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Just Back from Diamond Princess 17-Day Grand Japan 7/8/16-7/25/16 ... AMA!


Big_G_111
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1) Believe it or not, I DID use the Izumi bath - twice. I was the only gaijin I ever saw anywhere near the facilities the entire cruise. Cost was $15/visit, or 5 for $60. Facilities were well-kept and lightly used.

 

The first time, I was the only one there until I was leaving. Since you're walking around buck-naked, there is no staff inside the facilities themselves. I had to figure it out on my own. That led to some comedic situations, like when I cleaned myself head-to-toe with what I later concluded was a foot bath station.

 

The second time, there were 3-4 Japanese natives - older gentlemen - using the facilities. One of them even asked me on the way out how I enjoyed the bath. "Very relaxing, yes?" Given that they have 4 hot tubs, a sauna, and a cascading shower, none of us were ever in the same spot at the same time. The second time, I also made use of the outdoor hot tub. (Yes, I put on a swimsuit first. :) ) There were two older Japanese ladies out there, and my presence was definitely a "farting in church" situation. Since the main part of the bath is single-sex, I think they were unaware that the outside part was supposed to be co-ed. Either that, or they thought I was crashing the hot tub without paying for the Izumi bath. Anyway, I came in and they left in a dither 30 seconds later. Sorry ladies. :)

 

 

Konnichiwa Big_G_111,

 

Your post was hilarious and I had a good laugh to myself at my work desk! I'm looking forward to trying the bath myself and will try to make sure i don't cause any awkward or hasty departures from the outdoor tub.

 

Is it mandatory for you to go into the baths naked in the indoor area (like it is in Japan itself) or is it swimsuit-optional?

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No, we didn't. But plenty of other people did.

 

During the "pitstop" day in Yokohama between cruise legs, we kicked around town for a few hours, then headed back to the ship in early afternoon. On the way back, it was almost like a snowball, as we accumulated more and more fellow cruisers, all heading to the port terminal. And many of those had all their luggage with them. So I assume they took the train to Yokohama, then legged it the remaining several blocks.

I can imagine that. Thanks.

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Is it mandatory for you to go into the baths naked in the indoor area (like it is in Japan itself) or is it swimsuit-optional?

 

I saw this phrase advertising an onsen: "Nudity is not an option." Well, that clears things up! :D

 

That applies on-board the Diamond Princess as well. You MUST be wearing your birthday suit to use the Izumi facilities. This was explained to me at least 2 or 3 times on check-in, so I'm guessing they've had problems making this clear in the past.

 

That brings to mind another Westerner screw-up I committed. When I went into the sauna, I didn't want to drop my bare butt on the wooden seats, so I used a small towel to sit on. Later, I discovered that the towel isn't for that, but to cover up your John Thomas when walking from A to B.

 

So not only did I mess up the sauna etiquette, I was walking around the spa like an idiotic "proud owner".

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I saw this phrase advertising an onsen: "Nudity is not an option." Well, that clears things up! :D

 

That applies on-board the Diamond Princess as well. You MUST be wearing your birthday suit to use the Izumi facilities. This was explained to me at least 2 or 3 times on check-in, so I'm guessing they've had problems making this clear in the past.

 

That brings to mind another Westerner screw-up I committed. When I went into the sauna, I didn't want to drop my bare butt on the wooden seats, so I used a small towel to sit on. Later, I discovered that the towel isn't for that, but to cover up your John Thomas when walking from A to B.

 

So not only did I mess up the sauna etiquette, I was walking around the spa like an idiotic "proud owner".

 

OMG, I'm dying from laughter right now. You are braver than me. Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm sure I would be just as ignorant of the sauna etiquette.

 

DH and I will be on the Diamond in Feb. 2018, but as the ship will be in Australia, I wonder if passengers will be clothed?

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We were on one cruise (not Princess) where announcements were made in five languages. That really took a good bit of time.

We were also on another cruise line where bingo was played in FIVE languages. Highlight of cruise, lol

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DH and I will be on the Diamond in Feb. 2018, but as the ship will be in Australia, I wonder if passengers will be clothed?

 

We were on the Diamond's around Australia cruise where the majority of passengers were Aussies. It was still nude bathing in the Japanese internal baths (males/females segregated) and then mixed bathing outside (with swimming costumes). Very few passengers participated and I think they even reduced the cost towards the end of the 28 day cruise.

 

Keep a lookout on the Princess Patter as sometimes they advertise free tours of the area - obviously not during the hours when it is open for bathers!! On the day that we went, it was only the two of us. It is beautifully set up and the Japanese staff seemed very keen to have someone visit.

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We were on the Diamond's around Australia cruise where the majority of passengers were Aussies. It was still nude bathing in the Japanese internal baths (males/females segregated) and then mixed bathing outside (with swimming costumes). Very few passengers participated and I think they even reduced the cost towards the end of the 28 day cruise.

 

Keep a lookout on the Princess Patter as sometimes they advertise free tours of the area - obviously not during the hours when it is open for bathers!! On the day that we went, it was only the two of us. It is beautifully set up and the Japanese staff seemed very keen to have someone visit.

 

Thank you for the information. I'm going to at least go on the tour. It sounds very relaxing.

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Title says it all.

 

I don't know what people would care about (or not) in a review, so I'll throw the door open to questions and see what comes up.

 

Sorry to ask, but in your title, what does/is AMA! mean?

Edited by Kingofcool1947
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Mahalo Nui Loa....

And you are very observant. Yes, Local Orientals are so easy to spot on any cruise.

 

Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

 

The use of Oriental to describe Asians is derogatory and offensive to Asians?

 

http://racerelations.about.com/od/understandingrac1/a/racialnamestoavoid.htm

 

Edited by Kingofcool1947
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Big G 111,

Thank you for your informative posts about your recent cruise and experience.

It couldn't have come at a better time for me as we leave for a B2B cruise on the Diamond in less than 2 weeks - I can't wait.

I have a couple of questions:

What was the weather like during most of your cruise?

How was the internet - I have read conflicting reports about availability of internet in Japanese waters?

TIA

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Sorry to ask, but in your title, what does/is AMA! mean?

 

Ask me anything!

 

What was the weather like during most of your cruise?

How was the internet - I have read conflicting reports about availability of internet in Japanese waters?

TIA

 

Weather was all over the place. We were traveling in July, so take that into account.

Most days it was in the mid-80s F and pretty humid. For the Hokkaido ports, take off 5-10 degrees. However, there was one day that was pouring rain and 60-ish - cold and miserable. Sea days tended to be cool and not that great for pool-type activities.

 

Internet:

 

Since the on-board WiFi is priced by the minute, and my phone-based Internet was by the GB (iPhone, service by AT&T, bought a package ahead of time), I tended to use my phone whenever possible, unless I was uploading photos.

 

On-board Internet was $$$ and flaky.

 

3G and LTE availability was quite good - I could usually get a connection anywhere within 8-10 miles of land. (On land, it was also always available, no matter how far below ground I went. LOL.)

 

A couple of nice features of the on-board WiFi: 1) You can connect for free to view the calendar of events, and 2) There's a messaging service you can use to send/leave messages for other users in your party. So if you're trying to meet up, you can send a "I'm in the XYZ" message that they can view when they connect. Beats trying to call/text them and paying through the nose. Only works if everyone thinks to use it, though.

Edited by Big_G_111
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  • 2 weeks later...
Big G 111,

Thank you for your informative posts about your recent cruise and experience.

It couldn't have come at a better time for me as we leave for a B2B cruise on the Diamond in less than 2 weeks - I can't wait.

I have a couple of questions:

What was the weather like during most of your cruise?

How was the internet - I have read conflicting reports about availability of internet in Japanese waters?

TIA

 

I was on the Diamond in June. The best time to access the Internet on the ship was early in the morning. I usually went down to get my coffee and sat by the Internet Café and the response time was reasonably fast.

I think since most of the passengers were Japanese, they used their phones while in port so the on-board usage was not that heavy.

Also, in most of the port there was free WIFI available right at the dock. Some even had a nice tent with chairs. That was fastest in the morning or late afternoon after the crew had to be back on board.

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