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trvlwrld

celebrity hotels and transfers in tokyo-need help

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We are new to Celebrity, so we have some questions about booking a hotel on the front side through Celebrity and their transfers from airport to hotel to ship...is it a seamless operation and do they also have staff on hand at the hotel to assist you with daytours?  We’ve been very happy with previous Princess arrangements and hoping that Celebrity offers something similar.

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Over the years we have priced up and looked at the pros and cons of Celebrity and other cruise lines pre cruise stays and inevitably have done things independently...It isn’t just about saving money, we like the flexibility to choose our own hotels and transfer method and then prefer smaller bespoke tours to generic ‘highlight’ tours. 

 

We are cruising from Tokyo next year to Singapore and intend to enjoy stays in both cities. We have just started browsing hotels and trips we intend to do in Tokyo. We have found several hotels with a direct bus service from the airport and plenty of trips we can book independently. 

 

I do hope lots of cc readers who have done Tokyo independently and through X respond as it will help us with our research!!! 

 

If you do prefer to use Celebrity I am sure they will do a good job for you, just pointing out you don’t have to book a ‘package’.

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I totally agree with Chemmo - although our motivations for doing independent arrangements are based more on finances and the feeling of accomplishment and adventure achieved using public transportation.

 

Chemo is referencing a direct bus service.  That service is called Tokyo Airporter.  (Aka Tokyo airport limousine bus.)  Getting a hotel along its route IS a good idea - BUT do look at the schedules.  They do not run frequently or late in the evening to certain areas of Tokyo.

 

There are MANY alternative public transportation options.  We used the Kensai Skyliner.  

 

Taxi and shuttle service to/from Tokyo/airports/ports is ridiculously expensive (except sometimes with groups of four or more).

 

Taxis in Tokyo = 3 people with carry on luggage

Minivan for 7 people = 4 or 5 people depending on luggage.

Minivan for 9 people = 6 or 7 people depending on luggage.

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We were on a Celebrity cruise from Tokyo to Hong Kong a couple of years ago. We booked our air thru Choice Air (business class) at an attractive price. However, we opted to make our own hotel and transfer to ship arrangements separately. We took the airport bus (from Narita Airport). They dropped us off at our hotel. The ride takes over an hour depending upon traffic but is the least expensive way to get into the city. You can purchase a bus ticket in the baggage claim/arrivals area. It’s very easy. The bus is always prompt so if they say 6PM, they don’t mean 6:05.

 

We we stayed at the Hyatt Regency in the Shinjuku area, which we would highly recommend. However, there are many hotels in this area. It is very safe and you can easily walk to shopping, parks, etc. 

 

We chose Green Tomato to transport us to the pier in Yokohama, about a 45 minute drive depending on traffic. They were extremely reliable, professional and very pleasant. If you can get a few other couples from your roll call to share the cost, it will be very reasonable. Our group of 8 people were staying at 4 different hotels, all in the same area and it worked out perfectly. They made a separate stop at each hotel.

 

Happy travels.

Larry

 

 

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We booked the hotel Grand Prince Takanawa through Celebrity last year and included the transfer to the ship with that booking. We did the 3 nights option. We did not book air through Celebrity and were told that we could not purchase a transfer to the hotel through them because of that. I used a shared airport-hotel transfer which I booked through Viator.  This was much less than a private transfer but still included a meet & greet at the airport in the baggage area. Very nice service and worked perfectly if you are at all timid about using public transport in a new, non-English speaking country (which we were).  I believe it was about $90 for the 2 of us. 

Celebrity really didn't have much of a presence at the hotel until boarding day but that went smoothly on that day. They will include a transfer ticket in your cruise documents when you print those out.

If Celebrity is still using the Grand Prince, it is a lovely older hotel that is part of a complex of Grand Prince Hotels.  There is a Japanese garden within the complex and our room overlooked this. Very nice. Also, about 5 minute walk to MRT.

We booked an all day walking and public transport tour with a private guide in advance, also on Viator. We took this after a nights sleep as we were truly knackered after the long flight. The guide picked us up at our hotel and we had a very full day of site seeing.  It was a nice way to get our bearings in Tokyo and learned how to navigate the subway system with our guide leading the way.  It is VERY busy and could be overwhelming to a 1st timer.

Our last day we explored on our own using the subway like old pros.

Hope this helps.

Michael & Jan

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Thanks for all of your help in logistics.  We’re seasoned international travelers, but I have heard that it is quite some distance between the airport, port, and Tokyo so your information helps us to plan all the little pieces to make things go smoother since life moves at a much faster pace in Tokyo.

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5 hours ago, trvlwrld said:

Thanks for all of your help in logistics.  We’re seasoned international travelers, but I have heard that it is quite some distance between the airport, port, and Tokyo so your information helps us to plan all the little pieces to make things go smoother since life moves at a much faster pace in Tokyo.

One thing to keep in mind is your choice of which airport you fly into.  Narita is quite a distance from Tokyo while Haneda is much closer.  We just flew into Haneda two days ago and from the time we excited the plane until we climbed into a taxi is might have been 20 minutes. This included getting three pieces of checked luggage.  It was a 20 minute taxi to the Shinagawa area where our hotel is.  Not everyone is able to fly into Haneda but if you have the choice I would really recommend it.

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On 4/24/2019 at 8:41 AM, mjscruffy said:

We booked the hotel Grand Prince Takanawa through Celebrity last year and included the transfer to the ship with that booking.      .....

 

I have wondered what hotel (or hotels) Celebrity used in Tokyo.

 

We were on the Millennium trans-Pacific from Vancouver to Yokohama followed by the first Japan Explorer cruise last September -- yes -- the two cruises which were impacted by two typhoons!  The B2B passengers were evacuated from the Millennium and we spent the night when Typhoon Trami hit Yokohama on the 56th floor of a hotel.

 

After the B2B we left the ship in Yokohama, and spent five days in Tokyo.  We did not book our Tokyo hotel through Celebrity.  In the past we checked hotel prices for hotels booked through Celebrity and then compared the price if we booked directly with the property.  It has been several years since we have compared prices, but, at least in the past, the Celebrity rate was priced per person.  For example, if the hotel room was $300 per night for two people, Celebrity charged $600 per night.  Perhaps the situation has changed, but we prefer to make our own selections.  

 

In Tokyo we selected a hotel in the Shinjuku area which we found very convenient.  I had contacted the hotel concierge for a price quote on a private transfer, and was very pleasantly surprised with the price.  Much lower than we had anticipated.  So we had a private driver pick us up at the cruise terminal in Yokohama and drive us directly to the hotel.  Our time is valuable to us and we had no interest  in navigating the public transportation system, although we did use public transportation for some of our time in Tokyo.  For two of the five days in Tokyo we hired a private guide through TripleLights for the two of us, and were extremely pleased.  Well worth the money.

 

Our flight on Japan Airlines was out of Narita so we used the airport bus transfer service.  That flight was our first experience on Japan Airlines, and we were impressed.  We were in business class, and it was wonderful.  Not quite as nice as business class on Emirates, but darn close.

 

 

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