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shrimp56

Diamond Princess as viewed by Blue Hull Loyalist—April 13-May 2, 2018

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Yup, shrimp56 and mr shrimp are sailing around Japan on Diamond Princess. It’s our first Princess cruise, unless you count “Love Boat” reruns. We are open to it being different and, while I will compare, I will try not to be a grumpy HAL-ite.

 

After spending 2 rather laid-back days in Tokyo, we board this afternoon to start our adventure. Ports are Busan, So. Korea; Sakaiminato, Tsruga, and Akita, Japan with 2 sea days. As you probably know, DP caters to Japanese passengers, and often has a large contingent of Australians. We are fine with both.

 

So far Princess gains points for its clear, informative and welcoming emails. They lose points for an alcohol policy that, on paper, seems more draconian than HAL and some misteps in an upgrade offer. The ship is bigger than we are used to. We are in a balcony on Baja Deck forward. We have a private tour in Busan and Princess tours in the other ports.

 

Let the fun begin!

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I will be reading!!!

Why do you call the Princess policy on alcohol 'draconian'????

In the naughty room apparently they just throw the contraband out and they seem clear that ONLY I bottle wine per pax is permitted. The way I read it they won’t hold stuff for you the way HAL does. I will keep my eyes open.

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Looking forward to following along and comparing since you are doing the same itinerary we did last October.

Enjoy some Ramon in Horizon Court for me as well as enjoy some Sake for me as well ;)

Also enjoy some Pizza, although Saturday Tom and I are doing a Bon Voyage Experience on the Ruby in San Pedro so we will get a chance to have some Princess Pizza and a Margarita :p

Enjoy!!!

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In the naughty room apparently they just throw the contraband out and they seem clear that ONLY I bottle wine per pax is permitted. The way I read it they won’t hold stuff for you the way HAL does. I will keep my eyes open.

I think you will find that what they write about their policy and the actual policy are totally different. We did a B2B on Diamond a few months ago mostly around Japan and I brought aboard a bottle or two of wine or sake in most ports. They never lifted an eyebrow when my bag went through the scanner. I was charged $15. corkage when I brought a bottle to my table in the dining room which is slightly better than HAL's $18. charge. Two months ago we did a B2B on the Majestic and the treatment was similar.

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I think you will find that what they write about their policy and the actual policy are totally different. We did a B2B on Diamond a few months ago mostly around Japan and I brought aboard a bottle or two of wine or sake in most ports. They never lifted an eyebrow when my bag went through the scanner. I was charged $15. corkage when I brought a bottle to my table in the dining room which is slightly better than HAL's $18. charge. Two months ago we did a B2B on the Majestic and the treatment was similar.

Thanks for the info as I plan to get sake in Akita. Will report on trip so far once I get internet settled.

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Bon Voyage. Look forward to reading about your cruise, looks like a nice itinerary.

Allan

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Ok. Internet settled. Princess has a nice intranet that allows you to see your account and do a lot of things related to your cruise.

I’ll start with some details, keeping in mind that Diamond Princess is designed to cater to the Japanese market. The decor is fanciful, for example, the mosaics of sea creatures on the columns in The Neptune Pool area. The Lido and in fact the whole ship have many more curves and rounded surfaces than on HAL. I like the recessed cabin doors with a rounded divider between the doors. There are rounded wood details in our balcony cabin. We are cat BE. The cabin is small, with a small balcony. The bathroom door opens into the closet area, creating a potential traffic jam. And it is a sweet little cabin. Rather that a couch we have two chairs that we can turn to look out our floor to ceiling window. The door slides, thus not taking up balcony or room space when in use. The cabin has the compact functionality of a small Japanese apartment. The bathroom is quite small, but again functional.

Now to the cruise so far. Embarkation was smooth despite a lot of noise. We arrived around 12:45pm and were in our cabin by 1:30pm. Lots of announcements about which groups could board added to the noise, but kept us informed. We have a lovely Thai cabin attendant.

We were impressed by the lunch buffet, but noted that there seemed to be fewer options than HAL, particularly in the salad bar. We got stuck in late seating, too late for us, so, despite nice table mates (2 couples from Oahu), we will probably do specialty restaurants and Horizon Court for dinner. mr shrimp gave the Dining Room food between a C and B rating. I concur. At HC for breakfast I was surprised that there were not more Asian options.

Bar-wise we adored The Wheelhouse, enjoyed Crooners in The Atrium because of small size and location in the middle of activity. We shared the music from 2 decks below at just the right volume.

 

My general comment is that Princess knows who they are. HAL used to, but under Ashford and co. They keep trying things that don’t add up to a sense of self. Which is sad. I’ll have more to say on this later. I will later try to describe the Muster Drill. In brief, if I ever have to listen to THAT song being used to give safety information again I may head for the lifeboat myself. UGH.

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I suggest you contact the Maitre D and tell him you want to switch from late to early dining. More often than not we are assigned late dining; contact him, and are changed to early dining. It has always worked, both on HAL and Princess.

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We sailed the Diamond years ago and thought the ship was stunning. Service and food were quite good, although the service aspect wasn't quite what HAL is.

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Looking forward to following along and comparing since you are doing the same itinerary we did last October.

Enjoy some Ramon in Horizon Court for me as well as enjoy some Sake for me as well ;)

Also enjoy some Pizza, although Saturday Tom and I are doing a Bon Voyage Experience on the Ruby in San Pedro so we will get a chance to have some Princess Pizza and a Margarita :p

Enjoy!!!

 

I hope you had decent pizza -- Princess has changed their ingredients (and not for the better).

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"It's SAFETY...."!!!

Today is Busan, the first of the four ports. Had a nice dinner at Sabatinis last evening. Will continue commentary if people are interested. We are enjoying the ship and crew, but our hearts belong to the dam ships.

 

Haven’t tried the pizza yet, Lisa.

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Today is Busan, the first of the four ports. Had a nice dinner at Sabatinis last evening. Will continue commentary if people are interested. We are enjoying the ship and crew, but our hearts belong to the dam ships.

 

Haven’t tried the pizza yet, Lisa.

 

Yes, we are very interested. THANK YOU!

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Yes, shrimp56, I'd appreciate you continuing of your experiences and surely thank you for taking the time (and enduring the expense) of doing so.

 

Question about Sabatini's: Overwhelming amounts of food served? Or was it easy to insist to your Steward that you wanted only certain courses and not others?

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rka,

I do not think that Sabatini's does that beg extensive tasting menu any longer, on any ship.

I believe that they went to a more standard, choose your starter, main, etc... quite some time ago.

And, right now, it is changing again, to a different, Italian Bistro type menu, with a smaller upcharge.

Not sure if the Diamond Princess has this newest version of Sabatini's or not?

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Will continue commentary if people are interested.

I'm interested! I'm interested! Please do continue.

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Please continue to describe your cruise and the ship. If possible I would love for you to post a couple of photos of the ship.

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