The cruise met all our expectations. Diamond Princess could do with a little make-over but it is more than comfortable and an enjoyable place to spend a couple of weeks. The itinerary lived up to the billing so no nasty unexpected surprises. Do your homework on ports before going and know what you want to do in each port. Book to avoid disappointment.
5 out of 5
Embarkation was quick and efficient. Ship was late on arriving due to bad weather but our luggage was all taken from us and stored while we went to explore Yokohama until new boarding time.
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
The food was good enough. I had read some negative reviews and was wary of these, but I had no real complaints. If I had to nit-pick, I would say that some evenings there were too many sea-food options in the main dining which is fine if you like sea-food, not great if you don’t. But I always managed to get something and it was always well cooked and hot and where appropriate, served on a hot plate. On some evenings we just ate in the buffet when we had a late return to ship. Again, no issues and this was our choice.
3 out of 5
Can’t really comment as we did not use many of the facilities other than the gym. One treadmill was broken and one cycle machine was not working well. On sea days the gym can be busy and it is quite small.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Staff are friendly and welcoming, as you would expect.
3 out of 5
Evidence of some small leaks on wet days and not just in the upper decks. Buckets used to gather water from the leaks. Layout is ok and each stairwell has a good map of where you are so it is easy to get around.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
The bed was very comfortable. The room was bigger than expected, bigger than any other internal staterooms I have had on other CruiseLine’s. We especially liked the separate changing area beside the wardrobe area. This gave so much more space for moving around the main cabin when two people were getting dressed at the same rime. The bathroom was also bigger than expected with no issues of banging knees off any of the fittings or doors. The room had a very large flat screen TV, easily the biggest of any CruiseLine I have used so far.
The room is also very quiet, which us what we wanted. The only noise you will hear through the night is the humming of the air-con.
The popular shore excursions will fill quickly so pre-book any you absolutely want.
We did our own thing in Toba. It is a small town so easy to walk around on your own and visit a few shrines or the aquarium or the pearl divers. If this doesn’t do it for you then advise to book a trip taking you further out of Toba
Another cycle trip, this time a little longer than the previous day in Hoi An. Roads were also busier so once you get used to the traffic (mopeds etc) you will settle in to this. Again even though the traffic seemed manic, we never felt unsafe with mist of the traffic watching what you were doing and driving around you. Very polite!
Disembarkment and we spent a couple of days here. No where near long enough. We used the MRT to get around with no issues. So many ‘must do’s’ here - Marina Bay Sands (pat to go to C’est La Vie bar and have a drink/food overlooking the infinity pool (price of ticket is fully refundable against food or drink), Gardens By The Bay, Raffles (afternoon tea and visit to the Long Bar - queues at peak times), and so on. Stay more than 2 days!
Amazing city with a lot of recent history to be explored. We did our own thing here using the shuttle service from the port. There is absolutely nothing to see or do at the port so you must to a trip or take the shuttle (not free!) to Ho Chi Minh. Try a Vietnamese coffee but be aware it is strong!
Hong Kong has suffered recently due to the rioting through 2019 and as a result many of the MTR stations had been damaged. The planned New Year fireworks were rumoured to have been cancelled. The new port at Kai Tak is quite a distance from Kowloon so if exploring on your own, you will need to either use the free shuttle bus to a local shopping centre then organise your own travel to Kowloon or wherever from there or get your own taxi from the port. At no point did we feel unsafe nor did we see any trouble during the 2 days there, even though rioting had been reported in the news. Just be aware of any advice and avoid trouble areas (2019 / 2020).
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