This was one our favorite cruises. We will definitely go back to Japan in the near future.
5 out of 5
The fastest embarkation process we have experienced to date.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
We were very pleased with all of the dining options. We disappointed that the Sterling Steakhouse did not have it's own designated restaurant like the Kai Sushi and Sabatini's. It was basically a sectioned off area of the back part of the Horizon Court on the Lido deck. We have been on other Princess cruise ships and the Crown Grill Restaurant offers a great ambience for their diners. The ambience may not have been the best, but the service from the wait staff was outstanding! They gave us the perfect amount of attention; always anticipating our needs. The food was outstanding. I personally liked the fact that they offered individual side dishes versus family style. The family style was always way too much food and I didn't like the food was "wasted" when we couldn't finish it all.
We also enjoyed the sushi at Kai Sushi. The service was great, but it took a while to receive our main course. It was surprising since there were only 3 other tables besides us.
Sabatini's also offered outstanding food as well as service. The wait staff was very professional and personable.
We also enjoyed the wide variety of foods offered at the Horizon Court, Pizza Station and the Hamburger/Hot Dog Station. The wait staff kept the tables clean and were very quick to offer drinks as needed.
4 out of 5
We only used the hot tubs and it was enjoyable.
5 out of 5
We thoroughly enjoyed all the shows, musicians, comedians and magician! Superb!
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Excellent service was provided by the waiters and ship personnel. Our Cabin Steward was outstanding. We were in A720.
5 out of 5
This is a smaller ship than some of the previous ones we have been on, but it was well maintained and very clean. There were a couple of areas(doors) that had severe rust spots and I was surprised that the doors had not been replaced.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
We were very pleased with our inside cabin. It was very clean and for the most part it was quiet except for the family next door to us in A718...they had young children who would scream and run down the hallway and the entire family would slam their doors at all hours of the day and night.
We were extremely pleased with taking Diamond Princess during the Spring Flowers cruise. We were able to see the cherry blossoms in all of the ports.
We loved the port as the embarkation/debarkation port. Very modern facilities and spacious. It was very easy to get on and off the ship. We truly appreciated the free shuttle service offered from the port to the Yokohama Train terminal.
5 out of 5
We did Highlights of Gamagori and Seafood BBQ Lunch excursion. Our tour guide was Hiromi Kobayashi and she was was excellent! Very informative and professional. I wish we had had more time at Takishima Island. We barely got to see the Island before we had to board the bus for the next stop. In fact, the next stop was the Flower Lagoon. Although it was beautiful, we would have preferred to have skipped the Flower Lagoon to be able to stay longer at Takashima Island. Our next stop was at a restaurant where we grilled our own food. I think it was Orange Restaurant?? It was extremely disorganized and too crowded to move around. It would have been nice if the food had been labeled and instructions on how long to cook the food. The next stop was the fish market. It was interesting, but I think many of people were afraid to purchase the food because we were afraid customs would confiscate our purchases. It would have been nice to go to an shopping center to buy regular souvenirs. Personally, we would have preferred to have stayed longer at Takashima Island and then go to a shopping area where we could have picked our own lunch and done souvenir shopping instead of the Flower Lagoon and Fish Market. I am not sure if it was worth the $149.95 per person.
We did the Nara & Osaka Castle excursion. Our tour guide was excellent(I can't remember his name). He was also very informative and professional. We thoroughly enjoyed Nara Park with the Sika deer, Kasuga-taisha Shrine and Rokuen Temple. The lunch that was included in the excursion was excellent. Our last stop was the Osaka Castle. Unfortunately, we only had a limited amount of time and we did felt rushed trying to see what we wanted to see there. Our last stop was at the Dotombori shopping district in Osaka. I would still highly recommend this excursion.
We were suppose to do the Ruygado Cave and Katsurahama Beach excursion, but once we were onboard the ship, we were informed that not enough people signed up for this excursion and it was canceled. We did some research on our laptop and decided that we wanted to see Kochi Castle and the Katsurahama Beach on our own. We decided to take the shuttle from the ship to the Kochi train station. The shuttle was arranged by Princess and it cost $10 per person. Although we had a map of the city, it was a bit confusing trying to figure out how to get to the Kochi Castle. The city has local people who speak very good English to help direct people to where they need to go. We took a tram to the nearest tram stop and walked to the Castle. I must say to get to the Castle, is quite strenuous. Lots of climbing up stairs and walking a great distance. It was worth it for us, but I don't think elderly people or people with disabilities could get to it. We then took a bus to Katsurahama Beach. Again, the map showed the bus station, but it was difficult for us to find. We happened to stumble upon it. You need to have plenty of time to get to the beach because the bus makes quite a few stops. The beach was nice but it didn't seem to have a lot of restaurant options. There were quite a few shops though. We wanted to stop at the botanical gardens on the way back, but we were too tired from walking so much. We took the bus back into the city and found a nice shopping area and had lunch there before getting back on the shuttle bus to the cruise ship. It is a place you can do on your own, but make sure you give yourself enough time and know that there is a lot of walking involved.
We did the Korean BBQ and Gukje Market excursion. Our tour guide was very informative and organized. We went to the Gukje Market and we had the choice of staying with the tour guide or exploring on our own. we deduced to explore on our own. We went to a nearby park and it was beautiful with all the flowers and cherry blossoms blooming. We also went to the Busan Tower and went to the top to get a 360 degree view of Busan. Our tour guide took us to a local restaurant where we had traditional Korean BBQ. This lunch was little more organized, but I think some people were afraid to eat with the utensils because we started with raw food and then we cooked it ourselves. Many people did not know ow to use the chop sticks and I think they felt they were cross contaminating the utensils that they cooked with and then used to eat with. We felt a little rushed eating and trying to get back on the bus so that they could take us back to the port. I would have preferred to have spent more time in the shopping district and trying the street food...it looked delish. Since we did not know the area well, I think the $69.95 fee per person was fair, but I am sure more adventurous people could do their own tour for a lot cheaper and they could possibly see more?
5 out of 5
The excursion we picked was the Best of Nagoya and it as fantastic. We had wonderful tour guide who not only was informative and organized, she entertained us with her singing. We went to the Atsuta-jingu Shrine for our 1st stop. We ended up exploring the Shrine on our own. We felt we could cover more ground in the limited time we had. We drove through Nagoya to our next stop which was the Nagoya Castle. It was stunning with all of the cherry blossoms surrounding the castle. We wanted to try the food from the many food trucks on the grounds of the castle, but our next stop was lunch at a local restaurant. The lunch was delicious, but for my husband who is 6'2" and 200 lbs, it was not enough. The service there was okay, but slow. Many people did not get their drinks until after they were finished with their meals. My husband never received his coke. Our next stop was Tokugawa Art Museum and Gardens. It was fantastic. The Art Museum featured the huge collection of Hina Dolls. They were beautiful. We went next door to the Gardens and it was stunning. Beautiful landscaping and huge koi fish in the pond. We truly enjoyed walking the grounds of this garden. This excursion was well worth the price of $189.95 per person.
5 out of 5
We the walk off on your own and it was very quick and easy.
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