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62 Vancouver to Transpacific Cruise Reviews

This was our fourth HAL cruise in the Asia-Pacific region and we enjoyed it. Westerdam has been refitted in recent years and the ship was in very good shape. Carpets and furniture were clean and well maintained. Public spaces were very ... Read More
This was our fourth HAL cruise in the Asia-Pacific region and we enjoyed it. Westerdam has been refitted in recent years and the ship was in very good shape. Carpets and furniture were clean and well maintained. Public spaces were very pleasant. We had a verandah cabin which was nicely maintained with a modern flat screen TV on the wall across from the bed, and a good bathroom with tub/shower combination. This repositioning cruise spent 7 days on the North Pacific between Vancouver and Japan, and the crossing had both choppy and calm seas. An unexpected re-routing around Japan was necessary to avoid Super Typhoon Hagibis but the captain and crew did a great job of keeping us informed and safe. After two missed port calls and one-day delay in reaching Yokohama due to the storm, the subsequent 2 week itinerary stopping in Japan, South Korea and China was excellent. HAL is known for its older crowd, and this was certainly the case on this cruise. If you don't like spending a lot of time with mostly seniors this isn't the cruise line for you, but what the passengers lack in youth they make up for in travel experience. Most have been all over the world and make for great conversation any time you are wanting to chat. Food aboard was great. We mostly eat in the dining room and find the menus to be varied and quality of the food excellent. We generally eat late (8pm or later) and tables for 2 were always available at that time, which made it very relaxing. The Lido Market cafeteria usually had seating available and the range of food for breakfast and lunch was good, but we found the offerings at dinner were not spectacular. HAL seems to have improved its entertainment and we enjoyed the shows on the Main Stage. The variety was good, from full dance and music shows to comedians, and individual musicians. America's Test Kitchen daily presentations were great. Some of the cultural lectures were better than others (a function of who was doing the presentations) but overall set the stage for our ports of call. And port information sessions provided in advance of each port were excellent, not just designed to sell the cruise line's tours. The best thing about HAL's ships is the mainly Indonesian and Filipino crew. They are very friendly and helpful. We are always greeted with a smile. Cabin staff were excellent. Food servers and wine stewards were cheerful and efficient. It's always amazing how the servers and other staff remember your name and your preferences. HAL shore excursions are, as usual, high priced and sometimes lack quality, but it's possible to organize a mix of cruise line tours and private tours. We used a lot of HAL tours for the China portion and most were very good to excellent. Overall a very good Asia-Pacific cruise this time around on Westerdam. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This cruise was a good price and left Vancouver which is is close to where we live in Edmonton. We always wanted to see Tahiti, New Zealand and Australia. This cruise was nice because a previous cruise did not allow us to see Victoria ... Read More
This cruise was a good price and left Vancouver which is is close to where we live in Edmonton. We always wanted to see Tahiti, New Zealand and Australia. This cruise was nice because a previous cruise did not allow us to see Victoria because of the rain and wind. Emarkation was effortless. If only service on land was this smooth. We had fabulous weather and calm seas throughout. San Francisco was warm enough and we saw Sausalito as well as Alcatraz. Alcatraz is not to be missed. On to Hilo and Honolulu. Didn't take excursions because we have been there before. Walked and took the shuttle to various venues. Sometimes you see more just by walking than just driving around. Bora Bora is small but beautiful and rural. Refreshing to see that. Walked around and saw how the locals live. Tahiti was very beautiful and Papeete much larger and more of a modern city. Moorea, a ferry boat away, is even more beautiful. American Samoa was very lovely and the people are incredibly friendly. We were like rock stars! The Samoans are not to be fooled with. They are huge and what they eat in a day is what I would eat in 3. Interestingly, they are US citizens but can't vote. Auckland was fabulous. What a clean, well run city. No thugs downtown that I saw. Well dressed, well behaved, extremely friendly, happy. Loved it. Nice, as Canadians to have another currency worth less than the Canadian dollar. The cruise ended in Auckland but we flew to Brisbane and enjoyed that city very much as well. Another very beautiful and well run city. Clean and scenic. Golden Princess. One of the "shopping cart" ships because of Skywalkers Lounge. Ship shows very well for her age. She was refurbished in April 2018 and was up to snuff. The ship is sold to P & O cruises in April 2020. Our cabin was an MB mini suite. Love the extra room, sofa, 2 tvs, and the bathtub. On a longer cruise was so nice to have the extra space for storage and lounging. The bathtub makes the bathroom larger and gives more space for everything. We each get a nice glass of champagne on departure. Because we are Elite, and because techincally it is 2 cruises, we got the 2 mini bar setups, the 650 free internet minutes, and free laundry. Great perks on a long 23 day cruise. We had the late sitting for dinner. Best waiter, assistant waiter, and head waiter of all my cruises. Chris the waiter, Nathaniel the assistant and Constantin the head waiter. Superb service and timing. They always remembered the little things, lemon in the water, the buns with the seeds, our names, and so attentive. Top notch in any restaurant in the world. Entertainment was the best we have ever had and the cruise director and his assistants were great. Funny, witty, smooth, professional, and excellent. Service was great. The odd time the romm service in the morning forgot the odd item but nothing to complain about. They were so pleasant. Met some great people on the ship. Always meet new friends and enjoy life's memories. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
If this is now Princess new standard for service and food then we will not be sailing with them again The dinning room (anytime dinning) staff were untrained and far to few in numbers to give good service if you asked for a fresh HOT ... Read More
If this is now Princess new standard for service and food then we will not be sailing with them again The dinning room (anytime dinning) staff were untrained and far to few in numbers to give good service if you asked for a fresh HOT pot of tea often you were told there is still tea in the pot its OK drink it ,The choice of meals was very poor and repeated ever few days. We have traveled on Princess many times before and never had this bad of service and meal choice The music was played so loud through out the venues that it was uncomfortable even with my hearing aids OUT The ship was in good condition and the staff in the cafe especially April were the best trained on the ship there you could get HOT coffee and tea as well as snacks . the disembarkation was very smooth I booked the Flight ,hotel and transfers through Princess this all went very smoothly so I can recommend this I have another cruise booked in October 2020 with Princess but if this is there new standard I will give serious consideration to cancelling this and book with another line Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We wanted to see Alaska and the rest of the Cruise was to be a relaxing experience as we had already done most of the remaining Ports. Our impressions of the staff on board (apart from the restaurant staff and room steward which were ... Read More
We wanted to see Alaska and the rest of the Cruise was to be a relaxing experience as we had already done most of the remaining Ports. Our impressions of the staff on board (apart from the restaurant staff and room steward which were excellent), specifically at the Customer Desk and the Excursions Counter was that they were not interested in us or our issues, and it was almost as if when confronted with something they didn't like, a steel shutter came down and they hid behind it. We were even accused of not telling the truth when we complained about a shore excursion in which the bus broke down causing us to miss one of the tour sights.  I would also like to give you our impressions of the ship, as it was our fourth Princess Cruise, and our eleventh overall with three different cruise lines, so feel that we have some experience with cruising to be able to comment. Our feelings were that the overall standard of the ship for food and entertainment were not up to the level of our previous Princess cruises. We could count on the fingers of one hand the meals we considered to be excellent, with the remaining average and repetitive (Curtis Stone Share excepted, which was top class on two visits). The entertainment had one or two highlights, but on the whole was below par, with some artists causing an exodus from the theatre shortly after starting. The other major gripe was the lack and standard of daily activities compared with other cruises, with much of the items being Princess sales pitches, rather than truly interesting activities.  It appeared to us and other passengers after discussions on board that these issues of substandard performance were because the Ruby Princess was on a relocation voyage, rather than destination cruising, as it seemed that cost cutting was evident in a number of areas discussed above. Hopefully the problem was the Ruby Princess so may just try one of their other Ships but leave the Sea, Sun and Ruby off any future agendas. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Having done a number of Transatlantic cruises we opted for a Transpacific cruise to Tokyo, and the eight days at sea did not deter us. We flew from Toronto to Vancouver at 7:00am, arrived at 9:20am, took the Canada Line train from the ... Read More
Having done a number of Transatlantic cruises we opted for a Transpacific cruise to Tokyo, and the eight days at sea did not deter us. We flew from Toronto to Vancouver at 7:00am, arrived at 9:20am, took the Canada Line train from the airport to the port, and were ready to board the ship for the Concierge lunch in the dining room. While our cabin #8177 was not quite ready, the “touch” Seapass was on the door and we could drop off our carry-on bags. First impressions of the refurbished cabin were very positive. Fresh, clean décor, large TV screen, clear view from the balcony (with slight obstruction to the far left where the window cleaning ladder was stationed). Good number of wood hangers in the closet, soft closing drawers, ample lighting, USB ports. What we didn’t like: unable to regulate the fan speed, undersized sofabed for the available space, unable to angle the TV for viewing when sitting on the sofabed. As for the bathroom, while the shower stall has a nice door, it opens inwards, almost hitting the oversized grab bar leaving little space to maneuver. The grout on the tiled shower floor had many cracks which resulted in water leaking on to the floor. We asked to have this fixed, and we were given access to another cabin for half a day while the shower stall was re-grouted and re-caulked. Concierge Violetta Joson took charge of this case, sent us wine, strawberries and gave Future Cruise Credit for our inconvenience. This commitment to customer service in a friendly and honest manner was also demonstrated by many of the crew, including cabin steward Ronnie, assistant Maitre d’ Eric and waiter Limon to mention a few. The captain and senior officers were visible throughout and very approachable. The Elite breakfast, which was served in the Tuscan Grill on prior cruises, was moved to the MDR. In the new design, Tuscan Grill has shrunk in size, and access blocked off from the mid-ship lobby. In the first two days the breakfast was plated menu service and very disorganized. From the third day onwards it was a buffet service. Hot items were also included, which was a welcome addition to the Elite breakfast, but the pathetic so-called bagels need a new recipe. The Elite cocktail hour 5pm-7pm, allowed unlimited drinks in the Skylounge as well as the other bars. We had Select dining, and booked 6:45pm well in advance. Only once we had to wait with a buzzer, since we changed the reservation from 2 to 4 persons. The food and service in the MDR was up to Celebrity standard – good to very good. The Oceanview Café was nicely re-designed with a variety of seating options. Pizzas and fajitas bar were very good, but there is no stir-fry station, available on the Solstice class ships. Our days at sea were filled with many activities ably supplied by Cruise Director Steve Gayda. The guest speakers were excellent, the Asia Film Festival screened good quality movies. Evening entertainment was good to very good, with notable highlights of Tom Franek (piano acrobat and sing-along), aerialists Julia and Alan, and Scottish soprano Elaine Gray. Weather was pleasant on our port days. There were a couple of moderate seas and windy days on the crossing, being on the edges of a passing storm. Clock were set back one hour almost every night. After a few days it was difficult to stay awake past 9pm. We “skipped” Friday the 13th when crossing the International Date Line. Upon arrival to our first port in Japan we had to get through immigration process. Celebrity and Japanese officials were very efficient and quick. Lines were short and within minutes we were done and ready to go ashore. The ports of call offered a good variety. Sitka in Alaska with its wildlife and forests, and Japan’s destinations with the small town of Otaru, a larger city Hakedote, and metropolis Yokohama. Celebrity provided free shuttles at all the ports except for Otaru, where we docked within walking distance of town centre. Disembarkation was also well organized and efficient. We were off the ship, with the Captain and the senior officers lining up to bid us farewell. What a thoughtful and heart-warming gesture. How can you not want to sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I'm looking to be as honest and balanced as I can in this review so that it helps prospective cruisers who are considering Celebrity. I'll do this in 3 parts... Summary… the Good… the Bad. Summary My view is that ... Read More
I'm looking to be as honest and balanced as I can in this review so that it helps prospective cruisers who are considering Celebrity. I'll do this in 3 parts... Summary… the Good… the Bad. Summary My view is that Celebrity is living off its reputation (& messaging) of ‘premium’. My experience is that they are looking for ever 'sneaky' ways to drive up revenue (as any good business should), whilst minimising the product (which is cancerous). Sure push the envelope for a few dollars here and there, but don't reduce the product at the same time. We cruise Royal Caribbean and Celebrity a lot… and enjoy the loyalty reciprocity and we are finding the gap between the 2 becoming more and more insignificant. Royal are getting better, whilst Celebrity are slipping. So would I cruise Celebrity again? Yes. I’ve seen Celebrity really good, and quite average. Considering this cruise might have been an exception, I’ll go again… but that may be the last if it remains under-whelming. The Good: - Crew: The 'Worker bees' were all so generous and courteous... nothing but good things to say - Tuscan Grill: Personalised and accommodating… even modifying the menu upon request (The Maître d was brilliant) - Stateroom: Remodelled room (Balcony Concierge Class) was very good… décor was modern and warm, whilst storage space was plentiful and practical - Beds and pillows were so good… slept like a baby (despite some rough seas) - Ocean View Café – Lunch and Dinners were amazing in terms of quality & choice. And the pizza… the BEST on the open seas! (In contrast the Main Dining Room’s food was a complete let down) The Bad: So before looking like I’m just whining, I respect that everyone has different tastes so I’ve left entertainment, enrichment and excursion off the ‘bad’ list. Most of my ‘bad’ is centred around how I’ve seen Celebrity go from ‘WOW!’ to ‘’MEH!’. - Casino: I thought I was being a little too negative, until I heard many guests in there complaining. Apart from 2 to 3 dealers, the rest were inexperienced and most impersonal. There was a strong contingent of Texas Hold’em Poker players onboard, and the availability, service and games structures were amateurish at best. A 10% rake (yes..10%) should come with incredible dealers… instead we had trainees who did not know the rules, and continually exposed cards whilst dealing. - Outdoor hot tubs were lukewarm at best. I know many folk were requesting for the temperature to be increased. Each time was met with a shrug of the shoulders saying ‘it was just the way it is’. Considering the weather outside was cool, this was most disappointing. - Concierge Class: This is pretty much a bluff... (It is anything but personal, group phone messages, line up for 30 minutes, call the service desk and we could never get through). On sea days the concierge was ‘closed’ from Midday to 4:30pm every day. This is an absolute oversell... save your money!! The Concierge Class left me questioning why we did it… just couldn’t see the value. - Embarkation: 1.75 hours kerb to ship! - (And we were concierge class)… absolutely dreadful - 'Premium' Drinks Package - You can't get a glass of wine with your room service order (you can pay for it though). I think this is a nasty slap in the face and really lost Celebrity lot of points in my book. (Using the 'we must see your stateroom card upon ordering' is so condescending). - 'Premium' Drinks Package - Take a Coke from your mini bar - you'll get charged. Again just thoughtless. (So instead I go to the bar get a heap of unopened soft drinks and put them in the bard fridge). - 'Premium' Drinks Package - with a dreadfully limited selection by the glass of basic wines. If you are a wine drinker (primarily) I strongly urge you to give the drinks package a miss. The selection is very, very limited and anything but ‘premium’. - 'Premium' Drinks Package - in the specialty restaurants the wine by the glass choices are a contradiction (to align to 'specialty')... limited in terms of choice / country / region / variety / quality. - When I first cruised celebrity the wine experience was great. The Sommeliers were experienced and knowledgeable. They really should not use the term Sommelier for the wine crew on this cruise… can you believe we were served corked/off red wine in one of the specialty restaurants (because it had been left open for a few days), and the Sommelier just didn’t get it! - Main Dining room - Can't tell the difference between Celebrity and Royal Caribbean anymore. This has sadly been dumbed down to mass production without the culinary prowess the once defined the Celebrity difference. So the main dining experience is the centre of ‘Premium’ cruising. It’s where the nostalgia lives… Celebrity have absolutely dropped the ball here. The main dining room is pretty much sitting back in the industry pack now… so very disappointing!!! Bland, unseasoned, cold, huge variance from one guest plate to the next, lack of imagination (sides were pretty much boiled carrot, broccoli & a bit of mash with most meals). Also the dress standard Celebrity have held to all but disappeared… formal nights were really just neat casual. It’s not good when the buffet is way better than the main dining room. - Main Dining Room - can you imagine getting your 1st drinks order half way through your main course? (twice). - Constantly pushing up the prices on specialty dining (Tuscan now up to $45 US!!). But then at the bottom of the menu offering premium steaks for an additional $18... Really!! - Disembarkation… It’s amazing how much colder and unhospitable the crew became on disembarkation morning. We went to guest services to see if I could exchange some US for YEN... got an abrupt NO... with an immediate reminder that we had to get off the ship! In closing I was surprised at how aloof and closed off the managers and above were... almost like the guest were annoying them. But again the core crew were so great! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The Good: Great staff, everyone from the room attendant up to the waiters, Concierge, Captains Club representative and Hotel Director couldn't have been nicer. The Ship is in good shape. The Cruise Director Steve is everywhere and ... Read More
The Good: Great staff, everyone from the room attendant up to the waiters, Concierge, Captains Club representative and Hotel Director couldn't have been nicer. The Ship is in good shape. The Cruise Director Steve is everywhere and enthusiastic. The Captain is everywhere (who's steering the ship??) but is very pleasant and does his best to communicate with the passengers even though his heavily accented Greek/English almost requires a translator. The Average: This was a re-positioning cruise through the Gulf of Alaska known for its difficult weather so when the weather is bad, you can't enjoy the outside. On bad weather days, the buffet is so crowded you can't find a seat because the overflow that usually sits on the deck by the pool are inside due to the weather. Best to go to the formal dining room. The Not so Good: While there is a difference of opinion between my spouse and I, I found the Entertainment second or third rate and the production shows boring. We have experienced much better entertainment on re-positioning cruises including on Celebrity. The food was only average or worse. Breakfasts were good, we rarely ate lunch but the dinners were another story. The appetizers at dinner were good and some of the main course meals (Prime Rib of Beef, Duck, Lamb Chops were good) the rest was not. This is not a problem with the quality of food, it is how it was (over) cooked and sometimes, had little flavor. Don't order the chicken or fish unless you want shoe leather texture. One woman at our table loved fish and ordered it every night only to be constantly disappointed by the tough overcooked fish they served her. She complained with no success, even sending it back for a replacement only to receive the same overcooked tough fish again. I lay this on the feet of the Head Chef who has been on this ship for some time and is responsible for supervising the cooks. Some people say that fish, poultry and pork should be cooked right through (tell that to the Sushi Chefs) but good restaurants and chefs have been producing juicy versions for years. Quite disappointing! On the subject of restaurants, the Specialty Restaurants were overpriced and in the case of the Sushi restaurant not popular. They were heavily discounting this one at the end of the cruise and most of the time we passed it during the dinner hour there were only a handful of couples in it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
About me: 7 prior cruises. Full-time wheelchair user. Somewhat active, wheeling several miles on a typical day. Middle-aged. I found the Millennium surprisingly UNaccommodating to passengers who, like me, need a wheelchair to get ... Read More
About me: 7 prior cruises. Full-time wheelchair user. Somewhat active, wheeling several miles on a typical day. Middle-aged. I found the Millennium surprisingly UNaccommodating to passengers who, like me, need a wheelchair to get around: 1) My wheelchair-accessible cabin had a ramp to get out to the balcony. Great. But NO ramp on the balcony side, just a 3.5" drop, making it unusable. I had to contact our cabin attendant, who then called engineering, who built a wooden ramp for me. Great, but shouldn't this have been done from the beginning? 2) Our table in the Metropolitan dining room was lovely. But didn't it occur to ANYONE that a table in the farthest corner from the entrance, with two heavy high-backed chairs (photo attached) might not be the best fit for someone requesting an accessible cabin?? 3) There was NO seating set aside in the Oceanview Buffet for wheelchair diners. Again, didn't it occur to ANYBODY on the dining staff that we might need tables that were easy to get to? (Again, after speaking to the maitre'd, by the end of the cruise there were heavy plastic "reserved for accessible seating" signs on 3 tables at the entrance, but I'm amazed I had to bring this to somebody's attention.) 4) We were invited to check out the Spa, but upon inspection I found the most (all?) of the therapy rooms had a 2 inch lip on the bottom of the doorway, blocking anyone with a wheelchair from getting in. Come on, guys, now you're actually BUILDING barriers preventing me from using your facilities. Deck 10, the pool deck, had automatic doors to the outside. But all the other doors on decks 4 and 11 were doorknob doors, making it challenging to get outside. And most of the hallway and large-room carpeting was like wheeling on velcro. I will say that the crew was extremely accommodating and more than willing to help out however they could, but my feeling was that Celebrity Corporate gave mere lip service to the concept of accessibility and couldn't care less about anyone actually needing accommodation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have to say that this was probably not the best Cruise Experience.. The specialty dining was not any better than going to the regular dining. I find it to be a waste of money. I did three specialty dining on this trip and did not find ... Read More
I have to say that this was probably not the best Cruise Experience.. The specialty dining was not any better than going to the regular dining. I find it to be a waste of money. I did three specialty dining on this trip and did not find them to be any better than going to the dining room. Also, the main dining room the service is poor. The guys are overworked and overwhelmed. Did have one experience that was not good with the Shores excursion department. Over an excursion purchased through them. The spa service is not very good when it comes to doing your nails. I find that they overcharge. The most positive thing that I enjoyed was having Captains Club Desk. Always very kind, helpful to take care of any issues. This trip on Millennium ship has made me think that I would consider now trying other cruise lines. We are elite members of Celebrity and have been very loyal to Celebrity. Through the years I’ve seen Celebrity changing and not for the good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
An outstanding cruise which combines a repositioning with multi country/culture adventure. Seeing Alaska, Russia and Japan all while gaining extra sleep every other day made this relaxing. This ship (like all the Viking cruise ship) is as ... Read More
An outstanding cruise which combines a repositioning with multi country/culture adventure. Seeing Alaska, Russia and Japan all while gaining extra sleep every other day made this relaxing. This ship (like all the Viking cruise ship) is as near perfect as you can get. Comfort, food, service, public spaces, what’s included and what’s not ( no casino, kids, photos, auctions, crowds, etc) makes it a top cruise line. The entertainment was very good and varied as they pick-up up new entertainers all along the 22 days. But the talks were the best. Especially the NASA mission specialist / astronaut who took 5 trips into earth orbit and worked on the Hubble telescope. The planetarium was a nice change but needs better shows. Specialty restaurants were outstanding. We ate there many times but also loved the dining room. There were many nationalities represented on the cruise with the majority being Australians the Americans. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We booked this cruise to get home to Australia from North America. We were assured when booking that the ship was to be refurnished in early 2018. On embarking we found a stateroom with tatty furniture - holes in the upholstery, peeling ... Read More
We booked this cruise to get home to Australia from North America. We were assured when booking that the ship was to be refurnished in early 2018. On embarking we found a stateroom with tatty furniture - holes in the upholstery, peeling wallpaper, chips in bath and sink and bathroom mirrors degrading. The public areas were no better. Meals in the dining room and lido were at best lukewarm no matter where or when we ate. The only way to get fresh hot food was to dine in the pinnacle grill or canalettos both of which were excellent. Having paid for one's food one shoukd not have to pay twice. A lot of the fruit on board was old from the start of the cruise and off by the time we reached Fiji. The ship ran out of english breakfast and tetley tea bags and corn flakes. Only one flavour of yoghurt available at a time. But notbto worry there were at any one time inumerable boxes of a full range of caffeine free teas! The numbers of servers has been reduced so much that the tables could not be cleared between diners and on some evenings it took over 25 minutes to place one's order for dinner. When it arrived the food was usually tepid at best and when returned to the kitchen to be reheated it came back no better. It was ridiculous that as we crossed the Pacific passengerd had to wear sweaters inside the ship because the airconditioning was so cold. The standard of evening entertainment was poor with large gaps when nothing was happening at all. The internet access was described by a member of Holland America staff as abysmal most passengers were much ruder about it. The 'range' of dvds available was a joke the staff asked psssengers for a list of requested titles then couldn't deliver any of them I am not sure what Holland Americ's agenda is; whether they are trying to move down market within the CCL group. If so they may well succeed but they alienated a whole lot of experienced mariners on this cruise. Many times I heard fellow passengers express the determinstion never to cruise HL again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Mainly chosen for the destinations on route, but also anticipated a 4* ship. Expected the passengers to be around retirement age because of he length of the cruise. Very disappointed with the geriatric nature of a lot of the entertainment, ... Read More
Mainly chosen for the destinations on route, but also anticipated a 4* ship. Expected the passengers to be around retirement age because of he length of the cruise. Very disappointed with the geriatric nature of a lot of the entertainment, which was also repetitive and lacking any fun. No deck parties, even though we spent around 3 weeks in the hot sunshine, no proper ‘ sailaways’ to remember. Food was OK, but the scrap in the Lido Bat was awful. Difficult to find a seat once you had been served. Ended up taking food down to the cabin to eat it. The food generally I could only call OK, as it was not as I remember the last cruise I took a few years back. I can see that everything has been cut back and is much more frugal generally. Cushions on the sum beds around the walking deck areas were turquoise coloured (once) and Covered in stains. Not at all what we expected to see. I had no desire to sit on any of them without putting down a towel first. On the lido deck, everything was brown and colourless, making the ship look drab and uninviting. In the gym, half the equipment was not working, and there were classes held in what was a very small area, making it difficult to even get in there. I should also post out that there was nowhere for people to dance (I mean proper dancing) lots f people like to walk, or maybe line dance, but there is no dance floor on Noordam apart from in BB Kings night club, (which doubles as America’s Test Kitchen during the day, twice a day, every day....) Overall, we were very disappointed with Holland America. If this is 4* cruising, then I would hate to be on a ship with only 3*. I would also say that HA needs to check out its up an coming geriatrics, ie those of us in our 60’s now, as we still have plenty of life in us. The older ‘old people’ currently cruising, won’t be around In another few years, and there will be no market for my generation if the nature of the cruise is not reviewed. I say this not only for myself but for others who we met on this cruise and who voiced similar comments. On. Plus note, the staff are incredible, and HA should be very grateful for that!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Over the past few cruises I have watched a deterioration in the services offered on Holland America cruises. I love to go on long cruises of a month or more and love the sea days. This time there was literally nothing to do on board unless ... Read More
Over the past few cruises I have watched a deterioration in the services offered on Holland America cruises. I love to go on long cruises of a month or more and love the sea days. This time there was literally nothing to do on board unless you were paying for an upgrade in the gym or drinking yourself into oblivion. No library service, no fun game activity program, no water aerobics or free fitness program. The constant up selling was really annoying. They have outsourced their shore excursions and they are a total ripoff. The food in the main dining room was a disgrace. Everything seemed to originate from the frozen food section of Costco. We were offered frozen green beans with every dinner entree from Vancouver to Sydney. The desserts were not made on board and were not up to previous standards. Offering bloody Mary's for breakfast? Really ? I am s four star mariner but I doubt I will return to Holland America or any other Carnival line ship Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We choose this cruise as we wanted to visit the Far East but couldn't face flying 14 hours each way. The cruise was 42 days from Vancouver to Hong Kong and it was everything we had hoped for. The weather was incredible, in all that ... Read More
We choose this cruise as we wanted to visit the Far East but couldn't face flying 14 hours each way. The cruise was 42 days from Vancouver to Hong Kong and it was everything we had hoped for. The weather was incredible, in all that time, there wwrw brief rain showers twice. We were the last ship of the season in Alaska and the weather was sunny. We had worried about being in Alaska the beginning of October and instead Juneau, Glacier Bay and Kodiak were lovely. The North Pacific crossing has 6 consecutive sea days, and they were pleasantly filled with enrichment lectures, America's Test Kitchen and deck walks. We ate dinner in the dining room and went for group tables, and met many very pleasant people. It meant often meeting people around the ship that we had met over dinner. The dinning room food was nicely served and we enjoyed the choices. We had breakfast and lunch in Lido, and enjoyed the service and food there as well. The pasta station, the Asian station and salad bar added a nice variety to the regular items on the main serving station. We tried Dive-In hambergers for a snack a couple of times and they were great. Didnt really like Dive-In fries, but there were chips on the taco bar adjacent for that salty crunch. Once we reached Japan the pace really picked up. We had ports in Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan and the Philippines. About half the time in Japan we just walked ashore and went exploring. The ports all had welcoming committees and maps and info were readily avaiable, the EXE guides on the ship had also provided a lot of solid information. The remainder of the ports we booked our tours through Holland America. We were very pleased with the offerings. Our selection included a nice balance of sight seeing in cities, in the countryside, in temples and shrines, and even a Hot Spring resort for bathing. There were many highlights to our time ashore, including visiting the Great Wall of China, seeing the Acrobats in Shanghai, attending a dance festival in Japan, visiting a manga museum (we knew nothing about manga). Many times were at locations that local families go on their days off, seeing all the families and their children out enjoying the location and sunshine added a great deal to the experience. The trip was an incredible success. Our time on the ship was wonderful, the staff are so welcoming and so good at their jobs, our fellow passengers were great to hang out with, and the ports were fascinating. And as a bonus it only took 2 weeks to get over the jet lag after we got home. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This is our second cruise on the lovely Amsterdam, and we were pleasantly surprised with her face lift! For an 18 year old lady, she is a gem. We stayed in a Lanai Cabin, and there isn't anything better. Ms Amsterdam had an ... Read More
This is our second cruise on the lovely Amsterdam, and we were pleasantly surprised with her face lift! For an 18 year old lady, she is a gem. We stayed in a Lanai Cabin, and there isn't anything better. Ms Amsterdam had an interior makeover in May of this year, and she is just like new. We loved the colors, the decor, and the new stateliness she exudes. The Lanai cabins are new to this ship, and they are the absolute best location for us. We could enter through the hallway on the main deck, or enter and exit through our sliding Lanai door onto our entire 3rd deck balcony. An added plus to this ship is the amazing crew. Everyone was welcome and happy and most pleasant to be around. We understand there is a new Hotel Director, and it is obvious the crew loves him. Leadership matters! Finally, Ms Amsterdam is still my favorite ship! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Excellent deal! Only drawback was the embarkation process - we ended up standing in line for about 1 hour in order to check in and get our sea card, even though we were there at our assigned time. Shore excursions were very good and on ... Read More
Excellent deal! Only drawback was the embarkation process - we ended up standing in line for about 1 hour in order to check in and get our sea card, even though we were there at our assigned time. Shore excursions were very good and on time. Even the port where we were tendered were handled well and in a timely manner. We also found out that we could opt out of the automatic $14.50/person gratuity entry to our on board account, and instead pay them directly to those we had dealings with. We had hoped to take advantage of the beverage package as one of our “perks”. However when we were told that we had to pay the gratuities on the retail price of the package up front (it would have been $400+/person) we opted out. Other cruise lines we have had this perk with have you paying gratuities each time you use it, which really seems more fair to me, especially as we are not heavy drinkers. We wouldn’t even drink enough to cover the amount of the gratuities paid. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My wife and I chose this cruise firstly because of the itinerary. We had always wanted to visit Alaska, and with Russia and Japan as well, we booked this cruise. Except for the 6 days at sea from Alaska to Russia, we were happy with this ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise firstly because of the itinerary. We had always wanted to visit Alaska, and with Russia and Japan as well, we booked this cruise. Except for the 6 days at sea from Alaska to Russia, we were happy with this cruise. It was more than we expected and this was our first cruise with Norwegian, we were happy with the ship and the staff. The shows were all very good and a couple of them were excellent. The Cirque Bijou was a highlight show plus a couple of others that were really great and professional. The service at the dining rooms was very good, and the only complaint we had was with the quality of the beef in the dining rooms. We did have one dinner in the Le Bistro and that was the best meal we had eaten for a very long time. We both had the filet steak which was done to absolute perfection. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The ship was on its way to dry dock, so a few things needed updating, but all in all it was beautiful. We were in a balcony cabin, not as big as I would like, but we made do. The staff was outstanding. I ate in most of the specialty ... Read More
The ship was on its way to dry dock, so a few things needed updating, but all in all it was beautiful. We were in a balcony cabin, not as big as I would like, but we made do. The staff was outstanding. I ate in most of the specialty restaurants, and they were all wonderful. When we ate in the main dinning room, we were able to have the same table with the same wait staff each night who treated us royalty. The ports were all interesting. I did not do any ship shore excursions in Alaska, as I have done them before, however I did do the excursions in Russia and each port in Japan. All done well with good English speaking guides. The last tour/excursion was in Tokyo and this took us to the hotel NCL had arranged. The hotel was magnificent. Another great experience thanks to NCL. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This is a cold water cruise - VANCOUVER TO TOKYO - but the pools were well heated and it was great swimming in warm salty mineral laden sea water when the air temp was cold outside! The hot tubs are great too - 4 of them - 2 at a warmer ... Read More
This is a cold water cruise - VANCOUVER TO TOKYO - but the pools were well heated and it was great swimming in warm salty mineral laden sea water when the air temp was cold outside! The hot tubs are great too - 4 of them - 2 at a warmer temp than the other 2. Pool/jacuzzi temps posted on the ship's channel and could be referenced everyday along with the captain's update on particulars. The pics of the ship are very bad - they do it no justice! It is a beautiful ship and going in for a retrofit at the end the Singapore leg of this trip - October, 2018. Regardless, the Jewel is beautiful and NOT garish like other ships. The staff nice as always. Jeff the assistant cruise director is particularly genuine. However, I didn't like the the competition among the staff - i don't think they should have to compete with each other for the title of "cruise hero." My only other "sorta"complaint is that whomever runs the volume at the shows in the Stardust theatre and the shows/happenings/dance classes/trivia etc in the Spinakker lounge put the volume WAY TOO LOUD. It was excessive and distorted the sound which made it more painful than ever. Otherwise - the choice of music even at the pool was often relaxing rather than thumping rave music! It's a cruise full of international travelers which makes it so very interesting - people's stories - and families - whether big or small - I love that. Not many kids - probably because of the time of year - school time - maybe about 15 in total and they were charming children. This cruise has a great combo of sea days with port day. I like both - the sea days are great for just lounging - and the port days you feel compelled to get your arse out there and see another part of the world! And at the end of the sightseeing day - there's your ship there waiting for you after walking miles seeing a new land. It was great! The staff were incredibly organized about leaving and returning the the ship - never much of a queue/line - hot towels - lemonade or hot chocolate depending on the weather - whizzed through security - presented with a cookie and we were back on board! Lovely. Dan and Jeff the cruise director and assistant cd are very nice people. There was a delay embarking in VANCOUVER - which lots of folk bitched about - but come on people - it was part of the adventure of travel! How often does that happen? Not very often and no cause for alarm. ALASKA: Sadly, the glaciers are almost all gone. Alaska is beautiful though and there are 3 stops there before heading out to the BERING SEA where DEADLIEST CATCH is filmed. The Time Bandit was sitting in dock in Ketchikan and it is a surprisingly small vessel! It was wild and woolly in the great north Bering Sea - but there were sunny days before we moored in PETROPOVLOSK - an island off the Kamchatka peninsula - yeah people - that Kamchatka from the game RISK you used to play when you were a kid! They said you had to buy a tour to obtain a visa to disembark in Russia for the afternoon - but that didn't quite happen. I believe all ship passengers were issued a visa - and the Russians were very efficient about it - stamped everyone's visa in the early morning and we were on tenders by 11AM. the ship was extremely organized about crowd control - embarking and disembarking whether on tenders or at port. Norwegian provided courtesy buses and tenders at most of the ports of call. The food on board was ok with some pleasant surprises. It was just kind of blah. They did have some nights were the entrees were decent - like suckling pig and pork roasts - roast beef - very little lamb though - and even a thanksgiving holiday meal evening which was actually quite well done for an east Indian chef! The bird was succulent and it was served with all the fixins' !!! However, all chicken on board was just inedible and smelled funky - I could not eat it - sorry! The fajitas on Mexican night weren't bad - but the refried beans and tortilla shells etc were processed. There is no need for that as they are easy to make. There was an abundance of fresh ripe fruit and selection of breads - but the latter seemed processed also. The breakfast fair wasn't bad - they made an excellent in kitchen muesli, which was surprising because there was a lot of processed food. There was the full range of breakfast goodies - whatever your liking - you could not be disappointed and the chefs were nice enough to always make my eggs with real olive oil instead of that spray on pam junk! The pastries/deserts were disappointing as were the soups - but the salad bar wasn't bad - no decent cheeses though even in the sandwich section - the cheese used was that processed american slices - not real cheese even! Although there was a wheel of blue cheese on occasion. The dressings awful too - canned! i don't know why, like the bread. they didn't make the dressings in house? The tea - not good either - but the coffee surprisingly palatable. The entertainment ranged from excellent to ok. The most professional were the gymnasts and Russian ballroom dancers, the 3 divas and a couple of others. The Russian ballroom dancers taught dance lessons too and that was fab -being taught by professional dancers - what a treat! I hope they keep that part because there were staff teaching dance classes but really - they weren't professionals and it was a bit of a loud joke. Wendy from South Africa and Julian from Australia were the exercise teachers and their classes were the favorites and most attended! Both delightful instructors. They were very zen about it - not pushy and vulgar like some personal trainers! Namaste! There is all manner of activity on board from daily trivia to Japanese and other language class that reminds me of the sailing days of yore when a passage was inclusive of classes in the language of the ports of call! Thank you Jeff and Dan for arranging that. Japan is incredible - the country ok - metropolis as far as the eye can see. But the people just amazing. what a delight - what a surprise - what a fabulous first time visit. I will certainly return for a spell in the land of the rising sun! I have been cruising since I was a kid - 1962 was my first sailing on the T.S. Hansiatic. My Mum loved big ships and passed that love onto her kids and I pass that love onto my son who travels with me. His first cruise was when he was 6. He said it was better than Disneyland! We have sailed many different lines over the years. This was our first time on Norwegian and we enjoyed it immensely. The Jewel is a gem of a ship and its crew and staff wonderful. It's pure hedonism - but hey - worth every moment lol! Don't hesitate to take this trip. Oh and I wanted to mention one last thing - the air filtration system on this ship - the JEWEL - is EXCELLENT! I have respiratory issues and always end up with some manner of respiratory distress when on a cruise - but did NOT get a respiratory infection on this ship. So just wanted to let y'all know! And they made every attempt to keep everyone healthy - which was much appreciated also. Bon Voyage then ..... Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I chose this cruise due to the great itinerary, and my previous experiences with Norwegian. Unfortunately, NCL has evidently changed some of its policies to benefit itself. One would think that a single passenger would only have to pay ... Read More
I chose this cruise due to the great itinerary, and my previous experiences with Norwegian. Unfortunately, NCL has evidently changed some of its policies to benefit itself. One would think that a single passenger would only have to pay a maximum of a 100% Single Supplement. I paid the same as 2 passengers but while they would receive 2 Free at Seas, I only received one. And the amount NCL charged for the tips/taxes for the Free Drinks package was over $300 US. Not so free! The information then stated that in order to step onto Russian territory, you had to have either a Russian visa or be booked on an NCL excursion. This proved to be a lie, since as long as you didn't leave Petropavlovsk, no visa was required. As I have visited Alaska on several previous occasions, I was quite happy to fend for myself in the 3 Alaskan ports. I eventually was able to get a Russian excursion that wasn't several hundred dollars due to the perseverance of my agent, and I was very glad that I booked excursions for the 4 Japanese ports. The last one took us on a highlights of Tokyo and then to my hotel. Tokyo is a very intimidating city as far as getting around, so after the cruise, I was very glad to book with another tour company that picked us up from our hotel, took us to the bullet train station, to Kyoto for a tour there, and then all the way back to my hotel. On the final day, I had already booked an airport shuttle to take me to Narita airport, which was not far off a 2 hour trip. I truly feel fortunate that each activity that I had planned went off without a hitch. Embarkation was terrible in Vancouver. Even though I was provided with a 12 to 12:30pm time slot, I didn't actually get on board until after 3pm. NCL doesn't seem to think that its customers have any issues with standing in long lineups, with very little support for those who use walkers/wheelchairs. I can't stand for long periods so was very happy that my hardbody carry-on luggage could be used to sit on. I was totally exhausted by the time I reached my cabin. As far as the actual cruise, the food was fine in the 3 regular waited-on restaurants, as it was at the pay extra restaurants, although I questioned why I had bothered to pay the extra amount. The entertainment was okay but not as good as my previous cruises on the Sun and Dawn. My cabin attendant didn't get my room cleaned until mid-afternoon each day, not something I was used to with NCL. I have wanted to visit Japan for many years, so am glad that I took this cruise, along with the visit to Russia. Due to another passenger's medical emergency, we ended up turning around and visited an island south of the Kamchatka peninsula, which happened to coincide with a volcano starting to erupt straight ahead of us. I have never seen a volcano erupt before in person. There were 3 that erupted within a 24 hour period that passengers were able to see, and despite a couple of typhoons hitting Japan, we were able to miss both of them by the ship changing its course to avoid them. I will be on the Queen Elizabeth next June, a high end cruise line. I wonder why I was able to obtain a whole cabin on this ship for myself, while paying 0% supplement?! I will be looking at other cruise lines other than NCL in the future. I used to think that NCL had the best features, but no more. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We had traveled on this ship last year in Alaska in a small suite. We felt like we were treated like royalty. This trip was a transpacific with many days at sea,so we took a Royal Suite. The room was very comfortable and the butler and ... Read More
We had traveled on this ship last year in Alaska in a small suite. We felt like we were treated like royalty. This trip was a transpacific with many days at sea,so we took a Royal Suite. The room was very comfortable and the butler and concierge were outstanding. The ship is going into refurbishment and it needs it. Carpet is worn and paint is peeling. We had the feeling that the ship was shorthanded. We mostly ate in the Luminae restaurant. This is where we saw fewer servers than last year.The shower was small but very nice. The room was clean and comfortable and while the closet was small,there was ample drawer and cabinet space. Having been to Sitka before, there were no excursions that interested us. We did a ship excursion in Otaru, but did not get much out of it. We thought the entertainment was mediocre at best. WiFi was better than expected on a transpacific with so many days at sea. I would travel with this ship again after the refurbishment. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We found some of the Cruise to be very good. However there were other areas that I felt were less than satisfactory. Activities (on board) were good but very repetitive particularly as we were on board for 8/9 consecutive days. The ... Read More
We found some of the Cruise to be very good. However there were other areas that I felt were less than satisfactory. Activities (on board) were good but very repetitive particularly as we were on board for 8/9 consecutive days. The cabin service was less than satisfactory. On some occassions, our room was not cleaned until after mid-day. The Cabin Attendant did not build any sort of rapport with us and we rarely made contact with him. Shore excursions were, as usual, expensive and unimaginative. Unfortunatley the weather on the Japan tours did little to improve the experience. The dinining each evening was excellent. Our waiter , Basheer and Assistant Suthasine were extremely curtious and very friendly. They should be complemented by Celebrity. Disembarkation included a tour of Tokyo and set down at the airport. My main criticism of this is that our flight was at 10.00pm and we were left at the airport at 3.00pm! Most unsatisfactory and something Celebrity should address. I normally pre-book the drinks package but on this occassion I purchased the standard package at the beginning of the cruise. I was advised of a price by your staff of $675. Much to my surprise, I was charged an additional $121.50 gratuities! despite notifying customer relations at the beginning of the cruise that I did not want gratuities added to my invoice!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My neighbors invited us to travel with them. They have traveled with Celebrity before and apologized for the experience agreeing it was a terrible experience from the room steward to the dinner steward, the food and everything in between. ... Read More
My neighbors invited us to travel with them. They have traveled with Celebrity before and apologized for the experience agreeing it was a terrible experience from the room steward to the dinner steward, the food and everything in between. The service on the ship was terrible; leave for breakfast and 2-3 hours later the stateroom wasn’t made, yet the steward was always smiling. The food was worse than the worse cafeteria food both on Deck 10 and in the dining room. The service in the dining room was S-L-O-W. At least 20 minutes between ordering the meal, receiving the starter, another 20 minutes to receive the main course and at least another 20 minutes after completing or asking them to take a dish away to receive the next item of disgust or the dessert menu then yet another 20 minutes to receive the dessert. Yet the steward and his helper always smiled. The food received at the table at dinner was cold and had to be returned many times. The spa only offered services of the sauna. My husband and myself were denied access to the steam room and other spa facilities other than those at cost such as massage services. When we asked the room steward for CLEAN robes in the stateroom because those in the stateroom had a horrific odor about them, the room steward hung smelly robes in the room. We had to ask for CLEAN ODOR FREE robes in the stateroom. We paid for transportation to the airport at the end of the cruise. We set on a bus at the cruise terminal for 3 hours waiting for the bus to leave the port. We were instructed to disembark and be on the bus for transport to the airport at 0630. We sat on that bus without food water and access to restroom facilities for 3 hours before the bus drove the 2-hour route to Narita Airport. There was constantly a crowd of people outside our stateroom during the cruise. I am a disabled senior citizen. I went to the Main Lobby to complain about the constant crowds outside my stateroom including the fact that other passengers do not have to deal with such crowds at all times of day and evening and I was rudely mistreated by the fellow working the Captains Club. The officers and the crew on the Milennium are very disrespectful. Not only will I NEVER go on another Celebrity Cruise, I do NOT recommend this cruise line at all. I will forever stick with the cruise lines I have sailed with in the past....the wonderfully appointed Holland America Cruise Line. Heck! I have even had better cruise experiences on Carnival Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I had been to Vancouver last year to visit my son- what a great place to start a cruise! Diverse city with loads of things to do and places to see! Granville Island, Stanley Park, Gastown to name a few. We ( a friend from school and me, ... Read More
I had been to Vancouver last year to visit my son- what a great place to start a cruise! Diverse city with loads of things to do and places to see! Granville Island, Stanley Park, Gastown to name a few. We ( a friend from school and me, both in our 60’s) were here for a few days before the cruise started and would love to have spent a few more. The embarkation ran smoothly, quickly and easily. Couldn’t have been better. Everyone involved was helpful and pleasant. The Millenium -All public areas and cabin were kept spotlessly clean and tidy although the fittings and fixtures are a bit tired. Refit due next year I believe. We were in aqua class so we had a balcony which, although we didn’t use often, was a great bonus. We had a few issues with the cabin: the aircon didn’t work, the shower drain was blocked on arrival so it had a musty smell, the water didn’t drain well in the shower so the second person in had to paddle and my friend’s bed had a torn sheet. Those were the negatives. However, most were dealt with really quickly( aircon, sheet, blocked drain) and efficiently. The shower drain remained a problem. To “make up” for this we were given an option to dine in one of the speciality restaurants for a night. . Qsine= confused and confusing- strange mix. Blue= great food, service at times dreadful! 40 mins to get breakfast? Improved as time passed. Sommelier brilliant, maitre de tried his best. Main restaurant very good with lots of choice although was surprised it closed at 1. I do realise they needed to start prep for dinner and give the staff some time off but with all the activities it was difficult sometimes to fit food in! The terrace cafe’s range of food was amazing and tasty although seating on sea days will always be a problem. I was a bit worried about the 8 days at sea but I needn't have worried....so much to do, people to meet, food to eat, lectures, shows, shopping and so much more! Entertainment mixed bag- some superb, some dreadful. The show by the celebrity cast was brilliant. The artists who performed around the ship were also excellent. Activities- art class, unexpected and enjoyable although too big a class to learn a lot. Lectures by Celia Garland on wildlife were absolutely brilliant! Get her back! What a joy to listen to her! Quizzes were fun! There were plenty of other things to choose from eg bridge, salsa, basket ball, ping pong or keep fit, massage etc Got to put a bit in here re shops. Beautiful merchandise, great prices but....please, please be aware of the amounts of duty free you are allowed to take back to your country before you are tempted to buy expensive items on board. Service with a smile sums this area up! Attentive without being overbearing. The guys in the cocktail bar were incredible! Captain Alex was good fun and informative. The folk who manned cafe al baccio were also great. In fact all the staff worked so hard but managed to keep a smile on their face...even at 6 in the morning! Ports were great with lots to do and see. Alaska was amazing. Sapporo had a food festival going on(in honour of samna, a local fish) market food stalls in abundance..what a choice! We didn’t need lunch that day as the stall holders were desperate for us to try their wares and we obliged...it would have been rude not to.We missed Shimizu due to typhoon Trami but we had an extra night in Tokyo. Since we had a trip booked to see Mt Fuji we exchanged this and visited Kamakura instead which proved to be amazing...we would never have seen the giant Buddha otherwise. Most of the excursions we booked(whale watching in Alaska(not to be missed!) were very well planned and executed. The Otaru trip was a huge disappointment! Ok, it was raining but the “ nature walk” round a park was overpriced and quite frankly boring! The best bits were tasting a locally grown apple and losing someone who had nipped into a shop. Honestly the worst celebrity excursion I’ve been on! We would have been better exploring the local port town! It sounded far more exciting! We ended in Tokyo and were lucky enough to stay a couple of extra days. The transfer to our hotel was dreadful. It took over two hours(others in a taxi took 20 mins), because we had to stop at a number of hotels. We rode up the same street 3 times. However Tokyo is an amazing city...not enough time. The people are exceptionally polite, most speak some English( for those of us who don’t speak Japanese) and all are very helpful! The toilets? Well, you’ve heard the stories. In the hotel we were in the seats were warmed and there were various buttons to press for various “treats”. There was also what we referred to as a panic button.....just in case you got overwhelmed with the choice available. We did come across a couple of old style ones on our travels which proved a source of much hilarity. I’m going to miss that heated seat in our cold Scottish winter! Shopping opportunities abound and food available to suit all tastes and pockets. Would I do it all again? Absolutely!!! In a minute!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We took the Celebrity Millennium on a 15 day trans-Pacific trip from Vancouver to Tokyo. It was a trip we were anxiously anticipating since the ship was scheduled initially to go to Dutch Harbor in the Alueutian Islands, a port we would ... Read More
We took the Celebrity Millennium on a 15 day trans-Pacific trip from Vancouver to Tokyo. It was a trip we were anxiously anticipating since the ship was scheduled initially to go to Dutch Harbor in the Alueutian Islands, a port we would never visit otherwise. Six months ago, Celebrity cancelled the port and substituted Sitka. We were never notified of the change nor were our traveling companions who had booked directly with the cruise line. When we discovered the intinerary change, I called to ask why this was done and why we weren’t notified. Basically we were told that it had something to do with Chinese immigration...yes, that’s right...Chinese immigration even though the last time I looked, Dutch Harbor was in the United States. In truth, the person I was talking with was reading from a paper and couldn’t answer any questions. He said that it was the responsibility of our travel agency to inform us of the itinerary change. I called American Express and they had no record of any changes and, as I indicated, our friends who booked directly with Celebrity were not informed either. The “customer service” represented basically told me my only option was to cancel the cruise. Nice. We boarded the ship in Vancouver and the check in was excellent...much better than we have had at the port on previous cruises. The ship is old and worn but it still has character and we like the small size of the ship...2,100 passengers. Captain Alex is awesome. He is quite a personality and just a lot of fun. He is also visiable around the ship which is nice. Overall, the service on the ship was good and the staff was accommodating even though it is a stressful voyage for them with 8 consecuative days at sea. Sitka is a nice port...no complaints about that other than it wasn’t Dutch Harbor. On the first night of the trip, we were eating in a speciality restaurant when the power went out throughout the ship. This was three hours into the voyage. The generates came on with emergency power and I guess the problem was resolved in about 60 minutes. A disturbing way to start a trip when you are crossing the Pacific Ocean. The cabin was fine...we had an eight deck concierge class room with the option of a bottle of champagne every day. The beds are average. Princess is doing a much better job now with their new beds in all staterooms. Lots of rust on the ship but it is going into a major dry dock in 2019. The buffet lunch was average at best. It was always over crowded and guests would sit at tables for hours playing cards and drinking coffee. You could not get a table until after 2 PM for lunch. There is little effort to encourage guests to eat and then vacate tables. They finally put out tent cards with that except they were only in English and they needed to be in at least two other languages. Food was mediocre. The main dining room was better. The service was very good; food just ok but that is not the waiters fault. The gym was absolutely terrible. You could not get a treadmill at any time of the day or night. People would monopolize the machines for hours despite people waiting. It was so bad that security had to be called at least two times that we know of to prevent fights from breaking out. We finally gave up on the gym after a week...it wasn’t worth the hassles or the frustrations. They don’t have enough equipment, the room is too small, and they need to get rid of the paid exercise classes to accommodate passengers who want to work out. The excursions on the ship in Japan were not worth the expense. They mostly consisted of being transported to a certain area and given free time to explore on your own. The Japanese hosts were lovely people but there wasn’t a whole lot to the tours. It seems that the trend in cruise lines is now to de-emphasize service and to find more “revenue enhancement” activities to make more money. That is not a good policy for elite passengers who travel a lot. The evening cocktail party for elites has been reduced in hours and there is now a three drink maximum during that time. Yes, you can use your cruise card at other bars between 5 and 7 PM but the purpose of the party is to visit with other passengers. Overall, it was an ok cruise but, in truth, a bit of a disappointment. We have been looking more at Princess lately and have some pretty good sailings with them. Maybe it is time to switch once and for all? Read Less
Sail Date September 2018

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