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Diamond Princess Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
895 reviews
1 Award

The Japanese people made it special

Review for Diamond Princess to Asia
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TRUEBLUE66
10+ Cruises • Age 50s

Rating by category

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Additional details

Sail Date: May 2019
Cabin: Mini-Suite with Balcony

We arrived in Kobe the day before the cruise and spent the night at the Okura Kobe hotel down by the waterfront area. An excellent hotel with unusually large rooms for Japan and a mixed Japanese/International breakfast. Our room had a view of the port and the cruise terminal from the 26th floor and also the exceptional Japanese toilet, which we wanted to take home! There was also a Starbucks on the waterfront next to the hotel which was handy for my wife’s coffee fix at midday before we set off for the ship.

A 10 minute taxi ride had us at the terminal and we were processed fairly quickly and onboard in approx. 30 minutes, so off to a good start.

The ship overall was well cared for despite its age with only minor signs of wear and tear, but nothing that would put anyone off. I particularly like the grand class for the internal layout and the large full walk- around promenade deck.

Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony

Cabin M1

We had a club class mini suite on the starboard side mid ship. Lots of space, large balcony and decent sized bath. Also, probably, the only larger cruise ship with Japanese toilets!

Port Reviews

Kobe

Our first stop was Kochi.NOT Kobe but there is no drop down for this port. The Princess tours did nothing for us and were very expensive for what you got so we arranged a local volunteer guide along with some fellow passengers in advance and she met us off the shuttle bus in town. We spent several hours with her showing us the castle and the temple/botanical gardens on the hill outside town. We also had a traditional Japanese meal kneeling/sitting on the floor. Everything was in Japanese so we took pot luck! Probably saw more through the eyes of a local than on an organised tour.

Osaka

Was actually Matsuyama but again no drop down choice.

Onto day 3 and Matsuyama. This was the first time the ship has called at this port. The ship arrived at the dock at approx. 530 in the morning to a large group of people singing, a band playing and children waving flags! This was happening a short distance from our balcony and certainly gave us {and most others} an earlier wakeup call than we had planned! We saw the funny and, well intentioned side of it, and hope the others who had been loudly wakened did too! As is tradition the Captain received a plaque from the city to be displayed onboard.

We took the ship shuttle the short distance to the train station and then the train into the centre of the city. The locals had really put out the welcome mat for us all with lots of English speaking staff to give directions or helpful advice. We wandered about on foot and used the trams to explore and had a great day climbing up to the castle and seeing the old buildings around the city. They also offered a free trip on the Big wheel on top of the Station building when buying the train/tram tickets for the day. On getting back the port, again the locals had gone out of their way to welcome the passengers with shows and local crafts, tea ceremony demonstrations etc. which lasted even after we pulled away from the dockside. In addition they opened the port to the curious locals to come along and hundreds did to enjoy the entertainment and wave us off. A truly moving and memorable experience.

Busan, South Korea

Final port day and a lunchtime arrival in Busan, South Korea. We booked an independent tour along with a few other passengers and had a great guide, Beth {not her real name which was too hard to pronounce}. She had lived in England and Edinburgh {our area!} for several months whilst studying and her English was very good as was her delivery of information. We were driven about the main sights including the cultural village which some say reminds them of Santorini {only if you’ve been drinking and never been to Santorini!} and had a Korean barbecue meal with the locals. Passed under the neon lit up bridge as we left port. An enjoyable day.

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