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4,779 Asia Cruise Reviews

First let's talk about the ship: It's old and tired and doing a make over in September of 2019. Boy did RCCL wait longer than it should!. It's not only dated (a peachy pink in many areas. Why RCCL uses trendy colors ... Read More
First let's talk about the ship: It's old and tired and doing a make over in September of 2019. Boy did RCCL wait longer than it should!. It's not only dated (a peachy pink in many areas. Why RCCL uses trendy colors instead of neutrals that will not get so tired so fast is beyond me), but certain areas (like the ladies bathroom by Giovanni's) are falling apart. The layout of the ship is done well and the activities are plentiful. Note: US residents do not need to arrange their own Visas. The ship does the Vietnam one for $6 each and the Thailand one is also arranged and provided (not really a Visa, but some kind of travel card). I believe it is the same for the UK, but do check. We stayed in a suite and bought the unlimited dining package, so we never ate at the regular restaurant (except day 1 at the windjammer, which was just OK). Frankly, on other RCCL ships we have been disappointed with the regular restaurants so we avoided that and just did the specialty restaurants instead. For breakfast, Giovanni's is where suite guests eat and for days at sea lunches, specialty restaurants are included in the dining package. My biggest complaint is that the menu stays stagnant in the specialty restaurants. It would be great, especially on cruises over 7 days, if they would have an A and B menu (switching 1/2 way through). I think they would have more action in them that way too. Giovanni's: Great service and good food, family style. The bad: They had no fresh (or even seemingly dry) basil, as it "turned black" days before the sailing ended. As an Italian, I can say this is really bad. They should have at least had dried basil. The tomato sauce would have been far better with traditional basil added and how the chef allowed the sailing without it is beyond me. I had the cannoli once and it was so bad, I did not try again, as the shell was soggy. The lasagna was loaded with a heap of ground beef, so much it overpowered the dish. The caprese salad was bland (lack of basil and low quality tomatoes were to blame). The good: The lamb chops, ceasar and chicken were favorites. Chops: Great service and good food. The Bad: The filet has a weird flavor. I suspected Mexican beef (slightly gamely), but they said no. Giovanni's Filet has the same flavor. The Rib Eye was amazing. Chicken also excellent. Izumi: Great service and good food. The hot stone filet was amazing.The mochi was fantastic, but they ran out of 1/2 of the flavors by the time the cruise was 1/2 over. Poor planing on the chef's part. Johnny Rockets: Great burgers, fries and shakes; however, I wish they had asked how I want it prepared, as it was a bit overcooked for my liking. The service was terribly slow. Room service: Did a good job except for one day, where they screwed up almost everything, but they made it right and sent us chocolate covered strawberries as an I'm sorry that evening. Spa: Good, typical sales game. We had one therapist for a deep tissue that could not go deep at all, even with a lot of direction. Makes me think they do not have top trailed therapists, which is unexcusable based on what they charge. They gave a discount and switched therapists for our other services. We use the spa a lot on cruises, so we get to know them pretty well. I give this one a B. Shows: We saw a few of the shows. They were all pretty good. Ports: On board in Singapore: Truly a highlight. We went in 2 days early and regretted we did not have more time. Having 3-5 days would be perfect. The Malay, Little India, China town, the Civic district (go at both night and day, light show each night) and Gardens by the Bay (also night light show that is free) were all highlights. We hired a private guide (tours by locals) for a 1/2 day tour and that was perfect. We added a drive/air conditioned van, which allowed us to see everything in the 1/2 day and not be as hot. Unbelievable restaurants. Bangkok, Thailand (overnight): Spectacular! This is 2-3 hours from port, so we got a hotel room (Asanti Riverside, which was amazing). Arrival time was 11 am (but you will not get off of the ship until between 11:30-noon, as it was very slow getting cleared and always is), this was a real bummer and I have no idea why RCCL is so short sighted on this. It should also be on a Saturday and at 6am (or Friday if you have 2 days like we did) so you can see the best floating market (the one available during the week is either in Pattaya (not real, more of a tourist trap) or way out of the way and 3 star at best). We hired a guide who provided a driver (tours by locals) for both days and it was worth every penny. So much to see and it is very hot so an air conditioned van really helped. We also saw way more than we could otherwise with a local. We saw the Grand Palace, Golden Buddah, Emerald Buddah, Reclining Buddah, Canal Ride and some other temples/shrines. Ho Chi Min City (Saigon): Amazing day! 1.5 hours from port: We hired Saigon Adventures and did a food tour with city highlights. They picked us up in a van and scooters met us in Saigon. A local driver was assigned each in our group and off we went. It was our best day and a blast. The food was amazing. The sites were good, the main tour guide was wonderful and our drivers made it stress free and fun (I would not want to drive one of those myself in the city, as it is really crazy). They dealt with all of our food issues and we genuinely enjoyed every food stop (Soup, coffee, baguette sandwiches, and BBQ pork). Nha Trang: beach city port, quick to get to. The town itself is touristy and there is a decent beach so you could stay local and just use a taxi to get where you want to go. We hired Nhatrangadventures for a jeep countryside with city highlights tour (5-6 hours). They picked us up outside of the port (a quick 5 minute walk). We got to see the countryside and how they really lived, making rice patties and traditional hats and also saw the city highlights. It was a great time and unique view of the Vietnamese and the lunch provide was amazing.. Hue: a bit more than an hour outside of the port AND you have to take a tender, so allow for an hour to get off of the ship (30 minutes if you are one of the first and all goes perfectly). We hired stopandgocafetours for a tour of the old city and highlights with a private van. My only complaint is that the owner emailed me the day prior to confirm. I had fully paid for the tour and it was a day at sea so we had no service and got a later start since he didn't hear from me until we were at port. The guide did a wonderful job. It was a sweltering hot day, so the van was a godsend between sites. We saw the lost city of Hue. Hue itself was the most pretty of the Vietnamese cites we saw and is a not to miss place. They also took us to a very nice lunch and the food was wonderful. We enjoyed the day less only because of the heat, as that was a real challenge for all of us. Hong Kong: Close to port. We hired a private guide for a 1/2 day tour (toursbylocals). We saw Victoria's Peak, the markets and different areas of Hong Kong. It's a big city and was nice, but not anything amazing. We stayed one night at the Marriott by the airport, which is a wonderful property. They have an 10 minute shuttle to the small city nearby (and and 8 minute shuttle every 30 minutes to the airport). We took it to the cable car and went to the giant buddah. This was a real highlight for us. The cable car ride provided amazing views,the giant buddah was beautiful and there is the very unique city that was part of it with amazing shopping and things to do. Very much recommend!!! Embarkation: not so good. They kept my passport cover and I had to run back to get it and the initial keys did not work and were not the gold suite keys, which you need to use the suite services. The second copy worked, but were also not golden. 3rd time was a charm. Concierge fixed it all for us and arranged dining times and helped with what we needed. Debarkation: smooth and easy. We left at 8:30 so the crowds were gone. Big Tip: Arrange a driver ahead of time or a private tour guide. The taxi line took 2 hours and was insane. There are no signs to let you know you do not have to stand in the line unless you need a taxi, so make a note. Customs was a breeze and done by the ship ahead of time. Never been happier to have a private tour as I was that morning. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Booked this cruise , our first , because of the destinations. On boarding yes you can see it is an older ship and needs it’s upgrade due September/ October but in no way is it a rust bucket. Let’s be realistic the price paid ... Read More
Booked this cruise , our first , because of the destinations. On boarding yes you can see it is an older ship and needs it’s upgrade due September/ October but in no way is it a rust bucket. Let’s be realistic the price paid reflects the condition. Pay top $ and you will get all the razzmatazz some people seem to expect. Our Junior suite reminded me of my parents caravan from the 70s , every door you opened provided space for storage. The suite 1634 was spacious and comfortable. We were looked after very well by Suma our cabin attendant. Windjammer - not for me but perfectly adequate. We had a stay onboard day at one port and as the ship was nearly empty we enjoyed a nice relaxed lunch. The coffee shop - if late for breakfast as we often woke late( the only time in years I have slept 8 hrs solid) we came here . It was good. As was lunch, snacks and coffees any time you wanted. Freshly prepared and tasty. Dining room where we sometimes had “posh breakfast” best omelet ever. Nice surroundings , always serviced with a smile and good grace. Diner , we chose my time dining but it works better if you book a time , for us 8.15pm , same table for two every night waited on by Michael who is excellent and always added that personal touch by remembering our names from day one onwards. Food was good, sometimes better than others but beautifully presented . Trips - because of the destinations sometimes the travel was quite long to get to the designated city/ excursion point. Don’t complain do your research first. You can’t stick a port in the middle of land. When there embrace the culture and sights. WiFi- iffy at times but there again be realistic , you can’t just magic up WiFi in remote areas. Vietnam being the worst but would that not be expected as at times more remote. Crew- fantastic. Always smiling , extremely curtious and good at their jobs. Entertainment - great shows. Ice skating was excellent. Hard enough to skate on a still rink never mind one that is rocking on sea. Mr and Mrs a total hoot. Well done to the 3 couples who took part , great entertainment. Fellow Travellers- we met up with the most lovely people. By the end of the nine days we had made good friendships. However not everyone is the same and the moaners of the world will always moan. Rude people who barge in and basically think they come first will always be rude. Look around at some of the conditions in the countries you have visited and appreciate what you have. 3500 passengers will provide all sorts. To sum up - we loved our cruise. Our first but not our last. Looked after and entertained by a great crew who all work very very hard. I hope this has given a more rounded review than some after all it is not RC fault if passengers are smelly etc as in other reviews. Cheaper cruise because older ship but it gave us 9 days of a smashing holiday. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Don't believe the bad reviews. U read them and was very concerned. However, we were very pleasantly surprised. Boat was lovely - yes a little old but very clean and we'll maintained. Lifeguards on all pools. Food was great ... Read More
Don't believe the bad reviews. U read them and was very concerned. However, we were very pleasantly surprised. Boat was lovely - yes a little old but very clean and we'll maintained. Lifeguards on all pools. Food was great in the main dining room and in the Windjammer buffet restaurant. Staff were great - our room attendant was fantastic and they are a great source of info for first time cruisers. Things that weren't as great - communication for boarding and final checking off the boat. We were a little confused. On boarding go to the Windjammer, get yourself lunch room check in is 1.30ish. Seating is hard to get at the Windjammer but queues weren't as bad as I had read. Don't take power boards - they hold your suitcase and it adds extra drama. Lifts waiting time is massive so if you don't have a disability take the stairs or you'll waste lots of time. The drinks package thing was interesting. We took the Sosa package which did work out cost effective cause we got great coffees at the promenade cafe and lots of soft drinks by the pool. It also meant a very small bill at the end. Definitely a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was my first cruise setting sail from a port within Mainland China. It is understandable that a large number of the passengers came from within Mainland China. My immediate impression on embarkation after passing through passport ... Read More
This was my first cruise setting sail from a port within Mainland China. It is understandable that a large number of the passengers came from within Mainland China. My immediate impression on embarkation after passing through passport control is that Costa's staff starting from the point where our passports were collected, vessel's officers along the gangway up to the point where our photos were taken for the Costa Cards for use during the cruise, were less than friendly and welcoming. There was no smile whatsoever on their faces and nothing to suggest from their body language that we as paying passengers were welcome for this cruise. This I found out to be the norm for all vessel's offcers during the entirety of this cruise. My review now continues by bullet-points : 1. As Costa Venezia is less than one year old since it joined the Costa fleet, everything on the boat is very new and modern. Wife and I booked a cabin with balcony and the cabin is roomy and nicely appointed. The room was on deck 9 towards the rear of the boat and is very convenient to get to Deck 10, where a lot of actions and eateries are located. During our cruise, our cabin was looked after by a dedicated cabin steward. He was Star Serondo from the Philippines. He also greeted passengers with a big smile and is industrious. Every morning when wife and I went upstairs to deck 10 to take a quick breakfast, Star would have completed the cabin cleaning within the short time that we went for our breakfast, which was normally 40 min. from the time we left our cabin to the time we returned to our cabin. He comes with my high commendation. 2. One very important feature that I noticed is that a large number of the crew on the boat only speak Mandarin. This is undertandable as a large number of the passengers come from Mainland China and they only speak Mandarin. Unfortunately for someone like me who is not well versed in Mandarin found it hard to communicate with crew members when I need to. In one instance, I was asked if I can speak to them in Mandarin!! Their Mandarin speaking crew appeared to be inexperienced and went about their business by adopting Chinese custom and lacking in Internationally accepted mannerism and etiquette. This is a real disapointment for someone like me who is so adpated to Western culture and mannerism. 3. Tying in with my previous comments, a lot of the announcements made on the boat were made in just one language. Yes, you guessed it, mandarin only. This left me in the dark at most times and in particular, I was worried that I might miss any important announcemnt that is safety related. The only times that the announcement was made in both English and Mandarin was immediately before disembarkation when we arrived back in Shanghai. to remind passengers to go and settle their bills before they disembark!! All in all, the entire cruise was geared towards Mandarin speaking passengers and for those who do not speak Mandarin, best to choose other cruises not setting sail out of China ports. 4. In terms of food, those outlets that serve free food offered little varieties and their taste was poor to average. For me, there are only two categories of food, one being to fill you up when you are hungry and the other is looking for quality in the food that one takes. The food served at these outlets only qualify for the first category that I described. 5. I have also tried out four paid resturants during my cruise and they include Casanova, the Hot Pot place, the Teppenyaki restaurant and the BBQ outlet. The only place that comes close to my second category of food is Casanova. The place is quickly filled up and my best advice is to make a reservation for this restaurant as soon as you settle into your cabin to avoid disappointment. However, whilst the food in Casanova is okay to good, do not expect their service can complement the food. Most of the staff in this restaurant has no knowledge on how food should be served. This place is definitely not a fine dining outlet. For the BBQ outlet, the food served was cold and not sizzling hot as one would have expected from BBQ experience. The only consolation is the food served at the BBQ outlet is relatively cheap. The teppenyaki experience is more to attend a show dinner more than quality of the food. At any rate, the quality of the food is nowhere near the authentic teppenyaki restaurant that I have come across, be it in Japan or outside Japan. Hot Pot place is worthed a visit as the food does not require Chef's cooking and the price is again relatively cheap. The boat also has a steakhouse, a seafood restaurant, Napoli Pizza and noodle house which i did not have a chance to savour. 6. We joined a shore excursion when the boat berthed at Kagoshima. Save for the lunch provided with the excursion, the experience was bad. The guide for our group made us stand in line to wait for all the execurion participants to arrive before she led us to our coach. When we arrived at one of the three designated sight-seeing locations, the guide just pointed to where we were suppose to head and did not actually show us the place. At one location, we had to resort to using Goggle Map to find out where we were supposed to be going. The worst part came at the end of the excursion when we were all asked to leave the coach to move into a supermarket like medicine store. We were made to stay there for over an hour. For those who were not interested to shop in the store was made to stand around and were not allowed to stay on the coach! The attendants in the shop were mainly Chinese and that shop can be mistaken as another shop found in Mainland China if we were not told that that was Japan. Better off saving your money by not joining the excursion and simply disembarked and explore the destination yourselves. 7. I want to complement a lot of the English speaking crew who came form India and the Philipines. They are all very cheerful, helpful, hospitable and ready at all times to make passengers to enjoy the cruise as it should be enjoyed. This contradicted sharply with the Western officers who not only appeared to be unfriendly, but also too arrogant in front of their mainly Chinese pasengers. They seem to have forgotten that all passengers are paying to come on board and we are not refugees!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Chose this cruise because if the Japan itinerary. Having been on a total of five RCCL/Celebrity cruises in the past, we felt comfortable knowing that seeing a completely different part of the world would be met by the familiarity of a ... Read More
Chose this cruise because if the Japan itinerary. Having been on a total of five RCCL/Celebrity cruises in the past, we felt comfortable knowing that seeing a completely different part of the world would be met by the familiarity of a brand we knew well. Boy were we wrong! These ships should be branded for the Chinese market and western cruisers should be notified that certain things are unavailable on these cruises. We had absolutely zero problem with the cultural nuances, this is partly why we chose this cruise, but when things like the Solarium are unavailable to adults and only reserved for suite guests I have a problem... there was absolutely no escaping little kids anywhere on the ship. Of course an inquiry to officers on the ship basically amounted to a “too bad it was buried somewhere in the fine print.” Also normal food and beverage was unavailable. Things like an Aperol, a very basic beverage was nowhere to be found and met a “sorry the market doesn’t support it” even though many others were requesting the same... the ports were all great even though there were basically zero excursions offered by RCCL. Total joke. What saved the cruise from being a complete disaster was the service from the line level staff; it was the best we’ve ever received on a RCCL cruise. Overall condition and cleanliness of the ship - No issue here whatsoever. The ship actually felt cleaner and better maintained than the newer Anthem of the Seas despite being an older ship! I can't comment on the Solarium because we weren't allowed in as previously stated. Stateroom - perfect!!! Service - Absolutely spectacular from the line-level staff. We were greeted by absolutely everyone! We have never received friendlier service from any ship on any line. The officer staff was absolutely not present anywhere on the ship. The one leader who was wonderful was Bing in the main dining rooms. She deserves a huge shout-out! Bartenders, servers and our stateroom attendant were absolutely fantastic and salvaged this cruise for us. Food Quality - poor. There were very, very few western selections on the main dining room menus and were prepared with zero imagination. Onion soup was watery, steaks were overcooked and cold, etc. One day we were four minutes late for lunch in the main dining room and the maitre d' would't let us in. Elevators were slow and packed and the clocks on the ship were wrong but that didn't seem to matter. At this point the only option was the Windjammer (not an option - see other reviews of this ship and you'll know why) or options with a surcharge. Poor, poor, poor... Bars - hard to find one that was open at times and liquor selections were completely unacceptable. They basically cleared the shelves because "the Chinese market doesn't drink." The robot bar was an option but I wonder how the robots spend the automatically assessed gratuity? Ports and Shore Excursions - We did our own thing because there were basically no shore excursions offered. I think just one in each port. We did do the disembarkation excursion to the Great Wall and it was awesome! Great tour guide who made the long bus ride enjoyable. As I mentioned previously we had absolutely no issue with all the cultural nuances associated with this cruise. We expected it and actually learned a bit of Mandarin along the way. We engaged with the other passengers whenever possible and truly enjoyed learning more about this wonderful culture. Our issue is with RCCL and their dismissive attitude about the lack of Solarium access and the bars and restaurants. Basically told us "too bad it was in the fine print." Will never again sail with RCCL and just cancelled a Celebrity Summit cruise we were booked on in February, 2020. It was that bad... Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was the worst cruise I have ever been on. There was no formal nights, no theme nights, no special fun things, horrible entertainment and horrible food. There were three ship days and nothing to do! It was a low budget, poor ... Read More
This was the worst cruise I have ever been on. There was no formal nights, no theme nights, no special fun things, horrible entertainment and horrible food. There were three ship days and nothing to do! It was a low budget, poor entertainment and option cruise and we didn't have to fly around the world for this experience. My family planned this trip all year and flew from the US to China for this cruise. I always cruise Norwegian and Disney and heard amazing things about Royal Caribbean. I have never left a bad review in my life, but this was a horrible shame and an experience that I can't get back for my family. The worst part was that my family spent over $400 on an excursion "Kyoto On Your Own." We were dropped off at the Kyoto Station (insanely huge) and we couldn't find the bus returning from our day. We were supposed to be back at 2:30pm. At 2:09pm, went to the police station at Kyoto Station when we couldn't locate the bus. We found three other English-speaking families that couldn't find their buses! We all stuck together and called Royal Caribbean. We were told that our tour would be contacted and would come to get us. We were told that we wouldn't be left behind. We called three or four more times checking in over the next two hours! The bus never was contacted or came to get us. Other families on the bus were worried about us and told us that the tour was told to LEAVE WITHOUT US!!!!! We didn't even have our passports as Royal Caribbean took them from us when we first boarded and held them until the last day. This has never been our experience on an international cruise. We were in a country with our two kids and no passports! Shame on them for lying to us and telling us they would get us. After two hours of waiting, someone holding a Royal Caribbean sign came to meet our family and the other two families and didn't bring transportation!!!! They told us we had to take the public train about two hour to our ship and pay ourselves (over $100 more!) Also, we had 15 minutes to catch the last train to the ship!!! This was unprofessional and cruel. Shame on them. A bunch of families met and talked to the excursion department on the cruise ship. Even families who found the buses had struggles and frustration as there was POOR INFORMATION given for us to find the buses and NO PHONE NUMBER given to us for emergencies. We were told by the cruise staff that they would contact us and leave a message at our stateroom. No surprises that they still haven't contacted us. This was a horrible and scary situation and handled so poorly by this company. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see more of Japan. There's six of us in the group (3 couples). We we like cruising (especially with Princess) and the timing fitted our schedule and the itineraries are excellent. We did a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see more of Japan. There's six of us in the group (3 couples). We we like cruising (especially with Princess) and the timing fitted our schedule and the itineraries are excellent. We did a 2-days pre-cruise tour of Osaka and Kyoto. The beginning the Japan walkathon we have to do. On 6/20, we boarded Diamond Princess at Kobe Port and the embarkation went on smoothly. Our cabin C507 (Mid-Aft) is perfect choice because we have to spent so many days to spend ashore. Our queen size bed is very comfortable and smell fresh. We chose the 5:30 pm dining at Vivaldi Restaurant which has a perfect location, closer to the lobby of the cruise ship. The services provided by the servers are excellent. They remember our tea and water preferences throughout the duration of the cruise. We love the food selection and the Bento Japanese Box for breakfast. This is quite an experienced, because this is the first time we have this type of meal. Until the end of the cruise we had this food every morning (with variety of fish each time). The live entertainment are awesome. You will never get tired watching Princess singers and dancers. There's variety of shows every night; magic, comedy, opera singers, band, etc. If you love to dance, there's ballroom and disco band to go to . During At Sea Days, we did Zumba, line dancing and participated at some games held at the Piazza. You can also watch Fruit & Ice Carving. Lots of things to do and see. Room Steward will clean your room twice a day. You never want to leave Diamond Princess. But everything has an end. Our disembarkation went very smoothly. By the time we get to the waiting area, our color coded schedule has been called. We love Princess so much, we put a deposit for our next cruise. Once you put a deposit towards the cruise, you will receive an on-board credit automatically. Since we love cruising with Princess, we had two cruises to come. We could hardly wait for our next cruise and shore excursions adventures! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Princess contractors in ports were cheating customers insisting you have to sign register for tickets to get on free bus. Ship's management, which was well aware of situation, refused to adjust $45 on bill that fraudulently stolen. ... Read More
Princess contractors in ports were cheating customers insisting you have to sign register for tickets to get on free bus. Ship's management, which was well aware of situation, refused to adjust $45 on bill that fraudulently stolen. Spent $50,000 with Carnival Corp. this year. Asian food in dining room was outstanding, service good, improved wine program great, bought gold 12 bottle package. Beef entries were outstanding, salads were tasteless, with no salad main courses on menu. Buffet is repetitive, many treys stay empty, mostly tasteless food. Inside room was small but adequate, shower very small, new bedding is comfortable. Ship's service is very inconsistent and unprofessional. Supervision on floor is non-existent, when you get a manager they always say they don't have any authority. Would do this ship again except for the $45 issue, lets you me know how much they value customers, this was our 5th and last Princesscruise, we are 4star on HAL will continue with concern. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I and my family were on a vacation to Penang and Phuket. It was afternoon when we embarked. The exterior of the ship was patchy, rusty and old. Barnacles lined the bottom. When we entered the ship, we were immediately directed to ... Read More
I and my family were on a vacation to Penang and Phuket. It was afternoon when we embarked. The exterior of the ship was patchy, rusty and old. Barnacles lined the bottom. When we entered the ship, we were immediately directed to WINDJAMMER after checking in. As we had priority boarding, it was very empty then so we got our food and table within 10 minutes. The carpeted floor was littered with dirt and scraps of food from the previous voyage. The food was horrible and the Char Siew(Cantonese toasted meat) was unprofessionally bathed in ketchup, contrary to the food award certificates that were proudly hung in dusty photo frames outside the buffet style restaurant. When we finished our food, windjammer was already full to the brim and there were people pushing and shoving. People were reserving tables with tissue paper packets and loud and disgusting music was being blasted through the PA system. Meanwhile, my father was having a splitting headache and my mother was complaining. We quickly exited Windjammer to go to our staterooms. However, our rooms were not ready till 1.30 p.m. so we had to wait 45 minutes. We then decided to walk around the ship. The pool was small like the regular ones you have in a backyard and full of people and the place was rusty and old, especially signboards. The elevators smelt like rotten eggs and the buttons were worn and polished by years of use. The library was appalling. There were little books, and the remaining books were arranged in a disorderly manner. The computers had unauthentic copies of Windows on them and had no ethernet or wireless connection, hence rendering them unusable. Games were all in a mess and had lost parts. Our rooms were soon ready. Doors to the corridors were opened. We went to our rooms, the junior suites which were very far. Entering it with our Sea pass, the rustic cabin of 1998 greeted me. The ceiling panels were falling out and dents were covered with stickers. Carpet was dirty as well. The toilet had a cheap and lousy shower head. The soap they provided was watery and did little to cleanse my body. There was no toothbrush provided and drainage pipes for the sink were corroded, exposed and leaks patched with rubber seals. The hair dryer was very unsafe as it spewed out the smell of burnt plastic every time I turned it on. The balcony had rust on the ceiling due to leaks. Lack of Universal Serial Bus ports for charging electronic devices and instead we were give two American ports. We did not bring travel adapters and since our charging adapters were UK ones, we were forced to buy overpriced travel adapters found in the store in deck 5. Speaking of the promenade deck, the indoor cabins without sea view had windows along there. The loud and annoying singing and dancing at night would disturb the residents from sleeping, hence the lights to their rooms on and their bloodshot eyes staring out from the glass windows. Crowds of people were dancing to the beat of the music and the promenade cafe full to the brim. The bar and lounge were empty as people who could not stand the music(like my parents) were repelled from the promenade. The lobbies of 8 lifts on each side of the promenade are full 24/7 either because people are going back to the rooms as they cannot find a table to dine or because they are escaping from the horrible 80s music blasted in the promenade. As we squeezed into the lift, a baby started crying and a boy watched cartoons on his phone. The smell of cheap perfume and perspiration fills the air as I struggle to breathe. The lift stops at almost every floor, once in a while someone stepping on my foot or someone wanting to get in but unable to. After an eternity the lift reaches the deck our staterooms are on. That is all I have to complain about. Now, about the pros. Despite the poor leadership in the team, on the bright side, the captain knows how to pilot the cruise properly, which is something we must be thankful for. The staff, especially the room keepers are polite, greeting us every time we see each other. Although we didn’t get to swim, the Phuket shore excursion and ice odyssey skating show were indeed entertaining. Despite internet connection speeds being slow, there was still internet. The beds were comfy and I did not suffer from sleepless nights. The rustic ship, despite its worn and torn look, is nostalgic and definitely brings back memories from the 90’s. Room service was good and fast. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this itinerary for our first trip to Japan, and the timing worked with school vacation. We traveled as two families, with 2 teenage girls. We spent 14 days on the Diamond, with two back to back 7 day cruises originating in Kobe. ... Read More
We chose this itinerary for our first trip to Japan, and the timing worked with school vacation. We traveled as two families, with 2 teenage girls. We spent 14 days on the Diamond, with two back to back 7 day cruises originating in Kobe. We spent 3 days in Tokyo pre-cruise, and then flew to KIX with a Princess shuttle to the port. The timing was perfect, and we did not have to wait long to board. Free WiFi seems to be in all the ports in Japan, if you want to save money on internet charges. We did purchase the Princess premium package, and the internet was better than previous cruises, but still slow at times with some trouble logging in particularly when in ports. Our first cruise was 1,500 Non Japanese, 1,100 Japanese and the second week was 2,500 Japanese and 300 Non Japanese. The Movies Under the Stars, some shows and the menu repeated on the two weeks. I would have liked a different menu, but didn't mind the rest. We ate at 7:45 PM which allowed time to relax after a day in port, but didn't allow much time for shows, and rain made a movie in the cabin more attractive (the new TV's give you a lot of choices). The ability to sing and dance with the Japanese guests was tremendous, and we enjoyed our ability to interact (despite language barriers) with them. Activities offered for learning more about Japanese culture were numerous, and trivia was usually in both languages. Meals in the dining room were OK, our wait staff was so kind and entertaining that we ate there even when the menu was not the attraction. Our teens did not attend the teen club after finding out there were only 47 teenagers 13 - 17 signed up, with only 6 who were 17. The teens spent time on various activities and in the gym which was less crowded than other cruises. The ports are mostly far from the attractions and cities, so a taxi or shuttle are necessary if you are not on a tour. Princess does offer a shuttle bus for around $15 at most ports. We did not know this, and so signed up for a mix of Princess and private excursions pre-cruise. Japan is easy to navigate, and on a future trip I might do more on my own. In Summary, we would cruise Japan again, either in the North or perhaps for the summer Festival cruise. We enjoyed the staff on the Diamond, and would have no hesitation returning. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
1.We chose this cruise because we hadn’t cruised with Costa before and the itinerary included ports in Japan and one port in Russia, Vladivostok. We were disturbed to find that Costa Cruises allows smoking on the balcony of the ... Read More
1.We chose this cruise because we hadn’t cruised with Costa before and the itinerary included ports in Japan and one port in Russia, Vladivostok. We were disturbed to find that Costa Cruises allows smoking on the balcony of the balcony cabins. We are non smokers so we complained about the constant smell of smoke drifting int our cabin from adjacent cabins. We were told that passengers choose balcony cabins so that the can smoke. We replied that we choose balcony cabins to enjoy the fresh air and the ocean views. This was ignored as it is obvious Costa Cruises values the needs of smokers above non smokers. We were offered a change of cabin to an inside cabin but were refused compensation for the difference in price. We wrote a letter of complaint to Costa Cruises . They failed to reply directly to us , instead ,they issued a response through our cruise agent iCruises. Other cruise lines such as Princess, Cunard, do not allow smoking on balconies. I believe in this respect Costa Cruises has a long way to go . 2. Gratuities were supposed to be debited to our account at the END of the cruise. Instead they were charged DAILY to our account. The contract did not state how much would be charged. Who agrees to pay an undisclosed figure? We declined the gratuity scheme but were refused. 3. Port disembarkation. There was no order nor control of the disembarkation process, the shambolic likes of which I have never seen since the seventies when people surged to the exit door. People were distressed and tempers flared. Most cruise ships have a crowd control policy. Very uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. ( see pics) Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The experience first started when we arrived at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. There was a very long line of people waiting to check in and we thought we had to wait in the same line however I noticed a man holding a sign stating "The ... Read More
The experience first started when we arrived at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. There was a very long line of people waiting to check in and we thought we had to wait in the same line however I noticed a man holding a sign stating "The Palace guests" and I approached him. I told him I had booked a room called the Penthouse and without delay he escorted me and my family to a waiting area specially dedicated to The Palace guests. In that waiting area they had very delectable dim sums and an assortment of finger foods, along with fresh juices and water. The food and drinks were a very nice touch while checking in. We waited in that area for about 45 minutes and after that they had made an announcement that Palace guests could board the ship first. Boarding was a breeze as we were the first to board and I had no problems getting on the ship. The room I had booked was called the Penthouse, which is the second largest cabin on World Dream (the biggest being called Villa). I found my room to be very spacious and nice. The linens were very high quality and the bathroom was honestly the best part about the cabin. It was extremely spacious and the decor was very nice. Right after we were settled in our rooms, our butler came and introduced herself and gave us a fruit basket. She explained to us she could help us make reservations and book shore excursions among other things. She then proceeded to help us set up our free internet access on the ship. The Palace guests are entitled two devices for internet connection at standard speeds however if you need faster speeds you can purchase the premium plan. For me, the standard plan was more than enough as I averaged speeds at 15-20 mbps based on my tests. It was sufficient enough to stream Netflix and YouTube at 1080p rates. After helping us with our internet, she proceeded to give us a tour of the facilities that Palace guests could access. The Palace is different in the fact that it uses a concept called a ship within a ship. These facilities are not accessible to other guests who are not Palace guests. Facilities included a pool exclusive for Palace use, a sauna, a steam room and a gym. The pool almost always never had anyone so it was very peaceful. When it comes to dining, normal guests have access to 3 restaurants. The Dream Dining Lower, Dream Dining Upper and The Lido. The Lower is mainly Western food, Upper is mainly Chinese food and The Lido is an international buffet. For the Palace guests, We have access to a restaurant called The Palace restaurant. It serves very good quality food however the main differentiating factor is the service. There are many attentive waiters and waitresses that cater to whatever you want which is the main reason why most Palace guests only come to this restaurant instead of the other 3 included ones. Another reason why most Palace guests avoid the 3 other restaurants is due to the other guests. A lot of times you can struggle to get a table because there are many people eating at the same time which causes long wait times to get a table. In the Palace restaurant, I have never seen more than 30% of the place being filled. On top of the Palace restaurant, Palace guests also get one complimentary meal per day at any specialty restaurants on the ship. Personally my most favourite one had to be Umi Uma and the special pork they served. It was simply the best pork i have ever had, period. Also to note, Palace guests are entitled to a drinks package that covers all juices, soft drinks and a wide variety of beers and wines. Now when it came to the shows, we didn't have to make a reservation. The first five rows of the seats in the theatre was reserved for Palace guests which meant most the time the seats were not really filled. If anyone that was not a Palace guest tried to sit in the Palace area, staff would ask them to leave as they aren't entitled to the seats. I was particularly relieved the staff had asked them to leave as they were talking very loudly and were a nuisance. I couldn't care less if you were a Palace guest but being annoying was not welcome. For the excursions, the Palace guests have free excursions to Naha, where they showed the sights and shopping. when we arrived, there was a huge influx of passengers and it took some time to clear security. However once we entered the ship, the staff had reserved one elevator specifically for Palace guests which in my opinion was a very nice touch as the lines for the elevator were very long. After we came back from our long excursion, we were delighted to see a wide array of chocolates, fruits and biscuits presented beautifully on a multi level tray. It came coupled with a note from our butler which just made this experience even more personal and luxurious. The next day we were supposed to go to Miyakojima however the stop was canceled as the winds were just too strong for the tender boats so we were given on board credit to be spent at the souvenir shop on the ship. For disembarkation, we waited very briefly at the Silk Road restaurant before disembarking. Other passengers had to wait at the Zodiac Theatre and so we were the first ones to disembark. In summary, this was an amazing cruise made even better by the staff I had encountered. I would pay for it again if the quality of service and product was the same. Highly satisfied with everything on the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see more of Japan, we like cruising (especially with Princess) and the timing fitted our schedule. Spent a week in Shinjuku before we boarded, so had re-acclimatised to Japanese food and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see more of Japan, we like cruising (especially with Princess) and the timing fitted our schedule. Spent a week in Shinjuku before we boarded, so had re-acclimatised to Japanese food and culture before we arrived to board the Diamond Princess. We were in our stateroom within 30 minutes of arriving at the dock. Everything was clean, ordered and minor changes we asked of our Room Steward were done without question or fuss, while we were at lunch. Because we had done our research we knew that we had signed up for two, seven day cruises, beginning at Kobe, stopping again at Kobe mid way and disembarking again at Kobe but with a different itinerary of ports for each week. The Diamond Princess has been based in Japan for the season, so we knew that the cruise would cater mainly for the Japanese market and so expected that the majority of the passengers would be Japanese and that was the case. Of 2800 passengers, some 1500 were Japanese, about 800 were from the US and Canada and about 500 from Australia and elsewhere. Announcements were made first in English, then in Japanese. Written correspondence was available in both languages. Evening shows and entertainment were in English. We had four ports the first week, including Taipei in Taiwan and then back to Kobe for a day and five ports the second week which included Busan in South Korea. We did our own thing in half the ports, working out where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see and then doing it. The Princess excursions were expensive, but well organised and guided. We were glad of a sea day as our final day, just to rest up a bit before we disembarked. The dinner menu in the dinning rooms catered for both Japanese and western tastes with enough variety for all but the unadventurous or very fussy. Serves are small, but we always go to late sitting (7:45pm) and when you're sitting down to a five course meal with wine and good conversation, you don't need huge plates of food. Our table waiters were excellent, bringing extras to the table when we asked and with their recommendations of dishes and wine. Horizon Court is what it is . . a buffet, catering for a multitude of tastes. The quality of the food is of a good standard again catering to both Japanese and western passengers. We went to the Sterling Steak House for one dinner. The restaurant is set up in a partitioned off section of the Horizon Court but it's well done. The tables are set and the waiting staff are of the same caliber as you would expect in a restaurant. The meal was excellent and well worth the cover charge. All in all a great three weeks away and another enjoyable Princess Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Chose this cruise because we wanted to explore Japan and these dates suited work commitments. Diamond shone, food was fabulous in the MDR and the ship was sparkling clean. Entertainment was the usual Princess offering with the need ... Read More
Chose this cruise because we wanted to explore Japan and these dates suited work commitments. Diamond shone, food was fabulous in the MDR and the ship was sparkling clean. Entertainment was the usual Princess offering with the need to grab a seat in the theatre 30 minutes early for the first show. We were disappointed to have a couple of excursions cancelled due to lack of interest (we were told) but went ashore on our own and had great personal walking tours regardless. Second time we booked an oceanview cabin, and on Diamond both the size and location on Plaza deck proved great. Same deck as our dining room, the International cafe and just under the casino. What more could you want? The lack of little snacks at the IC on Diamond is just a touch irritating if you want to have a morning cup of tea though? Find this all together odd ........ All in all a lovely cruise to Japan but we have now ‘been there’. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Spectrum of the Seas met our expectations in every way. The ship and the interior designs are perfect for the market the ship is designed for, which is mainland China, and the surrounding Asian markets. Before anyone gets on this ship, ... Read More
Spectrum of the Seas met our expectations in every way. The ship and the interior designs are perfect for the market the ship is designed for, which is mainland China, and the surrounding Asian markets. Before anyone gets on this ship, you need to be aware that the ship has several design and interior differences than the normal Royal Caribbean ship. First, this ship has an all-suite complex, which includes private swimming pool, restaurants, elevators, and a balcony. The area houses the “Golden Suites”. The ship has signage in Mandarin, as well as English. There are new restaurants such as Hot Pot, and Szechuan Red. The casino, is redesigned, and has some exclusive rooms dedicated for the High Rollers. Retail space on the ship, is dedicated to the market it is serving, with high-end designer products, and a Japanese Pharmacy for products that are not easily obtained in China. The Golden Suite complex has the cluster of suites at the front of the ship, in which you need a key card to enter the area. Within this area, you have the Golden Dining room and lounge, the silver dining and lounge (which the lounge area replaces the diamond lounge for those that are at that level). The Solarium is no longer a part of the general ship, but only for the Golden area. A special balcony area is on top of the solarium, and a private shopping/consulting area is in the complex. Overall, the area was designed for the high revenue staterooms and so the design of these areas, as well as the size was made to be exclusive. Although I thought the area was nice, I would not want to pay the premium price they are asking for it. Sichuan Red was a Chinese themed restaurant and had a very good menu. It is a la carte. Note this is a very spicy menu, and if you do not like spice, than I would not recommend it. You can ask them to cut down on the spice, but it takes away from the flavor of the style restaurant this is. Personally, I loved it. Teppanyaki is a Japanese restaurant (separate from Izumi) that was fun and entertaining. I think the upcharge price is too much considering the prices of local restaurants. If you use it in a package, than the cost would be lower, and worth it. Hot Pot is unique that you basically make your own food in a hot pot of soup broth. It was good, and had a huge selection of meat and seafood, plus a full salad bar, and veggies to cook with it. Overall, it was fun. The coffee and Tea shop, is in the space normally reserved for a pub. I preferred the pub, but considering the market this ship is in, I think this was a good choice. However, I think the selection of Teas should be increased. For entertainment, I was on the final leg of the trip to China. The new production shows were extremely high tech and entertaining. The headliners will be different now once it begins the regular sailings in China. The same goes for the lounge singers and bands. They should be geared to the Chinese market so I cannot really say what it will be like. Shopping is not my thing, and I really do not care the kind of stores they have. My only complaint was that the logo store lacked the variety of products. Sports included the normal activities with Ifly, bumper cars, flow rider, North Star, arcade, and rock climbing. They also had some archery, and fencing activities. I visited the gym, that gets so many complaints, and I never really saw it crowded. It is not a revenue producing area, and as far as I can tell, it is about the right size. I was satisfied with it. Overall, the ship was great. The seven specialty restaurants were all good, and the other free eating areas were good, with my favorite breakfast nook being the 270 café. Before selecting this ship, make sure you understand that the ship is different, and will have food, and entertainment that you are not accustomed to, if you are a regular Royal Caribbean Cruiser. That is what makes this ship so great. It is different, and will be sailing to exciting ports that most people would never even think of going to. I highly recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Fantastic ship ,best ship I've seen , The food for me very average and nothing more , the drinks are very expensive, need to drink a lot to get value out of the drinks package. Yes I know its all new to the ship's crew , but they ... Read More
Fantastic ship ,best ship I've seen , The food for me very average and nothing more , the drinks are very expensive, need to drink a lot to get value out of the drinks package. Yes I know its all new to the ship's crew , but they have crew who dont want to be there. Evening meal at the main restaurant was very poor (food and service ) when there where formal night's passengers where let in with shorts. Dress code zero. There are no laundry rooms , irons will be confiscated. . The cabin we had was beautiful and quite large , entertainment very good , if you want internet which we didn't expect to pay roughly 22 dollars a day . We paid a lot of money for this cruise and expected that little more . Me personally and spoke to others will give royal Caribbean shipsca miss Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise as it covered a lot of ports that we had not preciously visited, plus it was a good price. However we found the number of passengers was more than comfortable for us. The ship is huge and would be ideal for families ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it covered a lot of ports that we had not preciously visited, plus it was a good price. However we found the number of passengers was more than comfortable for us. The ship is huge and would be ideal for families travelling with children and teens as there are lots of activities that would appeal, like the rock climbing wall wave pool etc. We did a land package of China before the cruise, so possibly were a bit past finding Chinese foods exciting. The food in the whole was not great, and was seldom hot enough. I chose from the classic menu a couple of times be found that more to my taste, but found it was still not very good, or hot. The Windjammer was always jammed and not always hygienic with that many people, to my way of thinking anyway. We had done one other RCI cruise that was in Explorer and that was a little better. But this will be our last cruise with this company. I think we are better suited to the smaller ships. The majority of Australian/NZ passengers were touting it as their worst cruise on record, so I don’t think it was only us. We have cruised on Celebrity, NCL, and Carnival (which I previously rated the worst) now I am deciding which is the worst! Celebrity and NCL are a lot better in my opinion. Possibly having over 4000 Chinese passengers on one ship was part of the problem, the noise (even in the elevators) was too much, plus the long queues for dining rooms horrendous. The stateroom was good. We had a balcony room and there was heaps of drawer and storage space. Bathroom was small but similar to others in past cruises, The crew and staff were all friendly and helpful, but still will not encourage us to try again with RCI. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My girlfriend and I booked a 4-night "Tour of Malaysia"--which in reality, was a day in Penang, sandwiched by a day at sea on either side. The primary drivers for booking this cruise were to check out RC's brand new ship, ... Read More
My girlfriend and I booked a 4-night "Tour of Malaysia"--which in reality, was a day in Penang, sandwiched by a day at sea on either side. The primary drivers for booking this cruise were to check out RC's brand new ship, and to enjoy the convenience of taking a cruise out of the city I live in for the first time ever (growing up in the north-eastern US, I always had to fly somewhere in order to board a ship). Although it was challenging to research the cruise ahead of time given it was a brand new ship, I had come across this wording on multiple websites: “Please note that this cruise is focusing on the Asian market and the service, on-board activities as well as the entertainment on-board will be adapted accordingly.” It made me a bit nervous, but figured it was worth a shot, and worst case scenario, my girlfriend and I spend our sea days relaxing by the pool and enjoying the time away from work. On embarkation day, we jumped in a taxi from our condo and were at the port in 20 minutes. It was a unique experience for me, but such a relief to not have to worry about flights, possible delays, pre-cruise hotels, Ubers, etc. We had printed our luggage tags in advance and immediately handed our suitcases over curb side. The security line was short, and once through, we were immediately at a check-in desk with a very friendly young man helping us sort everything out. After that was probably the lengthiest part of the check-in process: immigration. But even immigration took only 15 minutes from start to finish. Soon after, we handed over our passports (which felt wrong, but we knew in advance this was the system. We received it all back on day 4 with no issues whatsoever) and were walking towards the ship. We were on-board by about 1:30pm, and immediately headed for our balcony stateroom on deck 8 to drop off our bags (see below for cabin review). For me, one of the most important parts of any cruise is the food. The Main Dining Room was mostly full every night, but we had no trouble getting a table immediately under the “My Time” dining plan. We were unsure what to expect in terms of cuisine, but the menu was almost entirely western food each night—exactly as I am used to seeing on Caribbean cruises. However, it is very important to point out that we did the “All Access Tour” later on in the trip, and the chef explained that once the ship relocates to Shanghai, the Main Dining Room menu will change over to primarily Asian food. He showed us the wok in the kitchen, stating it is the only RC ship with a wok in the main galley. The service we received each night was good, but nothing exceptional. One evening my girlfriend found a very large piece of plastic in her mashed potatoes. The chef came out to apologize, explaining that they use plastic to cover the mashed potatoes. He took down our stateroom number, but nothing further ever came of it. Possibly our worst experience on the entire ship was in the Windjammer. I had read online that the Windjammer was purposely made larger on Spectrum…but it needed to be made much, much larger. On day 1, my girlfriend and I had lunch at the Windjammer. After throwing elbows with our fellow cruisers and getting cut off at every turn, we had our plates full of food. We walked around and around for nearly 10 minutes looking for a table before finally giving up and eating standing up on a counter-top in the Hot Pot area. Eventually a member of the staff saw us and led us to a large table he had just cleared off. I chalked this up to hopefully be a “day 1-only issue”, since no other venues were open. Unfortunately, it was not a day 1-only issue—it was an everyday issue. No matter the time we went to the Windjammer, it was always crowded, and tables were hard to come by. I had heard in advance that cruise ship buffets on Asia-based cruises can be a nightmare, but I figured attending during off-peak times might make this point irrelevant. Sadly, I was wrong, and by day 3 and 4, we did everything we could to avoid the Windjammer. For those who are curious: Sorrento’s Pizzeria and the poolside snack bar are great alternatives when you need a quick bite. We did not attend any of the specialty up-charge restaurants, which were all Asian, except for Jamie’s Italian (which did not seem well attended throughout our cruise, by the way. I wonder if this was the right move by RC for an Asia-based ship). Perhaps the biggest difference I observed on this cruise as compared to every other cruise I have been on was the drinking culture (or lack thereof). RC specifically designed Spectrum to have fewer bars, knowing that Asians do not drink as heavily as their American clientele. Well, they were certainly right, and if anything could have removed a few more bars. Any time I wanted a drink, I could walk straight up to a waiting bartender and place my order. It was a nice luxury, but makes me wonder how RC will compensate for the lost alcohol revenue they typically rely on to turn a profit. On this particular sailing though, they were lucky that the passengers were not heavy drinkers. All the bars were out of most ingredients, and they were even out of Tiger beer from day 1…on a sailing FROM Singapore! A bartender explained to us that a beverage shipment the ship had ordered did not arrive in time. This was incredibly frustrating as most frozen drinks, cocktails, and mocktails were not available. RC had heavily discounted drinks packages before the cruise, and we were very close to pulling trigger on it. Thankfully we decided against it in the end. We would have been very frustrated having paid for an “unlimited drinks” package that actually entitled you to about half of what the ship normally has to offer. The Bionic Bar is a must attend, however. We had drinks from here twice, and not only is a neat experience to watch a robot make your drink, but the drinks are fantastic. On the entertainment side of things, RC did very well overall, although there is insufficient seating in the Royal Theatre for a ship this size. The first night was a Beatle’s tribute band, and while they were OK, I felt bad (for the performers) about the number of people who stood up and walked out in the middle of the performance. The main show however, “Showgirls”, was standing room only and no one moved until it was over. Really well done by the performers, though I do wonder how the show will be received by the Chinese market as it was entirely western songs from different decades. In the 270 venue, we were very fortunate to grab one of the last spots for the day 4 performance of Silk Road. Again this performance was very well done, both by the performers and everyone involved behind the scenes to make the technical aspects work flawlessly. As far as activities on the ship, we were largely disappointed and very frustrated. We went to guest services at around 6pm on the first day—just hours after boarding—and were told that North Star and iFly were fully booked for the entire cruise. This seemed implausible to me, but apparently some people were able to book these activities in advance of the cruise. I tried to make reservations in advance but could not. I later found out that due to technical issues, some cruisers could not make reservations in advance. In my view, this is completely unacceptable for RC, and robbed me of 2 experiences that had attracted me to this ship in the first place. For the non-reservation activities, such as the Flow Rider, Sky Pad, and Bumper Cars, the queues were consistently very long. We only had the patience to wait for Sky Pad, which took about an hour, but was very much worth it (recommend taking the Virtual Reality option for a unique experience. The only downside is they do not permit you to do flips when you opt for VR). Oddly, the rock-climbing wall was often empty, and my girlfriend was able to climb it twice without any wait. The casino was a massive disappointment. It is the largest casino I have ever seen on a cruise ship (again, specially designed for the Asian market), but smoking was permitted. Given the low ceilings, the smell of cigarette smoke was worse than you could ever imagine. This was the first cruise I have ever been on (except for my first ever cruise, when I was 13!) that I did not gamble once. On day 4, we had signed up for the All Access Tour. We had received a notice the day before that the Engine Control Room would not be accessible, but we would receive $20 per person in on-board credit as a refund. I will not go into every last detail of the tour, but if you are a cruise ship nerd at all (like me), it is absolutely worth the time and money! On the final day, we were assigned 9:30am as our departure time, and told to meet in the Main Dining Room. We showed up on schedule to the MDR—and there was no one around. Everyone was lined up outside 270, and interestingly most people kept all of their suitcases with them, completely ignoring the usual system. The process looked chaotic, but it only took us about 10 minutes to debark. Overall, I cannot fault anything about the ship itself. It is brand new and in my opinion, very impressive. There are some key design differences as compared to ships based in other parts of the world, but it still mostly has the look and feel of a Royal Caribbean cruise. It will be interesting to how Spectrum does in the Chinese market, but I would not recommend this ship for Westerners--I think you will be frustrated by your fellow passengers! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
20th May Singapore- Ko Samui-Pulau Redang- Singapore Hi Genting Dream, FrequentCruiserDominic here at your service. 1. Being a recurring cruiser for numerous ships on many cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Princess, ... Read More
20th May Singapore- Ko Samui-Pulau Redang- Singapore Hi Genting Dream, FrequentCruiserDominic here at your service. 1. Being a recurring cruiser for numerous ships on many cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity, and Costa. I must say it was a huge leap for me to try out Genting Dream which I have researched it being a home port for Singapore. Thus, I embarked on a 8hour flight all the way from Melbourne, determined to experience and try out Genting Dream experience, with hopes of have the dream experience of course. My Itinerary was as follow, Singapore- Ko Samui-Pulau Redang- Singapore. 3 NIGHT Asian luxury cruise with big colourful ship sailing on the high seas as seen within my brochure. 2. Upon arrival at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre of Singapore, I was greeted by havoc and chaos with almost no walking space. Noting that it was a Public Holiday in Singapore & with Voyager of the Seas docked in the terminal as well, I rendered it as a norms for the crowd for the cruise line or even the terminal and thus did not take it to heart a lot as I was looking ahead to better services and experience ahead. Reviews Reader let me guide you through the process and my experience of your Genting Dream Experience! 3. There was much confusion as I noted 6 different type of uniform don by the staff at pier but the most assuring part was seeing the well known Intercruises uniform code of White and Blue, but it surprises me on why they wore green with white here at Singapore. I was rendered no assistance when I approach the security personnel in black for assistance probably so as it wasn’t included within their job scope of security presence and crowd control, Oh well! 4. Kiosk self-check in was organised and swift which were definitely delightful! I was issued with a boarding card #9 which I had no idea what was it for? Boarding in sequence? But anyway, I senselessly followed the surge of crowd into the security counters whereby scanning of bags and belongings were in process. 5. Yet again, senselessly, I was ushered to the waiting area as of 1535hours as the staff mentioned immigration will only start boarding at 1600hours? I took it with a pinch of salt as it was probably a norm for the terminal and cruise line again. 6. Here comes the slight dramatization part. Being the Dominic in me, ( I do that at every port), I spoke to the Intercruises embarkation staff named Gerald and Ben? which were extremely helpful and attentive to my numerous numbers of questions regarding the flow of guest. Managed to understand more of the flow and operation flow of Genting Dream which I must say is very differing indeed to other cruise lines as Genting only offers short turnaround time from what I researched which is CRAZY! Kudos indeed to the embarkation team from Intercruises. You go, Boys! 7. Engulfed within the crowd with languages I do not understand, I had no alternatives but to look around and observe the staff and other cruisers. What surprises me was the constant shouting and noise transmitted from walkies talkies held by Ben even though he tried to reduce the disturbance at times as observed by me. Shouldn’t they be having earpieces for their walkie talkies or even have amiable tone within their communication systems? Once again, being the Dominic in me, I managed to track the sources to 2 individual personnel in blazer which was standing at the railing of Level 3. Seem to be the supervisor or overall in charge, I must say, they are capable of giving instructions to the staff on ground very well, pointing and directing staffs just from one origin but it would definitely be better that cruisers are not exposed to the noise transmitted or the ground staff are not exhausted by them just pointing and giving instructions! 8. Fast forwarding, I managed to board the ship at 1625hours even though the crowd was crazy, I must say, Intercruises embarkation team that facilitates boarding at Singapore is really superb, their capabilities to handle such massive crowd with that lacking amount of seating capacity. Thank you Gerald and Ben for the service rendered. I promised a commendation and I will deliver it for sure because, I am Dominic Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I boarded this ship from Marina Bay Cruise Centre, Singapore. Embarkation and Debarkation was a breeze. As one of the few passengers to board this ship, I managed to get a good window seat at Windjammer Marketplace. But should I have ... Read More
I boarded this ship from Marina Bay Cruise Centre, Singapore. Embarkation and Debarkation was a breeze. As one of the few passengers to board this ship, I managed to get a good window seat at Windjammer Marketplace. But should I have boarded later, the crowd was horrible and jammed as staterooms only open at 1pm. The only places to wait was at Windjammer or the Main Dining Room, where lunch was available at the moment. At 1pm sharp, the doors to the staterooms opened. My stateroom was on Deck 10, an Interior stateroom with Royal Caribbean's new "Virtual Balcony". Quite a nice invention by them, to allow even interior room guests to pay budget and get a view. Room size is okay, with a sofa bed, just nice for a family. We stayed in the room for a while, before we went for the bumper cars at SeaPlex. Good choice! The next two days, bumper cars attraction had long snaking queues! SeaPlex overall is a wonderful place, with a multi-purpose court, table tennis, table soccer etc. Afterwards we had our Guest Assembly Drill. Better than Voyager 2 years ago. We had an air-conditioned muster station. Dinner in Main Dining Room was perfect. Steak well-cooked. Those who had fish choices said it was inedible though. Service was fast, waiter Leonard was a kind guy and attended to us regularly. Awesome! Right after dinner, we went for laser-tag, also held at SeaPlex. Also great choice. The next few laser-tag sessions had long, snaking queues. During night show, cruise director said whole cruise was fully booked! I did not see the cruise director much, except during shows. Fitness Room/Gym was terrible and small but I suspect since the ship will homeport in China and Chinese do not exercise much, it is fine. Port Klang was not a good port, long drive into Kuala Lumpur and the port had barely anything. the new debut of Sky Pad on Quantum Class ships was great, I had loads of fun on it. But as usual those long, snaking queues take up to 1-2 hours at peak hours. Rock Climbing Wall closed most of the time though, which is sad. I enjoyed the Flowrider very much as well. The solarium was a nice place, but I did not stay in suites so didnt get to try Silver/Gold Dining. The sea day was fine, but just really crowded on Decks 5, 14 and SeaPlex (Deck 15 only). Overall to finish, had a great trip and definitely coming back to RCCL, especially Quantum Class! Thanks Royal Caribbean! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
It was a new liner. I was just curious to see how an American liner design a cruise ship just for the China market. I was also looking forward to the Chinese food at the Windjammer or Two70. Most cruise ships would serve black tea or ... Read More
It was a new liner. I was just curious to see how an American liner design a cruise ship just for the China market. I was also looking forward to the Chinese food at the Windjammer or Two70. Most cruise ships would serve black tea or flavoured teas or green tea at the buffet area.I wish they had included Chinese tea for a change. My opinion of the food is similar to other reviewers who were also onboard the Spectrum in May. But the crew who served us food at the dining rooms were fabulous.Many thanks for being attentive to my folks. Individual travellers might feel left out.The afternoon quizzes at the bar were boring with no prizes. There were no super enthusiastic inhouse photographers to take our photos.I appreciate that but that puts the photo viewing gallery the most underutilised place. There were lots of indoor spaces like tiny family sitting rooms with litter of couches spread all over the public area. The Singaporeans demonstrated that they are for afternoon naps and indoor picnic, I am not so sure about how the Chinese would utilise those spaces. What are forgone on the Spectrum are big open spaces in the swimming pools, big outdoor cinema screenings, wide outdoor decks in public area balcony. There are more indoor activities such as fencing lessons, bumper car rides, karaoke lounge which appeal to Chinese of all ages and who are also less keen on sun-tanning. My cabin attendants were from Indonesia.I was thankful.Besides Bahasa, they spoke English well. I had the 'luck' of ending up in the ship's clinic.I don't think anyone speaks Mandarin in there. Fingers crossed, i hope they are bored to tears in their entire stay in China. The seasoned cruise tourists will appreciate the fuss free muster drill that took place without the need to pull out our safety vests, line up in rows and put on our vests.But for many Asians onboard, it is their maiden cruise. This is my umpteenth cruise and I had experienced a real situation which required reporting to the muster station. I much prefer the hassle and inconvenience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I chose this cruise ship because it was new and we did two days in Vietnam and Hong Kong. First, it is absolutely the most beautiful ship we were ever on. The balcony cabin was spacious for a big ship, the cabin was comfortable and I loved ... Read More
I chose this cruise ship because it was new and we did two days in Vietnam and Hong Kong. First, it is absolutely the most beautiful ship we were ever on. The balcony cabin was spacious for a big ship, the cabin was comfortable and I loved the balcony size. The staff were very friendly, but most were not knowledgeable about ship details. Asian security was tight and the first phase of check in in Singapore was slightly disorganized. There were two lines on Asian passports and Asian passport holders. Initially we had to present our passports and other documents with staff at a kiosk. Once we got upstairs to the check in area it was better organized. We were not told our passports would be surrendered before boarding, so you were no5 able to go back downstairs to the terminal. Our iron was held with security I felt like criminal. I guess it was my fault, but it wasn’t highlighted enough on the check in process on the website, but we didn’t have a Chinese Visa (I didn’t feel so bad because there was a hundred or so passengers that didn’t have that Visa either) and had to spend $140 per person on board. The Vietnamese’s landing card only was $7. We didn’t want to spend more money on specialty dinning, but we ate upstairs in buffet dining. The main dining room area was beautiful, but the food was tepid, not appetizing and the portions were small. The shopping area were high end items and the ship gift area for RCL was so small and if you forget toiletries etc oh well. The entertainment was good and Two70 production Silk Road was phenomenal. The casino was small for such a large ship and everyone huddled to the One cent slots. I like to the scratch lottery I won $40 bucks in 9 days lol. I did visit the video arcade sports area flow rider ripcord sky pad and North Star. The spa area was over priced. I thought we could do other ports. We stayed overnight in Hong Kong not two nights and had to be board by 2 pm the next day, so technically you can only do one excursion. Of course, I had to cancel one. I think RCL could have provided shuttle buses to the main area since the terminal was 40 minutes or so to the Star Ferry. The lecturer was extremely informative and disembarkation was very good. Finally, this was my third and last RCL cruise I have cruised on the Serenade Harmony and Spectrum. I can’t wait to go back to Princess cruises. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose Star Clipper on recommendation of our independent travel agent as being a great ship to go on for a first voyage. It surpassed our expectations and we shall certainly do another one. We chose this route because we wanted to ... Read More
We chose Star Clipper on recommendation of our independent travel agent as being a great ship to go on for a first voyage. It surpassed our expectations and we shall certainly do another one. We chose this route because we wanted to sample the Borneo wildlife and we saw orangutans, sun bears, many monkeys and crocodiles. The ship exuded class and comfort, the service was excellent and the staff both above and below deck were personable and helpful. The Captain and officers were professional and friendly and we always felt safe. Our cabin was 330 and was really comfortable with a shower room and toilet , air conditioning and lots of well-planned storage space. There was just the hum of the engine all the time which was needed for the generators even when we were under sail which was most of the time. It did not keep us awake and after a day or two we didn't even notice it. This was Star Clippers maiden voyage from Singapore to Kota Kinabalu and it took 10 days with several stops, mainly in ports but also at anchor and using the safety boats to disembark. There was no formal entertainment but there was no need for it. Several evenings resulted in impromptu events such as a crew/customer talent show which was great fun. There were lots of informal talks from the crew and also star-gazing and engine room and bridge visits as well as making cocktails etc This was not a ship for those wanting to be entertained. Go to a big cruise ship for that! Dress was smart casual in the evenings but men were required to wear long trousers and shirts in the restaurant. Most ladies dressed up in a casual way and wore cocktail dresses or smart trousers etc. Certainly there was no pressure at all. This was not a ship for children as there were no facilities and people enjoyed an adult-only experience. Excursions to Kuching, Brunei and Sepilok were really great and well-organised. We booked once on board and there was plenty of opportunity to learn more and no pressure. We absolutely loved it and can't wait to go again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We arrived in Kobe the day before the cruise and spent the night at the Okura Kobe hotel down by the waterfront area. An excellent hotel with unusually large rooms for Japan and a mixed Japanese/International breakfast. Our room had a view ... Read More
We arrived in Kobe the day before the cruise and spent the night at the Okura Kobe hotel down by the waterfront area. An excellent hotel with unusually large rooms for Japan and a mixed Japanese/International breakfast. Our room had a view of the port and the cruise terminal from the 26th floor and also the exceptional Japanese toilet, which we wanted to take home! There was also a Starbucks on the waterfront next to the hotel which was handy for my wife’s coffee fix at midday before we set off for the ship. A 10 minute taxi ride had us at the terminal and we were processed fairly quickly and onboard in approx. 30 minutes, so off to a good start. The ship overall was well cared for despite its age with only minor signs of wear and tear, but nothing that would put anyone off. I particularly like the grand class for the internal layout and the large full walk- around promenade deck. We had a club class mini suite on the starboard side mid ship, having had the same on the Crown on our last Princess cruise. Lots of space, large balcony and decent sized bath. Also, probably, the only larger cruise ship with Japanese toilets! The main benefit of the c.c. for us is the dining experience. The Diamond does not do anytime dining in the main dining rooms unless you are c.c. in the Santa Fe dining room on deck 6. The dining experience was very good although the food maybe wasn’t always as good as on previous cruises. The head waiter, Raj, prepared an “off menu” choice each night within the dining area and on one night {after a little persuasion} he also cooked a selection of Indian foods from his homeland which was much appreciated. Due to the jet lag and some early rises we only made 2 of the shows but thoroughly enjoyed “The secret silk” and the high quality singing show on the last night. {sorry, forgot it’s name} The passenger demographic on this cruise was probably 60% Japanese with also a large number of people with Japanese heritage from the States etc. and a much smaller number of Australian/brits/Canadians. The atmosphere on board was probably the most courteous we have seen. On one cultural themed event my wife got to try on a kimono helped by volunteer passengers and the entertainment staff, many of whom spoke Japanese, which she loved. Most of the ports of call on this port intensive cruise were unknown to us beforehand but that was part of the appeal. Our first stop was Kochi. The Princess tours did nothing for us and were very expensive for what you got so we arranged a local volunteer guide along with some fellow passengers in advance and she met us off the shuttle bus in town. We spent several hours with her showing us the castle and the temple/botanical gardens on the hill outside town. We also had a traditional Japanese meal kneeling/sitting on the floor. Everything was in Japanese so we took pot luck! Probably saw more through the eyes of a local than on an organised tour. Onto Hiroshima the next day and we booked a Princess tour called “tram and foot” which, although we got to see the main sights in the centre of the city, was not what we had expected. The 2 ladies who ran it were polite and well meaning but I don’t know if a previous passenger had wandered off because we were herded around like an infant school class who had never crossed a road before! It started raining heavily towards our last stop at the beautiful Japanese gardens so we were glad of the bus nearby. Onto day 3 and Matsuyama. This was the first time the ship has called at this port. The ship arrived at the dock at approx. 530 in the morning to a large group of people singing, a band playing and children waving flags! This was happening a short distance from our balcony and certainly gave us {and most others} an earlier wakeup call than we had planned! We saw the funny and, well intentioned side of it, and hope the others who had been loudly wakened did too! As is tradition the Captain received a plaque from the city to be displayed onboard. We took the ship shuttle the short distance to the train station and then the train into the centre of the city. The locals had really put out the welcome mat for us all with lots of English speaking staff to give directions or helpful advice. We wandered about on foot and used the trams to explore and had a great day climbing up to the castle and seeing the old buildings around the city. They also offered a free trip on the Big wheel on top of the Station building when buying the train/tram tickets for the day. On getting back the port, again the locals had gone out of their way to welcome the passengers with shows and local crafts, tea ceremony demonstrations etc. which lasted even after we pulled away from the dockside. In addition they opened the port to the curious locals to come along and hundreds did to enjoy the entertainment and wave us off. A truly moving and memorable experience. Day 4 and the port of Aburatsu for the Miyazaki area. We chose another Princess tour covering both the castle and a small Island with a temple on it. The main reason for a Princess tour was the shorter time in port and the distances involved to get to the main sights. The weather was better and the tour guide treated us like the adults we all were. The castle was nothing special but we enjoyed the Japanese lunch at the Holiday Inn and the Island nearby that was linked via bridge. Final port day and a lunchtime arrival in Busan, South Korea. We booked an independent tour along with a few other passengers and had a great guide, Beth {not her real name which was too hard to pronounce}. She had lived in England and Edinburgh {our area!} for several months whilst studying and her English was very good as was her delivery of information. We were driven about the main sights including the cultural village which some say reminds them of Santorini {only if you’ve been drinking and never been to Santorini!} and had a Korean barbecue meal with the locals. Passed under the neon lit up bridge as we left port. An enjoyable day. A day at sea where we passed through the Kanmon Straits in the morning and under another bridge before hitting the open sea and some relaxation and a try on the totally useless putting green. Easy disembarkation and taxi back to the same hotel we had started from followed by a few days in Kyoto with family and another few days stop over in Dubai on the way home to adjust to the time difference {and enjoy the 40 degree heat}. Overall a good cruise made all the better by the amazing people of this country. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I've been on 9 cruises so far and this was my first cruise to Japan. I travel alone since everyone else is working and I am retired. This was my 5th Princess Cruise. The ship was clean and beautiful with all the woodwork and marble ... Read More
I've been on 9 cruises so far and this was my first cruise to Japan. I travel alone since everyone else is working and I am retired. This was my 5th Princess Cruise. The ship was clean and beautiful with all the woodwork and marble in great condition. However my dining experience was another matter. I ate lunch and dinner aboard Diamond Princess 18 May 2019. My set dinner time was at 5:30 pm. I got some bad sour cream on the bake potato at dinner. I threw up around 3-4am the following morning. I threw up several times in 4 sessions. I went to medical the next day and was then quarantined for 2 days and missed 2 days of my cruise due to the food poisoning. I missed the most important excursion at Hiroshima. I was also given a bill from medical for $191. I spoke to Princess about this insult to injury and was called by an arrogant woman who was the food and beverage director. She denied any and all responsibility for my food poisoning saying that no one else got sick so it wasn't her food and Princess would not cover my medical bills. I told her did this food poisoning just magically happen??? Also, a lot of passengers would never report it because they do not want to be quarantined. She did not want to hear it. I wonder if she did any investigation. How long did that serving dish with the sour cream sit out prior to 5:30 pm? How many people in my section were served from that serving dish of sour cream before it was dumped or changed? I know of two people who got sick from the food during the cruise. The food and beverage director did not have a clue!! After being cleared by medical I was so upset about the arrogance of Princess food and beverage director that I immediately went to the future cruise desk to cancel my next Princess cruise to Alaska in July. I was told I would incur penalties so I said forget cancelling it but I would never sail on Princess again!! I was a Platinum Member but this complete deniability by any wrong doing by Princess is disgusting!! It is a reflection of their attitude toward a lot of issues, one which is in the news today about polluting the oceans then arrogantly advertising how they care so much about the environment!!! Really your company pollutes the Oceans and you say you care for the environment!! Just my experience aboard the Diamond Princess which is the exact opposite of my wonderful dining experience aboard Grand Princess in March. Thank You Diamond Princess for letting me see how bad things really can be!! The entertainment and activities were average cruise productions, nothing to jump up and down about. Also, there were only 3 major shows which repeat every week so for me it was disappointing since my cruise was 2 weeks. The excursions were interesting but expensive, but it's Japan so you will be paying more. Also, expect a lot of walking on most excursions since a lot of the sites are on hills. Another point is expect going through immigration several times during your trip since you enter and leave Japan throughout the cruise. I would not come back to Japan again because there are a lot of places I still want to go to. Japan is crowded with a lot of pushing and shoving, think of Disneyland and that is what it is like. It is a one time visit place for me. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019

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