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26 Tokyo (Yokohama) to Transpacific Cruise Reviews

I have always wanted to visit Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands because my grandfather was a ship's carpenter there in 1910. I turned 80, the first night on the ship. Northern Japan has the influence of both Asia and Siberia in ... Read More
I have always wanted to visit Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands because my grandfather was a ship's carpenter there in 1910. I turned 80, the first night on the ship. Northern Japan has the influence of both Asia and Siberia in the faces of the people. Petropavlovsk on Siberia's Kamchatka Peninsula was fascinating because very few of us get to Siberia and this was an easy way. The volcanic museum was amazing, as was the presentation by its director. It's a large city with soviet-era block apartments and undoubtedly, subs anchored offshore. The sailing across the Bering Sea was uneventful. Sure, swells but I enjoy them, and these big ships have good stabilizers. We changed time zones 8 times! I kept asking reception for the correct day. The Aleutians are remote, and few Americans know the the history of the Japanese facing American troops there in WWII. Kodiak was picture perfect, although the bus driver tried, but could not find a bear for us. Still hibernating. I especially liked Seward, a small community with its harbor and Russian Orthodox Church. I had been there in the late 80's and like everything else, it has turned into a cruise ship port. The ship's entry into Lynn Canal and the Hubbard Glacier had everyone on deck to watch the calving and scenery. Ketchikan was ok, but by then I was spoiled. Victoria and Vancouver are always worth visiting. Both are beautiful cities with outstanding museums, well worth the time to visit. Landing in San Francisco and my home (only 45 minutes after disembarkation) was a definite plus. The crews and service staff on this cruise line are always superb. Unfailingly kind, courteous, knowledgeable and very smart. (All international.) This cruise had some passengers traveling with canes, 1 or 2 wheel chairs, oxygen, etc. The crew was there pronto whenever anyone needed help. The ship's Norwegian medical officer (whom I had met on another cruise when I carelessly fell on my tush) was kept reasonably busy. I loved having the stateroom all to myself. Sorry, hubby. Fabulous adventure. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our third cruise with Viking ocean. We chose this trip for the itinerary. We had never been to Asia and liked the ports in both Asia and Alaska. Crossing the Int’l Dateline added to the attraction. We were in the Orion in ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Viking ocean. We chose this trip for the itinerary. We had never been to Asia and liked the ports in both Asia and Alaska. Crossing the Int’l Dateline added to the attraction. We were in the Orion in Jan-Feb visiting New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia. This crew was better trained and worked well together. We were pleased with most aspects of the ship. A few little things need work, but nothing major. You know what you get with Viking-it is an older crowd but activities/entertainment were sufficient for us. While some of the entertainment was the same, they did a good job at adding new entertainers. As Viking enters new parts of the world they are learning their way with shore excursions and local customs. Shore excursions were well managed. They do a good job at calling people at the right time and keep waiting times to a minimum. Checkin staff did a great job. Local guides were good. A sufficient level of activities were offered. EMBARKATION a breeze. You can arrive well before your checkin time. You are greeted with a glass of champagne and invited to use the open restaurants. Your luggage will be in your room by your assigned checkin time. DISEMBARKATION-we had a curve thrown as we could not stay in port because of too many ships in Vancouver. Luggage was offloaded in the middle of the night. We didn’t hear a thing. We disembarked via tender according to flight times. Full breakfast services available. You had to be out of your stateroom by 10am. Tenders left according to schedule with staff assisting everyone. Our luggage was waiting at our terminal at the airport. One of the most efficient operations we have experienced. CABINS Deck 3. Be careful of location. Torshavn noise is audible almost every night. Not late into the night, but it may bother some. A very convenient deck. DINING-Dining room and World Cafe offered a varied selection. Soups could use some improvement. Replenishment of eating utensils/napkins was too slow. Chef’s table-staff could use better training. One visit we had two wine pairings and no food. The French menu was too rich; not a good balance between first and main courses. Manfredi’s was very good, but don’t try to have pasta as a separate course-throws them off! SERVICE in general was excellent. Lounges and bar waiters were great. Most were very personable-not long before they know your name and cabin #! Room steward was wonderful-Edwin. SHIP-beautifully appointed. Always spotless. This ship has a dome. I don’t think this is a feature that will be included in the rest of the fleet. Makes the 8th floor area very hot. Eliminates a nice viewing/drinking area. Don’t know if that is the reason why the 7th floor area of the Explorers lounge tends to be cold. The skins on the sofas are starting to shed. Most people rolled them back to protect their clothing! PORTS/excursions. Viking’s first visits to ports can present problems. Most of our excursions were organized. In cases where we took local shuttles the scheduled were mixed. We ended up seeing what we wanted to see. ACTIVITIES-a little more variety on sea days would have been good as this was a long cruise. Lectures varied and sufficient. Like the ability to view the port talk in your cabin on the following day. Very good selection of shows/movies on the in-room system. Free internet a great feature-reception was generally good. Suggestions-have hot water in the World Cafe for hand-washing. There were some illness problems. The internet system in the room for onboard account, reservations, etc needs immediate help. The ship can not control or correct any errors. The dining for Chef’s Table had the wrong info for almost 8 days. The general website also had errors for our trip. The map wasn’t corrected until a few days before we sailed. On board future booking-a great offer that we used. However, you need to book a specific cruise that you know you won’t be using. Mucks up the booking system for other Viking customers and the whole reservation system. Viking needs to keep its attention to detail at a high level as they release the rest of the fleet! We will sail with them again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We tend to prefer longer cruises with sea days. Celebrity almost always has excellent speakers and this cruise was no exception. We tried to catch all the talks. This is our second cruise in Aqua. The ammenities make the trip so much ... Read More
We tend to prefer longer cruises with sea days. Celebrity almost always has excellent speakers and this cruise was no exception. We tried to catch all the talks. This is our second cruise in Aqua. The ammenities make the trip so much more enjoyable so thats what we look for now. Our cabin, an A1 was a long way from the spa and because of the weather we didn't use it. The room was very well done and the bed was very comfortable. By the time we finished breakfast our room was usually finished. Very clean.did n The buffett was usually crowded but never so much that we couldn't find a place to sit. I noticed, and reported, when a guest came back and dumped his leftover food back into the container. After that I only ate what was served. No more self serve. I feel that they should have someone at all the stations. I have no desire to eat a strangers leftovers. The lounge music venues were very nice. The service in Blu as always was excellent. Daniell and Jet, our waiters, Yudie(sp) the Maitre d' and the wonderful hostess were were so friendly and professional. Overall the shows we great with one notable exception. The music was so loud it overpowered the singers and the guest piano player. It was also.was damaging to our ears. Some of the performances we had to leave because of the music. I don't know why the music director thinks that louder is better. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
As the caption suggests, my main dissatisfaction with the cruise was the was overly-amplified "ambient" music everywhere, and it was always of the thump-thump variety. There was no escaping it. I will never cruise on ... Read More
As the caption suggests, my main dissatisfaction with the cruise was the was overly-amplified "ambient" music everywhere, and it was always of the thump-thump variety. There was no escaping it. I will never cruise on Celebrity again. For those who do not object to this terrible noise, I am adding a few comments on other aspects of the cruise. The promotional material said the port of embarkation would be Yokohama. With no explanation and no apology Celebrity sent out an e-mail saying the ship would leave from an freighter port about ten miles from Yokohama. I had to change my hotel reservations. Some people said they didn't get the e-mail, went to the wrong port, and had to scramble. Some poor souls probably failed to make it on board at all. Changes must sometimes be made, of course, but failing to acknowledge inconveniencing your customers and to apologize is a serious breach in good service. Regarding the cabin, the shower was roomy and functioned perfectly. It was the best cruise ship shower I've seen. The little lady who tended to my needs was sweet and responsive. Sheets were changed every three days, which was nice. The bed was over-burdened with huge pillows. I stowed them over the closet and under the bed. My cabin attendant got me a reasonably-sized pillow. The mirror had a big circle of light around it. If I sat on the sofa, the light reflected off my glasses, producing an image in the mirror of me with luminous circular eyes. I was amused. The TVs are bolted to the wall, so when the TV was playing next door, I could hear it. The food in the dining room was mediocre, meaning it wasn't very tasty. The emphasis seemed to be on what is called “presentation.” Typically, food is placed in a heap, rather than segregated on the plate. Maybe this is artistic, but the assemblage has to be taken apart before one eats it. As for the specialty restaurants, I didn't try them. Two [Luminae and Blu] were reserved for people higher up in Celebrity's caste system. As a peasant, I was not allowed in them. There was no library on board. A room called “The Retreat” looked like it served that purpose, but it was off-limits to serfs like me. The ship does not have a card room, but we were allowed to play in the upper dining room near the door into the service area, where there was an escalator in serious need of grease. The throbbing of the escalator, along with thumping ambient music, did not make for a relaxed card game. I imagine dining there would be less than ideal, too. Nearby were tables for two with seats enclosed in a cove of foam. That might help a little with sound abatement. One of the bars had two talented chanteuses and a dance floor. It was a pleasant and entertaining way to spend a little time in the evening. The shows in the auditorium were all grossly over-amplified. The grandest featured elaborately-costumed and energetic dancers wearing fake microphones and lip-syncking to recorded music. I don't expect an orchestra on a cruise ship, but at least the singing should be real. Enrichment included a man who talked interestingly about crime in Los Angeles. The other lecturer, while a dynamic speaker, did not have much of interest to say. His lecture on the Pacific Ocean basically said it is big. I like to go to the gym and use the treadmill. Who needs music playing at all or, if it is necessary, why at such high volume? Maybe you want to watch TV, listen to content on your phone, or just read. The loud music is an annoying distraction. All this noise is a deal-breaker for me. I'll never cruise on Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
While the overall cruise was very enjoyable, since we were with friends, we have for the first time, being Elite members, have found some issues with the food and/or the prep. This was the first time we sailed in Aqua Class, and while ... Read More
While the overall cruise was very enjoyable, since we were with friends, we have for the first time, being Elite members, have found some issues with the food and/or the prep. This was the first time we sailed in Aqua Class, and while the smaller dining room is nice & Blu, gave us access to two menus (Blu and Main), we do not feel the extra cost of Aqua class was merited. There were some instances where the entrees lacked flavor and were overcooked. One of our travelling companions made the remark that the crepe suzettes dessert tasted like "hockey pucks." Early on, we expressed our disappointment to Guest Relations. Subsequently the Head Chef came to our table and explained that the food comes frozen from the US. and that may alter the freshness factor and taste. Having been on numerous Celebrity cruises, Europe, Caribbean and the TransAtlantic, this was quite a unique explanation. On a positive note, service in Blu was excellent and the wait staff were always willing to exchange any food that was not to your liking. The Blu hostess was also extremely accommodating. As on all our Celebrity cruises the cabin attendant "Z" kept our room in excellent shape. Also we had fun with the Celebrity Life staff, particularly with Jaz and Tim. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We took this cruise as a gentle way to go home to Canada from Japan. (We had done an around Japan cruise with Windstar beforehand) It was very enjoyable, food great, staff lovely, entertainment good. There were alot of sea days ... Read More
We took this cruise as a gentle way to go home to Canada from Japan. (We had done an around Japan cruise with Windstar beforehand) It was very enjoyable, food great, staff lovely, entertainment good. There were alot of sea days together but we got a routine of trivias, podium talks, hot tubs and eating in the day as the weather was too cold to be out on deck much or in the swimming pool. The speakers were entertaining, one gave talks on major trials. Another did Buddhism history and meditation and a third did varied talks from Rasputin to dog behaviour. The afternoon progressive trivia was fun if you had got a team together. It wasnt too rough so seasickness wasnt an issue either. We did have to change our clocks forward about 6 separate times to be on Vancouver time by arrival butbetter than getting full jetlag. So repositioing was worth doing, although the stop in Russia was a waste of time except to stretch your legs! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have completed 13 Regent cruises (with 222 nights), and was surprised with a poor review on Cruise Critic from one couple. We were on that same Regent Mariner cruise and had none of the 'problems' described--we adapted ... Read More
We have completed 13 Regent cruises (with 222 nights), and was surprised with a poor review on Cruise Critic from one couple. We were on that same Regent Mariner cruise and had none of the 'problems' described--we adapted to changes that we could not control. Both Regent and we could not control the weather. First--If they did not like their multi-hour air-schedule, it can be changed. We were scheduled on an overnight flight from Vancouver to NYC but we changed it to an early afternoon flight that got us home. Regent’s initial late-day flight selection gave guests the opportunity to take a tour of Vancouver! Ask, and Regent changes the air flights--yes it cost a little money, but we are Platinum level, and one flight schedule change was allowed. Second—This was a relocation cruise--we expected multiple days at sea. We were scheduled to have 5-days-at-sea, and we had 6-days-at-sea, when we bypassed the Russian port. There were wonderful lectures by Hugh Neighbour and Karen Dodd. There were extra social events added to entertain the guests. If you were bored, that was your fault. Third--YES, we skipped the Russian port. Their comment that “ALL OF THE GUESTS WERE UPSET” is very unfair and UNTRUE. There were 50-knot winds over the deck--added to the forward speed of the Mariner, it gives a 75mph deck wind. The decks were closed for outside walking. My wife and I exercised by walking the interior walkways on various decks. There were 23 feet swells. We had very wet and salt encrusted balcony windows, which were cleaned at the next port. I enclosed two photos of the TV screen in our suite showing these numbers. The Mariner has stabilizers, I knew of no one who was sick from mal de mer. The captain/master changed the direction (and avoided the worst of the storm). I saw him at the Coffee Connection, and thanked him, for consideration of the safety of the guests. After his direction changes, we then had MUCH weaker winds, and less than six feet swell. [I BELIEVE that the Mariner was originally scheduled to use their tenders to transport the guests to and from shore at the Russian port. With a pitching sea, it could be a human disaster! On two previous Regent cruises (Amalfi coast, Italy and Galle, Sri Lanka), the Captain declared that the sea was too rough to have guests enter the tenders and we skipped the port!] Fourth--We had great weather on all Alaskan ports; but it rained at Ketchikan, as usual. We did not see the Hubbard Glacier because there was very dense fog. Many guests, including me, stood on the top deck and got wet from the weather. Regent did supply snacks and hot coffee for those awaiting a breeze to dissipate the fog. After about an hour of only seeing sea-ice, the Mariner left Yakutat Bay. The weather then was fine, at distance of about 10-miles where some wind, and a change in air-temperature resulted in no fog and a blue-sky. When the ship was docked in any Alaska port, we often sat outside in the sun on the pool deck for lunch and enjoyed the snow covered mountains, numerous playful otters, eagles, (once saw some orcas playing by our ship), and had another great meal. I know of no one who used the pool, but the hot tubs were used by some. I really cannot understand such a negative review--but it was from one couple. We have three more Regent cruises booked, and look forward to the ship, food, staff, and meeting other well-traveled guests. It is a pleasure to be take care of by Regent. I would highly recommend cruising with Regent for those people who enjoy “joie de vie”. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The cruise was overall quite good. I was very disappointed that we didn’t make our first stop which was Mt Fuji (Simuzi). It was a key stop for us. The additional stops were interesting, especially as we got to Alaska. The Glaciers ... Read More
The cruise was overall quite good. I was very disappointed that we didn’t make our first stop which was Mt Fuji (Simuzi). It was a key stop for us. The additional stops were interesting, especially as we got to Alaska. The Glaciers and the beauty of Alaska is absolutely spectacular. Booking a massage on the cruise was easy and the massage was wonderful. However, the high pressure sales job after to buy all the products spoiled the experience. Word to the wise, don’t book spa services as this happens each time in spite of telling th no. Excursions were extremely pricey, even with a credit per port. The specialty restaurants were ok, with The Bistro top of my list. Carney’s was s disappointment both times we tried it. Moderno’s was okay. tepanyaki was fun and we went twice. Overall a good cruise. Weather was chilly but fine. Thanks for listening. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Chance to see northern Japan, Russian port- which I never could see while in the Navy because of clearances for almost 30 years. Alaska was exceptional, as always- fourth visit. Never stop being overwhelmed with the beauty of the ... Read More
Chance to see northern Japan, Russian port- which I never could see while in the Navy because of clearances for almost 30 years. Alaska was exceptional, as always- fourth visit. Never stop being overwhelmed with the beauty of the country. It truly was a whale bonanza this year- think we can rest easy about the future of the humpback for a while. They are real showmen I'm convinced. Saw some of the lack of crew prep for disembark evolutions that others have noticed. Whatever the reasons, they are non-excusable. Continue to be amazed that people can stare at their phones; difficult to call their phones smart, while viewing some of the most incredible glaciers, wildlife, and natural beauty literally 360 degrees around them. Enough of the negative. Shore excursions were enjoyable, but overpriced through the ship. In Alaska especially, there are many other more reasonable providers of whale watching and White Mountain trips just to name a couple. This really was a unique cruise for me anyway, in that involved northern Japan and Russia. It also was long enough to really make some friends and settle down to a routine of your own choosing- difficult things to accomplish in a week or less cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Cruised from Japan to Seattle, USA. The cruise ship was great, the staff very friendly, the food was good. We had an outside cabin with a large window. Included was the drinks package, special coffees (which could only be used in the ... Read More
Cruised from Japan to Seattle, USA. The cruise ship was great, the staff very friendly, the food was good. We had an outside cabin with a large window. Included was the drinks package, special coffees (which could only be used in the restaurants or the Irish bar), and water, and gratuities. The itinerary was very good with stops in Japan, Russia and Alaska. Getting off the ship at our final destination in Seattle was very slow and some people missed their flights. We arranged our own shore excursions throughout the trip. The only problem was when we were trying to purchase an expensive bracelet in the Tradewinds shop on board and the staff were telling us it was an Effy product, but when we visited the Effy shops on shore they advised it was not an Effy product. The ship could not tell us who actually was the manufacturer. Luckily we did not buy. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was a 21 day from Tokyo to Seattle cruise. We arrived 5 days early in order to explore Tokyo. Hired a local guide and had a great time. Stayed at the Marriott Shinagawa and used their Concierge Lounge. Great hotel and service. We ... Read More
This was a 21 day from Tokyo to Seattle cruise. We arrived 5 days early in order to explore Tokyo. Hired a local guide and had a great time. Stayed at the Marriott Shinagawa and used their Concierge Lounge. Great hotel and service. We took a cab to the ship and the embarkation process was swift and efficient as we had a 2 bedroom (H4) Haven suite. Our suite, Cabin 14010 was filled with mold and mildew. We are allergic to mold and mildew. Mold was also present in the duvette, sheets, and pillows. Steward and butler were great as they changed out everything and brought a HEPA filter. Also A/C ducts blew in dust and mold. Unfortunately none of that helped. We were sick for 12 of the 21 day cruise and wife still has bronchitis 10 days after the cruise. We were finally able to track the problem down to black mold in a leaky drain trough going across the bathroom area. The carpet was also filled with mildew. The crew repaired the leaky drain area several days before the end of the cruise and brought in industrial blowers to dry the area out. The mold and mildew were so bad that I had to sleep on the couch in our living room area and my wife had to sleep in the second bedroom. As if that wasn't enough, disembarkation at the new Norwegian Seattle terminal was a disaster. We had to wait 60 minutes for our luggage (even though we had priority) and when it arrived there was no orderly process to get the luggage. Just one big free for all. We asked the Norwegian terminal what was going on and they just shrugged their shoulders told us to talk to the ship personnel. Lastly, during our Norwegian transfer to the Seattle airport, the luggage compartment door of the bus opened and our luggage went bouncing down the Interstate. Bottom line, Norwegian is a great value, but I have yet to have a cruise with them where everything has gone right. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We certainly enjoyed the food in 'Le Bistro'. The trivia was very good. The itenery was why we chose to take our 1st Norwegian cruise. So much for the good. We bought an outside cabin, with an unobstructed window. That window ... Read More
We certainly enjoyed the food in 'Le Bistro'. The trivia was very good. The itenery was why we chose to take our 1st Norwegian cruise. So much for the good. We bought an outside cabin, with an unobstructed window. That window was so dirty that details we inaccessible. We asked, I begged(!), them to clean the window. They actually told me that those windows only get cleaned during drydock! Seriously? I watched the lady who relayed this to me, and even she could not believe what she was saying. Why buy an outside if you cannot use the window [and in Alaska even!]? She offered me an upscale dining as 'compensation' [we already had 4] and I offered in return to have our charges reduce to cost on Inside cabin, since THAT WAS ESSENTIALLY WHAT WE HAD!!!! Dumbest crap I ever dealt with on any ship. We have had 25+ cruises on other lines and NEVER have, or would have, been told they could not clean out window! The food in the buffet was LOW! No salmon, no steak, no shellfish of any sort. Cheap! And poorly prepared, every piece of beef or pork I had was simply tough. Incredibly, part of the problem was that meat slicers cut WITH the grain instead of ACROSS the grain. A little training needed. Food in Main dining was repetitive, but slightly better. As I said, the Bistro was very good, but the one with all that meat was giving us stuff clearly kept under a sunlamp and was dry and tough, i am sorry to say. As an aside, we both got sick with colds, very bad ones, after Russia, and we certainly do not hold Norwegian at culp for that. I will not say I will never be on Norwegian again. But it will take a truly great itenary at a great price to tempt us from other cruise lines like Princess, Holland, Celebrity, or RCC where service is SO MUCH better. Only our room steward, who did go out of his way to help, was an exception to the 'poor service' experience. I truly hope you reconsider the 'clean window' policy. Only an outside cabin has this problem, since folks with balconies can still see without going updeck. Seriously, this cannot be a rational policy in your mind. And I hope I never sail again on a ship where I cannot get my beloved smoked salmon for breakfast in the buffet. Doug Ralston Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was our 6th cruise on NCL, but our first transpacific. We chose it because of its itinerary, its length, and that it ended as an Alaska cruise, which we have always talked about doing. This combination of Asia, Pacific, and Alaska ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise on NCL, but our first transpacific. We chose it because of its itinerary, its length, and that it ended as an Alaska cruise, which we have always talked about doing. This combination of Asia, Pacific, and Alaska was perfect for us. All the port stops in Japan were wonderful - Yokohama, Aomori, Hakodate and Otaru. The ship docked very close to town, and there was plenty to do in each place. Our most treasured experience was finding an onsen (hot springs bath, all nude, segregated by gender) in Hakodate. We were not impressed with Petropavlovsk though. Access was by tender, which wastes a lot of time especially with old folks with bad knees struggling to get on and off. Prior to the cruise, we were told quite specifically that we needed visas just to roam around town, so the best thing to do was sign up for an NCL shore excursion. Turns out that the Russians will let cruisers with no visas into town, just can't go beyond the city limits. The many days at sea crossing the Pacific was a real treat. Even better was getting an extra Wednesday because we crossed the International Date Line. Conversation with the cabin steward was fun - "what is today?" "Wednesday" "what is tomorrow?" "Wednesday." We did not go to any of the specialty restaurants. Of the free ones, we went to the Azura only once, and ate breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Garden Café buffet the whole trip. Food was good, not great. The first top round roast in the carving station was so tough, however, it defied mastication. Our cabin steward, Aris, was the best. He was never intrusive, did a great job with the room, and answered all our questions. His towel art creations were ones I had never seen before. If it were not for the the ship being even more worn out, we would take her back to Japan in September. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We spent the “ Golden Week “ in Yokohama while the NCL Jewel hosted a private charter. We enjoyed Fruhlings Fest, and the Port festivals and activities while there. We explored and experience the world famous quality from Toyota, ... Read More
We spent the “ Golden Week “ in Yokohama while the NCL Jewel hosted a private charter. We enjoyed Fruhlings Fest, and the Port festivals and activities while there. We explored and experience the world famous quality from Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, Toshiba, Canon, Sony, Panasonic. Japan taught the world " just-in-time " manufacturing, and that organizations should value their employees. This 21 day repositioning cruise from Tokyo to Seattle was our final cruise leg, and return home. The itinerary was 7 sea days, with visits to 4 Japanese ports, 1 Russian port, Hubbard Glacier, and Glacier Bay, and 5 ports in Alaska. Communication issues with customs & immigration , & embarkation processes, were experienced, but to be expected with so many new ports, and several countries. Actually general communication on the ship was rather poor with instructions often being contradictory. Embarkation process was swift and efficient. We very quickly hit our first bump when our very first Japanese port, Shimizu was eliminated, as they announced the ship would remain in Yokohama the following day for mechanical repairs. The remining port stops in Japan were very good: Aomori: Neputa summer festival featured enormous floats with painted screens depicting Japanese Gods, historical figures and mythological beings. Visited the magnificent grounds of Hirosaki Castle. Hakodate: Highlights of Hakodate from the Goryokaku Tower, a 350 foot high observation point, to the busy fish market to the Mount Hakodate Ropeway. Otaru the port city for Sapporo on Hokkaido island (Japan’s northernmost island) is known for glassworks, music boxes and sake distilleries. It is a compact and delightful village for self exploration. Russia was a cold day, but memorable experience with our visit to Petropavlovsk ( St Peter & Paul ) A poor northern Russian city of about 200,000 surrounded by volcanoes. It is home to Russia's largest submarine base. The city proudly reflects its military significance. The gruelling hard winters, of which much snow still remains, toll on roads, pedestrian paths, and buildings is clearly evident. The pristine natural beauty of Alaska's high glacial mountains and tree lined shores. We saw many whales, dolphins, seals, and eagles throughout the passage. The ship's tour of both the Hubbard Glacier and the following day Glacier Bay, professionally narrated by Park naturalists, were very enjoyable. Initially the several public viewing locations were extremely crowded, and people quite rude in the crowds. We retreated to the viewing privacy of our balcony cabin and ventured into the public viewing areas later. Icy Straight Point was a unique cultural experience. Food was reasonable throughout the variety of ship restaurants. We now wonder whether it is a company strategy to have clientel pay more, and dine in the Specialty restaurants in an effort to find something of quality to eat. Cagney's was not the star restaurant on the Jewel with Le Bistro claiming that spot. Moderna & Chin Chin were also good albeit a very limited menu. Our experience with Teppanyaki was more show than food quality. There was a conspicuous absence of fresh salmon, king crab, or seafood of any sort, and much of the beef or pork served was rather tough, and often overcooked. Again we note most restaurant food was only warm - the exception being the Garden Cafe immediately upon opening. One of the most significant concerns remains " head office control " limiting the chefs ability to vary menus, and provide culinary cuisine more reflective of the area of travel. While it is nice to not deal with the logistics of transport, and accommodation in this variety of cities, we did miss out on experiencing the local cuisines – caviar, perogies & sourkraut, smoked salmon & bannock ! Overall entertainment quality and variety was good - the highlight being the Russian gymnasts. However the absence of any entertainment reflective of the oriental, russian, or native cultures, " enrichment programs " cultural , basic language , or port information was disappointing. Two enrichment seminars were given to an absolutely packed Stardust theatre - showing strong client interest. Unfortunately neither expert had ever being to the destination they were presenting on, resulting in weak, internet researched presentations. Onboard activities have been severely curtailed, and many services had very limited hours. The focus was clearly on NCL Shore excursions, and selling additional spa, dining, or health services. For example the library only opened for one hour most days, and although a quiet spot to read it smelled of smoke. Shore excursions desk was also only open briefly, and there were often significant lines. We guess they are trying to embrace the more cost effective electronic culture and encourage you to book that way. Most shore excursions were full bus loads and have become rather pricey. As all locations were new to us we booked primarily NCL excursions. Increasingly we discovered more guests successfully using independent guides, or venturing out on their own with taxis, and they were reporting much more satisfying experiences. The assembly process of participants in the ship theatre, disembarkation & load the tour buses continued to be chaotic, with clients arriving late, not queuing respectfully, & not following instructions. Frankly this waiting and disorganization caused many tours to be less than enjoyable. Using the walking or jogging track you also encounter “ smoking areas “ where your exercise and fresh air experience was dampened. For the most part staff were genuine and helpful, however there were several encounters were it was obvious staff were not allowed to think, and responded accordingly with a " standard answer " even when it made absolutely no sense in the circumstances. Disembarkation in Seattle was an unmitigated disaster ! We understand the ship docked on the opposite side than what was originally planned. As a consequence luggage had to be unloaded in the reverse order that it was organized. Multiple companies services are contracted by NCL to accomplish disembarkation of passengers and luggage quickly and efficiently. The lack of communication between the parties, the uncaring attitudes, and resulting chaos was a horrendous way to end the voyage. While our luggage was scheduled to be available in the first group at 8:00 am it was actually the dead last group some three hours later ! This placed passengers directly into mid-day “ long weekend “ rush hour traffic in downtown Seattle and created many subsequent problems with missed flights, and transportation connections. Not a single word of apology from NCL to its guests. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was our tenth cruise with Princess and it’s likely to be our last. It was a real treat for my sixtieth birthday and as we boarded in Japan and left the ship in Vancouver, via Alaska it was an excellent itinerary. The issue was the ... Read More
This was our tenth cruise with Princess and it’s likely to be our last. It was a real treat for my sixtieth birthday and as we boarded in Japan and left the ship in Vancouver, via Alaska it was an excellent itinerary. The issue was the ship. Sewage smell, random temperatures, clearly not enough staff who seemed stressed and over worked. A few specifics: hubby ordered flowers ($55), after 3 days they were pretty much dead. I took them customer service desk where a pretty uninterested young lady advised me they were only meant to last 3-4 days. I said that this was not mentioned in the literature to order ( it’s more about how fabulous they are etc, no mention of how lucky no they will last), for $55 I would expect at least a week. They did take the dead ones out and put the few remaining into a glass vase but only after I insisted ( the young lady at first said they cannot do this but I persisted). Crown Grill was terrible, the only decent item of the main course was the actual steak, everything else was cold and in the same dishes they use at the buffet (Malamite). Certainly not fine dining. In fairness, After raising this with customer service via a meeting we insisted on having they did ‘as a gesture of good will’ refund both the flowers and crown grill costs. Dining room had friendly staff but the food was typically cold until we asked for it to be hot and then it was always super hot. There were a couple of times when the order can wrong, I I mean the entire main course, and when this was queried our friend was advised that he had ordered it! We were there and he didn’t . Waiter went on to argue saying he had written it down and put the pad under our noses. This happened three times to our friend and became a bit of a joke, we laughed saying it must be his accent :-). We also believe Princess should stop calling it fine dining, you have a beef burger on the ‘available every day’ menu, and what happened to the Parmesan basket for the pasta, maybe small things but endemic of the feel of the experience, trying to cut expenses me thinks. The internet manager went sick so nothing could be done to sort out any problems as only he had ‘the code’ and it couldn’t be given to anybody else. Lots of folks getting very upset as the sign on the desk said (and remained there all the time) back in 15 mins and also another gave hours when the manager would be there. Princess need to get used to the fact that if you book a cruise like ours and all your literature says 23 day cruise that as a customer you do not know that some princess processes think you are on two cruises, it’s ridiculous that you have to argue whether you are on one or two cruises, we booked on cruise! Not interested in what you want to call it. As mentioned the ship is in a poor state, the basics simply do not function, toilets, heating, pipe work. Buckets all over the place catching water, corridors blocked off with workmen, letter racks with no bottom so info is wedged to one side or pushed under the door. Anyway enough, I could go on and on, felt Princess were simply not bothered as they already had our money Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We cruised from Tokyo (Yokohama) to Vancouver and experienced most of the problems referred to by other reviewers - in particular the plumbing problems, which were consistently unpleasant in some areas, the drips from the ceiling and ... Read More
We cruised from Tokyo (Yokohama) to Vancouver and experienced most of the problems referred to by other reviewers - in particular the plumbing problems, which were consistently unpleasant in some areas, the drips from the ceiling and smells of sewerage in several areas. As to the immigration problems in Osaka, the ship provided instructions in writing BUT made no announcements before the appointed hour - ice-cream was still being served 10 minutes before we all had to be off the ship and people were in the pool - even staff at the front desk seemed completely unaware of the developing debacle. We stood for over 3 hours before we got back on the ship - heard of others who took 4 hours. The ship is showing its age and some lack of maintenance in some areas. Of all the sailings we have made with Princess this was the most disappointing. On the positive side, the staff were excellent if occasionally a little stressed - has Princess cut back on number of staff? The dancers were also excellent. Our cabin was clean and comfortable - great beds and we were well looked after by the cabin steward Neo. I support the three previous reviews which more clearly describe the problems of this ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I have been on many Princess Cruises and thought this would be an interesting one - 5 ports in Japan, S Korea and then across the Bering Sea to Whittier Alaska - truly a trip of a lifetime. I flew into Japan a week early and enjoyed ... Read More
I have been on many Princess Cruises and thought this would be an interesting one - 5 ports in Japan, S Korea and then across the Bering Sea to Whittier Alaska - truly a trip of a lifetime. I flew into Japan a week early and enjoyed touring around. I am a solo senior female and felt very safe at all times and found it fairly easy to get around. Boarding in Yokohama is very different. You have to get a number and wait until you are called to check in. That took some time and some people were very upset at the way this was done but as it would turn out "Japan has a unique way of doing things" Japanese ports all great. Only exception, Osaka, Port itself was absolutely fabulous but as we were going to S Korea next the ship had to bring the passenger count down to 0 before leaving the country. Unfortunately, 2 passengers didn't care about the 2500 other passengers waiting to get back on and it took Princess over an hour to locate this couple in their locked room and force them out and off the ship. Believe me, many wanted to know who they were as standing in a hot room for over an hour waiting to get back on the ship was awful. I think Princess could have found these people a lot sooner and gotten things moving faster but I waited an hour and many people waited longer. The backlog wasnt cleared for a long time. There were quite a few water leaks from ceilings all over the ship and many buckets were out catching drips. Some people had to be moved to other cabins. The worst incident was when we were in the middle of the Bering Sea and there was commotion after 1am. Captain came on speaker into room at 1:45am telling us there was an incident with the engine but that the ship was navigable and we would be continuing to Alaska. As this was a particulary rough night at sea it did not make for a comfortable sleep and many people were nervous after this. I am not sure what the actual issue was. It would have been better to know the truth from the Captain rather than worrying the rest of the trip. Food was typical Princess menus, very oversalted. Service in Dining room always excellent. Menu for lunch in dining room was better than dinner in my opinion Alaska Sue gave several great talks interspersed with personal photos and experiences. I did not enjoy the other speakers. Cruise director's staff did a great job but 7 sea days is hard to keep everyone entertained. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Celebrity is one of our favourite cruise lines. The staff are always friendly and so helpful. The facilities on board are all good. Our cabin was as expected. The captain is one of the best we have experienced on all the cruise lines. The ... Read More
Celebrity is one of our favourite cruise lines. The staff are always friendly and so helpful. The facilities on board are all good. Our cabin was as expected. The captain is one of the best we have experienced on all the cruise lines. The entertainment team were excellent especially Paul the cruise director, who was a very talented performer in his own right. We ate breakfast and lunch mostly in the Ocean View which always had a good selection of food. The areas were always kept clear and it was never too difficult to find a table. The Main restaurant on deck 4 for the select dining was easy to use. The staff were well organised if the restaurant was busy we had a beeper to call us to the restaurant when they were ready for us. Once or twice we had to request the food to be a little warmer but the staff were very obliging. Melwin the somellier was excellent, remembering our favourite wines and was very attentive. Anwari was one of our favourite waiters too. My husband booked the Tuscan grill for my birthday but it was very disappointing. The food was served cold. Considering there were only 20 people in the restaurant the service and food should have been far better. Although the staff replaced the meals it took the edge off our celebrations. Due to this we would not bother again and would not recommend the restaurant. It was well overpriced for what we had, The ports and shore excursions were good. Travelling with friends on this occasion made it a very memorable cruise Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was my first cruise and I loved it. My suite (all cabins are suites) was nicer - and at least as large - as most hotel rooms I stay in. I had a veranda, but other than the veranda itself, even the smallest cabin on the ship is the ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I loved it. My suite (all cabins are suites) was nicer - and at least as large - as most hotel rooms I stay in. I had a veranda, but other than the veranda itself, even the smallest cabin on the ship is the same size. No "inside" cabins. Very nice. This cruise had "Gentleman Hosts," who among other things, organized a cocktail party each evening for the solo cruisers, of which I was one. This was a very nice touch by Silversea. There were 8 or 10 of us "solos", and we had a cocktail party each evening and then the Gentleman Hosts would escort us down to The Restaurant for dinner. It wasn't mandatory, but we never had to eat alone. Silversea's social game is very strong. I reserved several evenings in Le Champagne, the hoity-toity extra-cost restaurant, but after my first night I canceled the rest of my nights. Why? Because the pace was very, very slow. i'm sure it took at least 3.5 hours for dinner, and if you're eating alone it is too slow. Perhaps if I'd brought a book. This is going to sound trite, but team trivia was a major event every single day at 4:45. It was so major an event that some folks would not go on certain excursions because they would return after 4:45. I give the cruise director Kirk Detweiler the credit for this event being so popular. Enrichment - we had Kathy freaking Alexander doing enrichment: Astronaut, Space Station resident, NOAA head, incredible. Service - the crew is there to make your voyage the best you can have. That's all there is to it. Any crewmember will do any thing you ask. The second time they see you they will know your name, and if you've given any preferences to any other crewmember, they'll know about that, too. Excursions - generally excellent, although we did find it amusing that they did send us to a French restaurant for lunch in Kushiro, Japan. Children - no, I saw two children and only saw them once on the entire trip. Would I go again? I've already booked the E->W version of this in September (my birthday and retirement day.) Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My travel partner has a son living in Japan and this seemed a good way to visit Japan and come home easily. What a great decision that was. This was a well done cruise with three lecturers discussing the Japanese culture and as we ... Read More
My travel partner has a son living in Japan and this seemed a good way to visit Japan and come home easily. What a great decision that was. This was a well done cruise with three lecturers discussing the Japanese culture and as we crossed the ocean the topic changed to first Nations people. We also had lectures on the "One Ocean" and physics, which left us all with something to think about. There were navigation lectures and many other things to do on this ship. The Volendam is a smaller older ship so people looking for lots to do and big flashy ships would not want to choose this one. But, if personal attention and well done dining appeal then this is the ship for you. There were 1360 passengers and 1000 of them were returning guests. We were served by 598 crew. This was an older crowd but very well traveled and very interesting. Different ships and cruise lines for different people and so this would not appeal to everyone. There were very few children on board so there was a great sense of peace and quiet. Food was excellent. The shows at night were wonderful and we often left the show lounge chuckling to ourselves. A really great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Returned yesterday from a Tokyo to Honolulu segment on Symphony. Overall, would rate this ship and the crew as excellent. We chose this cruise for a couple of reasons. First, we love sea days and it doesn't get any better than ... Read More
Returned yesterday from a Tokyo to Honolulu segment on Symphony. Overall, would rate this ship and the crew as excellent. We chose this cruise for a couple of reasons. First, we love sea days and it doesn't get any better than this. Second, we live in Honolulu and wanted the opportunity to leave the ship and be home in 10 minutes by cab. We have previously cruised on Silversea and Seabourn. I would give the Symphony a slight edge. It is a larger ship with more dining options and much better entertainment. Also, I found the crew to be a bit warmer and made us feel more comfortable. We opted for Dining by Reservation. It worked out for us very well. Found a table we liked with a great waiter. I would rate the food a little below Seabourn but not my much. The alternative dining options were very pleasant. Al-in-all a terrific cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I chose this trip because of the abundance of sea days, which are my favourite. The ship is showing some age and looking a little worn in its finishes and decor, but I don't mind -- to me, there are far more important things to make ... Read More
I chose this trip because of the abundance of sea days, which are my favourite. The ship is showing some age and looking a little worn in its finishes and decor, but I don't mind -- to me, there are far more important things to make a great cruise. My cabin was a window cabin with a partially obstructed view, but the obstruction was truly minimal. Crystal is known for having some of the smallest cabins among the luxury lines, but I found it had more than enough space for my 2.5 week cruise, and I know had there been two of us in the cabin the storage space still would have been enough. I don't know why there's a tub rather than a walk in shower, and I don't see a need for double sinks, but those are likely personal preferences. Also personal is the opinion of the food.......in my opinion, the food was terrific, ranging from very good to outstanding (particularly excellent in the two specialty restaurants). I didn't attend the evening entertainment, with the exception of the Dixieland Jazz performance, so I can't comment other than to say other passengers seemed to enjoy it. My shipboard routine is to do as little as possible other than relax, though I did take part in the daily trivia contests. I heard some of the lectures on the television in my cabin later, and they were interesting and in a bunch of different subjects. One of the nicest things about being aboard is the calm atmosphere and lack of interruptions: There are no announcements other than a daily status update, and no sales pitches or other things to distract from the relaxation available. I love walking the promenade or laying on the Lido deck with a book or puzzle as the ocean drifts by. \ The ship is showing its age, but there's a major refit due in the fall. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The itinerary for this cruise - Japan, South Korea and the N Pacific crossing was great. We enjoyed all the ports. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth in Yokohama. Going ashore in the other ports was easy - the only hold ups ... Read More
The itinerary for this cruise - Japan, South Korea and the N Pacific crossing was great. We enjoyed all the ports. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth in Yokohama. Going ashore in the other ports was easy - the only hold ups were Japanese immigration but that is to be expected. Favourite ports - Osaka and Incheon Service on the ship was very good but the cutbacks in staffing are putting a huge burden on the remaining staff. This was very apparent in the dining room where service was very slow. The ship is an older ship - it is kept very clean and tidy - but it badly needs to go in to drydock. The only chairs that the bottoms weren't falling out of was in the Canneletto dining room. Seriously, there was a 2" depression in the Rotterdam chairs! Uncomfortable for a leisurely meal! Food - we were not impressed! The meals in the Rotterdam were just okay - biggest complaint was that there were very few vegetables accompanying the entree and we routinely ordered a bowl of steamed vegetables for the table. The food served in the Lido was very much below what I expect on a cruise ship. I have no food issues - I love food - but the choices were over salted and way too many things were fried. I had difficulty finding items for lunch other than a salad. The Asian food bar was usually good but still oversalted. The fresh fruit was awful! Apples and oranges were soft and tasteless, bananas were slimy and black. The fruit salad was a mixture of over ripe and under ripe choices cut so small that it was mushy very quickly. There were very few activities planned for the 6 sea days as we crossed the Pacific - not a lot to do. We may avoid doing another HAL cruise Positive - we saw some of the best entertainment we have seen on a ship. The dancers and singers were exceptional! Very much enjoyed our evenings! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Aussies Beware. Holland America Line (HAL) Our holiday (disaster), my wife and I were on the Volendam in stateroom 7062. We arrived in Vancouver May 4th, We boarded the ship in Yokohoma a 19 day cruise, the first night on board we ... Read More
Aussies Beware. Holland America Line (HAL) Our holiday (disaster), my wife and I were on the Volendam in stateroom 7062. We arrived in Vancouver May 4th, We boarded the ship in Yokohoma a 19 day cruise, the first night on board we had very little sleep the noise above our stateroom was excessive with the moving of the table and chairs and the trolley that they use to move things around in this lasted until about midnight, then the trolley was moved again at 3am the the table and chairs were again put out for breakfast at around 4:45am. at around 11 am the next day the noise started again, I quickly went up stairs and found 3 deckhands dragging the chairs and tables around. apparently there is a store room above which contains a lot of props for decorations which are constantly being moved. My husband spoke the the deck steward about the noise, he told him he would also speak to the night deck hand. We then started my complaints to the front office trying to get a room change. we complained regularly about this as it happened every day and night until I was told that compensation would be paid and nothing else could be done. We were fobbed off. At the end of the cruise $250 taken off our bill. Not one night did we have a full sleep and forget about catching up during the day just as bad, if you are unlucky enough to have a bad stateroom they have your money and you are not getting it back. Forget Australian Consumer Guarantee laws they don't apply. Complaints get you no where. I have been in touch with ATAS was told nothing could be done and the travel agent could not be held responsible, I have been in communication with office of the president of HAL and their ombudsman what a waste of time. Its not the money but the thought that nowadays you can still get ripped off so easy. I cruise quite a bit, HAL is not up to standard and would not recommend. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Everything was wonderful- from the itinerary, to the speakers to the food. We missed a port due to icebergs, but with so many things to do on the ship it did not matter. Glacier Bay with 4 park rangers and a buffet sandwich lunch was ... Read More
Everything was wonderful- from the itinerary, to the speakers to the food. We missed a port due to icebergs, but with so many things to do on the ship it did not matter. Glacier Bay with 4 park rangers and a buffet sandwich lunch was perfect. wWe left deposits for 2 more Crystal cruises in the future! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015

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