My husband booked through C-Trip. Our tour guide called him the day before, to inform him that she needed our original passport copy, though the website said if we book through C-trip, the tour guide will be the one to do the photocopy for us.
We arrived at the sea port in Puxi on the day of departure at 12:30 p.m. Everything was in progress smoothly. My husband managed to pick up the internet modem that we could only use in Japan.
We booked the VIP room, so were allowed to use the VIP special lane. We arrived at the ship quickly, checked out our rooms. There was serious congestion at the entrance, as some of the passengers were taking photos there. My husband asked if we can skip that process, they consented and so we checked into the room quickly, and went to the 9/F buffet restaurant for lunch. The lunch was only so so, not that great. Then after lunch, we were informed that we needed to participate in the ship's emergency drill for escape. When I arrived at the place, one of the staff kindly corrected the way I wore the emergency life vest. The procedure ended quickly. Then we went back to the room.
For VIP rooms, we can have our 3 meals at their special restaurants reserved for the suites only on the 3/F. The first night was terrible, as the food was served cold to us. Basically, the foods were the same as that of the 2/F, you just need to fill in a form, and handed in to 1 of the waiters in the restaurant.
There were programs to watch at the theatre every night, at either 6:30 p.m. or 8:15 p.m.
The only downside is that there were a lot of learn to dance programs, which suited females mostly, but what about the males?
They also have a video gaming centre, but then again it is not free of charge.
Do not be fooled by their Olympia gym. It is actually a very small gym, with only 2 treadmills, 1 elliptical machine, 2 stationary bikes, 4 strength machines and some heavier dumbbells. On the night that I went to their gym on Friday (Aug 18), the 2 treadmills were all occupied, so I could only use the strength machines (out of the 4 machines, the leg press machine was broken) and did some burpees on the gym floor.
The other downside is that the restaurants reserved specially for VIP guests actually closes very early for the 3 meals: 9 a.m. for breakfast, 12:30 p.m. for lunch and not later than 7:30 p.m. for dinner.
On the day that the ship arrived at Nagasaki (Day 3), the breakfast restaurant even closed at 8 a.m., though our tour did not really start until 9 a.m. My husband specially told their manager that I would be a bit late for breakfast, but still we were being criticized by the Malay waiter. My husband flew a rage at him, only to be consoled by the manager that he would be the one taking care of our table that morning.
Another thing is that some of the guests were really selfish. On the night that we returned from Japan, there were only 2 pens in the penholder of the restaurant. My husband politely asked the lady standing next to us to lend to us the pen she was using for a while on the order form, as we already made up our minds what to eat. However, she refused to do so. Then her husband barged in and quarreled with my husband, said that it is on a first come first served basis. My husband said alright, the lady could use the pen. However, out of no reason, the husband continued to quarrel with my husband, with their very young son standing on the side, and the wife had to shout at the husband to stop the quarreling.
The staff on the 9/F also needs better training, as my husband asked for a little milk for his tea, but ended up with a whole new cup of milk.
The places we went to in Nagasaki, 3 of the 4 places were actually not worth visiting, with the exception of He Ping Park. The pottery shops and the drugs store were really not worth visiting, as they are quite expensive. Their special electronic shop for tourists would be great for if you are a shopping addict person. I saw a few members of the other tours bought some Tiger brand rice cooker(s) from there.
Do remember to leave your clothes to be worn on the day of your return to Shanghai, and not pack it into the checked in luggage, as our tour guide said that she had seen previously guests who panickly went to the guests service on the day of departure in their pajamas, crying that their clothes to be worn were inside the checked in luggage.
If you purchase things from Japan such as expensive watch or handbags, do wear them or carry them on your shoulder so that you would not be fined by the Immigration at Shanghai.
Do pick a suite with full sea view windows with balcony so that you can enjoy the views each day.