Live From March 22, 2018 Diamond - 22 Days SYD to Tokyo

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#1
4,486 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
March 22, 2018 – Turn Around Day – Sydney

And still this morning she is rocking and rolling. Calmed down a bit last night in time for Judy to get out a bit and see the show. The Tasman Sea is not friendly to cruise ships that’s for sure. It wasn’t the size of the swell, or the wind, it was the weird directionless nature of the swell. The ship would pitch up and down, then roll a bit, do the hokey pokey turn itself about, do a loop de loop, then shudder, then smooth out for 20 to 30 seconds, then do it all over again in random order. We’ve been around the horn, through the drake passage, to HI and back several times, a couple of transatlantics, back and forth across the med, up and down the CA coast, around the North Sea, and through the Caribbean countless times, but never experienced this kind of weird motion.

They had a variety show put on by the cruise staff and the dance troupe, plus the orchestra. Finally someone in corporate may be reading my pleadings! They turned the dancers and singers loose. We had a flamenco/tango couple, a vocal duet, a jazz dance quartet, a three way cha cha/vocal, complete with a wardrobe malfunction – when he caught her, her dress got tangled in his shirt or necklace – and a stunning exhibition of gymnastic type dance with incredible strength, grace and beauty – the lifts were simply astounding. This was interspersed with cruise staff skits and ended with If I Were Not Upon the Sea. On other ships this would probably have been the International Crew Show, but on this ship they decided on a different format and it was GREAT! The best show of the cruise, hands down, for me. The production shows can be really good, but it’s the talent and creativity of the staff that makes or breaks the show – and I bet this one didn’t cost them millions either!

Oh yeah, Marcus, the CD, announced at the show that the Diamond would remain in Japan till 2021. I have only seen her schedule to November 2019, so that means the new schedules are about to be released.

BTW – On the subject of the pats of butter controversy. We’ve had a couple of breakfasts and lunches in the MDR and there has been no lack of butter. 2 butter balls per cover was the normal number I saw on the tables and more was brought when asked. Still not sure about dinner as we have not done dinner in the MDR yet.

So let’s preview our 22 day cruise to Tokyo. Lots of sea days. Ports in Darwin, Kunta Kinabalu, Phu My, Nha Trang, Hong Kong, Osaka, Shimizu and Tokyo. We have a mix of private, princess tours and DIYs depending on the port.

Our new cruise director is Lynn Van Vorce.

So now, back to the ship. Here is some info from the first patter of the cruise. For those of you keeping track we have Gennaro Arma as Captain, Craig Dauphinee as Hotel General Manager, Caroline Desbuquois as Entertainment Director, Lynn Van Vorce as Cruise Director, Maarit AArtoaho as Customer Services Director, Steve Reynolds as Food and Beverage Manager, Dirk Daumichen as Executive Chef, Adrian Cristian as Maitre’d.

We have 4 formal nights, one tender port (Na Trang), 4 hours back (30 minutes for Darwin), then 2 hours forward.

Bravo, I Got The Music, Piano Man, Born to Be Wild are the production shows.

Lots more stuff that I will post later, but now we have to get ready to get off and go shopping and sightseeing for the last time in Sydney.

Later…
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Upcoming Cruise Website Links:
Coral Princess 60 Days Circle the Pacific (September 19, 2018)
https://coral09192018cruise.shutterfly.com/
Pacific Princess World Cruise 2019
https://pacific2019worldcruise.shutterfly.com/


Upcoming Cruises:

Coral Princess - 60 Day Circle The Pacific - 09/19/2018

Pacific Princess - World Cruise - R/T LA - 01/20/2019

Ruby Princess - South Pacific - R/T SYD - 03/21/2020
Ruby Princess - SYD to LA - 04/05/2020

Past Cruises (All Princess):

Diamond - Asia 03/22/2018; Diamond - AUS/NZ 03/10/2018; Diamond - Tasmania 03/02/2018; Island - Panama 10/12/2017; Island - Panama 9/23/2017; Island - Coastal 9/20/2017; Emerald - Scandinavia 07/02/2016; Emerald - Norway 06/18/2016; Emerald - Baltic 06/04/2016; Crown - Tahiti 10/17/2015; Golden - Alaska 6/1/15; Golden - Alaska 5/22/15; Ruby - Western Carib 12/13/14; Ruby - Eastern Carib 12/06/14; Ruby - Eastern Carib 11/29/14; Grand -Mexican Riviera 03/05/14; Grand -California Coastal 03/15/14; Grand -Hawaii 03/22/14; Ruby -Transatlantic 11-29-2013; Ruby -Grand Med 11-17-13; Ruby -Eastern Med 11-05-13; Ruby -Eastern Med 10-24-13; Caribbean -British Isles 05-12-13; Caribbean -TransAtlantic 04-27-13;Diamond -Asia/Alaska 04-15-12; Grand -Western Med 10-21-11; Golden -Hawaii 04-27-11; Emerald -Caribbean Combo 11-28-10; Star -Antarctica 02-02-10; Golden -Hawaii 9-27-09; Golden -Pacific Coastal 9-19-09; Grand -Caribbean Collection 3-27-09; Dawn -Mexican Riviera 4-27-08; Island -Panama Canal 2-06-08; Golden -Mexican Riviera 9-29-07; Golden -Pacific Coastal 9-23-07; Caribbean -E. Caribbean 04-29-07; Star -W. Caribbean 04-21-07; Dawn -Mexican Riviera 12-1-06; Island -Alaska 5-22-06; Island -Alaska 5-15-06; Dawn -Mexico 10-2005; Sun -Eastern Caribbean 4-2005; Star -Western Caribbean 12-2004; Island -Panama Canal 1-2004; Sea -Mexico 1-2002; Ocean -Alaska 6-2001
#3
Northern California
2,735 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
I was on the Diamond for the 12 day cruise around New Zealand and noticed very little motion. Looking forward to this cruise. I hope people don’t get the wrong impression.
#5
11,027 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
I got behind in reading your Live From so I just enjoyed following along on your New Zealand cruise. We did that cruise twice late last year with spectacular weather on one cruise and not quite so nice on the other, but we were lucky to see Milford Sound on a dry early morning and a wet afternoon with those gorgeous waterfalls. I think I preferred all the waterfalls...

From here on out I will be taking notes as we are considering cruising to some of the ports you’ll visit on your next leg. I wish you calm seas and sunny skies. Thanks for posting.
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1280 days ~ 128 cruises ~ 29 ships ~ 21 years ~ 6 continents ~ 5 cruise lines
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#8
4,486 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
March 23, 2018 – At Sea To Darwin

Day 1 of 5 days at sea to Darwin and still the Tasman Sea will not let us sleep. Several times last night I woke up being tossed around the bed. More than I ever have before – and we have, now, over 550 days at sea. Looks like another Judy on Deck 5 or in bed day for sure.

But it was an exhausting day in Sydney. Fish market for breakfast – we found even better grilled baby octopus and fried calamari, plus nigiri. Used the last of our Iventure card at the Sydney Eye to see the city in noon day sun. Rode the light rail, the ferry, the train, shopped and talked to some very friendly people. In general had a blast! Sydney is a very tourist friendly city with lots to see and experience. And a lot of it very reasonably priced or even free. I can see why a lot of backpackers come to this city. We will be back to see more of the country – we hope.

They did take our passports upon boarding. We had that happen on the last Asia cruise as well. Still makes you feel a bit funny. We boarded a little after 1400 and had minor lines at the entrance and security.

The BOGO coupon book paid off again last night as we had dinner with Barbara and Peter, from the UK, our upcoming tour ‘buddies’ in Vietnam and Japan. Dinner at Sabatini’s was very good, although Judy did not care for her lobster (bug) that much. The braised short rib pasta was very good, as was my veal. The new menu at Sabatini’s at least doesn’t have them rolling you out after dinner – the smaller portions are greatly appreciated. It was a great dinner with very good conversation. We talked and ate for almost 3 hours, having only conversed via email over the past 9 months!

This morning (1100) is the formal CC meet and greet in Skywalkers. Judy will most likely not attend if the sea keeps kicking us around like this.

From the first patter – we have Scott Williams (Comedy Variety), Ivor Richards (Comedian), Beven Addinsail (Vocalist), Buddy Holly Tribute act, Adam Dean (Comedy/ Magic), Flamenco Express, Kikyo Brothers (Juggler), Daniel and Kimberly Craig (Comedy Variety). Theme nights include Rock and Roll, Country Western – probably the Love Boat Disco Deck Party. The Domino Duo is in the Wheelhouse, Euphoria is the party band, Jon Persson is the Atrium Pianist, Laurier Lachance is the Crooner’s Pianist, the Angelic Dreams Duo are the strings and David Barrett is the solo guitarist.

The strings Duo is phenomenal and David Barrett’s guitar work is pretty good as well. We’ve sat and listened to him a lot on the past cruise and the girls on the duo light up the atrium with their music.

Look like there will be a folkloric show in Hong Kong – masters of Harmonica with Cy Leo. Luca De Pasquale will be the destination expert, Jennipher Marshall-Jenkinson is one of the enrichment lecturers and Caroline and Christian Helm are the others.

Well, that’s a quick overview. Now having my coffee with Joana and Anna in the atrium. Sure nice to see their smiling faces again. Always cheery, happy and energetic!

Later!
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Upcoming Cruise Website Links:
Coral Princess 60 Days Circle the Pacific (September 19, 2018)
https://coral09192018cruise.shutterfly.com/
Pacific Princess World Cruise 2019
https://pacific2019worldcruise.shutterfly.com/


Upcoming Cruises:

Coral Princess - 60 Day Circle The Pacific - 09/19/2018

Pacific Princess - World Cruise - R/T LA - 01/20/2019

Ruby Princess - South Pacific - R/T SYD - 03/21/2020
Ruby Princess - SYD to LA - 04/05/2020

Past Cruises (All Princess):

Diamond - Asia 03/22/2018; Diamond - AUS/NZ 03/10/2018; Diamond - Tasmania 03/02/2018; Island - Panama 10/12/2017; Island - Panama 9/23/2017; Island - Coastal 9/20/2017; Emerald - Scandinavia 07/02/2016; Emerald - Norway 06/18/2016; Emerald - Baltic 06/04/2016; Crown - Tahiti 10/17/2015; Golden - Alaska 6/1/15; Golden - Alaska 5/22/15; Ruby - Western Carib 12/13/14; Ruby - Eastern Carib 12/06/14; Ruby - Eastern Carib 11/29/14; Grand -Mexican Riviera 03/05/14; Grand -California Coastal 03/15/14; Grand -Hawaii 03/22/14; Ruby -Transatlantic 11-29-2013; Ruby -Grand Med 11-17-13; Ruby -Eastern Med 11-05-13; Ruby -Eastern Med 10-24-13; Caribbean -British Isles 05-12-13; Caribbean -TransAtlantic 04-27-13;Diamond -Asia/Alaska 04-15-12; Grand -Western Med 10-21-11; Golden -Hawaii 04-27-11; Emerald -Caribbean Combo 11-28-10; Star -Antarctica 02-02-10; Golden -Hawaii 9-27-09; Golden -Pacific Coastal 9-19-09; Grand -Caribbean Collection 3-27-09; Dawn -Mexican Riviera 4-27-08; Island -Panama Canal 2-06-08; Golden -Mexican Riviera 9-29-07; Golden -Pacific Coastal 9-23-07; Caribbean -E. Caribbean 04-29-07; Star -W. Caribbean 04-21-07; Dawn -Mexican Riviera 12-1-06; Island -Alaska 5-22-06; Island -Alaska 5-15-06; Dawn -Mexico 10-2005; Sun -Eastern Caribbean 4-2005; Star -Western Caribbean 12-2004; Island -Panama Canal 1-2004; Sea -Mexico 1-2002; Ocean -Alaska 6-2001
#9
Queensland, Australia
965 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
So pleased to hear you enjoyed Sydney and plan to come back and visit our country.

Enjoying reading your updates and hearing about familiar crew. So glad to hear they are looking after you.

Luca is a lovely destination expert.

You will certainly be getting great coffees Joana - what a gem she is.

Hopefully the weather will improve for you. The weather bureau is currently watching a cyclone in North Queensland.
#10
4,486 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
March 24, 2018 – At Sea(2) To Darwin

Very good day at sea yesterday. The seas starting calming and by this morning, they are back to their usual slightness. No bumps in the road last night and if there were, we were pretty exhausted. Since no port for 5 days we enjoyed the ship board amenities. Already knew about David Barret in the wheelhouse, but he started at 1700 yesterday and we needed some dance time. Domino Duo took over at 1900. Good music, good company, great dancing, a whole lot of fun, but very exhausting…

The CC Meet and Greet was yesterday as well in Skywalkers. This group is very lively and we have several people that were on the last cruise as well. Our new cruise director Lyn Van Vorce showed up – she just got promoted to CD and this is her first ship as CD. She gets supplemented at Hong Kong by the new Japanese cruise director who will be with her during the Japanese season. Frenchy is still ED and a new Assistant Food and Beverage director was there also. Then the Captain showed up as well. The dashingly handsome Italian captain was asked if he was single – and apparently he gets asked that a lot – as he shared his wife’s instructions to hold the microphone in his left hand with his ring finger wrapped prominently around it!

There will be a crossing the line ceremony as Judy and I are already shellbacks and nearly Golden Shellbacks from the 28 day Tahiti cruise in which I participated in the Crossing the line ceremony with Kelvin Lee.

The International Dining Room (Deck 6 Aft) is open for breakfast as lunch and has become our dining venue of choice with the rough seas, but the food seems to be a little better seasoned and tastier, so we’ve been doing that a lot for breakfast instead of the HC. I tried one of the Pies at the Grill yesterday. Never again for that flavor. I had the meat, cheese and potato. But the cheese was that nasty canned nacho sauce concoction. Not even up to Velveeta standards. On the other hand the pizza was very well done and very tasty with the margherita pizza the best with just the right amount of salt in the crust and cooked perfectly with the right chew vs crunch. Princess pizza, when done right, is pretty darn tasty. I wish they took a page from the Island and made Sabatini’s Alfredo’s for lunch instead of crab shack. We liked being able to sit and enjoy a hand crafted pizza in comfortable surroundings with a glass of wine or a beer that didn’t get warm too fast!

Just breaking daylight and its cloudy out. Getting much warmer and more humid. Sea state is near perfect now with a light pitch and roll, just a hint of wind. Great cruising weather! Nice cup of white chocolate latte, Judy is up and functioning and we surprised Anna with an assortment of chocolate easter eggs from our Sydney shopping excursion.

Today is the first formal night and a time change back one hour. Looks like they will have an escape room this cruise. So we will definitely sign up for this one. They are a blast! And a flashmob as well. There goes the afternoon power nap!

Finally – wandering around Oceania – Later!
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Upcoming Cruise Website Links:
Coral Princess 60 Days Circle the Pacific (September 19, 2018)
https://coral09192018cruise.shutterfly.com/
Pacific Princess World Cruise 2019
https://pacific2019worldcruise.shutterfly.com/


Upcoming Cruises:

Coral Princess - 60 Day Circle The Pacific - 09/19/2018

Pacific Princess - World Cruise - R/T LA - 01/20/2019

Ruby Princess - South Pacific - R/T SYD - 03/21/2020
Ruby Princess - SYD to LA - 04/05/2020

Past Cruises (All Princess):

Diamond - Asia 03/22/2018; Diamond - AUS/NZ 03/10/2018; Diamond - Tasmania 03/02/2018; Island - Panama 10/12/2017; Island - Panama 9/23/2017; Island - Coastal 9/20/2017; Emerald - Scandinavia 07/02/2016; Emerald - Norway 06/18/2016; Emerald - Baltic 06/04/2016; Crown - Tahiti 10/17/2015; Golden - Alaska 6/1/15; Golden - Alaska 5/22/15; Ruby - Western Carib 12/13/14; Ruby - Eastern Carib 12/06/14; Ruby - Eastern Carib 11/29/14; Grand -Mexican Riviera 03/05/14; Grand -California Coastal 03/15/14; Grand -Hawaii 03/22/14; Ruby -Transatlantic 11-29-2013; Ruby -Grand Med 11-17-13; Ruby -Eastern Med 11-05-13; Ruby -Eastern Med 10-24-13; Caribbean -British Isles 05-12-13; Caribbean -TransAtlantic 04-27-13;Diamond -Asia/Alaska 04-15-12; Grand -Western Med 10-21-11; Golden -Hawaii 04-27-11; Emerald -Caribbean Combo 11-28-10; Star -Antarctica 02-02-10; Golden -Hawaii 9-27-09; Golden -Pacific Coastal 9-19-09; Grand -Caribbean Collection 3-27-09; Dawn -Mexican Riviera 4-27-08; Island -Panama Canal 2-06-08; Golden -Mexican Riviera 9-29-07; Golden -Pacific Coastal 9-23-07; Caribbean -E. Caribbean 04-29-07; Star -W. Caribbean 04-21-07; Dawn -Mexican Riviera 12-1-06; Island -Alaska 5-22-06; Island -Alaska 5-15-06; Dawn -Mexico 10-2005; Sun -Eastern Caribbean 4-2005; Star -Western Caribbean 12-2004; Island -Panama Canal 1-2004; Sea -Mexico 1-2002; Ocean -Alaska 6-2001
#11
Chicagoland
2,578 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Looking forward to the rest of your report and weboard Diamond Princess in Tokyo. First time on Princess, so soaking up the information.
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'Life is short, drink the good wine first'

. .



2018: Zaandam 14 day Alaska, RT Seattle; Diamond Princess 7 day Circle Japan.
2017: Prinsendam 14 day Scotland/Ireland ; Volendam 16 day Trans-Pacific, Tokyo to Vancouver; Eurodam 7 day West. Carib.
2016: Rotterdam 18 day Viking Passage, Rotterdam to Boston; Noordam 13 day Australia/New Zealand; Zuiderdam 11 day partial Canal.
2015: Amsterdam 16 day Lima to San Diego; Oosterdam 3 day Coastal; Botticelli 6 day Seine; Veendam 7 day Bermuda; Volendam 17 day N. Pacific Crossing, Kobe to Vancouver
2014: Veendam 18 day Circle Hawaii; Seine Princess 4 day Seine, Paris RT; Veendam 7 day Historic Coasts; Noordam 11 day Med. Explorer; Celebrity Century 8 day E. Carib.
2013: Zuiderdam 7 day E. Carib.; Eurodam 7 day Norse Legends; Veendam 7 day NE/Canada,
2012: Volendam (HAL) 7 day Alaska, CC Review
1980s: SS Dolphin IV; Vista Fjord (Cunard); Rhapsody (Paquet) (Statendam IV); QE II (Cunard) TA; Skyward (NCL).
1970s: Mermoz (Paquet); Orpheus (Epirotiki-Swan's Hellenic); Royal Viking Sea.
#12
Northern California
2,735 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
We are on this cruise as well as the previous one. The most striking positive so far has been the service. From dining room service to our room steward it has been exceptional. Room service has been the fastest and friendliest we have ever seen. Never taking more than 10 minutes from call to knock on the door. After all the Princess cruises we have sailed I finally realized I could call for things that aren’t on the card I put on the door. Been enjoying a veggie omelet and hash browns. Filled out the survey for the previous cruise with lots of 10s and positive comments. Also noted that we don’t miss BOGO at all. I did suggest BOGO might have been better if it had been available at all bars like Celebrity or if they replaced it with a 5 bottle wine package like NCL.
#13
25,736 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Looking forward to following your Live from. We loved the Diamond when we sailed her last October around Japan. Actually we loved it so much we are rebooked to return October 2019. Our next cruise we will head to northern Japan.
Enjoy your cruise!!
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Lisa
Prestige Cruises
HAL
NCL Latitudes Tier Level: Platinum

1.RCI Monarch Mar 2002 Carib,2.HAL ZUIDM Apr 2003 Carib,3.RCI Monarch Dec 2003 Mex,4.HAL Oosterdam May 2004 Alaska,5.HAL Ryndam Nov 2004 Sea of Cortez,6.HAL MS Westerndam Mar 2005 Carib,7. HAL Maasdam NE/Ca July 2005,8. HAL Oosterdam Oct 2005 Mex,9.HAL Oosterdam Feb 2006 Mex,10.HAL Ryndam May 2006 Alaska,11.HAL Veendam Sep 2006 Pac Coastal,12.HAL Zaandam Nov 2006 10 day Mex,13.HAL Oosterdam 30th Anniversary Mar 2007 Mex,14.HAL Noordam Alaska June 2007,15.HAL Noordam Alaska Sep 2007, 16. HAL Oosterdam Dec 2007 Mex, 17.HAL Oosterdam Feb 2008, 18. HAL Amsterdam Alaska June 2008 19. HAL Oosterdam Mex Oct 2008 20. HAL Eurodam Carib Dec.2009 B2B w/ 21. HAL Eurodam Christmas Carib Dec 2008 22. February 2009 HAL Oosterdam Yum Yum Man II Mex 23. April 2009 HAL Statendam Panama Canal 24. HAL Westerdam Alaska June 2009 25. NCL Star Nov.2009 26. PCL Crown Princess .Carib Jan. 2010 27. NCL Pearl Pac Coastal April 2010 28. Cel Solstice W Carib Sept 2010 29.RCI Mariner Mex Nov 2010 30. HAL Nieuw Amsterdam E Carib Mar 2011 31. HAL Westerdam Alaska May 2011 32.HAL Oosterdam Hawaii Oct 2011 33.HAL Westerdam S. Carib Mar 2012 34. HAL Zuiderdam Pac Coastal May 2012 35. HAL Zuiderdam Alaska May 2012 36. NCL Dawn W. Carib Nov. 2012 37. HAL Zuiderdam Pac Coastal May 2013 38. HAL Zuiderdam Alaska May 2013 39. HAL Veendam Mex Dec 2013 40. NCL Jewel W Carib March 2014 41. NCL Jewel W Carib Nov 2014, 42. HAL Volendam Alaska May 2015, 43. NCL Jewel Mexico Nov 2015 44. HAL Koningsdam Inaugural April 2016, 45.HAL Westerdam Oct. 2016 Mexico 46. NCL Dawn W Carib Mar 2017 47. PCL Diamond Japan Oct 2017 48.HAL Oosterdam Mexico Oct 2018 49. NCL Bliss Alaska Sep 2018

Up Coming Cruises
PCL Ruby California Coastal Nov 2018

#14
25,736 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Originally posted by shrimp56
Looking forward to the rest of your report and weboard Diamond Princess in Tokyo. First time on Princess, so soaking up the information.
I think you will really like the Diamond Princess, although I think she is a bit different than the other Princess ships. She definitely has more of a Japanese feel. I am one that thinks there are definitely some big differences between HAL and Princess but we really liked Princess and I think you will too :-)
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Lisa
Prestige Cruises
HAL
NCL Latitudes Tier Level: Platinum

1.RCI Monarch Mar 2002 Carib,2.HAL ZUIDM Apr 2003 Carib,3.RCI Monarch Dec 2003 Mex,4.HAL Oosterdam May 2004 Alaska,5.HAL Ryndam Nov 2004 Sea of Cortez,6.HAL MS Westerndam Mar 2005 Carib,7. HAL Maasdam NE/Ca July 2005,8. HAL Oosterdam Oct 2005 Mex,9.HAL Oosterdam Feb 2006 Mex,10.HAL Ryndam May 2006 Alaska,11.HAL Veendam Sep 2006 Pac Coastal,12.HAL Zaandam Nov 2006 10 day Mex,13.HAL Oosterdam 30th Anniversary Mar 2007 Mex,14.HAL Noordam Alaska June 2007,15.HAL Noordam Alaska Sep 2007, 16. HAL Oosterdam Dec 2007 Mex, 17.HAL Oosterdam Feb 2008, 18. HAL Amsterdam Alaska June 2008 19. HAL Oosterdam Mex Oct 2008 20. HAL Eurodam Carib Dec.2009 B2B w/ 21. HAL Eurodam Christmas Carib Dec 2008 22. February 2009 HAL Oosterdam Yum Yum Man II Mex 23. April 2009 HAL Statendam Panama Canal 24. HAL Westerdam Alaska June 2009 25. NCL Star Nov.2009 26. PCL Crown Princess .Carib Jan. 2010 27. NCL Pearl Pac Coastal April 2010 28. Cel Solstice W Carib Sept 2010 29.RCI Mariner Mex Nov 2010 30. HAL Nieuw Amsterdam E Carib Mar 2011 31. HAL Westerdam Alaska May 2011 32.HAL Oosterdam Hawaii Oct 2011 33.HAL Westerdam S. Carib Mar 2012 34. HAL Zuiderdam Pac Coastal May 2012 35. HAL Zuiderdam Alaska May 2012 36. NCL Dawn W. Carib Nov. 2012 37. HAL Zuiderdam Pac Coastal May 2013 38. HAL Zuiderdam Alaska May 2013 39. HAL Veendam Mex Dec 2013 40. NCL Jewel W Carib March 2014 41. NCL Jewel W Carib Nov 2014, 42. HAL Volendam Alaska May 2015, 43. NCL Jewel Mexico Nov 2015 44. HAL Koningsdam Inaugural April 2016, 45.HAL Westerdam Oct. 2016 Mexico 46. NCL Dawn W Carib Mar 2017 47. PCL Diamond Japan Oct 2017 48.HAL Oosterdam Mexico Oct 2018 49. NCL Bliss Alaska Sep 2018

Up Coming Cruises
PCL Ruby California Coastal Nov 2018

#15
Chicagoland
2,578 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Originally posted by LAFFNVEGAS
I think you will really like the Diamond Princess, although I think she is a bit different than the other Princess ships. She definitely has more of a Japanese feel. I am one that thinks there are definitely some big differences between HAL and Princess but we really liked Princess and I think you will too :-)
We expect to, although it will be a bit of a crash from 4 star to no star

BTW had a lovely lunch with James & Aileen Deering while at a seminar in Tokyo last month. And we will see them again when we return next month. Lovely people and James looks great!
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'Life is short, drink the good wine first'

. .



2018: Zaandam 14 day Alaska, RT Seattle; Diamond Princess 7 day Circle Japan.
2017: Prinsendam 14 day Scotland/Ireland ; Volendam 16 day Trans-Pacific, Tokyo to Vancouver; Eurodam 7 day West. Carib.
2016: Rotterdam 18 day Viking Passage, Rotterdam to Boston; Noordam 13 day Australia/New Zealand; Zuiderdam 11 day partial Canal.
2015: Amsterdam 16 day Lima to San Diego; Oosterdam 3 day Coastal; Botticelli 6 day Seine; Veendam 7 day Bermuda; Volendam 17 day N. Pacific Crossing, Kobe to Vancouver
2014: Veendam 18 day Circle Hawaii; Seine Princess 4 day Seine, Paris RT; Veendam 7 day Historic Coasts; Noordam 11 day Med. Explorer; Celebrity Century 8 day E. Carib.
2013: Zuiderdam 7 day E. Carib.; Eurodam 7 day Norse Legends; Veendam 7 day NE/Canada,
2012: Volendam (HAL) 7 day Alaska, CC Review
1980s: SS Dolphin IV; Vista Fjord (Cunard); Rhapsody (Paquet) (Statendam IV); QE II (Cunard) TA; Skyward (NCL).
1970s: Mermoz (Paquet); Orpheus (Epirotiki-Swan's Hellenic); Royal Viking Sea.
#16
4,486 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by billco
We are on this cruise as well as the previous one. The most striking positive so far has been the service. From dining room service to our room steward it has been exceptional. Room service has been the fastest and friendliest we have ever seen. Never taking more than 10 minutes from call to knock on the door. After all the Princess cruises we have sailed I finally realized I could call for things that aren’t on the card I put on the door. Been enjoying a veggie omelet and hash browns. Filled out the survey for the previous cruise with lots of 10s and positive comments. Also noted that we don’t miss BOGO at all. I did suggest BOGO might have been better if it had been available at all bars like Celebrity or if they replaced it with a 5 bottle wine package like NCL.
I have to agree. Service has been second to none on this cruise. All the bar staff, the wait staff, room steward - excellent!
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Upcoming Cruise Website Links:
Coral Princess 60 Days Circle the Pacific (September 19, 2018)
https://coral09192018cruise.shutterfly.com/
Pacific Princess World Cruise 2019
https://pacific2019worldcruise.shutterfly.com/


Upcoming Cruises:

Coral Princess - 60 Day Circle The Pacific - 09/19/2018

Pacific Princess - World Cruise - R/T LA - 01/20/2019

Ruby Princess - South Pacific - R/T SYD - 03/21/2020
Ruby Princess - SYD to LA - 04/05/2020

Past Cruises (All Princess):

Diamond - Asia 03/22/2018; Diamond - AUS/NZ 03/10/2018; Diamond - Tasmania 03/02/2018; Island - Panama 10/12/2017; Island - Panama 9/23/2017; Island - Coastal 9/20/2017; Emerald - Scandinavia 07/02/2016; Emerald - Norway 06/18/2016; Emerald - Baltic 06/04/2016; Crown - Tahiti 10/17/2015; Golden - Alaska 6/1/15; Golden - Alaska 5/22/15; Ruby - Western Carib 12/13/14; Ruby - Eastern Carib 12/06/14; Ruby - Eastern Carib 11/29/14; Grand -Mexican Riviera 03/05/14; Grand -California Coastal 03/15/14; Grand -Hawaii 03/22/14; Ruby -Transatlantic 11-29-2013; Ruby -Grand Med 11-17-13; Ruby -Eastern Med 11-05-13; Ruby -Eastern Med 10-24-13; Caribbean -British Isles 05-12-13; Caribbean -TransAtlantic 04-27-13;Diamond -Asia/Alaska 04-15-12; Grand -Western Med 10-21-11; Golden -Hawaii 04-27-11; Emerald -Caribbean Combo 11-28-10; Star -Antarctica 02-02-10; Golden -Hawaii 9-27-09; Golden -Pacific Coastal 9-19-09; Grand -Caribbean Collection 3-27-09; Dawn -Mexican Riviera 4-27-08; Island -Panama Canal 2-06-08; Golden -Mexican Riviera 9-29-07; Golden -Pacific Coastal 9-23-07; Caribbean -E. Caribbean 04-29-07; Star -W. Caribbean 04-21-07; Dawn -Mexican Riviera 12-1-06; Island -Alaska 5-22-06; Island -Alaska 5-15-06; Dawn -Mexico 10-2005; Sun -Eastern Caribbean 4-2005; Star -Western Caribbean 12-2004; Island -Panama Canal 1-2004; Sea -Mexico 1-2002; Ocean -Alaska 6-2001
#17
4,486 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
March 25, 2018 – At Sea To Darwin – Day 3

The sea has really calmed down a lot. Perfect sailing weather, just a little to rock you to sleep instead of toss you around in the shower. A bit cloudy, a lot more heat and humidity than the South Island for sure. Talking to one of the cleaning crew this morning he did not get an extra hours sleep last night. That must have sucked. Working at 2 in the morning and then suddenly its one and you get to work an extra hour! Anna and Joanna enjoyed their extra hours sleep, as did we. Now its coffee time. Caramel this morning I think. MMMM good!

We will be doing the escape room this morning and signed up for the flash mob as well. Seems we will have several deck parties over this cruise including the crossing the line deck party and probably the love boat disco deck party as well.

Lots more platinums and elites on this cruise. The Elite lounge is packed at night. They had to call in extra staff from the casino bar to handle the rush. No delays in laundry though, typically second day service in the evening but we have gotten some things back on the second day in the morning. Still putting those stickers on elastic seams! Lots of clothes will not being going home with us from this cruise – but it beats doing laundry for sure.

We had a chance to talk to Lyn, the CD. She has been a CD on the Pacific before, a dancer and is pretty fluent in Japanese. And she has enough energy to run ship. OMG! Keeping up with her must be a challenge to anyone.

We did have breakfast in the MDR again. Sat down and had a very nice discussion with some people from the UK. Food and service was good, with plenty of butter for all. Still have not gone to the MDR for dinner. Trying to avoid eating too much bread – but boy is it good!

TVs are still not working properly. If ours doesn’t come up, we unplug the main power cord and do a power on reset for the entire cabin system. That usually works. So we go another $50 credit each! Nice.

Off to breakfast! Later!
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Upcoming Cruise Website Links:
Coral Princess 60 Days Circle the Pacific (September 19, 2018)
https://coral09192018cruise.shutterfly.com/
Pacific Princess World Cruise 2019
https://pacific2019worldcruise.shutterfly.com/


Upcoming Cruises:

Coral Princess - 60 Day Circle The Pacific - 09/19/2018

Pacific Princess - World Cruise - R/T LA - 01/20/2019

Ruby Princess - South Pacific - R/T SYD - 03/21/2020
Ruby Princess - SYD to LA - 04/05/2020

Past Cruises (All Princess):

Diamond - Asia 03/22/2018; Diamond - AUS/NZ 03/10/2018; Diamond - Tasmania 03/02/2018; Island - Panama 10/12/2017; Island - Panama 9/23/2017; Island - Coastal 9/20/2017; Emerald - Scandinavia 07/02/2016; Emerald - Norway 06/18/2016; Emerald - Baltic 06/04/2016; Crown - Tahiti 10/17/2015; Golden - Alaska 6/1/15; Golden - Alaska 5/22/15; Ruby - Western Carib 12/13/14; Ruby - Eastern Carib 12/06/14; Ruby - Eastern Carib 11/29/14; Grand -Mexican Riviera 03/05/14; Grand -California Coastal 03/15/14; Grand -Hawaii 03/22/14; Ruby -Transatlantic 11-29-2013; Ruby -Grand Med 11-17-13; Ruby -Eastern Med 11-05-13; Ruby -Eastern Med 10-24-13; Caribbean -British Isles 05-12-13; Caribbean -TransAtlantic 04-27-13;Diamond -Asia/Alaska 04-15-12; Grand -Western Med 10-21-11; Golden -Hawaii 04-27-11; Emerald -Caribbean Combo 11-28-10; Star -Antarctica 02-02-10; Golden -Hawaii 9-27-09; Golden -Pacific Coastal 9-19-09; Grand -Caribbean Collection 3-27-09; Dawn -Mexican Riviera 4-27-08; Island -Panama Canal 2-06-08; Golden -Mexican Riviera 9-29-07; Golden -Pacific Coastal 9-23-07; Caribbean -E. Caribbean 04-29-07; Star -W. Caribbean 04-21-07; Dawn -Mexican Riviera 12-1-06; Island -Alaska 5-22-06; Island -Alaska 5-15-06; Dawn -Mexico 10-2005; Sun -Eastern Caribbean 4-2005; Star -Western Caribbean 12-2004; Island -Panama Canal 1-2004; Sea -Mexico 1-2002; Ocean -Alaska 6-2001
#18
Florida
67 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Originally posted by ccrain
I have to agree. Service has been second to none on this cruise. All the bar staff, the wait staff, room steward - excellent!


We did the 20 days before the ship left for Japan and we agree. Whatever they are doing on the Diamond needs to be studied and implemented fleet wide.


Sent from my iPad using Forums
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Carnival Festivale 1989
Premiere Majestic aka The Big Red Boat 1991
RCCL Sovereign of the Seas 1992
Carnival Holiday 1993
Costa Classica 1994
RCCL Song of America 1995
Carnival Destiny 1996
Norway 1997
Celebrity Horizon 1998
Celebrity Galaxy 1999
RCCL Monarch of the Seas 2000
Celebrity Millenium 2001
Golden Princess 2002
Grand Princess 2003
Golden Princess 2003
Star Princess 2004
Carnival Liberty B2B Dec. 2005
Caribbean Princess Oct. 2006
Carnival Celebration Dec. 2006
Costa Mediterranea Feb. 2007
Holland America Zuiderdam Dec. 2007
Holland America Oosterdam Oct. 2008
Emerald Princess 10 day Dec. 2008
RCCL Monarch of the Seas Jan. 2009
RCCL Grandeur of the Seas Jan 2009
Ruby Princess March 2009
HAL Amsterdam to Alaska May 2009
RCCL Monarch of the Seas Oct 2009
Ruby Princess 3 Day Dec 2009
Crown Princess Jan 2010
Ruby Princess Transatlantic April 2010
Emerald Princess 10 Day Dec 2010
Celebrity Century April 2011
Holland America Oosterdam to Alaska June 2011 aft balcony
#19
25,736 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Originally posted by shrimp56
We expect to, although it will be a bit of a crash from 4 star to no star

BTW had a lovely lunch with James & Aileen Deering while at a seminar in Tokyo last month. And we will see them again when we return next month. Lovely people and James looks great!
:-D I heard, ;-) I am a bit jealous lol
I so want to go back to Japan this year but too many other plans, just not enough vacation time. Tom retires next year but with working two full time jobs I do not see retiring anytime soon.
Other than no laundry like 4 star I do not think over all you will feel much difference. Service was really good. But with one of my jobs it gives me the advantage of being Elite although we have done a few Princess cruises. We are actually going to sail on the Ruby in November for a California Coastal.
So not to take up this thread if you want to chat my email is my handle name aol.
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Lisa
Prestige Cruises
HAL
NCL Latitudes Tier Level: Platinum

1.RCI Monarch Mar 2002 Carib,2.HAL ZUIDM Apr 2003 Carib,3.RCI Monarch Dec 2003 Mex,4.HAL Oosterdam May 2004 Alaska,5.HAL Ryndam Nov 2004 Sea of Cortez,6.HAL MS Westerndam Mar 2005 Carib,7. HAL Maasdam NE/Ca July 2005,8. HAL Oosterdam Oct 2005 Mex,9.HAL Oosterdam Feb 2006 Mex,10.HAL Ryndam May 2006 Alaska,11.HAL Veendam Sep 2006 Pac Coastal,12.HAL Zaandam Nov 2006 10 day Mex,13.HAL Oosterdam 30th Anniversary Mar 2007 Mex,14.HAL Noordam Alaska June 2007,15.HAL Noordam Alaska Sep 2007, 16. HAL Oosterdam Dec 2007 Mex, 17.HAL Oosterdam Feb 2008, 18. HAL Amsterdam Alaska June 2008 19. HAL Oosterdam Mex Oct 2008 20. HAL Eurodam Carib Dec.2009 B2B w/ 21. HAL Eurodam Christmas Carib Dec 2008 22. February 2009 HAL Oosterdam Yum Yum Man II Mex 23. April 2009 HAL Statendam Panama Canal 24. HAL Westerdam Alaska June 2009 25. NCL Star Nov.2009 26. PCL Crown Princess .Carib Jan. 2010 27. NCL Pearl Pac Coastal April 2010 28. Cel Solstice W Carib Sept 2010 29.RCI Mariner Mex Nov 2010 30. HAL Nieuw Amsterdam E Carib Mar 2011 31. HAL Westerdam Alaska May 2011 32.HAL Oosterdam Hawaii Oct 2011 33.HAL Westerdam S. Carib Mar 2012 34. HAL Zuiderdam Pac Coastal May 2012 35. HAL Zuiderdam Alaska May 2012 36. NCL Dawn W. Carib Nov. 2012 37. HAL Zuiderdam Pac Coastal May 2013 38. HAL Zuiderdam Alaska May 2013 39. HAL Veendam Mex Dec 2013 40. NCL Jewel W Carib March 2014 41. NCL Jewel W Carib Nov 2014, 42. HAL Volendam Alaska May 2015, 43. NCL Jewel Mexico Nov 2015 44. HAL Koningsdam Inaugural April 2016, 45.HAL Westerdam Oct. 2016 Mexico 46. NCL Dawn W Carib Mar 2017 47. PCL Diamond Japan Oct 2017 48.HAL Oosterdam Mexico Oct 2018 49. NCL Bliss Alaska Sep 2018

Up Coming Cruises
PCL Ruby California Coastal Nov 2018

#20
4,486 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
March 26, 2018 – At Sea To Darwin – Day 4

A bit cloudy yesterday with breaks now and again. Going through the interior channels on the great barrier reef. Probably what is helping the sea state as it is near motionless now. Hot and humid as well. Just breaking daylight and it looks a bit cloudy today as well.

Judy has her ‘sushi’ massage this morning. The one with the seaweed wrap. We usually splurge on at least one per cruise sequence. With all the different and new ports on this cruise, she can’t do one on a port day, so we will have to pay full price on this one – ouch!

We saw Ivor Richards (comedian) last night. Very good. A one liner standup comedian in the old style. If this one doesn’t work, the next one will. Rapid fire and a heavy Liverpool accent. I had to dial in as did Judy and even a couple of Aussies behind us - so I didn’t feel too left out. Once again the 1930 show was packed by 1915 with only a few seats left. We got there early and sipped a couple of Fosters while doing some light reading. Electronics are the best way to pass time in the theater.

They scheduled the Domino Duo into Fusion last night. Fusion has the best dance floor in the fleet. Lots of room, but lots of dancers as well. Princess looks like they still have the most dance venues on their Grand and SuperGrand ships than any other ships – and they use them. (We do not like the Royal class because of the lack of dance venues with proper dance flooring. Dancing on concrete tiles in the Atrium – Royal, Regal, Majestic - does not make for happy ankles and knees!)

Had breakfast with couples from Australia and New Zealand (Napier) yesterday. I got a big laugh in the hallway later as we talked to Barbara (UK) about liking to dine with people from other countries. I think my comment was that we didn’t want to eat with boring Americans…I mean we live with them most of our lives! The great thing is that we talked over breakfast for over an hour about everything under the sun except for my two ‘do not go there’ topics on cruises – politics and religion – although talking about ABC’s, religious piles of rocks, temples, and stuff like that is just fine…I especially enjoyed talking about Napier and the Art Deco theme the entire town embraces.

Lunch buffet was actually really good yesterday. A really nicely fried catfish with a corn meal crust, a couple of really good cold salads, a great spaghetti carbonara and a tasty chili. I did solve the issue with the boring cheese rotation in the Elite Lounge. Last night was Sushi night, but very lacking compared to past lounges. Only 4 different types of rolls, no nigiri, no seaweed (red or green), so separate mixing bowls for the soy and wasabi, and basically the same cheeses as before, smoked gouda, a cheddar and a jack, only packaged crackers. So went to down to the HC and made up my own plate of cheeses and snacks from down there. Blue cheese, pepper jack, swiss, salami, gherkins, grapes, slices of rye bread, salami, etc. Bring back to the lounge and enjoy. Got several funny ‘hungry’ looks from others eyeing my blue cheese and salami…hey its just 4 floors down!

We are having a most traveled luncheon and we did make the cut. This time tomorrow in Sabatini’s. Looking forward to it. Love the luncheons! It will be interesting to see which table we get. The table order indicates your ranking in the top 40. On the Panama cruise last year we actually made the 3rd highest and got to sit with the Captain and the top 2. I would imagine we aren’t in the top 3 this time, not with top couples having over 1000 days as of late, but we are slowly climbing up the tables!

Learning our flashmob steps from Lyn as well. We will be doing the flashmob during the Crossing the Line Deck party.

Having a real issue with the A/C in the cabin. (Had a similar problem on the Island last year that they could not fix at all.) It would not cool down past 73F yesterday and gets up to 77F in the afternoon when the sun hits that side of the ship. They’ve been trying to fix it by adjusting the thermostat, but I think its more of an airflow issue as the bathroom air vent is barely pushing air and the central air vent is dropping cold air, but at not a lot of volume. Interesting enough there are corridors on the ship that are very cool, while ours is really hot almost all day. I wonder if there is a fan/coil unit out in our part of the ship that is limiting air flow into the corridors and the rooms. Usually you can hear the air in the hallways, but not in our section. In any event this is going to get even more miserable as we get higher heat loads in the tropics. No relief in sight until Hong Kong!

Not sure if I mentioned it or not, but because of Princess’s change in excursion policy, pre-pay, and their prices, we are venturing out into some CC member’s private tours on this cruise. Although Darwin and Kota Kinabalu will be Princess tours, we will be doing private tours in Vietnam (both ports), Hong Kong, Osaka and Tokyo. DIY is planned for Shimizu – a train ride to the temple area and a stroll around the shopping area and fish market. I already have over 20 Trip Advisor reviews written for our past travels, this will definitely add some more.

Internet is slllloooooooowwwwww. Especially after 0700 in the morning as more and more people log in. Even at 0500 this morning, it was painful, but having cut my teeth on 150 BAUD dial-up, I can at least appreciate the slow speed connecting to servers halfway around the world. Now if only we could get rid of all of this video and photo webpage garbage that clogs the system – remember the days when you could turn off all this junk and grey out the photo boxes and just read the text? That would help speed things immensely!

So later!
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Upcoming Cruise Website Links:
Coral Princess 60 Days Circle the Pacific (September 19, 2018)
https://coral09192018cruise.shutterfly.com/
Pacific Princess World Cruise 2019
https://pacific2019worldcruise.shutterfly.com/


Upcoming Cruises:

Coral Princess - 60 Day Circle The Pacific - 09/19/2018

Pacific Princess - World Cruise - R/T LA - 01/20/2019

Ruby Princess - South Pacific - R/T SYD - 03/21/2020
Ruby Princess - SYD to LA - 04/05/2020

Past Cruises (All Princess):

Diamond - Asia 03/22/2018; Diamond - AUS/NZ 03/10/2018; Diamond - Tasmania 03/02/2018; Island - Panama 10/12/2017; Island - Panama 9/23/2017; Island - Coastal 9/20/2017; Emerald - Scandinavia 07/02/2016; Emerald - Norway 06/18/2016; Emerald - Baltic 06/04/2016; Crown - Tahiti 10/17/2015; Golden - Alaska 6/1/15; Golden - Alaska 5/22/15; Ruby - Western Carib 12/13/14; Ruby - Eastern Carib 12/06/14; Ruby - Eastern Carib 11/29/14; Grand -Mexican Riviera 03/05/14; Grand -California Coastal 03/15/14; Grand -Hawaii 03/22/14; Ruby -Transatlantic 11-29-2013; Ruby -Grand Med 11-17-13; Ruby -Eastern Med 11-05-13; Ruby -Eastern Med 10-24-13; Caribbean -British Isles 05-12-13; Caribbean -TransAtlantic 04-27-13;Diamond -Asia/Alaska 04-15-12; Grand -Western Med 10-21-11; Golden -Hawaii 04-27-11; Emerald -Caribbean Combo 11-28-10; Star -Antarctica 02-02-10; Golden -Hawaii 9-27-09; Golden -Pacific Coastal 9-19-09; Grand -Caribbean Collection 3-27-09; Dawn -Mexican Riviera 4-27-08; Island -Panama Canal 2-06-08; Golden -Mexican Riviera 9-29-07; Golden -Pacific Coastal 9-23-07; Caribbean -E. Caribbean 04-29-07; Star -W. Caribbean 04-21-07; Dawn -Mexican Riviera 12-1-06; Island -Alaska 5-22-06; Island -Alaska 5-15-06; Dawn -Mexico 10-2005; Sun -Eastern Caribbean 4-2005; Star -Western Caribbean 12-2004; Island -Panama Canal 1-2004; Sea -Mexico 1-2002; Ocean -Alaska 6-2001