime you for everything -- from wifi, which is free on most cruises we've been to; to bottled water -- in the room, in the dining areas! It would have been better if Princess just charged for everything upfront with the package than charging extra for everything. Also, their shuttle buses from the ship to the town center of various ports were quite expensive. Again, this is usually a courtesy-free service with other cruise lines. The only saving grace of the cruise was the food and the staff. The staff was excellent especially the dining staff and the food was excellent as well. It was also chaos at disembarkation in Yokohama. The line at the customer service desk was so long and they were short-staffed. It took us another two hours before we were able to disembark. I had a very bad incident at the lobby bar. I had ordered a VIRGIN drink as I am highly allergic to alcohol. The people around us all heard me clearly when I asked the wait staff to make sure and ask the bar tender to mix a non-alcoholic beverage. Those around me were teasing me about being always the "designated driver". When my drink arrived, it was spiked with alcohol. I went into anaphylactic shock and had to be rushed to the ship's infirmary were I was given high doses of anti-histamine. I didn't have my epi-pen handy at that time. I didn't like the fact that the waiter lied and continuously lied about my ordering a non-alcoholic beverage when he said he would ask the bar tender if it was possible to order my drink as a non-alcoholic beverage. The tours were also expensive and not worth the money we paid for the tours. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
1. The day before the cruise a Typhoon hit Tokyo. We understand that you cannot do anything when mother nature hits but there was no communication, no notifications or emails from Princess explaining that there is a delay in the cruise ... Read More
1. The day before the cruise a Typhoon hit Tokyo. We understand that you cannot do anything when mother nature hits but there was no communication, no notifications or emails from Princess explaining that there is a delay in the cruise ship coming back into port due to the Typhoon and that there was any delay in embarkation. There should have been an initial email warning of the approaching Typhoon and a subsequent email stating the delay on embankment. In this case we could have spent the day doing other things than sitting around a hot and sticky cruise terminal from 10am until 6pm waiting to embark. 2. The conditions while waiting at the cruise terminal was appalling. There was no air-conditioning. If there was, it was negated by the opened front doors as you approached being left open bringing in the hot air. There was no airflow once inside and the air was stale, hot and sticky. I nearly passed out from the heat and I even witnessed a few older people passing out. To me this is simply unacceptable. It could be likened to a scene from a war camp! 3. There was no offer of any water, wet towels or anything to help with coping in these conditions. It made the wait very uncomfortable and upsetting for everyone there. This was a cruise we were really looking forward to but so far the disappointment and state of the organisation of the cruise was the start of the cruise from hell. 4. Once we finally got onboard, we were then told that there would be a delay in departure until later that night. Then we were told that they could not organise a pilot or tug until 2am at this time we were starting to get fed up and just wanted to get back off the ship in disgust. We were then informed that we would be departing at 6am the next morning and that they were still waiting on 250 cruise passengers and 30 staff members to arrive at the port. 5. This meant that we had to miss the first stop at Ishinomaki which we were really looking forward to and it meant yet another day at sea. We were very disappointed with the way this was handled. 6. The days at sea were really long. The princess patters on the days were filled with activities that did not appeal to the majority of the Caucasians that were on the ship. My father (72 years old) who was travelling with us was so bored during the sea days that all he did was sit around the explorers lounge and drink. The only highlight of the day was the trivia and even then it was not that exciting to talk home about. 7. Our first port stay in Hakodate started off terrible. What we were not informed about is that the ship itself was docked so far away from the main attraction areas that you had to purchase a shuttle ticket of USD$15.00 per person, get in a cab or just fork out on a tour. This was the common theme for all the port stays ahead and with 4 people to pay for, it ended up being a very expensive cost which was not factored into our budget. This was really upsetting. 8. We were highly disgusted at the decline on services provided from our last cruise with the Diamond Princess which had free shuttle buses, offered bottles of water as you got off the ship to explore for the day and bottles of water on return back to the ship. The location of the ports was in walking distance of all the main attractions in Japan and you did not have to keep putting your hand in your pocket to pay for the shuttle services or cab fare. This particular cruise was a real letdown and we felt we were getting ripped off at every place we visited. 9. The most stressful part of the cruise was the time it took to get through immigration. Standing in queues in the heat for hours with no water or wet towels offered, just to get a passport stamped was not pleasant and cut majorly into the time we had at the ports. The worst locations were in Busan and Hiroshima. Hiroshima had the time scheduled from 7am until 6pm. They were late in setting up the immigration in the makeshift terminal (which looked like worn out abandoned warehouses), as such, we were unable to step onto the port to get through immigration until 10am. By the time we got through immigration it was 12pm then we had to make a mad dash to Hiroshima (which took another 20 mins via cab and train) to try and see anything before we had to turn around and be back on the ship before 5:30pm. At this point, the cruise itself felt so disorganised and we were really stressed that we just wanted to get off the ship and demand our money back. 10. In Hiroshima, there is a cruise terminal right in heart of Hiroshima that has the trams and buses just outside the cruise terminal door and access to Hiroshima and all the sight seeing is plentiful. We wondered why they parked at a port so far away from the Main station at first but we soon realised that Princess would not make any money from the Shuttle buses or ship tours if moored in the main terminal. This just made us more and more furious. 11. As previously stated, we have cruised on the same ship before and thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and stress free cruise from Singapore to Yokohama. We never had the immigration issues that we had this time. Never had to wait in queues and had more time in ports because the process was different. On the last cruise we handed our passports to the cabin staff for immigration to be done and we simply showed our cruise card as we went off and back onto the ship. I am not too sure what has happened to change the way the immigration is done but to say I was disgusted in the current process is an understatement. I would liken the current process to Faulty Towers. 12. Another sticking point was the length of time at each port. Some of the port stops had very little to do with long port stops while other ports had heaps to do but very limited time to do it. The length of stay in Hakodate was from 10am until 11pm which was far too long to stay in the township which you can complete in half a day. As we had already been at this location before we can attest to that. 13. Maizuru is also a port that has nothing to do unless you fork out a tonne of money to travel or go on a tour. We were struggling to find something interesting to do at the port for the 10 hours we were there but in the end we ended up looking through a red brick museum telling us the history of how red bricks are made and looking through a few odd shops and returning really early to the ship. Really, really boring port. It would be better if the port stay was somewhere like Kanazawa where you have more interesting things to see and do. 14. The one good part of the trip was the port stay in Busan. We chose to go on a ship tour here and went to the UN cemetery and Museum. 15. The letdown about the ship tour in Busan was the length of the tour. It was too short. We would have liked to spend more time in the museum to learn about the wars and conflicts that South Korea went through but instead the tour guide was only interested on telling us about how the country was formed and what they are doing now. When I asked about seeing the war history. The guide stated that they “do not talk about that” and purposely walked us past all the rooms that contained the war history. We were stunned at the response and upset that we could not see what we came to see. The guide also took us to the Lotte Shopping Centre which was not what we wanted to do and we sat around for an hour and a half waiting to get back on the bus to return to the ship. We were informed the next day from other passengers that the shuttle bus was free. This is the only port where there was a free shuttle bus but no one was informed of this at the time and knowing that we could have re-visited the museum later in the day at no extra cost made us very angry as there was no communication and no proper direction given from staff at the time we were in port. 16. We were also rather unimpressed by the food selection available on the ship. It appeared to be roughly the same menu everyday with minor adjustments here and there. Not very appetizing and the taste was lacking. Our family went to the Steakhouse one night for dinner which made a pleasant change but everywhere else the food just did not rate. We were bitterly disappointed with the food on this cruise compared to the previous princess cruise which was 100 times better, with tastier food and more food selection. 17. On the final day we were so happy to be finally off the cruise from hell that we had our bags packed the night before and was excited to leave the ship for good. Because we were so distraught, stressed and disappointed with the whole cruise we are now reluctant to go back on a princess cruise again. The whole experience was so horrific and it is a cruise we will never forget and not in a good way. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Very nice ship. Service and food at restaurants below average. Full wine list was not available from day one. Ripped-off having to pay 18% service fee on all drinks etc. Cost of shuttle bus expensive. A number of crew members trying to ... Read More
Very nice ship. Service and food at restaurants below average. Full wine list was not available from day one. Ripped-off having to pay 18% service fee on all drinks etc. Cost of shuttle bus expensive. A number of crew members trying to gouge money by inviting to attend paid activities etc. Due to the late arrival of the ship there was total chaos and incompetency by staff at embarkation. Very little or no information as to why it was taking so long to embark while passengers were sweating under 35 degree temperatures in the waiting lounge without air-conditioning. Although it was no fault of the staff for the late arrival, staff were absolutely hopeless in organisation embarkation. Only received notification of the late arrival of the ship 2 hours before we were due to embarkation. Many passengers were complaining about the poor quality of food in restaurants and the 18% service fee. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
With a Typhoon to deal with which made the transfer to the ship difficult, a missed first port due to logistical issues we still will say that this cruise became one of the best we have ever experienced! The captain and the crew pulled out ... Read More
With a Typhoon to deal with which made the transfer to the ship difficult, a missed first port due to logistical issues we still will say that this cruise became one of the best we have ever experienced! The captain and the crew pulled out all stops to make it so. Their friendly visibility, extra cocktail party put on by the captain went a long way to creating an enjoyable atmosphere, thank you Captain Arma. Our dining experience was perfect and we dined at sabatini and the Japanese restaurant and both were very impressive in service and quality of food almost to a level of very fine dining category, the cocktail party was fun and very enjoyable we have been to many of these parties but this one was special and the captain and his executive officers made the difference Chris and Trent were very friendly and courteous, thanks for your wonderful company. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was a reunion cruise for 5 college friends and spouses. We arrived at Yokohama cruise terminal around noon and was told to come back at 3pm. A typhoon had hit Tokyo the night before and the ship actually left the port to weather out ... Read More
This was a reunion cruise for 5 college friends and spouses. We arrived at Yokohama cruise terminal around noon and was told to come back at 3pm. A typhoon had hit Tokyo the night before and the ship actually left the port to weather out the storm. It was noon and people were still dis-embarking. The port was over crowded with disembarked passengers and embarking passengers. Worse of all, it was 90 something degrees outside and the port does not have air conditioning. Everyone was sweating like pigs and felt it it too. No one new what was going on. Princess could have done a better job of letting people know what was going on and what was to come. All we saw were staffs walking around with clipboards yelling for passengers waiting for buses. I guess transfer buses were late to take passengers out of the terminal. Princess set up a table at the corner of the terminal with cold water. I don't think many people knew about it. Sometime after 3pm, they started to allow priority passengers to enter the check in area. The entrance was stormed by people eager to be called next. Staff members were holding people back. The place was a mad house. The check in process was very quick. We were so tired and upset, we did not stop to get pictures taken. We found our cabin and was pleased to find our luggage already inside the stateroom. The room was clean. Furniture appeared dated. Carpet shows worn traffic pattern. The shower head was spraying water every which way. We called it in and when to dinner We were going to meet at Vivaldi. It was open dinning since everything was running late. A few of us got there and asked for a table for 10. Maitre D said he could only do table for 6 and table for 4 and they are on different sides of the dining room. We were too tired to argue and said ok while we waited for the rest of the party. When all of us were there 5 or 10 minutes later, Maitre D said he cannot do 6 and 4 anymore, only 8 and 2 and far apart; that rational escapes me. My wife and I took the table for 2 and the rest of the 8 took the table for 8. What a way to start the cruise. I suspect if we waited a few more minutes, it would be 9 and 1. We did get a table of 10 for the rest of the cruise. The meal portions were small. Most of us ordered a second portion. Breakfast and lunch were mostly at the Horizon buffet. Food choices were not that abundant and taste was somewhat bland. We sat in the back of Horizon where there were large tables. Unfortunately, it is always too warm there. I really the made to order omelets at breakfast and the ramen noodle for lunch. I wish there was sushi more often. It was only available on one day. The immigration process at Maizuru (the port before Busan, South Korea) was very lengthy. We waited on line for over an hour. The captain acknowledged the long wait time and only said it was beyond their control. This was the same thing he said about the embarkation madness. He always finishes with the statement that this is the friendliest crew of the seven seas. My experience was a little different. I would greet staff member as we pass in the hallway, and they don't greet me back. The nightly entertainments were very good. We did not use the Princess excursion but booked from outside vendors before the cruise. The best part of the cruise was reconnecting with my old friends. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
You would think that a ship updated solely for the Japan market would do Japanese-related things (restaurants, food and menu, ports of call) well. No such luck. Everything was poorly done - even the extra charge sushi restaurant was ... Read More
You would think that a ship updated solely for the Japan market would do Japanese-related things (restaurants, food and menu, ports of call) well. No such luck. Everything was poorly done - even the extra charge sushi restaurant was artificial. Very disappointing. Also, we were shocked to see that there were very long lines to get into the buffet (Horizon Court). The pool side grill didn’t have or serve hot dogs or “pies” (the UK snack). The cruise itinerary was changed because of a typhoon - we skipped Ishinomaki. The stop in Busan, South Korea was not necessary. An extra day in Kyoto would have been nice - there was so much to do and see. Finally, the pre-cruise hotel in Tokyo, although a lovely hotel, was in the middle of nowhere. The Princess rep was useless and even the hotel Concierge could not suggest any sightseeing tours that we could take for a day. The key word is disappointing. All of that said, our on-board experience was fine. There were any number of onboard activities, and the port lecturer did a great job of preparing us for the different ports of call. The themed Japanese baths were a great addition, and were integrated into the rear deck pool, sauna and sun deck. The three dining rooms we visited have been updated; the furniture is modern and comfortable. We remain impressed with the level of customer service on-board. The Carnival acquisition has not been good for Princess passengers, but this critical aspect remains outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our 14th cruise with Viking (9 river, 5 ocean). So, obviously, we have been very happy with them. We have come to expect beautiful ships and helpful polite staff and this trip certainly lived up to our expectations in those ... Read More
This was our 14th cruise with Viking (9 river, 5 ocean). So, obviously, we have been very happy with them. We have come to expect beautiful ships and helpful polite staff and this trip certainly lived up to our expectations in those areas. Our cabin stewards and the waiters were hard working and cheerful. I love the sleek style of the ships. Our tour, "Far East Explorations" was actually 2 cruises. The first 2 weeks, "Far East Horizons" was an uneven experience. The second 2 weeks, "Far East Discovery" was much better. Full disclosure: We complained to Viking about 4 excursions after we returned home and they gave us shipboard credit for a future cruise equal to the cost of the tours. What could not be remedied, though, is the precious time that we wasted on these tours when we could have spent our time seeing other sights. From the start, the first part of the trip felt poorly organized. As someone else noted, they scheduled a stop in Korea on a national holiday. Of course, eventually they realized this and notified us of a change in the itinerary, but wouldn't you think they would know about this before they set up the cruise? They also notified us before the cruise that an excursion we had selected had been cancelled "for operational reasons" and that the order of 2 ports was being switched. The "Ultimate Hiroshima" tour took us to Miyajima to see the floating tori gate. It is being renovated and is covered up. This started in June and will likely continue for 2 years. I see in Viking's listings that they are still offering this excursion. (See photo) Be aware that you cannot see the gate. On the "Shimabara and Mt. Unzen" tour, we were driven about 2 hours from Nagasaki. The description we were given mentioned things we did not see at all, such as "beautiful carp streams and traditional teahouses." But the worst part was the hot springs. The description said "You can enjoy a dip at the nearest ryokan," but when the excursion director saw us heading to the outing with towels, he said there would be no time for that. The hot springs were mostly empty. What was visible was pipes carrying the hot water to nearby hotels and spas. (See photos) The "Hong Kong After Dark" tour started at 4:15 p.m.! It. Was. Not. Dark!!!! I don't know why so much went wrong on this part of the trip. It is not what we expect from Viking. I rated the fitness & recreation poor because the hot tub was broken 3 of the 4 times I tried to use it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had one of the best cabin attendants ever on Viking cruises. Lectures were not as good as previous cruises. Limited activities during sea days. Ongoing ship information by the captain very good considering typhoon in area. Embark ... Read More
We had one of the best cabin attendants ever on Viking cruises. Lectures were not as good as previous cruises. Limited activities during sea days. Ongoing ship information by the captain very good considering typhoon in area. Embark and disembark very organized and quick. Music by individual piano, violin, and guitar very enjoyable late day and evening. Selected night entertainers very good. . . . .don't need the large group stage shows. Excursions guides very good, well organized leaving and return on time. Site visits excellent and informative even with limited time frame. Would like to have more time in Nagasaki. Speaker at the library was excellent even with interpreters assisting. Hong Kong excursion to Aberdeen was outstanding and a great guide for information provided, managing the group, time at each stop, and general fun to be with on bus. Departure to Hong Kong airport managed very well considering possible protestor problems Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Having been on several river cruises with Viking which we love doing, we thought we’d book an Ocean cruise with Viking for our ruby wedding anniversaries. . We were a bit frustrated before going on the cruise owing to the system in place ... Read More
Having been on several river cruises with Viking which we love doing, we thought we’d book an Ocean cruise with Viking for our ruby wedding anniversaries. . We were a bit frustrated before going on the cruise owing to the system in place for booking trips. Seemed to be class driven. I.e. the more you paid the better the choice. We couldn’t book a morning trip on all the included trips and some of the paid trips. In fact some of the trips we had booked paid or otherwise were changed by the time we got on board. We had to faff about getting them organised to suit. Wasn’t too much of a problem but we felt the poor girl on guest services must have dreaded seeing us coming towards her. The excursions were good but the qv’s were a disaster. The guides were knowledgeable and fun on the coach but unless you were on their shoulders you couldn’t hear anything, too much static. The excursions were extremely busy too. Had a wonderful cruise on board the Orion. Great cabin, crew, and entertainment. Captain made a good choice by sailing to our second port of call to miss the typhoon that hit Tokyo. All the ports of call were superb but must say Taipei and Hong Kong were favourites. The food was good too but I felt this was the only thing that let you down. The temperature for me was warm as opposed to being hot. Some of the dishes in the world buffet for example the main roast of the day was served very rare. Not good. Some of the meals in the pool area were cooked to order but it was so hot in there that the “sides” were sitting out in all that heat so not too appetising at all. I had a chicken tikka and it was literally skin and bones. Yuk. Don’t get me wrong the chefs would cook you anything asked for which was great and hot but the sides were cool. The seafood dishes and sushi were all fantastic, they were served cold just as they should’ve. The restaurant was disappointing too it was cold in some of the areas and the food was served lukewarm at breakfast and dinner. Service was good at breakfast but a lot slower at dinner. We asked for a Sauvignon Blanc only to be told there wasn’t any so had a different wine which was nice too as is all the wines on offer but disappointed with not getting what we asked for especially when we got it later on in the bar. Enjoyed movies under the stars. The waiter guys up in explorers lounge were fabulous. Robin the whale and dolphin man was lovely. Even though we didn’t see too many whales or dolphins. The doctor was a fun chap. Something else!! This was a special cruise for our ruby wedding anniversaries and overall we did enjoy ourselves but would have to think again before booking a Viking ocean cruise. I don’t feel the experience we’ve had on the river boats have carried well on to the Ocean cruise ships. We maybe expected too much. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my third trip with Viking, and my first Ocean cruise. I loved everything! The shore excursions were great, well-organized, a variety of lengths and sites, friendly, knowledgeable and fun tour guides. The ship was beautiful and ... Read More
This was my third trip with Viking, and my first Ocean cruise. I loved everything! The shore excursions were great, well-organized, a variety of lengths and sites, friendly, knowledgeable and fun tour guides. The ship was beautiful and meticulously cared for. The LivNordic Spa was our favorite place on board to relax. The ship offered a wide range of dining options from the World Café (buffet) up to elegant Chef's Table and Manfredi's Italian Restaurant. One day while at sea, I registered for a cooking class and had a great time, assisting in preparation of a 3 course Italian meal, which we then shared as our small group lunch. The staff was very professional and caring and made the effort to learn our names and treat as very personally as their own guests. This trip was my gift to my 23-year old daughter for her college graduation, and even though she was one of the very few young people on board, she loved everything about the trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The overall experience with Viking Ocean Cruise was excellent. Having been on other ocean cruise lines, we appreciated the laid back but elegant atmosphere of Viking Orion. The service was also very good - everyone wanted to be as helpful ... Read More
The overall experience with Viking Ocean Cruise was excellent. Having been on other ocean cruise lines, we appreciated the laid back but elegant atmosphere of Viking Orion. The service was also very good - everyone wanted to be as helpful as possible. Things that could use a little improvement included the logistics of getting from the airport to the ship. There seemed to be a little more chaos then we experienced with our River Cruise transfers. In addition, it was unseasonably hot during the trip and we had some difficulty getting cold water sometimes in the World Cafe (one of the ice machines was broken) and in the pool area / Winter Garden finding someone to bring us water. That said, for the excursions, we were always provided with bottled water and encouraged to stay hydrated. Our cabin stewards we wonderful, as were all the bar and dining staff. We particularly enjoyed the food at the Chef's Table with the wine pairings. We indulged in the Silver Spirits package and were very happy with that. The excursion guides were all outstanding, providing comprehensive information on geography, history and culture. We did several of the included tours and thought they were quite good, especially Hong Kong. We were very impressed with our Viking Ocean cruise and would definitely use Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This cruise, "Far Eastern Horizens", was chosen as a logical extension of "North Pacific Passage", from Vancouver to Tokyo, where Viking kindly upgraded us to a forward Explorer Suite. Because we booked (a fully paid ... Read More
This cruise, "Far Eastern Horizens", was chosen as a logical extension of "North Pacific Passage", from Vancouver to Tokyo, where Viking kindly upgraded us to a forward Explorer Suite. Because we booked (a fully paid for Explorer Suite this time) some time after booking "North Pacific Passage", it was necessary to move to that Suite, being 3095, sitting aft starboard for this second cruise. The Orion staff, across all departments, is by far the most efficient, friendly and courteous team we have encountered in our thirteen cruises to date. We have sailed with Seabourn, Silversea, Oceania and Norwegian. "North Pacific Passage" was our first Viking cruise. Orion is a sleek, sophisticated vessel, enhanced by its generous and comfortable public spaces, and understated, soothing and elegant nordic decor. The entertainment was delightful: classical musicians, witty comedians and gifted vocalists. The enrichment lectures were articulately delivered, and although we did not get around to attending every single lecture, those we did were enjoyable and informative. Desk services staff were so helpful and attentive. The food, overall, was enjoyable, if not a little too salty, and some dishes were among the best we had tasted in their category. Unfortunately, Oceania deserves its reputation for the best cuisine at sea, and it is impossible not to compare Viking's fare with Oceania's cuisine. Many guests we chatted to on Orion had also experienced Oceania's offerings, and all, to a person, agreed that although there is nothing at all wrong with Viking's menus and plated servings, it falls well short of Oceania's standard. Having said all that, would we rebook Viking? Yes. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019

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