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311 Shanghai to Asia Cruise Reviews

I’ve been to many cruises and finally chose this cruise as it’s new and the itinerary attracts me. However, this cruise is really a huge mess! First the boarding at Shanghai, wow, i thought they had organised us in regions to wait to ... Read More
I’ve been to many cruises and finally chose this cruise as it’s new and the itinerary attracts me. However, this cruise is really a huge mess! First the boarding at Shanghai, wow, i thought they had organised us in regions to wait to board, However, when we were led by a staff to board the cruise first, there was suddenly a large crowd who were waiting at the gate before us, thus we are not first as sectioned out at the waiting area. Next entering the immigration clearance part, omg, it’s so messy, they didn’t tell us where foreigners should go to, after we all gathered, they decided to block foreigners till many Chinese nationals had cleared. Then on the cruise, one of our luggage went missing! Went to their lost and found which only opened after the cruise had moved and could not find it. Then our cabin attendant said she found it outside another cabin on the same level. But the issue was, all our luggage we had tagged them with the cabin strip with our cabin number provided by Royal carribean. Next, the cabin card, we tried to find our seating arrangement on the card for the main dining, however it wasn’t there. To our horror after checking out with the cabin attendant, we found out that in China for this cruise they don’t provide a fixed seatings for each cabin like the other cruises! We gave up on that so called fine dining for the entire trip as the queues outside the main dining rooms were like some refuge centre and the food menu is not fine dining at all as they provided Chinese food only and those usual items for fine dining like steak, etc were chargeable! Omg never seen a cruise like this! Then come the mandatory emergency drill, it was so disorganised and it was so different everyone was gathering in enclosed areas! We were told to gather at the 270 degree lounge, the woman who was holding the microphone was literally shouting in the microphone and commanding everyone of us there as if we were her staff or she’s the teacher or manager Or she’s the army officer in a fierce and authoritative manner. So rude! Never been on a cruise that would demand the customers to be silent in such a rude manner! Rubbish! Next, this cruise is really into hard selling their dining products, First two days, the restaurant staff everyone were holding a promotion plan to hard sell to everyone they saw! And the activities on board were mostly chargeable which included rock climbing which wasn’t on other cruises under RC! And next I wonder why a cruise can’t provide proper coffee (though I purchased the coffee card) this is quite applicable in many cruises that I’ve been on. The so called coffee including this one is just some black water! Please don’t treat us as some fools who just drink some black water and said that’s coffee. The alighting part on the last day of cruise was also another part which annoyed me. They purposely section on foreigners and made us wait for the Chinese nationals to clear first before we move on. They blocked us out in different parts before the immigration thus resulting us to have such Long waits (1.5h) before we cleared the immigration.Next, the gym and sauna, it seemed more like a place where their staff got to utilised more. The sauna was so small and seemed to be occupied by their staff as we can’t use it and the lockers we requested for keys and could tell us they did not have the keys???? All in all this cruise is really such a messy one. Very disorganised, no system, poor service attitude especially from the customer service counter. If you want to try out the horrible experience I had gone through, go ahead and book this cruise from China as they really treated their customers who paid money to be ordered by them. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My husband and I took this cruise - our first without our kids who are now both in university. We chose this cruise because we have always wanted to visit Japan but the idea of travelling there on our own was a bit daunting. We have ... Read More
My husband and I took this cruise - our first without our kids who are now both in university. We chose this cruise because we have always wanted to visit Japan but the idea of travelling there on our own was a bit daunting. We have cruised several times before and thought this would be a good introduction to Japan. We booked this without knowing we'd need a visa for China and truthfully, it might have put us off if we had known. The visa application was very long and expensive - but I'd definitely go through it again. We flew from London to Shanghai and had one night in Shanghai before the cruise started. We arrived Saturday morning, and after a short food break in the hotel, we walked around for a few hours. The next day we took a taxi from our hotel to the port in Baoshan. As westerners, we seemed to be ushered into a different line than the Chinese passengers and it was extremely quick (it felt discriminatory if I'm honest). We arrived at the port at 1:30 pm and were on the ship within an hour. We had booked a junior Silver Suite and it was lovely. We had a bathtub, sink/mirror and separate shower in one room, and a toilet and sink/mirror in another which was ideal. The cabin itself was spacious, tastefully decorated and felt more like a hotel room than any other cabin we'd had before. On the second day I asked our cabin attendant for a feather pillow and was very happy to find one on the bed later that day. The ship is beautiful, but we were slightly disappointed that the main dining room seemed to lack the "wow factor" of other ships we'd been on; no grand staircase and the decor was a bit plain. That was probably the only part we were disappointed with as there was comfortable, stylish seating all over the ship and finding a quiet spot wasn't difficult. As Silver Suite passengers, we had access to the private solarium which was beautiful, comfortable and very quiet. We were disappointed that we were not assigned a table in the Main Dining Room for the duration of the cruise as that had been a highlight of past cruises; getting to know our waiters and fellow dining companions. On the first night we sat on our own, although there were 5 couples in all sitting in a row, seated at the same time and served at the same time. It was almost like sitting at a large table, but not quite. We ate twice in the Main Dining Room and twice in the Windjammer and both were OK, but we felt the food was slightly below par compared to other ships we'd been on. As Silver Suite passengers, we had access to the Silver Dining Room (something we didn't really know much about before the cruise started) and the quality here was superior to both Main Dining Room and Windjammer with a buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus an a la carte menu in the evening. The a la carte menu was the same each night, but it was good quality food. We also had a few snacks in Cafe Two70, Sorrento's and Splashaway Cafe as well as special coffees in both Leaf & Bean and La Patisserie and were happy with the quality of all. Overall we were happy with the quality of the food, but this is mostly due to the Silver Dining Room (seafood lunch buffet on day 7 was a definite highlight) and we both feel the Main Dining Room and Windjammer should have been a bit better. As a note: the Bionic bartender was super busy on the first night, but really quiet throughout the rest of the cruise, so if you want to try it out (even just for the sake of getting a video) wait until at least the second day. Although there were several available dinner packages for the restaurants with supplements, we did not try any of them. As for the entertainment, we watched Showgirls, The Silk Road and The Effectors and all were very good, but The Silk Road we especially good - beautiful visuals and lots to look at. We also enjoyed the virtual fireworks and the piano player in the lift was fun, too. The only on-board activity that we tried was the climbing wall - my husband is a climber, so he had a few goes on several of the days. He found the sea days tended to be much busier than port days. One of the things I had wanted to hear about in other reviews is what to expect re: Chinese passengers. I have to say that my experience might not have been the norm, but I did not find the Chinese passengers to be rude; I witnessed only one spitting incident (into a bin by the lifts) and two incidents where we had to push past Chinese guests to get off the lift as they had rushed on before we could get off. It might have been that I was bracing myself for the worst, but I think that I was needlessly worried. I will leave my comments about the ports at the end, I'm not always interested in what people do/think of the port stops, so I'll put them at the end in case you want to finish reading here (presuming you've read this far Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were part of a group tour from Australia traveling from Shanghai China to Japan for one week, then back to Shanghai. The cruise was marketed as a Western Cruise. Approx 800 Aussies were on board with others from UK, USA etc but still ... Read More
We were part of a group tour from Australia traveling from Shanghai China to Japan for one week, then back to Shanghai. The cruise was marketed as a Western Cruise. Approx 800 Aussies were on board with others from UK, USA etc but still mostly Chinese passengers. Having mostly sailed with RCI and having spent 30 nights previously on the Ovation of the Seas I was expecting the ship and cruise to be similar to what we have experienced previously. The ship is mostly the same but has a few different layouts. I can't say that these differences are for the better. The Solarium: I love this part of the ship. Unfortunately on the Spectrum this entire area is now only for "upper class" passengers. Only those few that have suites are allowed entry. Reminds me of the Titanic with areas below deck for the lower classes. Windjammer: What a nightmare! Only visited twice due to the noise levels, the crowds, the food choices, the pushing and shoving by other passengers. Sorentos Pizza: This now adjoins the Windjammer. Only has 2 tables inside. There is an area outside that is meant for Sorentos but impossible to find a seat as the Windjammer customers take them all including the two tables inside. The Patisserie: Used to be a favorite but with only four cakes (all the sames except for the colour) available, a bit pointless. The Dining Room: Meal times were 5pm and 7pm. We were booked as a group of 30 for 7pm. First night we were shown our tables off to the side. Second night we tried to go to our tables but were told that we all need to be present to be shown to tables that could be anywhere in the restaurant. Not what we were expecting. We had to plead with the staff to be all seated together in the same area. The meal service was very slow. Took two hours usually to get our three courses. We were never offered tea or coffee. Very difficult to get a drink. Food was usually only warm. The food was Ok but not as good as previous cruises. The shows: We booked for Silk Road. Had to queue at one of the bars at a certain time to book. The RCI App was useless, couldn't use it to book anything. Despite being the first passengers to arrive the first couple of shows were booked out. Show times didn't fit with the Dining Room time slots. Shows were at 6.30pm and 8.30pm. The show went for 45 minutes but you have to arrive 15 minutes early to get a seat. So we missed desert despite asking for quick service of our meal due to attending the show. We enjoyed the show except for the inconsiderate people who just don't understand the instruction "NO FLASHES". RCI should have staff available to kick the inconsiderate people out. Not only is it so off putting for the performers to stare into a bright light but due to the shape of The 270, other audiences members also have the lights shining in their eyes. You also have the passengers who feel the need to text and play with their phones throughout the performance. North Star & I Fly: We didn't use these as RCI have a fee on most activities on their cruises in the Asian market. Have previously enjoyed both on the Ovation for free. Why is the volume of the music turned up to head ache inducing levels every time an activity is on or a staff "performance" is on? The music band by the pool is also played at a really loud level. It's very hard to find a quiet spot on the ship to actually relax. There are no quiet areas indoors to relax and talk. Once again we were charged our onboard account in $A despite completing the onboard check-in details with a $US request. The difference in the RCI exchange rate to what our bank offers is huge. Every cruise we have taken they have disregarded our request. Definitely the worst cruise I have been on. I would never take another cruise in the Asian region despite enjoying the Ports we visited. The ship part of our holiday didn't come close to previous experiences. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Took the opportunity to take this cruise because of the stops at China and Japan, it was great to get a taster of these countries. Ship has had a full refurbishment since we last cruised on the Millenium and it looks much better ... Read More
Took the opportunity to take this cruise because of the stops at China and Japan, it was great to get a taster of these countries. Ship has had a full refurbishment since we last cruised on the Millenium and it looks much better although some did not like the color choices we thought they were ok. Cabins are fitted out much better and have a little more room thanks to the shorter couch. The bathroom is better and feels like it has more room and the shower head is much better and you get a much improved flow of water. Interesting that in general areas floor coverings were done but ceilings and edging, doors and some furniture remained the same. We noted the reduction of the gym size and the loss of the library for more more state rooms. The buffet restaurant layout has improved and the food good. We were disappointed with Blu restaurant we felt the quality of the meals had dropped from our last cruse how ever the staff were excellent as always. Staff service in general was excellent and it was great to see the crew just as pleasant and happy as the last cruise. Entertainment was ok as was the ship tours that we did do. The self organised tours we did with the cruise critic forum groups were great, smaller groups and set to the specific interests of the group. We also did a few shore based tours ourselves which were also very good and cost effective. All in all the cruise was very good and what we expected. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this 28 day cruise from Shanghai to Singapore because of the itinerary and we were not disappointed. We saw Shanghai, 5 ports in southern Japan, 2 ports in Taiwan, Manila in the Philippines, Hong Kong, 4 ports in Vietnam, 1 in ... Read More
We chose this 28 day cruise from Shanghai to Singapore because of the itinerary and we were not disappointed. We saw Shanghai, 5 ports in southern Japan, 2 ports in Taiwan, Manila in the Philippines, Hong Kong, 4 ports in Vietnam, 1 in Cambodia and 2 in Thailand before reaching Singapore. This is a great way to see Asia - from very modern cities, to 3rd world countries. We had 3 days in Shanghai before embarkation - and were able to use the 144 hour visa free transit which went smoothly. There were no delays with embarkation, or disembarkment at the end of the cruise. The ship is looking a little tired in some areas, and is not as modern or lavish as some of the newer Holland America ships. The Crow's Nest area could do with some updating. The verandah cabin 5003 that we had was quiet and spacious, and we were very happy with it. The food was excellent, especially in the dining room, and there was a lot of choice in the Lido Buffet area. The entertainment on the main stage was a mixed bag - we enjoyed the Westerdam entertainers and visiting singers and musicians, but we didn't go when Comedians or Illusionists were on stage. We loved the Billboard area with 2 talented pianists, and there also was the Lincoln Centre Stage and a Jazz Band as entertainment options. We didn't do many of the on board activities - we did go to Flower Arranging, a cultural talk, some of the Microsoft classes and Americas Test Kitchen. We also used the outdoor spas and pool. The staff were excellent and did a top job, especially our 2 cabin boys. Ports: Shanghai - the port is a fair way from the city so we took a shuttle bus into the Bund from the ship for $20US each. From here you can spend the day in the city, and walk to a metro station. The metro has station signs in English as well as Chinese, and is easy to navigate Fukuoka - we did our own thing and caught a taxi to JR Hakata station where we caught a train to Kido Nazoin-Mae Station to see the Giant Reclining Buddha, which was very good. We returned to city and visited Canal City and Hakata Kawabata Shopping Arcade - more traditional and interesting shops. Lastly we saw Tochoji Temple and Pagoda, and several other Temples in the vicinity. We enjoyed this port. Kagoshima - we caught the cruise shuttle bus to Dolphin Park near the Sakurajima Ferry Terminal, and bought a Cute Pass which covers transport in Kagoshima. We took the ferry to Sakurajima Island, then went on a 1 hour bus tour circle. The Island View buses only stop at 1 Observatory now, so not as useful for sight seeing as previously. After this we walked along the coastal footpath for sea views and a stop at the footbaths. Back on the mainland we shared a taxi to Senganen Garden - a Japanese style landscape garden which we enjoyed. Amami - we docked here - it's no longer a tender port. We hired a car and spent time at Uttabaru & Sakibaru Beaches-good for swimming and Tomori beach - good for snorkelling. We also went to Cape Ayamaru Park, a lighthouse and Ohama Seaside Park. We loved our time here! Naha - we went on an all day snorkelling tour to the Kerima Island. Loved it! Ishigaki Island - we docked here - this is no longer a tender port. We hired a car and explored the whole Island, stopping at beaches, lighthouses, lookouts and and Kabira Bay, where we did a glass bottom boat tour. The Island is stunning and you can see most of it in a day. Loved Ishigaki! Keelung - we docked a couple of hundred metres from Keelung Train Station - so we caught the train into Taipei and did our own sightseeing. We went to the Flower and Jade Market, Liberty Square and Chiing Kai Check Hall and surrounds, and Longshan Temple. We climbed up lots of steps to Elephant Hill for city views, then went to Martyrs Shrine for changing of the guard. We stopped at Shillin Night Market for some food, then visited Confucious Temple. A long day but we loved it!. Next day we spent around Keelung - visiting the temple and Buddha on the hill, local shops and Zhengbing Fishing Port. Kaohsiung - we shared a taxi to Fo Guang Su Monastery - but because it was Tuesday the museum part was closed. Next we caught the Harvard Express Bus back into Kaohsiung and then a bus to Lotus Lake with Tiger and Dragon Structures, Buddhas, Temples and Pagodas - very interesting area and well worth a visit. We also took a quick ferry ride from the port to Qijin Island. Manila. We docked within walking distance of Intermuron, the old town. We did a 2 hour Bamboo Bike tour, which visited the main old city sites. We didn't really enjoy Manila, and it was very hot and humid. Hong Kong - the cruise port is a long way out so we took the free shuttle bus to Diamond Hill Shopping Centre and station. We did our own touring using public transport - Peak Tram, markets, Ding Dong Trams, Aberdeen Fishing Village, Star Ferry and Sunset at Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront. We enjoyed our time here. Halong Bay - this is no longer a tender port, we docked here. We did an 8 hour Halong Bay Cruise and the scenery is stunning. We stopped for swimming, walked through a magnificent cave, had fishermen row us in small boats into a lagoon and relaxed! Danang - we hired a driver for the day and had a wonderful day - visiting Monkey Temple, north over the mountain to beaches, back to Da Nang to the Dragon Bridge and past city sites to Marble Mountain, where we spent time exploring the caves. Lastly we went to Hoi An Old city at dusk and spent a few hours wandering around- lots of tourist shops, boats on the river and lanterns made it a beautiful place. You do now have to pay the old town entrance fee, but well worth it. On our second day in Danang we had a driver take us back to Hoi An where we did a bicycle tour with Buffalo Tours which was excellent. We rode in bamboo boats, went fishing in the river with a net, had fresh coconut to drink and made our own lanterns. We rode through fields where they grow rice and past little villages....and there ended up being only us and the guide! Nha Trang - the port is a fair way south of Nha Trang and for our boat a tender port, due to a cable car crossing the harbour to Vin Pearl Island! We shared a taxi into Nha Trang and visited Dam Market, then we had a massage booked so we enjoyed this very much. Next we visited Po Cham Towers and a lovely Japanese Bar/Restaurant on the River. Enjoyed our time here. Phu My - the port is 11/2 hours from Ho Chi Min City, so we had an organised tour here - visiting the main sites. Bustling city with thousands of motorbikes! Sihanoukville - this is a 3rd world country but there was construction going on everywhere, mainly by the Chinese. Roads were being sealed and lots of hotels /casinos being built. There was garbage everywhere, but the people were lovely. We did an organised tour visiting a fishing village, temples and pagodas, a Waterfall, beaches, and the central market. Unsealed roads are full of potholes, and it takes quite a bit of time to travel a few kilometres. Interesting to see but not somewhere I would like to return to. Laem Chabang - this port is about 2 hours from Bangkok. As we had 2 days here we elected to stay overnight in Bangkok. We had a private guide and had a wonderful time visiting the main sites. On the 2nd day we used trains and ferries to do more sight seeing on our own - so much to see here, we hope to return to see more. Ko Samui - a tender port. We did a tour here which was fine, but in hindsight would have been better for us to arrange our own transport and spent more time at the beach. Singapore - we spent 3 days here after disembarking from the cruise. We have been here several times before and we caught the metro to our hotel. Sightseeing this time included The Bird Zoo, Pulau Ubin, Jewell at Changi Airport, and the Flower Dome and the new Floral Fantasy, among other things. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I wrote a longer write up as a post to tell people about the Gold and Silver Class benefits on the ship. We stayed in a Grand Loft Suite on deck 15, we also had an Owner's Suite for some relative on the same deck. These were the ... Read More
I wrote a longer write up as a post to tell people about the Gold and Silver Class benefits on the ship. We stayed in a Grand Loft Suite on deck 15, we also had an Owner's Suite for some relative on the same deck. These were the best decorated rooms we have ever had on RCI, particularly the loft suite. The bathrooms were all lovely. As a new ship it was pretty much immaculate. The only thing I didn't like was the open bedroom in the loft where you could hear someone watching the TV below. Gold dining was pretty similar to Coastal Kitchen, service was fantastic. In general the food on the ship, however was mediocre. It was often under seasoned and lacking flavour. Chops was disappointing. Teppanyaki was excellent however. Sichuan Red was good but very spicy, although you could change this. It was too authentic Chinese for my liking. The Windjammer was constantly very busy and unpleasant. We only went in to look. The Silver Dining area buffet available to suite and Diamond guests was much more pleasant. Pizza at Sorrento's was the best I have had on a RCI ship. Entertainment was surprisingly good despite often being in Chinese. My wife and I took part in The Love and Marriage Show and they did it in English also for our benefit. We were told the policy was to add in English if needed. Bars were empty and the 7pm shows very busy. It was quite quiet after 9pm which I found pleasant. Some people may find it too quiet. We didn't find people too pushy, it seems that the policy in China is to get into the lift at the same time people get out. But really it wasn't an issue, just part of being on a busy ship. Embarkation was very slow due to Chinese paperwork which is much more extensive than elsewhere. You cannot disembark until 1 hour after the ship arrives in port. Most people on board were locals so they all started to get off as soon as possible ignoring stated times. The gym was small, but was not busy and seemed fine to me. Public areas were generally quieter than on other ships. Everyone seemed to be at The Windjammer. Pools were also quiet. We enjoyed the stops in Japan, Nagasaki and Kagoshima. We took a tour in Nagasaki and had a lovely guide for English speaking people. I found it haunting and sad. We walked around in Kagoshima and took the local tram. This was easy and way better value than the ship's tours. People were lovely. It was the shortest cruise I have been on and I personally found 5 days a little short. Overall we really enjoyed it and would happily go back, my only real gripe was the food. It seems to me that these Chinese cruises are also cheaper than elsewhere for similar cabins so I thought it was good value. For Europeans flights are probably cheaper to China than the US. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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
We chose this ship because it had been revamped and visited destinations we hadn't visited before. Firstly we were herded into a tin roof waiting area and then pushed along by some of the most arrogant people I have ever met. There ... Read More
We chose this ship because it had been revamped and visited destinations we hadn't visited before. Firstly we were herded into a tin roof waiting area and then pushed along by some of the most arrogant people I have ever met. There was no organization, no dividers to keep people in line , no water as we advanced on our two hour journey through the first shed into a larger area all the while in extreme heat. We were security checked at least 6 times in the line at different spots. There was total chaos. Once aboard we were offered a refreshing drink and warm welcome. The buffet was our first disappointment, it looked like recycled food. You had to be scanned by your cruise card to enter the buffet as was the case with every entry into the buffet or dining room for a meal. Elderly people forgot their cruise card often and had to return to their cabins to collect. Entertainment was excellent for the first 3 nights but after that they were repeated and the only new show was by a purchased ticket at a cost. The rooms were lovely very adequate for us, a very large window , seperate shower and toilet. Rooms were not usually cleaned in our area until around 2 pm when we would find our Dream News on our bed for that day. Food in the dining room was very nice, well presented , although carpet was filthy, service from Shanghai to Hong Kong terrible, after that it improved. Hardly any English speaking waiters or staff at help desk or pursers desk. There was only exercise classes held in the main forum of the ship right next to the help desk so impossible to hear or talk. The ports were certainly the worst part. we stopped at Hong Kong and due to some problems on the ship we were shuttled into an area at 5 pm and was told the last shuttle back was 5.45 pm or to catch a taxi back. Nha Trang was a highlight , the tour company was very well organized and English speaking. Ho Chi Minh City , we caught a shuttle bus to the port gate and then told we had to catch a taxi into Ho Chi Minh about an hour and half away. Had we got our News the previous day we could have caught a bus in, but all tours were extremely expensive. Nha Trang cost $137 each for the day.We then departed the ship in Singapore.Our passports were confiscated for the whole duration of the cruise , this is a very dangerous practice as if anyone should miss the ship due to unforseen circumstances they would have had no way of getting out the country let alone boarding a plane to meet the ship at the next port. This is my 28 th cruise and without a doubt my 1st and last with this cruise line. So many people wanted to cancel drink packages when they realized they were charged $90 a day and there was only two drink waiters we saw each evening for the entire dining room. Chinese people were given special treatment during dinner time, allowed to bring in alcohol in boxes, had food bought in from the speciality resturant . There was only one Australian wine and one NZ wine listed and the second night they did not have the Australian wine left. Service was so slow we walked out without breakfast after 50 minutes, and another night they forgot our meals altogether. One morning a breakfast was put in front of a passenger and after about 5 minutes when they realized it was the wrong meal , the waitress picked it up and then put it at another table, fortunately the lady had seen this and refused the meal. There was no bin near the toilet door so you could use a paper to open the door , nor sanitizer. a very large group had a meeting with the purser and demanded their gratuities refunded, when I asked I was told I booked through an agent so couldn' have it refunded. I had booked my cruise direct with the company. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The destinations were numerous and interesting and the 14 days to relax after a 9 day tour of China was very inticing. The price was exceptional. On board the cruise staff were warm and welcoming. They did everything possible to make ... Read More
The destinations were numerous and interesting and the 14 days to relax after a 9 day tour of China was very inticing. The price was exceptional. On board the cruise staff were warm and welcoming. They did everything possible to make sure we had a happy and interesting time. Nothing was too much trouble. The dining options were numerous and varied. The food was beautifully presented and of a very high standard. The service was excellent provided by dining staff who did all they could to ensure we had a great experience. Our inside stateroom was very comfortable. We had tea and coffee making facilities along with a fridge. Our room was serviced daily and kept clean, with fresh towels and linen provided. We loved hanging out in the Palm Court, relaxing and enjoying a drink and a chat with the staff and other travellers. There were many inside and outside areas to visit and enjoy. The pool area was beautiful. We had many enjoyable experiences with cruise staff. We went to as many of the shows as possible. They were of the highest standard with world class acts. We also enjoyed the many other musical and other activities available. We had a wonderful time and would thoroughly recommend Explorer Dream to our friends and family. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Was looking forward to a great adventure in China. It was a very disappointing trip. So much so, that I don't think I'll trust Viking again. We spent $22k. I don't think the trip was worth half that. Don't waste your ... Read More
Was looking forward to a great adventure in China. It was a very disappointing trip. So much so, that I don't think I'll trust Viking again. We spent $22k. I don't think the trip was worth half that. Don't waste your money! We are done with Viking!!! I don't trust them now! The cruise ship, Emerald was run down, old, tired, and certainly not luxury. We upgraded to a suite but didn't get one on this ship. No suites. Balcony was narrow with two medal cheap chairs. Bathroom was old and run down. The dining experience was cheap, noisy, crowded and cafeteria-like. All the tables were for 8 people and round. One could not hear the people across the table. Dining became a nuisance and an annoyance. The food was ok, not great. The service, however, was exceptional. The maitre d was unhelpful and unbending. I'm not sure there was much she could do, but I felt she should have tried instead of just blowing us off. We had 4 for dinner one night and there were only sets of 2 seats left. What a joke! I'm thankful the cruise was only 7 of our 21 days! Hotels in Shanghai, Tibet, Xion and Beijing were excellent! Note, however, that Viking promised complementary wine with all lunches and dinners. That's not the case. No wine in the hotels or local restuarants! Food in the hotels was good, but not great. In 5 star hotels I would have expected awesome food, but not in China. We ate many lunches and dinners at local restuarants. Beware. Most of those meals were second-rate. Eight of our group got stomach aches after one lunch. We even skipped one local dinner and ordered pizza and a bottle of red wine for room service. It was a great alternative to the same old same old local food. Even the Yak burger at Burger King was welcomed! I welcomed taste, tender and huge it was. Generally at lunch and diner the chicken, beef and duck was either tough, dried out or greasy. God bless food in the US! Excursions were accompanied with 3 or 4 other Viking groups, so they were always crowded. We often felt like trapped rats being herded from place to place. Often the mics in the bus were so poor it was hard to understand the speaker. I stopped listening often to avoid headaches. I did the same with the personal mics used during the tours. I would have preferred more factual information about the cities, China, economics, education etc than seemingly personal made up stories by the guides. I dwelt on these issues because I feel that Viking could have affected them, improved them, and have control over them. But they chose not too, and offer a mediocre experience. Visiting all we did was extraordinary. I came away knowing and understanding much about China. Not all of it consistent with China's propaganda machine. The disappointment is with Viking. I believe many groups could have offered more value and a better experience than Viking did. So beware! This was the most disappointing trip of my last 7 trips. Ugh! Live and learn! Greg Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Seemed like good value offer, had concern about the age of the ship (1999) but schedule fitted into ours.I don't know where the $54 million restoration was spent but all I could see for the money was the upgraded Palace Suites, there ... Read More
Seemed like good value offer, had concern about the age of the ship (1999) but schedule fitted into ours.I don't know where the $54 million restoration was spent but all I could see for the money was the upgraded Palace Suites, there was a lot of painted rust around the ship. Our holiday got off to a shaky start when were booked into a hotel in Singapore when we were really flying to Shanghai where we were to spend 3 nights before the cruise, luckily I picked up the error when I was organising tours in Shanghai. Tried to check in online with Dream Cruises but was not able to do so or book excursions before leaving home. When in transit in Singapore the company handling our transfer to hotel wanted to know where we were ,our agent had not cancelled with them after being notified of the hotel error. Embarkation in Shanghai was a shambles, 2 hours in mob of people on shore was not fun, then another hour on gangway mostly because Dream Cruise use access cards which have to be swiped like a Eftpos machine, not the latest technology as used on other lines. (My travelling companion had to replace her card 6 times during voyage). Communication with crew was difficult, especially in dining room, on one occasion it took four bottles to arrive at the table before the correct one was delivered.I believe some of the crew were replaced in Hong Kong and Ho Chi Min City and by the time we arrived in Sydney things were improving. The service desk was located in the main piazza on deck 7 right next to the entertainment area, try explaining problems to a person lacking skills in the English language with all that background noise in the room! I refused to take an internet package which started at $32 per day and picked up hot spots on shore whilst in port. The stateroom was smaller than we were used to, the wardrobe had two sliding doors which were broken and going by the damage to the door frame had been for quite a while, four small drawers a desk with a drawer but at least it had a decent shower recess with a glass sliding door. Entertainment was brilliant with state of the art technology used to great advantage in the theatre which was of a good size. After finally booking excursions on board the disembarkation procedure and the tours were very good and we enjoyed them immensely. Ate in the dining room, did not like the choice of food in the Lido buffet,mostly Asian influence where as the dining room had a good range of choice on the various menus. The eating areas closed early in the evening and after many complaints the opening hours were extended. The excuse was that the Chinese eat early and hit the casino. We did not eat at any of the speciality restaurants which specialised once again in Asian food. The ships water supply was supposed to be drinkable but after the first week the drinking signs came down and we had to use bottled water. Without any notice, whilst in port workers started repainting the ship, we suddenly had a worker on a gantry looking into our cabin, no regard to privacy for the passengers. Disembarkation was the worst I have encountered. one hour late due the fact that they allowed most of the Asian passengers off first and that caused big delays with immigration. When our turn came to go the rest of the Asians tried to bullock their way through the line, almost a mutiny from the remainder (anglo minority) of the passengers. I would not travel with this line again, it will be hard work for Dream Cruise to satisfy Australian travellers unless they up their game., big trouble if any Americans are on board, P&O have nothing to worry about. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My husband and I decided on this cruise because it was so culturally immersive. We left out of shanghai and embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. Make sure you write out the name of the cruise port in Chinese if your taking a taxi ... Read More
My husband and I decided on this cruise because it was so culturally immersive. We left out of shanghai and embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. Make sure you write out the name of the cruise port in Chinese if your taking a taxi there because the drivers don’t know English. Also make sure they use the taxi meter so your not over charged. We got a balcony cabin and the room was super spacious and larger than other regular balcony rooms in other ships. We had cabin 9160 and it was awesome. The entertainment and announcements were all done in both English and Chinese and they did an awesome job. The ports were all amazing and it was the first time this ship had gone to Vladivostok and Kyoto so we had an awesome send off from the locals on the pier. All the staff onboard were awesome and super friendly. Everyone speaks English on board as well as most can also speak Chinese. The food was so yummy and the menu was huge every night! I would defiantly cruise again on this ship! The shows were well rehearsed and better than the ships in the Caribbean. The only thing was the shopping wasn’t the greatest on board. It was all super high end shops. The pools and hot tubs were never ever busy and super easy to find a chair. They do not have walking waiters by the pool or shows for drinks so be aware. There is no bingo on board either if that’s your thing. This ship is so different from the ships in the Caribbean but everything was great! There is always lots of activities to do presented in both English and Chinese. The ship never felt crowded even in the windjammer! They have a great variety of both western food and Chinese food which is awesome to give new things a try. Kyoto Japan was our favourite port of call so if you go make sure you get the motor coach into the city with royal! Vladivostok was really pretty and the locals were all very nice. You cannot go ashore without a visa or booking a tour directly with the ship so we booked a tour. Fukuoka japan was great too but the prices of merchandise was higher here. We also did explore dazaifu and you get free time to shop! Great tour! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise because I wanted to have a holiday and I feel that my best holidays are at sea. We had never been to Shanghai before or Vietnam. The rest of the ports we had been to either by ship or plane before so we just relaxed. ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to have a holiday and I feel that my best holidays are at sea. We had never been to Shanghai before or Vietnam. The rest of the ports we had been to either by ship or plane before so we just relaxed. The Majestic Princess lived up to my expectations. It certainly is big. The seating areas around the interior of the ship were excellent and comfortable. The cabin was excellent and the service by our cabin steward was first class. The dining room seating was excellent and the food was first class. I cannot remember not liking any dish. The entertainment as far as shows were concerned was fabulous. The comedy was so so and most activities I did not participate in. I was there to relax. The cabins are so quiet and peaceful and you can double lock the rooms for that afternoon nap or just sit on your balcony and watch the world go by. As I said we had been to many ports before but when we decided to go on a tour we went with the Princess shore tours. I know they are little expensive but I still think they are the best on offer and guarantee that the ship will be there if you get back late. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because we were visiting China and it fitted in with our timetable. Decided it was a great way to get home instead of flying and hadn’t done a Princess Cruise before. We spent 10 days prior to the cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were visiting China and it fitted in with our timetable. Decided it was a great way to get home instead of flying and hadn’t done a Princess Cruise before. We spent 10 days prior to the cruise exploring Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu and Shanghai. The embarkation and disembarkation were a credit to Princess Cruise as was the organization for each excursion. We enjoyed the variety of ports, the food in the main dining room was good, but the food in the Lido on deck 16 was average. It was only ever lukewarm and very repetitive. The entertainment in the theatre left a lot to be desired and the continuous days at sea were long. Other cruises have run workshops, seminars and information sessions, which were replayed on the tv in your room for you to watch if the coincided with other things. Unless you were into dancing, bingo or casino there was very little to do. The crew were fantastic and it is the first cruise we have done where all the crew appeared to be genuinely happy and getting on with each other. These negatives only relate to a small part of the cruise and I would not hesitate to do another Princess Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because we hadn't been to Vietnam before. We did one paid excursion to Saigon which took 90 minutes from the port an expensive trip but there was no other option. We found the drinks expensive at around $9.00 a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we hadn't been to Vietnam before. We did one paid excursion to Saigon which took 90 minutes from the port an expensive trip but there was no other option. We found the drinks expensive at around $9.00 a stubbie and $14.00 for a wine even having a few drinks a day came out at about $500 extra for the cruise.Princess has a strict one bottle of wine per person rule so no beer or spirits for the boys for 20 days .The ship itself is new but troublesome to get around ,the layout was confusing with lots of dead ends. The lifts were incapable of transferring the huge number of older passengers. Meals were average with the occasional nice surprise ...Embarkation in Shanghai was a joke 3 hour wait in very hot conditions.Entertainment from the passengers and crew were of a higher standard than some of the acts...I think we followed on with some of the Asian influence whilst relocating to Australia. Disembarkation near Brisbane's Sewerage outlet is not a good look for the cruise line or The State Government of Queensland. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We embarked on this cruise in Shanghai, and the embarkation was a fiasco (even with priority boarding) but the Chinese authorities do seen to be able to make every simple process more complicated ( we had the same when entering the country ... Read More
We embarked on this cruise in Shanghai, and the embarkation was a fiasco (even with priority boarding) but the Chinese authorities do seen to be able to make every simple process more complicated ( we had the same when entering the country via the airport) Now to the ship and cruise, firstly these mega liners from the princess fleet are very ugly, no classic lines to them just like a floating tenement block from the 1960''s, only not grey concrete in colour., they are well appointed inside and we have no issue in this respect. The ship is big and this means a hike ( and a packed lunch) every time you wish to visit a new venue, not a problem for us but people with mobility problems should be aware of this, also with this amount of passengers expect crowded venues, we did not see any shows due to a lack of seating in the theater, and us not being prepared to stand in queue for an hour before each performance. Food was acceptable, but nowhere near as good as two or three years ago, seems as though you have to pay extra for what was the norm then. We hate the way they try to up-sell. The cruise its self was as we expected, no trouble with the destinations (there could have been more) but on the whole OK. In general we left felling a bit disenfranchised with Princess this time, and this is after a long time cruising with them, it is sorry to say making us now look to other cruise lines for the experience that we now find lacking with princess Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I thought the destinations were interesting and had enjoyed previous princess cruises. This ship was not as pleasant. Bed was too narrow, pillows dreadful & music deafeningly loud. Comedians crude and rude. Not many shows mainly ... Read More
I thought the destinations were interesting and had enjoyed previous princess cruises. This ship was not as pleasant. Bed was too narrow, pillows dreadful & music deafeningly loud. Comedians crude and rude. Not many shows mainly single entertainers catering to one nationality not everyone. Excellent violinist Katei and singer Chris Powey were the standouts. Entertainment in theatre generally poor Evening trivia fun. Trivia in general pretty good. Library was devoid of books some people took out 8 not one at a time, others struggled to find one. Food was sometimes cold on delivery in dining room. Layout on Lido was confusing. Staff generally helpful and pleasant but under pressure from full ship 3500 persons Music around the ship was deafening especially drums. Hard to have a conversation at times. Plenty of dancing at others. Improved cafe service in that food is no longer extra charge and a good selections available. Good in that there was in general plenty of seating. Great area on deck 17 for relaxing tho not big enough so be quick! Great gym, plenty of good equipment. Good massages in spa, watch out for added gratuity even if you didn’t agree to it. Added charges and instant credit card charges plus extra tax on the use of ship card every purchase. Felt as if herded into an environment where folk were pressured to buy and a forced gaiety required. I’ve cruised many times this was the least enjoyed one. The shore excursion for Crazy Rich Asian fans was disappointing One other excursion was cancelled due to lack of numbers. Health was a priority but people not always careful, bad chesty coughs prevalent, some unwell guests thro that. I would not choose this ship to cruise on if I could avoid it. Chosen because it was new and offered destinations of interest. Renee@NZ Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Excellent value for money visiting places we always wanted to see.The entertainment was on the average very good, 3 spectacular productions, the comedians were also above average. The dining experience was outstanding, the quality and ... Read More
Excellent value for money visiting places we always wanted to see.The entertainment was on the average very good, 3 spectacular productions, the comedians were also above average. The dining experience was outstanding, the quality and food presentation was as if in a fine dining restaurant. There was a guest speaker, a Dr Michelle May from the United States who was exceptional and we would have very much appreciated more allocated time for her lectures. The onboard activities, golf, putting carpet bowls, dance classes etc were very well organised and attended. The crew in all departments were very good with some exceptional, our dining room waiters in the Symphony restaurant made dining there an absolute pleasure, As with all cruises there are a few downsides, more control is needed when it comes to showtime, notices on the closed doors when rehearsals are in progress state that doors will open 30 minutes before the show begins, but are opened an hour or so before resulting in no seating being available if you arrive on time. Another source of concern was the unhygienic practice of some passengers who were admitted to the Market Place without washing their hands. We are Princess fans and have booked a future cruise as it we always come home refreshed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise solely to see what the Majestic Princess, was like. The itinerary did not have much bearing on our choice as we have been on many similar, over recent years. Follows are some of our observations and experience. ... Read More
We chose this cruise solely to see what the Majestic Princess, was like. The itinerary did not have much bearing on our choice as we have been on many similar, over recent years. Follows are some of our observations and experience. Design: Majestic Princess is the 3rd of the new Royal Class ships that have been launched over the past five years. Despite what some may say, the Majestic was built by Fincantieri in Italy, yes to partly service a new China/Taiwan market but also spending 6 months in the South Pacific/Australia/NZ. Apart from the bilingual signage(like Diamond), maybe a small number of dedicated karaoke rooms, a few mahjong tables(actually a card table with drink holders in each corner)in the Hollywood Pool Club/ Conservatory, noting both karaoke and mahjong have been offered on most, if not all, Princess cruises we have travelled on in the past, there is very little to justify comments that it was “designed and built” for the Chinese market. The ship has a genuine International feel about it, not, as some say, designed for the Chinese market, implying a significant bias in design. It could be at home with a multitude of cultures, without imposing one over any other. Layout on World Fresh Marketplace Bistro/Buffet D16 Lido is poorly designed/planned and confusing to most. More on that later. The Vista “Gaming” lounge does not have the same flexibly/functionality in design/usage as in other ships for similar area. It doesn't have a bar, nor overhead monitors for relaying exercise/dance lessons. Apart from Bingo/Trivia/Zumba and Tai Chi, most activities are now staged in the Piazza. There were 4 table tennis enclosures on the starboard side of D17, which had been covered with shade cloth which, I image, was to reduce the effect of prevailing wind and turbulence caused by a moving ship on an open deck. The area was only to be used on the first few days for daily table tennis comp, which was moved indoors to the Hollywood conservatory where 2 tables were set up either side of the pool bar, which would resolve the wind problem, leaving the outdoor tables with little or no use. The lack of a proper Promenade Deck was a common complaint. Sitting on deck chairs under cover, exposed to the sea or walking around a deck on a cruise ship is one of those traditional activities most cruisers enjoy. You could partially walk around D7, squeezing past survival crafts or on D17 but not a complete circuit as some outdoor areas were assigned to smokers on D17 and on D7. There was no pool at the rear of the ship like on the Regal (sister ship) but in its place, according to the on the floor plan Deck 17 aft, immediately above the Wake View Bar, was shown as “outdoor exercise circuit/area” but surprise, was a large sundeck and undercover seating that had been assigned to smokers giving then a them a grand view aft. Didn’t get to use gym this cruise but it appeared to have a good range and plenty of equipment and not to be busy (maybe because of the passenger demographic) There were only two positives, the first and most beneficial was the new complementary, adults-only Hollywood Pool Club/Conservatory at the front of the ship on deck 17. It appeared to be a popular and relaxing venue, with a good indoor pool, adequate lounges and cabanas, plus some general areas for playing cards or just lounging around. It was like a “sanctuary” area but free of charge for all passengers. It was also open at night, for a late night swim or an uncrowded area to congregate, away from the noise of the Piazza. The second new feature that was very popular, was the laser shooting range, on the sport deck. On days when it was available, you had to book in the morning, as the time (late afternoon) and numbers were limited. This activity was popular with both men and women, testing their skills on a realistic (laser)shooting system. You could shoot simulations of tin cans, balloons, clay targets, to bird, deer and charging boars, giving a brief respite from the boring alternative activities on board. Accommodation: Cabin design/décor showed slight improvements whilst maintaining continuity in the Princess décor/style. Bedding was ok with multiple pillows but the pillows were far too soft (no support) resulting in sore neck. 2 pillows was an option, if you could contort them into a more supportive position. Entertainment: Only 3 evening and one afternoon (yes) production show on a 23 day cruise. Production shows may have displayed higher technical support but cast members were only average. We only saw one new production show, which we hadn’t already seen, so we tended to avoid the theatre, too help maintain our good health, on the cruise. In addition to production shows, single entertainers prevailed, most seen before, some we avoided but the violinist Katei and singer NZ Chris Powley NZ singer were consistently good again(after seeing many times before). There was the “Voice of The Ocean” concert, with performances by fellow passengers and an “International Crew Show”. Both shows were well received and probably would out rating some of the paid performers. The new 900 seat Princess Theatre for 3500 passengers was ridiculous. The theatre cannot accommodate the demand by passengers to attend. You either got there 30 - 45 mins prior to show if you wanted a reasonable seat or just to get in but they did provide a video link to Princess Live and Vista lounge venues, for what that was worth, for those who couldn't get a seat in the venue. Activities: With so many sea days and too few activities that you could actively participate in, other than Bingo, Trivia, Knitting, cards or just sitting around watching a handful passengers on the dance floor in the Piazza, there was very little else to do. The activities on this boat were geared toward the 70-90 age group. We were so bored, albeit saved by a reasonable selection of in cabin movies, like many others, were longing for the cruise to end. Internet Café/Library on D7: IT support staff on duty were very to helpful but someone forgot to update the floor plan to include the Internet Café on D5 in a converted Karaoke Room. I stumbled across by chance. Cabin Wifi reception was not great but much better in the Internet Café room on D5 where there were 8 workstation Desktop PCs plus one printer. One table and lounge, if you had your own laptop. Not well known as most of the time, the room was empty. The Library was a joke, with very limited shelving space and devoid of any books, for most of the cruise. Dining: Layout on World Fresh Marketplace Bistro/Buffet D16 Lido poorly planned and confusing. There was a “Bistro” serving area and “Bakery” then the Buffet, with two separate serving lines, with an interconnecting area between both, for standard self serve options but all serving areas had to be serviced by staff through one central staff entry/exit section, dividing the Bistro/Bakery and the Buffet areas. Staff would have to compete with patrons in negotiating the movement of some food items as well as used tableware. At times trolleys blocked or reduced through access in a common walkway to either area to access/ connect to a centralized internal galley operations area. Then there was the food, which to some, with simple tastes was ok, but not to others, serving up the same range of dishes every night, maybe with the odd variation. Some likened the quality of food as to what you’d find at mediocre club or shopping mall food hall at home. The menu items and quality (both traditional dining/buffet) were nothing like what we have experienced on previous Princess Cruises, where you generally had what was on offer, in the dining room plus a varied range of standard meats/ vegetables, pasta etc available in the buffet, along with an occasional themed night, German, Indian etc, with dishes to match. This was a common gripe, usually by seasoned Princess cruisers, whilst some did say it was ok, but recognized “they had very simple tastes”. We met a elderly, down to earth couple, who sat down with us, with a couple of slices of fresh crusty bread and butter (plus water), as that was all that appealed to them from what was on offer……….I could sympathise, as sometimes, my evening meal was a combination of fruit and a few scopes of ice-cream which was available from the dessert bar in the Bakery. There were some positives. Alfredo’s Pizzeria, did a roaring trade, maybe due to the poor offerings in the buffet or dining venues. It was also nice to see ice-cream back in the buffet, as it was dropped, on past cruises, in recent years. In addition, the Majestic did have new coffee ground brewing machines in the bistro, so at least, the coffee was more palatable than on previous cruises, not great but an improvement, but someone needs to taste and adjust the hot chocolate option, as it was terrible. Another source of concern was the unhygienic practice of some passengers who were admitted to the Market Place without washing their hands at the new hand washing stations. The vast majority of passengers did so but many were not stopped or requested by staff stationed to do so at the entrance, walking straight through, unchallenged. Dining service varied on this ship. In Traditional Dining rooms, you could not fault the service compared to World Fresh Marketplace Bistro/Buffet where wait staff/deck attendants appeared to be very indifferent to patrons, sometimes aimlessly wandering around, paying little attention to patrons, clearing or cleaning vacant tables. Requesting drinks was hit or miss, some would attend but disappear to return much later or to the wrong table. This indifference to service could also be seen in supervisory staff, who in general, paid little attention to patrons and issues (uncleared tables) and tended to chat amongst themselves without performing any real supervisory role. But in making such a generalisations, there were a few exceptions, where the individual staff members, did provide service in the Buffet/Bistro but again they were the exceptions, notably Andrea and Mario, both from Peru, plus Acacia from Brazil-Waiter-Pool Side always had a happy and welcoming greeting to all patrons and stood out against all others in their attitude and service, not only to us, but appeared to do so for all patrons they served. Service on our table in the Concerto Traditional dining room was exemplary with Nathanael(waiter from South Africa) and Ronald (Senior Waiter from the Philippines) displaying a positive attitude and fine service, not only to us, but to all patrons they served. Note: We did not use any of the specialty restaurants(so we won’t comment), as we had already paid for all inclusive meals in you fare. Maybe the general reduction in food standards might be intentional to encourage patronage of such venues. Embarkation and disembarkation: For us, it was extremely quick although some say it was a lengthy process. …..but I know embarkation did not go as advised. We were all told there was to be progressive embarkation, based on deck, at designated times and priority for some within those times. We were to board at 6pm. We were aimlessly killing time in the afternoon, planning to arrive at 5pm (1 hour before scheduled progressive check in time), so we thought we might wait at the terminal. On arrival at 3.30pm, large numbers were already waiting but as we had priority boarding, we were waved straight through, quickly through Princess check-in, then immigration, no problem. Question: What happened to progressive check-in. Did the majority ignore and turned up before 1pm, then the masses were partially cleared, and by the time we arrived, progressive check-in was scrapped ??? Overall: Come back new! I don’t think so, more like bored, dissatisfied and not very happy. If this is the new standard and direction of Princess Cruises is charting ……..I think there might be more than a few, abandoning this ship and cruise line, unless there is a change back to established standards of service and design. The decline in service and amenity standards is also reflected in the parent company’s stock performance over the last couple of years…..ie down the drain. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and newness of the ship, we were a little concerned because of some of the feedback we had read was not all complimentary, however this Cruise surpassed our expectations in every way . ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and newness of the ship, we were a little concerned because of some of the feedback we had read was not all complimentary, however this Cruise surpassed our expectations in every way . Before the cruise We stayed a Radisson Blu new world which had a great central location near the people's square metro station, we got a 3 day pass which took us all around shanghai. The hotel had a shuttle to the cruise terminal Embarkation took about 1hr 40 minutes but we were seated inside and provided with refreshments Movies under the stars was a bonus and all staff we dealt with on the majestic princess were friendly welcoming and attentive We found anytime dining suited our needs best, never having to wait to long to be seated , we could choose to dine as a couple our share with others There was plenty of deck space and always loungers available and we could get away from the big screen noise if we wanted to . The entertainment was good and there was always plenty of seats at the second show Princess organised our entry visa for Vietnam which made things simpler In na trang we made our own arrangements with Jeep it Up , ex Vietnam jeeps driven around the sites of Na Trang which we thoroughly enjoyed. In Singapore and Busan we used the local metro which was easy and cheap In Saigon we did the princess excersion to Cu Chi tunnels it was very interesting and the 3 hour bus ride each way was on good sealed roads and took us through the chaotic Saigon traffic This was our first cruise with Princess and we would definitely sail with them again Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This is currently, the newest ship Princess sails - big however does not mean better. Poor food that was at best warm, inattentive staff, boring activities and No Promenade Deck! Walking around a deck on board a cruise ship is one ... Read More
This is currently, the newest ship Princess sails - big however does not mean better. Poor food that was at best warm, inattentive staff, boring activities and No Promenade Deck! Walking around a deck on board a cruise ship is one activity liked by many cruisers but not on this boat - there is nowhere to walk. We booked on this itinerary because friends asked us to go, they unfortunately had to pull out at last minute so we decided to go rather than loose cost of fare. With so many sea days and very few activities other than Bingo, Knitting, cards or just sitting around, we were counting down the days to get off. The ship outlay just doesn't flow well and deck 16 continually has water puddles making it dangerous for guests to navigate this deck to the Market Place. The Market place - though large in size, the food selections were awful, not nearly as nice as the food on the Sapphire or Emerald Princess. It was hard to get a coffee or juice - too many people - not enough staff. Had dinner at the Crown Grill one night and had planned to eat there on the four formal nights - after first experience - did not eat there again. Took ages to get served and then they rushed course after course in a hurry to get you out! Check in in Shanghai was a joke and getting off in Ports like Singapore or Vietnam meant you only ended up with a half day at most. The big shows were great and we enjoyed them very much, the other entertainers were fine as well. This boat seems geared for the Asian Market so it will be interesting to see what other Australians feel about it as it is here for an East Coast/New Zealand season. The Port lectures were so boring that we ended up just watching the bits we wanted on TV - this guy didn't have much information on the ports and his favourite saying was that he couldn't find any information on...... - wasn't it his job to find it out? We were so disappointed in this cruise that we have cancelled our Princess cruise for next year. I think, if you have a lot of sea days (13 out of 20 for this itinerary) then look for a boat that offers more on board activities. The activities on this boat are geared for the 70-90 age group. Have travelled on the Sapphire and Emerald Princess boats and enjoyed both of these cruises. The only good thing was that no tipping was applied to our room accounts however the alcohol and drinks were expensive on board. We were not big drinkers, did not gamble ahd only purchased 1 ship shore excursion and even with our $1250 free credit still had a shipboard account of over $900. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We joined the cruise at Shanghai after a week in China visiting Beijing, Xian and Shanghai .with Wendy Woo Tours who were excellent. Don't try to Facebook etc in China as its all blocked including Google although email works. ... Read More
We joined the cruise at Shanghai after a week in China visiting Beijing, Xian and Shanghai .with Wendy Woo Tours who were excellent. Don't try to Facebook etc in China as its all blocked including Google although email works. The processing getting onto the ship was quick and efficient and the ship is magnificent, now where it gets interesting. The cruise is labelled 'East meets West' for a reason and embarking from Shanghai should give you a clue. Maybe 80% of the people were Chinese and from what I've been informed 800 children . People from different shore have different standards - lets leave it there! Formal wear for evening meal at restaurants was a joke where the any standard was acceptable (why have formal wear then)with whatever they wanted (Shorts,t Shirts , flip flops) , Americans, Aussies and Brits made the effort to dress correctly although after seeing what the standard was many of us, including me, dressed down to meet the downward standard. I thought the food was of a high standard. I only went to the Buffet at Breakfast and it was always busy and tables were at a premium so my wife and I eat breakfast by the pool where there was loads of empty seating. Food is catered to both Chinese and western tastes. Entertainment had be be revised to meet both spectrum's and I think it was a success although everything being said had to be repeated in English and Cantonese. The shows were excellent and should be commended. There where plenty of sun beds to be had although they were far less walking waiters on the decks because again Chinese not being drinkers. The cruise trips were excellent where the Chinese and non Chinese had separate trips and the guides knew their stuff. Japan was less compressed than China and I personally enjoyed the experience. The weather was stiffing with high humidity and the sweat was pouring off you just walking around on shore trips. Take an umbrella to protect you from the sun and a face cloth to wipe the sweat off you. Once again the cruise industry are not catering for vegetarians (my wife being one) and they need to get on board with this requirement. Too many chats with the Head Waiter were had. The cabin we had was excellent but all cabins on every ship are about the same. All in all a good cruise but people must be aware that this cruise is catered towards the Chinese. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
People spitting on floor whilst sitting in spa, people spitting on carpet in marketplace buffet, people blowing snot from nose and spitting in hand basin that you are expected to wash hands in prior to entering food court, Casino door ... Read More
People spitting on floor whilst sitting in spa, people spitting on carpet in marketplace buffet, people blowing snot from nose and spitting in hand basin that you are expected to wash hands in prior to entering food court, Casino door continually left open and smoke streaming out into main atrium, children allowed to run riot on dance floor after 10pm. Princess usually has dress standards for dining rooms. None applied on this cruise, you could wear singlet top basket ball shorts and slip on sandals, jeans T-shirt’s and you’d be allowed in. We ended up staying away from pool and spa as we couldn’t stomach the snorting and spitting, it made our stomach turn. We spent majority of time in our cabin watching movies. We ate in the dining rooms onboard 5 times and each time the food was luke warm/cold. The staff were doing the best they could with the circumstances they had to deal with. Marketplace Buffet had a huge variety of food choices but trying to get a seat after you had selected your food was a challenge. Some passengers refused to share tables and made it very had for the staff. The amount of food left on peoples plates was terrible to see. We were in cabin E416, our Steward Rommel was amazing, he actually made our cruise. Princess is very lucky to have him he went over and above in every aspect of looking after us. We had evening room service twice as we couldn't face the thought of the catastrophe that was the dining rooms. It was excellent, best meals on the ship. The coffee shop on level 5 was very good, the food was always hot and the staff were exceptional in their service and care. Come back new??? Not us we came back discussed, frustrated, angry, annoyed, disappointed, mortified and concerned, as we’d already booked and paid for cruise with Princess in December. Fingers crossed, with saying that we must say that in the many cruises we have done with Princess we have never had one complaint or issue, service standards have always been well beyond our expectations. . Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our balcony cabin with of a sofabed on deck 15 in a nice quiet location which we choose diliberatly had been given to someone else. We only found this out onboard and not at checkin. We were given a mini suite instead but sadly the ... Read More
Our balcony cabin with of a sofabed on deck 15 in a nice quiet location which we choose diliberatly had been given to someone else. We only found this out onboard and not at checkin. We were given a mini suite instead but sadly the location was so bad we spent most of our cruise sleep deprived from the noise the crew made dragging tables and chairs around from midnight till 1am and then again at 4am. Complaints fell on deaf ears. Cabin wasn't ready, shelves were dirty, floor dirty, not enough toiletries for 3 in a room. We had to find our own luggage as it went to the wrong cabin. Buffet food - mostly Chinese food & same nearly every evening. Main dining rooms was pretty poor quality food so we choses not to dine there. Speciality restaurant: Harmony (Chinese) was average and not worth the extra cost. La Mer main menu not great but we ate Chef Darren Maclean's own menu 2 nights running and this was the only decent food onboard. staff took our drinks away whilst we had a photo with chef after the nine course & wine paring evening. pool deck Free ice-cream worst I've ever had. Buffet area has Plastic plates & bowls which is terrible. Buffet staff could not manage and tables sat dirty unless you asked staff to clean them. Gym area is poor, stretching area always used for seminars, Kareoke mostly Chinese songs. Ports: Shimizu isn't a great port but credit to the people of this small town who went out of their way to be helpful. Also Kochi isn't worth stopping at. Osaka should be an overnight stop there is so much to do and no time to do it. Took 3 excursions with Princess, they were good but expensive, I do question the time wasted on lunch which is included in the full day excursions. The ship is CROWDED. Everyone I met on the ship said it was ridiculous how many people are squeezed into rooms onboard. 6+ in small balcony rooms. Staff told us 4000 Chinese passengers were onboard when it should have been 3000. Apparently the ship just added more beds to cabins, shocking, is that allowed?. This is a cruise for the China Chinese only, it does not work for anyone else. The cultural differences will defiantly impact on you. Spitting in the pool, spitting on plates in buffet, shouting, pushing in, children in the adults only area throughout the whole cruise. I met several Chinese passengers from Singapore and Hong Kong who felt very uncomfortable with the behaviour of the majority passengers. There were 2 good shows at the theatre and thats about it. The language issues made most entertainment difficult. This cruise felt budget, unsafe, lawless and to be honest insulting. Disembarkation was chaotic, no crew around to help, passengers missed flights as they were unable to get off the ship in time, we just made it to the airport for our flight but we had to make a lot of noise to get off. Shameful. This is not how you say goodbye to customers, get some training. I do NOT recommend this cruise to customers outside of China. This cruises is totally aimed at China Chinese only. This cruise was certainly no Princess. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019

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